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Arabic Alphabet Craft: Cotton Ball Activity

Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity

It’s a great idea to use craft activities to reinforce Arabic alphabet letter recognition. Here’s a fun and easy Arabic alphabet craft to do with your kiddos. I did this project with my children over the summer and it was a hit!     The directions and materials for this project are very simple. Here’s […]

Peanut Butter Buckeyes: Our Very Tasty Eid Tradition


I don’t make a large variety of fancy deserts. I have about ten recipes that I know how to make very well (if I must say so myself) and those are the ones I stick to. One of the ten that I really enjoy making is a candy called peanut butter buckeyes. I only make […]

Homemade Eid Gifts: Beautiful Hijab Pins Made Easy


There’s something very special about getting a homemade gift. The fact that someone put lots of time, thought and effort into making a unique gift, just for you, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As much as people like to receive these gifts, crafty folks like to make them. It’s a lot of fun […]

Need Eid Gifts? Support Your Fellow Muslim!


At a loss of what to buy for family and friends for Eid? I find myself in this same position every year. I don’t want to buy the same ole stuff over and over again. We all want to find that special gift that will put a smile on our loved one’s faces. Sometimes it’s not […]

Arabic Alphabet Craft: Cotton Ball Activity

Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity

It’s a great idea to use craft activities to reinforce Arabic alphabet letter recognition. Here’s a fun and easy Arabic alphabet craft to do with your kiddos. I did this project with my children over the summer and it was a hit!



The directions and materials for this project are very simple.

Here’s what you need:

  • construction paper
  • a marker or pencil
  • cotton balls
  • glue

Here’s what you do:

Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity

Write the letter out, nice and big, on a piece of construction paper.

Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity


Have the kids trace the letter with a glue stick and then add the the cotton balls along the line of the letter. Or they can add glue as they add cotton balls. Either way is fine.

Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity


Arabic Alphabet Cotton Ball Activity

The fished project! Beautiful artwork to post on your fridge or wall. :-)

Special thanks to momto2poshlildivas.com who inspired us to do this project.


If you decide to do this Arabic alphabet craft with your little one please share a pic with us. You can email it to us at happycaliteacher@yahoo.com or post it on our facebook page Successful Muslim Homeschool. As always we thank you for stopping by and we hope you will visit us again. :-)




Peanut Butter Buckeyes: Our Very Tasty Eid Tradition


I don’t make a large variety of fancy deserts. I have about ten recipes that I know how to make very well (if I must say so myself) and those are the ones I stick to. One of the ten that I really enjoy making is a candy called peanut butter buckeyes. I only make them once a year, for Eid.  I have been making them every Eid for about eight years now. It’s become a tradition, and a rather tasty one indeed, Alhumdulilah. Our entire Jumat looks forward to getting their fair share of this once a year treat, and my children and I thoroughly enjoy making them for everyone. :-)

The recipe that I use is really quite simple:

1 1/2 cups Laura Scudder peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 cups unrefined powdered sugar

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips*


Combine the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in big bowl.  Beat the mixture with an electric mixer on low, until completely blended. Next add 2 cups of powdered sugar. I mix this with a wooden spoon because I don’t want to over mix it. Add the additional powdered sugar until the mixture is a bit crumbly. You don’t want it to be too smooth or it won’t make firm balls.  Shape into 1-inch balls and stick um’ in the fridge.

Next you melt the chocolate. We use two pots for a makeshift double boiler, which works quite well. Click here for directions on how to do it.

Now this last step is supposed to make the candy resemble a buckeye, but in the past, we’ve done ours a bit different. Instead of Dipping the peanut butter ball into chocolate, we swirl the chocolate over the top with a spoon.  You are actually supposed to dip the entire ball into the chocolate, except for a small circle at the top. My daughter is going to do them the regular way this year, inshalah, so they will look more like “buckeyes” for the first time. I’m good either way we do it. No matter how they look, they still taste great! :-)


We let the chocolate candies get firm in the fridge before taking them out and wrapping them, individually, with Saran Wrap.  We use pretty ribbons to tie off the tops.  I’d say we usually make over a hundred each year, enough to fill up one basket per household.


*A Few Helpful Tips

-Be sure not to drop any water in your chocolate while melting it in the double boiler! It won’t come out right at all. We learned this the hard way.

-Do not substitute Laura Skutters peanut butter for any other brand that is not all natural. The all natural peanut butter is what makes this such a rich, wholesome, tasty treat. :-)


*A Word About Fair trade Chocolate

About two years ago, I came across some videos about the atrocities our brothers and sister endure in Africa because of the chocolate trade. I learned that children are being stolen from their homes and made to work as slaves on cocoa farms. These poor children are slaving away to provide us with candy that they themselves have never even seen, let alone tasted. If they try to run away they are beaten and brought back. Some are beat to death for trying to escape. I had never heard of any of this before, but after I found out I decided I wasn’t going to buy non-fair trade chocolate again. This is a personal decision that my children and I have made. I am not trying to push my views on anyone else. I simply would like to spread awareness and encourage others to consider giving up all chocolate that comes from farms that use slaves. Below I have posted the first part of one of the first videos I viewed, along with links to the other parts. There are many others on YouTube if you would like to view more. Also you can research the subject on the net.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


If you are interested, you can buy fair trade chocolate at your local health food store. Check out this website for a list of fair trade companies.



Do you have any Ramadan Traditions you’d like to share? Let us know all about them in the comment box below. Also if you do decide to try our recipe let us know how you liked them. Thanks so much for stopping by, and please come again! :-)

Homemade Eid Gifts: Beautiful Hijab Pins Made Easy


There’s something very special about getting a homemade gift. The fact that someone put lots of time, thought and effort into making a unique gift, just for you, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As much as people like to receive these gifts, crafty folks like to make them. It’s a lot of fun and very rewarding too!

Inshalah, you might consider making a few homemade Eid gifts for your friends and family this year. I have a few ideas for simple gifts that you and your children can make. The first one that I would like to share with you is hijab pins. There are many tutorials on line for making hijab pins, but I’ve simplified mine quite a bit. I came up with this style a few years ago when I began selling hijab pins in my etsy shop. They are easy, very inexpensive to make and they make great gifts!

What you need:

  • a glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • flat flower head pins (can be found at Joann’s Fabrics)
  • wire cutter
  • felt (the same color as your flower)
  • flowers


You can use silk flowers with stems or you can use the flowers that come in a pack without stems. If you are using silk flowers with stems, simply clip the flowers off the stems using your wire cutter. Pull the green base off the back and clip the stem completely off, as seen in the above photo. Cut out a small circle of felt, just large enough to cover the circular part of the pins.

Put a dab of glue over the hole where you clipped the stem off. Be sure that the glue goes through the layers of flower petals so they will stay glued together.


Immediately place the circular part of the straight pin on top of the dot of glue. Put another dab of glue and then put your piece of felt over that, as seen in the above photo. Let it cool and, Alhumdulilah, you have finished your pin!


This flower we used is a big one, but you can buy smaller ones too. These are nice to wear on a fancy occasion, such as Eid.


These smaller flowers come in a pack and can be bought at JoAnn’s Fabrics. I prefer the smaller ones for everyday use.


Check out Many Horses Jewelry Supply & Artwork if you wish to purchase caps (also called a clutch) for your hijab pins.

Special thanks to my niece for modeling for us and to my daughter Naj for demonstrating how to make our pins. Great job laddies!

We hope you all found this post useful. Inshalah, we will try to post more. If you decide to make some hijab pins using our method, we would love to see what you made. Please email us some photos to happycaliteacher@yahoo.com or you can post them on my facebook page, Successful Muslim Homeschool.

As always, we thank you so much for stopping by and we hope that you will come again. :-)

Need Eid Gifts? Support Your Fellow Muslim!


At a loss of what to buy for family and friends for Eid? I find myself in this same position every year. I don’t want to buy the same ole stuff over and over again. We all want to find that special gift that will put a smile on our loved one’s faces. Sometimes it’s not so easy to figure out what that unique gift could be. Alhumdulilah, there are many talented entrepreneurs out there, offering all kinds of Islamic merchandise that make really great Eid gifts. I did my research this year and found lots and lots of shops. I didn’t know there were so many! You can find everything from beautiful Islamic wall art, to unique clothing and jewelry. I’ve found some really good books for adults and children as well. For the kiddos there are a large variety of Islamic toys, games, charts, books, clothes and more. Below I’ve compiled an awesome list of online stores and sites I found with items that make awesome Eid gifts. Inshalah, this list will help you on your quest for Eid gifts this year. :-)


  1. The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling: This book is a great gift for homeschooling Muslim moms.
  2. Halal Healthy Meals: An absolutely fabulous, halal cookbook written by my sister Karemah Alhark.
  3. Silver Envelope: An Islamic stationary company. They have decorations, greeting cards, invitations, wrapping paper and gift bags, scrapbook art, rubber stamps, and much more.
  4. Creative Motivations: High Quality & Affordable Islamic Card Sets, Posters, Charts, Magnets & More.
  5. Halal Healthy Wholesome Living: Ameera Rahim has some great books that make great gifts for Muslim moms.
  6. “The Unveiled” and In “My Reflection”: Two exceptional books by Ameerah Rahman.
  7. New Medina Kids: This a grassroots publishing company that has published two fantastic books so far. The Complete Salah Coloring book and a brilliant series of Arabic workbooks. 
  8. Eidway: Decorations, cookie cutters, books and more!
  9.  Islamic Bookstore
  10.  Noorart 
  11.  Muslim Toys & Dolls 
  12.  EcoFads: Handmade eco-friendly accessories
  13. Adorable Gem: Beautiful jewelry handcrafted by a very talented sister
  14.  Little Wings Gallery:  Islamic art prints and designs 
  15. Al Safina Shop: Handmade tasbih prayer beads, necklaces, bracelets and rings
  16. Path of Light Designs: Islamic art prints
  17. Covered Ladies Designs: Hand made hijabs, turbans, headbands, dresses, skirts and more 
  18. Omees Boutique : Cute and functional items for baby and mom 
  19. Ethnic Expressions : Beautiful and unique hijab pins
  20. Enekuri: Custom handmade cards inspired by world travel
  21. 40 awesome Muslim T-shirt designs: Great t-shirts that make great gifts for Eid!
  22. Shukr: My favorite Islamic clothing store
  23. AlHannah: Islamic clothing store
  24. The Cultural Village: Supporting artist around the world through Fair Trade. Retailer of unique handmade gifts- African jewelry, waist beads, shea butter, home decor, bags, purses, and coffee.
  25. Premier Fragrance International: Fine fragrances from around the world
  26. Scent Of The Soul: Oils, incense, body butters, and much more 
  27. Eastern Toybox: Fairtrade toys, games, decor and more!
  28. My Islamic Life: Prayer garments and jewelry 
  29. IslamicWallArt: Beautiful Islamic wall decals
  30. Princess Olive: They offer lots and lots of Islamic gifts for the whole family!
  31. Urban Hijab: Hijabs and modest clothing
  32. Jennah Jewels : New! Islamic chapter book series for kids


Know of any more shops that we may have missed? Please share them with us in the comment boxes below. As usual, we thank you so much for stopping by and we hope you’ll visit us again. :-)

Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles

101 Funtastic Ramadan Crafts and Activities


I can’t believe Ramadan is almost here! It seems like just yesterday we were saying goodbye to our favorite month of the year and now it’s right back again. Every year I strive to have a better Ramadan than the last. This year one of my goals is to do at least 3 Ramadan crafts with my children each week. Doing more hands on activities and lessons is an excellent way to get children excited about Ramadan. It is important that we make Ramadan fun and festive for them, as well as educate them on the importance of this holy month. Inshalah, if we do this, they will grow to have much love for this blessed month and carry that love in their heart for the rest of their lives.

Soooooo I’ve been on a mission, combing through all of the many blogs, pinterest boards and websites, looking for fun crafts and activities to do with my clan. I found tons! Alhumdulilah, there are so many fantastic ideas on the net this year. Every year there seems to be more and more Muslimahs blogging about the special projects that they have done with their families. Special thanks to all the sisters who take time out to run these wonderful blogs. I am very grateful for all the ideas and inspiration. May Allah bless you all.

Many sisters who are members of my facebook page, Successful Muslim Homeschooling, have also expressed an interest in doing more Ramadan activities this year.  As I searched for activities for my children, I compiled the list below to share with you all. If you see a project that interests you, just click on the description and it will take you to the site.

  1. paper lanterns  
  2. Ramadan gift baskets
  3. Quran clay engravings (idea from ilmkids.com)
  4. good deeds calendar 
  5. Ramadan advent calendar 
  6. advent calendar 2
  7. advent calendar 3
  8. advent calendar 4
  9. advent calendar 5
  10. Ramadan calendars 
  11. Ramadan calendar 2
  12. Ramadan calendar 3
  13. Ramadan calendar 4
  14. Ramadan calendar 5
  15. Ramadan lanterns 
  16. Ramadan lantern 2
  17. Ramadan gift box
  18. Ramadan fanoos template
  19. Ramadan moon and star mobile
  20. Ramadan splatter art
  21. Ramadan sadaqah jar and game
  22. Ramadan mail box
  23. Ramadan good deeds tree
  24. moon phases craft
  25. moon phases craft 2
  26. Ramadan card
  27. Ramadan welcome party
  28. crescent decoration using ornaments
  29. Ramadan decoration idea
  30. Ramadan decorations 2
  31. Ramadan decorations 3
  32. Ramadan decorations 4
  33. Ramadan board game
  34. Ramadan travel puzzles & matching mats
  35. star shaped crayons 
  36. Ramadan gift buckets
  37. Ramadan banner
  38. Ramadan coloring pages
  39. coloring pages 2
  40. coloring pages 3 (online)
  41. coloring pages 4 (online)
  42. coloring pages 5
  43. Ramadan worksheets 
  44. printable Ramadan mazes
  45. Ramadan word search (online game)
  46. Ramadan hangman (online game)
  47. free Ramadan ecards
  48. Ramadan Mubarak party collection (free printable)
  49. Ramadan scroll cards
  50. Good deeds stars
  51. star and moon banner
  52. Ramadan moon and star project
  53. Ramadan bulletin boards
  54. Ramadan lapbook 
  55. Eid decoration 1
  56. Ramadan window cling
  57. Ramadan journal
  58. Ramadan moon and star rice crispy treats
  59. Ramadan calligraphy project
  60. 3D mosque mobile 
  61. Ramadan sponge &moon phases
  62. mosque night light
  63. tissue paper balloon lamps
  64. cardboard mosque
  65. Ramadan pillow case
  66. homemade prayer rug
  67. Ramadan wall hanging
  68. Ramadan placemats 
  69. Ramadan windsock 
  70. Ramadan banner
  71. moon sighter
  72. moon finder
  73. masjid sun catchers
  74. Ramadan collage
  75. Ramadan date chain
  76. door decoration 
  77. Ramadan lantern using an empty jar
  78. mini paper lanterns
  79. star medallions 
  80. gift tags
  81. mini books
  82. Eid tea bag shaped favors
  83. Eid favors 2
  84. Eid cards
  85. Eid gift envelopes 
  86. Ramadan quiz
  87. origami stars
  88. online jigsaw puzzles 
  89. Ramadan lesson plans
  90. paper candy pouch
  91. prayer pail  COOL IDEA!
  92. origami message stars
  93. quilled masjid
  94. 10 Ramadan activities 
  95. 30 Ramadan activities
  96. 10 tips to help make Ramadan fun for kids
  97. Ramadan activities 1
  98. Ramadan activities 2
  99. Ramadan writing prompts
  100. Lailatul Qadr lessons for little children
  101. 5 Ramadan charity ideas to do with kids

I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share any other fun crafts and activities you have found in the comment box below. Thanks so much for stopping by and please come again. :-)

Resources & Tips For a Fun Filled Eid


Wow! Can you believe another Ramadan is almost here??? Alhumdulilah! This time of year brings about such excitement, as we busy ourselves in preparation for this blessed month. We’re planning our crafts, readjusting our schedules, planning iftars and sahoors, lesson planning and preparing ourselves both mentally and spiritually. May Allah move us all to work for the bounties and endless blessings that this month has to offer.

Just as we prepare ourselves to have a beneficial, and productive Ramadan, just as much energy, goes into making sure that Eid is joyous and festive as well. Whether you’re in charge of planning Eid for your immediate family or your entire community, Eid planning can create quite a rigorous routine. We’re usually running about buying new clothes, and gifts. We have menus to plan, halls and rooms to decorate, invitations to send, and children’s activities to coordinate. Ahh, yes! We are all pleasantly busy. :-) It’s definitely a labor of love for me, and so many families during Ramadan and Eid.

As with my Ramadan and Eid activity planning, I have found the Internet to be my best friend when it comes to finding great ideas and inspiration. Alhumdulilah! There are so many sites out there nowadays, that I am not at a loss of what to do for Eid this year. Listed below are links to sites I found offering advice, worksheets, games, crafts and more.
  1. Eid story and online jigsaw puzzle
  2. Eid puzzles and worksheets
  3. Eid lesson plans and worksheets
  4. Moon sighting tips
  5. Eid ul Fitr lapbook
  6. Eid and Ramadan planner
  7. Celebrating Eid on a budget
  8. Ideas for making Eid exciting for children
  9. Ideas for making Eid special
  10. Eid party activities 
  11. Throwing an Eid party
  12. Eid parties for busy moms
  13. 5 tips for an easy Eid party
  14. 6 tips for throwing a kid friendly party
  15. 19 things to remember on Eid day
  16. Eid decorations for sale
  17. Eid decorations for sale 2
  18. Eid decorations for sale 3
  19. Free printable Eid decorations
  20. Decoration ideas 1
  21. Decoration ideas 2
  22. Decoration ideas 3
  23. Decoration ideas 4
  24. 5 Green Ideas For Eid Day
  25. DIY Eid cards

If you are planning Eid for a big group you may want to google “outdoor activities for kids”. There are so many to choose from. Here is a small list of some of my favorites:

  1. Hopscotch
  2. Jumprope and Double Dutch
  3. Red Light, Green Light
  4. Mother, May I
  5. Simon Says
  6. Tag
  7. Freeze Tag
  8. Seven Up
  9. 3 legged Race
  10. Sack Race
  11. Relay Race
  12. Duck, Duck Goose
  13. What Time Is It Mr. Fox
  14. Scavenger Hunt
  15. Wheelbarrow Race

We really appreciate your feedback, so leave us a comment and let us know what you think. Feel free to share some of the ways you make Eid special for your family. Thank you so much for stopping by and please come again. :-)

Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Getideaka

A Basic List of Homeschool Terms


Asalamualaikum, and greetings. if you are considering homeschooling your child, there are many terms that you should become familiar with as they will help you on your journey. Here is a list taken from my book “The Muslim Family Guide to Successful Homeschooling“. This is a basic list that will get you started on your homeschool journey.


Boxed Curriculum: Also known as School-In-A-Box, it refers to a complete package of curriculum that includes all the materials a student needs for his or her particular grade level, including tests, workbooks, textbooks, activity suggestions and a teachers manual. This program is ideal for those who prefer a traditional, more structured approach to homeschooling.


Burnout: A term used to describe when a parent or child has become exhausted from the process of homeschooling.


Calvert School: The oldest distance-learning program for children in the United States. Calvert offers a complete homeschooling program for children in grades pre-K through 8. Parents purchase the curriculum package for their child’s grade level. These packages come complete with textbooks, workbooks, and all of the materials needed to complete the course of study. This program is ideal for those who prefer a traditional, structured approach to homeschooling. *Note: Not all correspondence schools offer accredited diplomas. If this is important to you, check with each individual school to find out if they are accredited in your state.


Charter Schools: Non-traditional public schools that offer more flexibility to teachers and students. These schools are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to regular public schools. Some offer “home study programs” wherein the student is assigned an “education facilitator” who meets with parents and students once a month to discuss progress, collect work samples, and attendance sheets. Individual charter school programs may provide educational credits to be used for the purchase of an educational curriculum and or any class or outside vendored lessons the child wants to take.


Charlotte Mason Education: Named after the 19th century educator, Miss Charlotte Mason, who said that children learned best by observation and narration. Her method encourages students to observe and create. The goal of Mason education is to provide the child with a lifelong love and quest for knowledge, and the skills to succeed in that quest.


CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam): An exam that a student can take before official graduation. It is equivalent to a high school diploma in California. In order to take this exam, the student must be at least 16 years old or have completed at least one academic year of the 10th grade.


Classical Education: Also called trivium-based education, it is a history-based approach to education that divides education into three stages: grammar in early elementary school, logic in middle school, and rhetoric in high school. *Note: If you are interested in this teaching style, read the book “The Well-Trained Mind” by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer.


Core Subjects: Refers to the main subject matter a child is required to learn. According to “The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,” the “core academic subjects” are:


Reading or Language Arts



Foreign Languages

Civics and Government






Cooperative (Co-Op): Refers to a cooperative of families who homeschool their children together. There is an opportunity for more socialization amongst the children. They may take classes together go on field trips. Parents teach the subjects that they are more specialized in.


Cover School: Also known as an umbrella school, this is a school that enrolls homeschooling children or families and offers services supportive of home education.


Curriculum: Refers to any materials used to teach subjects including but not limited to workbooks, textbooks, worksheets, software, activities, and so on.


Cyber Schools: Also known as virtual schools, these schools can be attended via the Internet. A student takes all or most of the required courses for a degree, diploma or certificate online. Some are free and some charge a fee.


Diagnostic Testing: These types of tests measure a child%u201Fs strengths and weaknesses. An initial test determines whether further testing is required to determine if a child may have a learning disability or other special needs. You can secure diagnostic tests from different curriculum providers and online sources. If you are with a homeschooling program, you may be able to access the test for free.


Eclectic Approach: A method of teaching that does not rely on any one approach but rather utilizes the teaching method and style that works best for the individual child.


GED: This is an abbreviation for the General Equivalency Diploma. Homeschoolers can take the GED test to prove that they are proficient in high school academic skills. Upon completing and passing the test, students receive a certificate similar to a diploma and can usually go on to community college for further education.


Holt, John: is a pioneer of the modern homeschool and un-school movement. Holt believed that, given the opportunity, children will learn naturally. The idea is to give them the freedom to follow their own interests with access to a rich assortment of resources. He founded the “Growing Without Schooling” movement that publishes the Growing Without Schooling magazine and has authored a number of books including the homeschool classic, “Teach Your Own.”


Home Education Magazine: This is the oldest homeschooling magazine and is available nationwide.


Homeschool Support Group: A group of homeschooling families that come together periodically to share information, encouragement and to provide cooperative educational and social activities for the children. Activities vary from group to group. Some may have play-days, organized classes, or field trips. Some are religion-specific and some are all-inclusive. Check online to find a local homeschool support group in your area.


IEP: stands for Individual Educational Plan. This is an individualized plan used by public schools to write, evaluate, diagnose and set goals and teaching strategies for primarily disabled students. Any child who receives special education and related services must have an IEP.


Lapbook: This is basically a manila file folder, refolded, creased and turned into a learning scrapbook. A lapbook may contain facts, diagrams, illustrations, etc., related to the subject. It can be simple, with just a picture and definition. Or it can be complex with pockets, flaps, pop-ups, origami folds and more.


Learning Methods: Also known as “learning styles,” this phrase refers to the different ways children and adults naturally learn best. Most people are a combination of more than one learning style, but usually one style is dominant over another. Knowing your child%u201Fs learning style, and teaching according to that style, will engage him on that level and will enable your child to better retain the material. The number of learning styles can vary in number, but the three main styles are:

1. Auditory (learning by hearing)

2. Visual (learning by seeing)

3. Kinesthetic (learning by doing)


Math Manipulatives: Hands-on educational tools that help students build concrete models of abstract math concepts so they can better understand them. Manipulatives help students connect math terminology and symbols in a practical way. Manipulatives include blocks, Cuisenaire rods, color tiles, popsicle sticks, counters, spinners, beans, pebbles, interlocking cubes, and number lines, etc.


Montessori Education: Founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, who specialized in child development, this schooling method follows the natural emotional, physical and mental development of children. The child is allowed to progress at his or her own pace, and according to their own individual capabilities, through practical play. The teacher observes while the child freely uses the various self-teaching materials. The teacher steps in only if needed, mainly to resolve any misbehavior issues, or to show the child how to use something.


Notebooking: A popular educational method which entails journaling or keeping track of homeschool studies and educational experiences in a notebook or three-ring binder. Students take notes or write down their thoughts on what they are learning. They mayalso add pages with photos or illustrations.


Online Support Groups: Homeschooling parents who offer each other support through e-mail lists or forum message boards on the Internet. They lack face-to-face contact, but are especially valuable for those who don%u201Ft know other homeschoolers, and for those who are on a tight schedule and don’t want to get involved in a busy local group.


Phonics: A reading method used to learn how to read and write English. Phonics familiarizes students with the various English sounds and the letters they correspond to. Once they have mastered the main sounds, they can then read many English words.


Portfolio: A record of a homeschool students educational career, which includes reading and attendance logs, assignments, writing samples, pictures of projects, field trips, and awards, certificates of completion and more.


Private School Affidavit: Formerly known as an R-4 form, this form is used by homeschoolers in California to notify the state that they have established a private school. If you live in California and plan to instruct your child at home without enrolling them in any type of homeschool, you will need this form to file with the Board of Education.


School at Home: Refers to the method of setting up your home in a way that duplicates the methods and atmosphere of a traditional classroom.


Standardized Test: State or federal tests that are used to evaluate how well a child has learned a subject or grade level when compared to other children in his grade and age group. Some states require homeschoolers to take standardized tests. Studies have shown that homeschoolers consistently outscore government-schooled children. These test results don’t necessarily indicate achievement.


Waldorf Schooling: A philosophy of teaching based on using the kinesthetic form of learning, developed by Rudolf Steiner. Waldorf emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning. Subjects are introduced creatively through stories, art, and music.

I hope you found this post helpful. Thank you so much for stopping by and please come again. :-)

Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Chicken Chronicles: Entry #12 by Asiila Imani



Chicken Chronicles Returns, part 4
AUGUST 1, 2012

This afternoon I watered the lemon trees, and as usual the chickens gathered to drink the run off. I was on the garden side of the fence observing them, looking for any sign of remorse. It was business as usual. I don’t think they even remember that just two days ago they killed one of their own.

I had to say something. I crept closer and called them every adjective I could recall:  malicious and cold-blooded, bloodthirsty and vindictive, cruel and fiendish, homicidal and hostile, savage and wicked, callous and sadistic,  heartless, evil and nasty. Totally unfazed, Big Red strutted  in my direction and glanced at me. I swear she rolled her eyes. She made some short chicken-esq comment, and returned to the water hole forming under the tree. The others ignored me completely. They couldn’t care less.

Now that Floppy is gone, Bantam Babe and Buttless are neck-in-neck for bottom rung. Both are pretty quiet, keep to themselves and have pretty much figured out how to maneuver around the Reds without being attacked.  I have a feeling all that is about to change.

By the way, the garden is doing great. As long as we keep the fence hole covered with bricks the ladies cannot get on the garden side. This does not mean they aren’t looking for a way. The hens leer lustfully at the growing tomatoes and potato plants which are the closest to the fence. On occasion, I catch them running up and down its length, butting their heads up, down and against it trying their luck. They don’t seem to remember where the hole is, even though, at least twice a week they watch us remove the barriers to thread the water hose through it in order to fill up their water pail. Thank God they’re kind of dumb.

AUGUST 15, 2012

Not again.

Muhammad collected the rent which is also his time to “exercise” the chickens (code for rushing at and scaring the compost out of them). One of the reds startled but did not scatter with the rest. After gathering the eggs, he ‘exercised’ them again. The same hen tried, painfully, but couldn’t move. When Muhammad picked her up to see what was wrong, he saw maggots all around and coming out of her ‘vent.’

*Note: Hens (all birds) do not have a separate opening for ‘birthing’ like us mammals. Instead they have a cloaca, the gateway for both eggs and feces.

Turns out,  Ms. Hen was egg bound,  a kind of obstructed labor. And it can be fatal, especially if the egg breaks inside.



One method to help deliver the egg is to take a greased gloved hand and massage oil around the top of the egg and then insert a finger to help ease it out, all without breaking said egg.

No way.

Firstly, there was no egg in sight and I could see me–still never having picked a hen up–trying to calmly hold one—head down/butt up–while gently playing the part of an obstetrician-proctologist. And although Muhammad is a chicken handling pro, they fear him. Besides,  he is about as gentle as a bull.

The kinder, gentler method, the one that we decide to try, is to simply sit the hen in warm/hot water. It can help her relax and ease the egg out. Given I’ve done this before with birthing human women, it was a no brainer.

As the water warmed, I looked for something big enough to accommodate a chicken. Muhammad went out to check on ‘mama’ but ran right back inside. We were too late, she lay on her side barely breathing, dying.  In hindsight, the egg had probably broken inside her days ago–why else would there be maggots? We decided we didn’t want her to suffer anymore, so the husband sharpened his 10” fish boning knife to halal her out of her misery. When we got there, however,  it was obvious she was a just few breaths away from returning to God.

And then there were 15.

She was buried beside the garden on top of the chicken that died a few months earlier.  At this rate, by next spring my soil will be some of the richest in the neighborhood.

I’ve also made up my mind about whether to let the chickens live out their lives, or halal them early. They die horrible ‘natural’ deaths. Whether or not it’s true that zabihahed animals go to a ‘special place,’ halaling them early may be a win-win situation for all concerned: a humane dignified end for them, and a means to train our young men  how to properly slaughter.


 The question, of course, is, “When?”


Asiila Imani is a doula/midwife middle aged mama of two mainly homeschooled boys. She is also my auntie:-)

Chapter Books For Muslim Children and Teens


We all want our children to be avid readers but we also want to make sure that what they are reading is appropriate for them. When you have speedy readers who can go through a few books in one day it can be a little difficult to keep up! Pre-reading and screening requires quite a bit of time. Alhumdulilah there are some helpful sites that have done some of the work for you. These sites screen for religious and sexual content, violence and language. They also write a description to give you an idea of what the book is about. Here are some sites that I found to be the most helpful:

Parental Book Review

Focus On The Family

Mamma Booworm 



The following is a list of good chapter books for Muslim children compiled by me and my daughters:

1. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Beloved by T. Morrison

3. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

5. A Garland For Girls By Louisa May Alcott

6. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David  Wyss.

7. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

9. Aunt Kipp by Louisa May Alcott

10. Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

11. Laura Ingles Little House on The Prairie (series)

12. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggen

13. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

14. Dear America Series

15. Royal Diary Series

16. Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney

17. Five Little Peppers and Their Friends by Margaret Sidney

18. Chains (Seeds of America) by Laurie Halse Anderson

19. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

20. Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

21. The Moon Bridge by Marcia Savin

22. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chadler Warner

23. Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary

24. Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry  by Mildred D. Taylor

25. The city of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

26. First Light by Rebecca Stead

27. The Land of Elyon Book 1 by Patrick Carman

28. Among the Impostors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

29. Remnants by KA Applegate

30. American Chills by Elizabeth Massie

31. Kidnapped by Gordon Korman

32. Island by Gordon Korman

33. The Wright 3 by BlueBalliett

34. Ribbon by Laurence Yep

35. Thief of Heart by Laurence Yep

36. Double Identity by  Margaret Peterson Haddix

37. Claim to Fame by  Margaret Peterson Haddix

38. Escape From memory by Margaret Peterson Haddix

39. The House on The Gulf by Margaret Peterson Haddix

40. Don’t You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix

41. Take offs and Landings by Margaret Peterson Haddix

42. Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix

43. Esperanza Rising  Pam Munoz Ryan

44. Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolf

45. Sounder by William H. Armstrong

46. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

47. Now is Your Time by The African American Struggle For Freedom by Walter Dean Myers

49. Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford. (suggested by a member of Successful Muslim Homeschooling)

50. Hariet Tubman : Conductor on The Underground Railroad by Ann Perry

51. The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

52. Alex and The Ironic Gentleman by Adrienna Kress


Here is a list of Islamic chapter books for teens that my daughters have read. I have read most of them and found them to be quite interesting and very well written. Admittedly this list is much shorter than the other but keep checking back as we plan to buy/check out more Islamic books for Muslim Teens in the future.

1. Layla Deen by Yahiya Emerick (series)

2. Ahmad Deen by Yahiya Emerick (series)

3. Isabella a Girl of Muslim Spain Yahiya Emerick

4. Invincible Abdullah Series by Haji U. Hutchinson

5. The Unveiled by Ameerah A Rahman

6. If I Should Speak by Umm Zakiyyah

7. The Size of a Mustard Seed by Umm Juwayriyah

8. A Voice  by Umm Zakiyyah


I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share more good reads for Muslim children and teens in the comment box. Many moms will benefit from your input. Thanks for stopping by and please come again. :-)


“And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith – We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds. Every person, for what he earned, is retained…” [Quran 52:21] 

A Fun Trip to Seaworld


We hadn’t been to Seaworld in years so when the charter school organized a fieldtrip I jumped right on board! The cool thing about this particular trip is that it wasn’t just a regular day at the park. They got a behind the scenes tour as well. My hubby got to enjoy the trip with them and I got to stay home and enjoy an easier work load for the day. Win-win situation wouldn’t you say? I packed their lunch and sent them off with strict instructions to take lots of pictures and come back home with plenty of details about their day. They did just that, Alhumdulilah. When they got back they were bubbling over with the exciting details of their trip and I was just as eager to hear all about it.


Dad: The stingrays kept coming over to us so we could pet them. They were very social. Husayn kept leaning in too far to touch them and I thought he was going to fall in. Thank God he didn’t!


Muhammad: The people take the stingers out of the sting rays so they can’t hurt you. It takes the stingers about one year to grow back.

Dad: When the lady gave us the shrimp to feed the sting ray it sucked the food out of our hand. The teeth are flat and it feels kind of weird. You can feel the teeth but it’s not biting you. It’s kind of like a tickle.

Zee: The turtles were rescued animals. We saw turtles in the behind the scenes tour. They are endangered. They mistake fingers for food so don’t stick your fingers in the pool! They told us this month they rescued 18 animals.



Dad: We learned that it’s hard to get the dolphins out of the ocean. They take them out of the ocean because they are sick. They bring them to Seaworld and nurse them back to health. Then they take them to the ocean all healthy again. They have a 80% turn around rate. The other 20% either die or have to live in captivity because they are not fit to go back in the wild.



Dad: Dolphins talk to each other. One type of dolphin (can’t remember the name but it’s black and white and I think it starts with a c) has a high pitch scream that they use to call each other. But they don’t call for long because the killer whale will hear and come eat them. Killer whales love to eat these particular types of dolphins.



Muhammad: Who do you think would win in a fight, a great white shark or killer whale? The guy said the killer whale would win. The killer whales hunt like wolves, they hunt in packs. The great white shark is an antisocial animal. They come together when it’s time to hunt and that’s it. Since they travel alone it makes them easier to kill.

Dad: Killer whales are very social animals. The killer whale eats dolphins, sea lions, and fish. The killer whale also eats the biggest animal on the planet, which is the blue whale. The blue whale’s tongue weighs 7 tons.  The blue whales tongue weighs as much as a killer whale’s whole body! The blue whale weighs so much, they can’t weigh it so no one is really sure how much it weighs.

They took us to the labs where they take the animals blood work, doctor them up and perform surgery on them. They also showed us where they check the water temperature and cleanliness. The water has to be checked every two hours.

Sainy: The bony fish cleaned my hand.

Dad: Yeah after we got finished touching and playing with the sharks, we stuck our hand in the water and the bony fish ate all the dirt and bacteria off our hands.


Zee: The manta is the most scariest ride in the world! I got on it 3 times, once by myself and then twice with my brother. It was a lot of fun.

Muhammad: Ship Wreck is a water ride. It goes really fast and spins in circles. Sainy was able to get on that one. If you pay a quarter you can spray people that are on the ride. Someone got me so I had to get someone else when we got off the ride.

Zee: Rip tide is a flying in the air ride. It’s not scary, it just makes you dizzy.

Random Pics





Random Facts We Learned:

  • Everyone thinks that great white sharks are dangerous but they really don’t like to eat people. You have a better chance of dying from being hit in the head by a coconut or being struck by lightning twice then being eaten by a shark!
  • Sea otters are like underwater dogs. 
  • The starfish is really not a fish. They belong to a group of animals called echinoderms. 
  • The starfish’s real name is sea star
  • Jellyfish are not fish either. They belong to the Cnidaria phylum. 
Relevant Ayats:

“There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but they are communities like you”       The Holy Qur’an; 6:38

Seest thou not that it is Allah Whose praises are celebrated by all beings in the heavens and on earth, and by the birds with extended wings? Each one knows its prayer and psalm, And Allah is aware of what they do.”      The Holy Qur’an; 24:41

The seven heavens and the earth and all things therein declare His glory. There is not a thing but celebrates His adoration; and yet ye mankind! ye understand not how do they declare His glory….”         The Holy Qur’an; 17:44

“And He it is Who sends the winds, as glad tidings heralding His mercy. And We send down pure water from the clouds, that We may give life thereby, by watering the parched earth, and slake the thirst of those We have created — both the animals and the human beings in multitude.”        The Holy Qur’an; 25:48,49

We really appreciate your feedback so leave us a comment and let us know what you think. You can also share some of your exciting homeschooling adventures with us if you like.

Thank you so much for stopping by and please come again. :-)