Managing Home and Homeschool – Practical tips on how to reduce stress and manage your home

Managing home and homeschool is a stressful job. As a homeschooling mom you are not only the teacher but also the mother of the home, meaning the duties of home management falls on your shoulder. The meals, the laundry (oh I hate laundry) and the cleaning unfortunately need to be done in order to facilitate life. This is a post mostly for myself because I want to organize a routine and put together some tips to help myself and you achieve chore bliss. So lets tackle things one monster at a time:

Meals

Meal plan! Every Sunday (pick your own day) plan out your meals. As in write out your main meal for the whole week and get the appropriate ingredients.  In my household breakfast tends to be standard. We all do eggs and milk in some form, my husband and youngest do boiled eggs and My oldest does oatmeal every single day. We might vary it up a bit occasionally but not enough that it can disturb the routine. Lunch is usually sandwiches of some form and a smoothie. Dinner is usually the main meal and requires preparation ahead of time. Here are some ideas and tips to make dinner prep easier:

  1. Thaw out your meat in the early morning.
  2. Employ your crock pot or instant pot. (If you don’t have one, slow cooking on the stove works just as well)
  3. Start it all at lunch time, while the kids do lunch.
  4. Finish it up, Reheat or add garnish right before dinner, so it still has that right out of the oven heat.
  5. Use prepped ingredients multiple times. For example, If you prepped carrots for a meal this week, prep extra so you can use it next week for another meal (just don’t forget to use them).
  6. Keep meals one pot dishes. Casseroles, Stews, Soups and Curries are popular in our home, mostly because they require less out of me, are wholesome and filling for the family and are quick and easy.
  7. Keep complicated meals that require lots of prep time and multiple steps for your days off of homeschooling, this could be a special weekend meal for the family to enjoy.

The Laundry

I am not sure if I am qualified to talk about laundry because there is a huge pile sitting right in front of me as I type this; but here are some tips that I plan on using to reduce this tediousness.

  1. Minimize your clothing. Go through the closet and take out all the clothes that you wore this month. Look through the rest of the clothes, if there are clothes you wear in a different season such as a sweater, jacket, raincoat etc, take them out as well. The rest of the clothing are clothes that you are just hanging on to and you don’t wear.  Donate them, some one else will cherish them.
  2. Wash often and fold Immediately. Folding is the bane of my existence, I find it wasteful to spend so much time folding clothes when most likely 20 minutes from now my youngest will rummage through her drawer, toss out half of the clothes in it to find her favorite dress. So, lets wash our clothes every Wednesday and Sunday. Put on a good audiobook or movie and fold those evil little bounce smelling clothes. If your kids are old enough to help or take responsibility let them. Get them into it too, which brings me to my next tip.
  3. Outsource. If the family member is older than 7-8 yrs old, then they can do their own laundry and fold it. Trust me if they know how to use an ipad they can use the washing machine. Allow it to be a fun experience.
  4. Best time for this is after lunch, or after they finish their morning schooling.

The Cleaning

As a homeschooling mom, you have to get used to the idea that your home will not always be clean. Your home will not be the place where people can just visit at the drop of the hat because your home is where life and learning happens; and you know what, learning is messy. If you have visitors that embrace the mess, kudos to them.  If not, its best to keep visiting hours to the weekend or a day when school is off.  Either way, here are some ideas I plan on using to keep my home clean.

  1. Minimize your surfaces. Sure you can keep the beautiful side table you adore and that china cabinet you inherited from your grandmother, but the more surfaces you have the more dust will collect and the more dusting you have to do. Use a microfiber cloth and employ your youngest child who always complains that he or she is not allowed to anything. We use Thieves Household Cleaner, so its safe for the kids to wipe down the counters too.
  2. Sweep/Vacuum everyday at the end of the day. Outsource to an older kid or the husband if you can!
  3. Put things away right away after you use them. When we put things away immediately after use, it reduces the clutter; and later on when you are looking for that screw driver… Guess what? Its exactly where it should be.
  4. If you have younger kids, beckon the power of the Clean up, Pick up, Put away song and other songs before every transition or until your kids learn to put away their toys after use.
  5. Load the dishwasher every night before bed and empty every morning as your coffee brews.
  6. Never leave pots in the sink. They will live there and smell and clutter your sink. Wash them immediately after use. If they really need to soak, add a little bit of Bar Keepers Bleach or Comet and let it heat up on the stove, the grease and grime comes right off.
  7. Once a month organize your drawers, or you can do it immediately as soon as you see that they are messy.

Those are some of the things I will be doing this new homeschool year. Hopefully it will help make my homeschool year smoother and make my home easier to manage. What are some things that you use to manage your home and your routine, I would love to hear from you!

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Ramadan Reads Game Plan.

Salam All,

Ramadan is quick approaching and I wanted to share with every one our 30 book picks for this month. I have selected books that are Ramadan themed and also some that are not. These are books I have collected over the year to develop our Homeschool Library. I believe in the importance of teaching our children the narrative they come from. When children hear about stories that connect with them and validate their culture and traditions it helps them in building their identity. For this reason I never shy away from investing into books and teaching from literature and storytelling. Also, they make great gifts!

How I plan on using our Books.

Ramadan this year is going to be a good 16-17 Hour long fast where I live, that’s a long day to keep my kids entertained and occupied, especially with my energy levels running low. So I plan on keeping them entertained with open ended play, a craft and a sensory activity that centers around the book we read each day. We will also be finding good deeds or moral lessons from the story and implementing it in our day. In addition to that we will be crafting a Alhamdulillah Journey Scrap book using the Alhamduillah series and reflecting in the Mini Muslim Journal by UmmAbdullah.

What books am I using.

  1. Stories of the Prophets The Story of Adam By DarusSalam
  2. Stories of the Prophets The Story of Ibrahim By DarusSalam
  3. Stories of the Prophets The Story of Muhammed in Makkah By DarusSalam
  4. Stories of the Prophets The Story of Muhammed in Medina By DarusSalam
  5. Thank You O Allah! by Aisha bint Mahmood
  6. Hilmy the Hippo by Rae Norridge
  7. Its Ramadan, Curious George
  8. My Special Angels: The two noble scribes.
  9. Golden Globes and Silver Lantern by Hena Khan20170517_112516
    10. Luqman’s Advice to his Son Quran Stories for Little Hearts by Goodward kids
    11. Allah Speaks to the Prophet Musa Quran Stories for Little Hearts by Goodward kids
    12. Allah made them All Quran Stories for Little Hearts by Goodward kids
    13. Love your Parents Quran Stories for Little Hearts by Goodward kids
    14. The travels of Prophet Ibrahim Quran Stories for Little Hearts by Goodward kids
    15. I’m So Angry by Sarah Javed
    16. First Fast By Uthman Hutchinson
    17. How Big is Allah By Emma Apple
    18.A trust of Treasures by Mehded Maryam Sinclair
    19. Ilyas and Duck and the fantastic festival of Eid al Fitr by Omar.S. Khawaja.
    20. Ilyas and Duck Search for Allah by Omar.S. Khawaja.

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22. Lailah’s Lunch Box by Reem Faruqi
23. The Most Magnificent Mosque by Ann Jungman and Shelly Fowles.
24. Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman
25. The Apple Tree by Mariam Al Kalby
26. The Three Muslim Festivals written by Aminah Ibrahim Ali
27. The House of Wisdom by Florence Heide and Judith Gilliland

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28. A Party in Ramadan By Asma Mobin-Uddin.
29. A Picnic of Poems in Allah’s Green Garden by Dawud Wharnsby
30. Night of the Moon by Hena Khan.
31. Ramadan by Suhaib Ghazi
32. Allah’s Zoo by Goodward Kids.
33. Migo and Ali Love for the Prophets by Zanib Mian

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That’s 33 for you, for the days you need more than one book!

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Some Activity books that we will also be using:

Owl and Cat Ramadan Coloring and activity book

Ramadan and Fasting Activity Book

Lets Learn from the Holy Quran

Allah to Z: Activity book.

The Giant Journey puzzle by Learning Roots.

 

Keep an eye out on this page for weekly lesson plans on activities for all the listed books!

-HAPPY RAMADAN!!!

 

 

 

 

Dear Moms-Lets Inspire not Intimidate.

Dear Moms,

Mommying is hard. We can all admit to that. Even if we don’t admit it to everyone around out loud. We know that being a mother changed our lives in ways we will never be able to explain to any one. We are the feeders, clothes changer, butt washers, barf cleaners, runny nose napkin, teachers, confidants, discipliners, story weavers, playmates, worst enemies and best friends of our children’s lives. Basically WE are IMPORTANT people! We play massive roles in the well being socially, physically and emotionally of our children.

That being said, sometimes some of us women feel the need to belittle or push down one another in order to feel better about ourselves. We become mean and rude and pass sarcastic remarks behind or in front of each other especially about how we raise our children. To those ladies I would like to say, please don’t. You will never feel valued as a mother if you do not value the sacrifice another mother makes. If you feel like pushing the fragile self esteem of another mother off the cliff is the means to your happiness, let me inform you, it is not.

Mothering is hard. Regardless of how many children you have, how old they are, whether you work out side the home or you work inside the home, whether you homeschool, unschool or public/private school, whether you had a an epidural or not, whether you breastfed or not, whether you had a c-section or not! Mothering is Hard and any one who tells you otherwise is either crazy or lying!

Mothers lets take this time to inspire each other,  not intimidate ourselves and others over trivial matters.   Lets raise each other up, support each other, build our communities and our households with patience, kindness, love and gratefulness. Perhaps when we value each other enough, then the rest of the world will value us too.

P.S If you are wondering, yes this rant is in response to a personal attack by a fellow mom about me raising my kids!

What is in My Bag?

Hey All!!

I’m excited to share with everyone that we will be starting a brand new Youtube channel!

This week I am sharing my #whatsinmybag tag!

I am collaborating with some wonderful ladies, please check out their bags as well!!!

Go Ahead and Click and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

 

This is a Collaboration with:

The Precious Years:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8U…
https://www.instagram.com/theprecious…

Ummimommy:
https://www.instagram.com/ummimommy/

Stranded Mom:
https://www.instagram.com/strandedmom/

My Life’s Canvas:
https://www.instagram.com/mylifes.can…

Handmade Beginnings:
https://www.youtube.com/user/handmade…
https://www.instagram.com/handmadebeg…

The Muslimah Mommy:

http://www.themuslimahmommy.com

https://www.instagram.com/themuslimahmommy/?hl=en

Umamahlearningacademy:

https://www.instagram.com/umamahlearningacademy/?hl=en

Learnlittlemuslims:

http://learnlittlemuslims.com/

https://www.instagram.com/learnlittlemuslims/?hl=en

Thanks for stopping by!

Please check out my other posts on our Homeschooling!

Our Storyteatime.

Rebel girls Books

How we Charlotte Mason Muslim Style

Story Teatime

Salam (Peace) All!

One of the things that really reeled me into the Charlotte Mason methodology was the idea of spending quality time reading to our children. As mothers, we tend to be overwhelmed with our chores and responsibilities. We don’t have the time or the mental saneness to spend one on one time with each of our children. Most of the time we don’t have time to spend one on one time with our own selves! In addition to that, add a regular crazy day of homeschool and it is a recipe for an overwhelmed mama!

Reading some of Charlotte Mason’s books has introduced me to the idea of taking it slow.  Slow but Intentional.

Introducing Story Teatime…

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In an effort to slow down the pace of each day, we decided to take a few moments for tea time;  where we drink some tea, read a little poetry or some stories, reflect, and eat a snack. What is interesting is that a lot of  Charlotte Mason’s writing pulls on the imagery of Food. She suggests that children need a “feast” of living ideas to “feed their hunger”.  All this imagery is quite appropriate when you think about the fact that the one thing that connects all people, from all cultures and backgrounds is FOOD.

Story Teatime has helped me a lot in our homeschool. It’s a happy merger between Reading aloud and tea time; where we bring in our living books, poetry or whatever books spike our attention onto the table. We eat and read and discuss. Now, I need to remind you that I have a 2.5 yr old that thinks shes 4, so things don’t always go as smoothly as planned. But, if you add some of their favorite food or whatever your child’s heart pleases it keeps them attentive for at least a little bit.

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To give this an Islamic spin we included some poetry of Dawud Wharnsby Ali, who our kids love, and his CDs are our favorite in the car and on long rides. We also plan on trying some Poetry by Rumi, Stories of the Prophets and some other Islamic living books I have found.  Some other books we are currently reading from are:

  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • Poems to Learn by heart
  • The llama who had no pajama
  • Eric Carle’s Animals Animals
  • You read to me and I’ll read to you.
  • Children’s book of Art

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Story tea time also gives us an opportunity to talk about our learning or about our day, and makes my kids feel like they are spending some special time with me. It also gives me a chance to slow down and enjoy the conversations about randomness with them, from topics such as what’s for dinner to what is the soul. After all, Charlotte Mason says that education is about building relationships and connecting learning with those relationships.

Give Story Teatime a try! What are some ways you connect learning with relationships?

Rebel Girls

How many children’s books can you think of that have a female character in a lead role who is strong, independent, positive and not just a damsel in distress?  Not many, right? Here we are trying to raise strong, positive, wholesome girls in the age of the historic Women’s March and what are we reading to them,  very few examples of such women.

So when I discovered Rebel girls, I jumped on it!

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We got Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, 100 tales of Extraordinary Women, and we love it! This book has short one page stories about amazing, accomplished, real women from different walks of life and from various places around the world. The stories are in a short narrative format with beautiful, eye-catching illustrations that keep the kids engaged. At the end of the book, the kids get to draw themselves and think about their own contributions and who they are and who they want to be. I thought that was a very inspirational thing to put in the book. My daughters are preschool and kindergarten age, but the stories kept them listening.  They may not retain all the information now, but this book is one for the library, and I am hoping they will connect with it over and over as they grow.

https://www.rebelgirls.co/

 

Philosophy of Education

 

Hello All,

Today, I wanted to talk about my philosophy of education. I have been doing tot school and preschool with my daughters for about 2 years now. School to me has always been how I was schooled, typical public school model of education. When I started teaching my daughters, it was sort of eclectic, incorporating lots of ideas into our education. As my determination to homeschool has been solidifying through my research, my approach and understanding of education has also been changing.

Currently I am devouring readings on Charlotte Mason, a British educator who at her time revolutionized the understanding and implementation of education. Even though I have looked into other philosophies of education, (and no doubt as my children grow, so will my ideas on education philosophy) I feel like this methodology is right for us for now. This is interesting because Charlotte Mason’s methodology is very strongly influenced by Christianity. I however, plan on applying her ideas to the Muslim values in our homeschool; and it will be interesting to bring those two worlds together. This is very exciting for me because I love finding wisdom where ever, and using it to benefit myself and my children. Mason has greatly benefited many Christian Homeschools and I am interested to see how we can benefit from her ideas.

This week I have been listening to the podcasts by A Delectable Education and reading For the Children’s sake, by Susan Schafer.

Hopefully soon, I can share what elements I plan on implementing into our homeschool.

Talk to you soon!

TeacherMabid