Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day of school (again)

So Star started VPK at the local Kinder Care and loves it. Yesterday was the first day, and she kept saying she didn't want to go that if we went she would run away! Then we got there and she wanted me to sit in circle time (to make sure I was going to stay). I had to tell her we just were going to meet the teacher and see the class, that way she didn't think I was leaving. Well she finally sat in the circle and the teacher asked her name she said, "I'm not telling you". My sweet Star, I think she wanted to just run out of there, so I was starting to cry because she didn't want to stay alone, so I just gave her a kiss in her hand and told her to hold it, if she wants a kiss or needs to feel me open her hand and I will be there. Star finally saw her friend and was excited he was in her class so while she wasn't looking I dashed out (just out in the hall). I waited with a dear friend until I felt she was going to alright and I went back 15 minutes early to get her and we watched again from the window, she was fine. telling me Mrs.Ana did this, Mrs.Ana said this......Anyway I am so glad I let her finally go, but I am still very sad that she is not with me ALL the time. I guess they have to grow up, now if I could only start now to Today was day 2 and there were no problems, she got up and couldn't wait to get there. The teacher said today she finally talked, she is very polite and was starting to make friends. I asked Star on the way home what they did and she told me the scoop learning center, I am thinking it is like the tot trays we did at home. They read stories and sang songs, she reminded me again of some of the rules, yesterday she told me remember Mommy no flip-flops! I guess some kids wore them and the teacher wasn't happy, oh and she likes her teacher Mrs.Ana, and she keepsget Kayak ready for letting go!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So day one is almost over and the fasting went very well, it can only get easier right? We are doing a chain for Ramadan and one for Star to start school, the one for school has only one link left. I can't even imagine leaving her with someone I've never met for three hours, how do other people do it? Anyway she says she is excited we are still working on Arabic, reading, phonics, and writing at home. Kayak will do Tot school still I have some friends with little girls around her age and so we will still do stuff with them. The story time at the library starts soon to, and I think she will actually like it this year. I pray for patience and tranquility tomorrow and that the day goes by fast.

month of fasting

Ramadan (also pronounced as Ramzan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the blessed month in which the Quranic revelation started. This month is the hallmark of special blessing and a quintessential month of fasting (sawm). The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. This year 2008 the start of Ramadan is expected to begin on 1st of September.

During this month it's recommended in Quranic principle to fast from all food and drink from sunrise till sunset for the whole lunar month uninterrupted. It is not just an Islamic practice but a universal spiritual practice that was recommended to all other communities in the past including the earlier Prophets and Apostles. The Final Testament testifies: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint."
- The Quran 2:183

Fasting is very much a spiritual reality in the Judeo-Christian tradition such as fasting of Yom Kippur and Lent. So is it present in Eastern tradition including Hinduism and other traditions. Gautama Buddha went through deep ascetic fasting before his enlightenment.

Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights while he was on the mountain with Divine Presence (Exodus 34:28). We read in the New Testament in the life of Jesus Christ how fasting was part of his inner practice as well: 'Jesus went into deep retreat and seclusion in the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and forty nights. And the tempter came and whispered to him: 'if you are elect one of God, command these stones to become bread.' But Jesus answered: 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone...' (Matthew, Luke 4:1-4)

Friday, August 21, 2009


In the morning at 5:15 we will wake up and that for me is the beginning of Ramadan. We will eat then pray and go back to sleep until the girls wake up. The day will be long I will be craving caffeine among other things and the first day is the worst for me anyway. The day will long and hopefully quiet as I want to start reading the Quran from the beginning and get as far as I can this month, maybe I will finish, insha allah! In this month we are feeling the need for food and water and remembering those that go without it daily. For them they don't get to eat a huge meal at sundown as we do, everyday they struggle with hunger. We will go on about our day pretty much as any other day and take comfort in those around us that are fasting, go to work, try to nap, see the spiritual side of our lives come out, and try to keep life as simple as possible. For me it is about connecting myself to Allah (God) and maintaining patience, trusting myself to make it 30 days, and looking forward to the accomplishment when it is over. You will never fully understand fasting until you do it, no food or water from sunrise to sunset. When I started the first day I honestly thought I was going to die. I didn't know if I would make it through the entire Ramadan, but every day got easier and felt like I could walk on water when it ended, that I had done it. I pray to do good deeds and have a happy and healthy Ramadan this year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Opening My Eyes

I finally went to the Kinder Care today and I was going to inform them Star wasn't going to be there Monday. However when I walked in and saw the class set up and her name and her friends name on the door and desks I began to change my mind. I thought about it and talked with the Director about my reasons I did not want her to go then completely opened my eyes. The other day she was at a birthday party and she wouldn't even talk to the kids she didn't know, much less play with them. We never thought she was missing out, but I realized this time in her young life she needs interaction with new faces and needs to finally be away from Mommy. Of course I will be staying there for the first day just to see how she does then we will reevaluate the situation and make a more permanent decision. I told her one of her friends was in her class and how much fun she was going to have, then we went by there to see it and I think she is getting excited. I am done for now I don't have much to say I guess :(

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today went very well once again Star wanted to read all the Bob books, find and cut out more "a" words, write her name and numbers, and then I had her draw "a" pictures and they turned out great. We played a number matching game, and a gingerbread boy color matching game that I found online. Then we had a pool play date that lasted until the rain came, and when we got home she read two books almost by herself. I let her play the leapster each day and watch either leapfrog Math Circus, or the word leap frog DVD. This afternoon we played Hullabaloo and Elefun, and made pizza for dinner. Tonight they were playing "safari", since Kayak got the Dora and Diego backpacks for her birthday they love to hide animals all over the house, get the backpacks, and flashlights and search for them. When they catch them they pretend to be doctors and help the rescued animals.
Our Animal Kingdom experience, Star was in deep conversation with the "goats teacher"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Star's first day of school

Our First Real Day of School!!!!!

Star woke up eager to begin when she saw the work boxes. We ate our waffles played outside then started with a special bag I made her with all new crayons, erasers, pencil sharpener, markers, ruler, and some treats. We reviewed the days of the week song and marked today on the calender, then posted the weather on our weather board. We moved on right away to reading , she wanted to keep going and going so we read the entire first box of our Bob books. I had only planned on doing one about patterns then working with the pattern bears to have her follow directions and recreate my patterns. Needless to say we didn't get to the bears, we may do them after we get home from the pool. Then we did practice writing, this week is letter "A", she wrote her name and traced numbers 1-20. We played a matching game to see if she could read number words and colors, not so good we need to work on this. Then we read The Ginger Boy Kid, Kissing Hand and Froggy Goes to School books. I did a treasure hunt to search for the gingerbread boy, and she loved this game, of course I had to read all the hints for her so maybe next time I will do a picture to go along with the words. That was it for now and it took only about two hours and she was so happy she wanted to do it all again!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

work boxes

Today we finally printed numbers for the work box idea and Star loves the knowing what comes next part. I put all her work in for the day and she knows she can do it in any order as long as it gets done. Today she did all the work for Monday in an hour and a half, I put it in the boxes just to show her and she insisted we do school today. We made an "A" book and found things that started with A, then read The Kissing Hand and The Gingerkid Goes To School. I have lots of activities to go with these books so I am glad we got a head start. She painted and made a craft project for Ramadan, it starts in 4 days. We have been getting all the information and schedules for the field trips and I am not sure who is more excited me or her. We are going to see Charlotte's Web the play, Museum of Science, Gatorland, Lake Eva, ice skating (my Mom can go here), and Green Meadows farm so far. I wish I did that stuff in school I might have actually gone! Kayak is still doing tot trays and reading when she wants, but loves blocks so we bought some new alphabet nesting blocks and foam colored blocks to build with. Yesterday she had a great time with her umbrella splashing in the rain, then after it stopped they went swimming for the afternoon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finally Thursday!

I can't believe how fast this week has gone! We got so much done around here and are still waiting patiently for school to start. Star and Kayak and I met my friend and her lovely family at Animal Kingdom this week and got to see so many creatures. They loved seeing all the animals but the snakes and spider exhibit scared Kayak every time she looked at them she did this little shiver. I guess she will take after me, I can't stand snakes! It was very HOT that day but we did the safari and the train to the petting area, then we watched Nemo the musical. It was fun just visiting with an old friend, the girls only lasted until 3:00 then fell asleep before I even could get out of the parking lot.
We have gone to the library and got most of the books we need for the first two weeks of school, but today we are going to a play date near another library so we need to get Chicka Boom, and Who Am I. I have almost all the lesson planning part done for the first 6 months. We need to make lace up cards for Kayak and get tangrams and pattern cards for Star but there is not a store around here so I may order them online.
For now I have to get going we have to get the oil changed in my car today and be at the park in an hour, YIKES.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our busy day

Today went something like this, we got up at 8:00 walked Wanagi and got ready for Ikea. We got there and Star wanted to play in the kids place, for about five minutes! They paged me and said she wanted to leave so we rushed around the store (both girls walking) they stopped at all the play stations and stopped every 5 minutes between. What I thought would be a nice relaxing time ended up being a frantic, overstimulated, headache! Anyway we got home and started building our goodies a table and chairs, storage solutions, a puppet theater and some more random things for the tot trays. We haven't got the table and chairs done yet because I had so much help I couldn't concentrate. :)
After nap and lunch we washed all the outside toys, I gave them each a pail with soapy water and a cloth and they went to town for TWO HOURS! It was sweet Star washed and Kayak rinsed for the most part. Then we came in and did tot trays with beads, play dough, rice and pasta shaped like lobster (thanks Mom they did come in handy after all)they kept switching who was pouring, who was scooping. Now it is time for dinner, then bath and bed, I hope to have both sleeping by eight so I can finish creating the stations and do the phonics pocket charts.
HEARTS H- is for our children's Heart,E - is for Eternity, A- is for Ability and Attitude, R- is for Right Relationship, T- is for Today and Tomorrow..................

Jamie Solley wrote this wonderful poem to give to

Parents on the First Day of School. This is so cute I thought I'd share it with you.

The First Day
I gave you a little wink and smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.
You've been with him for five years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
To leave him at my side.
Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may flow
I'll love him as I would my own
And help him learn and grow.
For as a parent, I too know
How quickly the years do pass
And that one day soon it will be my turn
To take my child to class.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love him and take him in
When you leave him at my door

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I started getting the school room ready and here are some pictures so far, And these are all toys and resources we found around our house. There are some more things we still need to get after I find a Schoolbox store.

These are some activities and sites we like!

First the Homeschool A-Z site has a wealth of great information if this is your first time homeschooling. We have found curriculum, resources, lesson plans, printable downloads, methods, and links to laws in your state. We are planning on doing so much there is not enough time to tell you everything but here are some ideas!
We will have one letter to practice writing each week until they can write them and you can read them (I can read Star's letters now). We will do a unit study every week, the first week is school, so every book we read, song we sing, craft we do, and activities we do will pertain to school. We are introducing tot-trays, which are trays they work independently with rice, beans, sand, water, glitter,shells, paints or anything else you can come up with. They have tools like funnels, pitchers to pour, measuring cups, or tea candle holders and they sort, pour, measure, just experience the different senses they may use, hopefully not taste. For math we are using cubes, jumping for addition, and softschool online. At this age they still need objects to identify "how many" so we have counting bears, and beads that we will use daily.
For reading we are going to get the books that pertain to the unit that week. Starfall is one site we are using for phonics, we also have workbooks, slide cards and pocket charts. Star has a mini office that we loved creating together, and we are going to enjoy this time, give them tools to grow, and encourage natural curiosity. Saad will do Arabic and Qur'an studies with flash cards, and books we have to teach them basic writing and reading in Arabic. I hope that gives you some insight into what our days ahead are going to look like.

Homeschooling here we come!!!!!

So we have officially decided to home school both girls, however Star is just starting Pre-k and Kayak will do what we call Tot school. We are trying out different styles for now, no we are not sitting at a desk for 8 hours doing workbooks. We have a support group here that does co-ops and field trips two or three times a month, and we still will meet up with our friends who attend public school (socialization part). We considered doing this for months and have been working on lesson plans and curriculum's, (I will post them weekly) however it is only TWO WEEKS away and as of now we are 90% ready. Star is so excited as we set up the "school room" she was telling me "I have the best classroom ever", last week she still was talking about her teacher and her new school so I guess she is getting used to the idea of it. We met some new friends this week one has 6 children she is homeschooling and has since pre-k the other has two boys she has home schooled since pre-k. They both were full of great information on curriculum or lack of, and workbooks that worked and some that didn't. It is always nice to have people who have experience to help you through new adventures!