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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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
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.
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
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.
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:-)
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:
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]
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 lots 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.
Zahrah: 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 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.
Husayn: 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.
Zahrah: 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. Husayn 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.
Zahrah: Rip tide is a flying in the air ride. It’s not scary, it just makes you dizzy.
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.
“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.
Chicken Chronicles Returns, Part 3
July 30, 2012
FLOPPY IS DEAD!
She didn’t die from starvation or a lonely barren heart; she died from a brutal gang-land attack perpetrated by the other hens. In other words, Floppy was murdered.
Muhammad, who ran in the house to tell me the news, was the sole witness.
“I went out to collect the eggs and saw Floppy sitting between the two feeding cans. The other hens were pecking her, trying, I guess, to make her move. She was trying to eat but every time she grabbed a pellet, a hen would peck her in the head, and the others would kick her in the back and side. She really looked bad. Her comb was nearly white and she looked like she was about to faint.
So, I grabbed all the other chickens and put them in the coop, unloosening the rope that held the door up and closed all other openings so they couldn’t get out. I sat Floppy back next to the food and she started to eat really fast; like she hadn’t eaten in days. I got her some water and she drank that down too.
After I saw she was able to eat, I went back in to finish my homework, figuring I’d come back out in about 10 minutes–I never should have left her.
When I went back out, the other chickens had pushed the shutters of the coop open and jumped through them. They were viciously pecking her all over her body as Floppy lay on her side barely moving. Right after I ran the other chickens away, she seized up and died.”
All I could do was shake my head and thank God it wasn’t me who retrieved the eggs this day. I also felt a little sad at the tragic end of this poor hen that never seemed to be able to fit in or get a break. Yes, she got on my nerves, but she didn’t deserve to die like that. Poor Floppy.
And what a bunch of evil spirited “henches” that killed her!!!
My husband, in typical “there must be another angle” male think, postulated Floppy was a criminal found guilty and executed according to the ‘fowl code of law.’ I just looked at him as he explained:
“Didn’t you say the eggs she was laying on were suddenly found on the ground and another hen destroyed a few herself? You said you thought they were vexed with Floppy for ‘stealing’ their time on the eggs and mad at her for not producing, again. Wasn’t this her second time, in less than a year, of brooding? Maybe she was considered an egg terrorist, or saboteur for messing up the unwritten arrangement they have with us. And remember, they ARE modern day raptors where only the strongest survive. Floppy has never been the healthiest, bravest or brightest of the bunch.”
“Besides,” he added, “I told you from the beginning; those females need a male. If there was a rooster in the coop, Floppy would’ve had her babies and the other ones wouldn’t have been so malicious because they wouldn’t be so frustrated. You know how women can get without a man,” he chuckled.
Whether Floppy was executed for criminal activity, beat to death by a sexually famished, blood thirsty mob, or simply put out of her misery; it proves, yet again, how unforgiving and ferocious these creatures can be.
We buried her near the compost pile on the north side of the house away from the garden and the “killing place.” Muhammad laid a good sized rock on her mound to mark the site.
I recently read a post that chickens naturally form clutches no bigger than 12. It said that if forced to live in a group larger than that they will fight more often, and even kill each other to lessen the population.
We’re down to 16.
If that theory is true, the bottom four in the pecking order had better watch their backs.
Asiila Imani is a doula/midwife middle aged mama of two mainly homeschooled boys. She is also my auntie:-)
Chicken Chronicles Returns, part 2
JUNE 12, 2012
The seeds and starters are planted and doing nicely. The best thing about chickens is that they will “mow” and till a yard. They took care of all the weeds. The only thing needed was adding compost and double digging. I now have two small raised beds.
Thing is, Muhammad saw two chickens on the garden side earlier today! He hemmed them in and scared them with the rake (they are deathly frightened of the metal sound it makes; plastic bags rustling have the same effect) and then forcibly threw them over to the other side, hoping they’ll be too afraid to do it again. I reminded him they are rabid opportunists and it will take much more than that.
The big question is how are they getting over?
Hoppy, by the way, has begun to limp on her bad leg. It seems to be twisted inward and might hurt when she walks on it, but she’s a trooper…it’s slowly healing.
Muhammad saw Floppy out and about eating today. She ran back inside the coop when she saw him.
JUNE 30, 2012
I’m seriously considering killing those chickens. I’ve wanted to grow my garden for months now, and they are still getting over to the other side! I’ve never seen them even look up or try to fly over, so they must have found a crack or hole, somewhere.
During fajr prayer we heard the chickens leave the coop and in short order some ended up close to the house. Sure enough, two Reds were in the garden biting off bits of my transplants, and scratching up my seeds!
Muhammad told me earlier they squeeze through a small hole we had to cut out for the hose to reach their watering pail. I didn’t believe him, but when I ran out there–with intent to kill –they scrambled back through this sliver of a space between a brick placed to close off the hose opening. One panicked and couldn’t find it, so I had M throw her over the fence after terrorizing her a few minutes.
Hopefully, the plastic bucket cover and two more bricks stacked to keep it in place will do.
I haven’t seen Floppy for awhile. Muhammad says she’s looking pretty haggard, but is alive in the coop…
JULY 12, 2012
After my morning walk, I decided to give the girls leftover rice and salad. As usual, they all met me at that fence, all except one. She sat by the feed dish with her back to me, but turned her head to the right and cawed. Her sisters ate everything– gouging each other in competition–in less than a minute. But she never moved. I figured she wasn’t hungry.
Later, when Muhammad went to collect the eggs, he said she was in the same place trying to get up. The sun was setting and she wanted to go inside the coop, but couldn’t. She looked to him and clucked for help… He picked her up, and she couldn’t move either leg.
We decided to separate the new Sick Chick from the others. When we placed water and food in the cage she practically inhaled it all. Poor thing was famished and probably hadn’t had anything all day.
I have a feeling this time it’s Merak’s.
JULY 13, 2012
This morning we found Sick Chick 2 still unable to move and no longer hungry. Her breathing was labored. We’ll keep her in the cage a bit longer and see what happens. A group of hens surround her cage.
In the meantime, another chicken lay in the same spot we found Sick Chick the day before. She lay there right by the food, unmoving and uninterested. When I went toward her she didn’t seem she could move either, until I gently pushed her with my foot. She squawked and ran away.
Muhammad says that later on she was laying back in the same spot, but did eventually go into the coop.
JULY 14, 2012
From God we come and to God we return. Sick Chick 2 died during the night.
Muhammad buried her to the south of one of garden beds. She’ll eventually turn into some good compost.
The chickens, of course, gathered around Muhammad as he removed the dead sick chick from the cage. As they edged closer, he had to shoo them away in case this was Marek’s (as I mentioned earlier, there are many diseases that can kill chickens). I figure if it was, our hens are doomed. We’re down to 17.
Floppy was outside, but stood back from the crowd. She still doesn’t eat except when absolutely hungry, preferring to spend her day egg sitting. I get the distinct impression the rest of the hens will not let her eat when they do. She gets the scraps.
Now that it’s warm again, we’re getting 9-10 eggs per day.
JULY 17, 2012
The last few days we’ve only gotten one egg. Muhammad found some cracked on the ground, and actually witnessed one of the Reds stomp an egg open and eat its contents. What now?
Could Floppy have gotten a backbone and pushed the eggs out of the nest in a jealous outburst? Have the other hens decided they rather destroy and eat their eggs rather than Floppy have them; sabotaging production because they’re mad at Floppy (broody hens after all do not lay eggs at all)? Are they simply trying to snap her out of it?
Asiila Imani is a doula/midwife middle aged mama of two mainly homeschooled boys. She is also my auntie:-)
Horses and koi fish and goats, oh my! That’s what you’ll see and more at City Farmers Nursery. It’s an urban farm oasis here in sunny San Diego. My family and I really like to visit City Farmers Nursery. There is a lot to see and do for children and adults alike. The vibe is so peaceful and scerene you get there and don’t want to leave! The owner, Bill, and his staff are quite friendly, approachable, and very resourceful. City Farmers is San Diego’s largest organically maintained, family-owned nursery.
There are so many fruit trees!
Aren’t these pencils cool? They are made from real wood and only cost about 60 cents.
Have you taken a trip to your local Nursery yet? Nurseries are inspiring, fun and best of all they’re free! You don’t have to be into gardening (all though you should be) to enjoy a trip to the nursery. Some nurseries have animals, picnic or play areas for young children, and homestead classes. Usually all for free!
So what are you waiting for? If you havn’t already, go check out your local nursery and let us know about your trip.
|Chicken Chronicles Returns; Part 1
It’s been nearly a year since the last April 12, 2012 Chicken Chronicle entry. At that time I reported that “all was quiet on the home front.”I spoke entirely too soon. Just two days later, the chickens turned me into a liar. What follows are short synopses, in diary form, of what the “girls” have been up to…APRIL 14, 2012:One of the Red’s right claw was curled under her belly like a stroke victim. When Muhammad straightened out her leg, it dangled, paralyzed. She could not straighten it or stand on it. There didn’t seem to be in any pain, just that her leg was suddenly un-useable.A Google search to find out what could cause this, uncovered a myriad of viruses and diseases that can afflict chickens. It’s a wonder any of these creatures survive at all!Narrowing our search to leg and foot ailments, we found the following:
1. “Bumble foot (an abscess on the foot pad)”
2. “Crooked toes,”
3. “Straddle legs,”
4. “Scaly leg mite,” and
5. “Egg yolk peritonitis,” (egg follicles released into the abdomen causing swelling that affects walking).
These problems did not include paralysis so were unlikely the cause.
Our new neighbors let us have the small cages the previous tenants used to corral and torment their fighting cocks in. We put the immobile hen in one to separate her from the others in case she had Marek’s. Apparently, it is highly contagious and progresses quickly to total paralysis and death.
The rest of the chickens– nosey as ever–huddled around her cage for the first day. Obviously, if Sick Chick has Marek’s they’ll get to too.
Sick Chick was calm and looked comfortable; ate and drank normally.
APRIL 17, 2012:
Sick Chick is out and hops on her one good leg; the other leg still held close to her body, motionless.
After three nights of peace and quiet, she was ready to leave the cage. Except for her leg, nothing else was out of order. When I came with the morning vittles, she pogo-legged, racing with the fastest of them. We figure she somehow caught her leg in the chicken wire under their coop and either strained or broke it. Now that she has adapted to getting around on one leg, she’s earned an official name: Hoppy.
And, she’s doing fine.
I wish I could say the same for Floppy: she’s broody, again!
Floppy sits on the others’ eggs, refuses to leave the coop to eat or drink and in general looks more pitiful than usual. I expect she’ll figure it out, like last time, Insha’Allah, so we’re not even worried about her. Muhammad makes her leave as before, but does not lock her out. To be honest, everybody is actually pretty tired of Floppy’s delusions. Girlfriend is a bit crazy, but not suicidal.
Tonight when I went to collect rent, she sat in one of the nests watching as I gathered the eggs. When it came time to check under her, she lifted up a bit so I could take the 5 she was trying to hatch.
I had to say something.
“Floppy, you do realize there are no chicks in these eggs. You do realize we’re not going to worry about you anymore. You do realize you need to snap out of this…” I said.
So be it.
APRIL 28, 2012
This is the day the Shams and Ebraheem came over to raise 6’ of chicken wire across the yard to separate the hens from my planned garden. We have to make sure to not run any colored wire across the top like we had before. The chickens will see it as something solid to land on and with a short flight be able to jump it. Anyway, they’ll now only have half the amount of land to graze on, which is still way more than your average city brood has. Their days of being spoiled are over.
Of course, they were curious and watched the brothers work. They seemed nervous, perhaps sensing what was happening. Big Red let all of us know, repeatedly, loudly, that she was not pleased. She strutted out of the coop, observed the length of the fence, the lessening of her perimeter, and began to caw and screech and cluck non-stop, looking from me, to Shams, to Ebraheem and back to me.
Ebraheem and Shams actually stopped to look at her incredulously, and laughed. She got even louder.
I had to say something:
“I told you Big Red, for months now. I told all of you full access to the yard was about to end. I told you I was going to start another garden,” I said.
After the work was complete, all the hens paced up and down the length of the fence looking for a hole, mashing their heads against the chicken wire trying to go past it.
The plan is to give the chickens time to adjust and feed them from the other entrance (the north side) Hopefully, they’ll soon forget about it.
I’ll start the garden in late May, Insha’Allah.
All Quiet on The Homefront
It’s been awhile.
The hens enjoy each other’s company as long as they remember their place. Of course, poor Floppy remains at the bottom rung; attacked and chased off at whim. Even Buttless, her fellow Leghorn, and Bantam Babe, both of whom used to just pretend they didn’t know her, now actively treat her with disdain.
But, while the others hens begin to molt, losing feathers and looking downright shabby, Floppy’s new coat of white feathers stand out. She’s the finest fowl in the yard which is perhaps another reason a few jealous (?) hens have been seen snipping feathers out the back of her neck. Her beauty is yet another curse.
The weather is warmer, so the ladies lay more eggs.
The feral cats no longer bother chasing them, nor walk through the backyard.
When the hens are allowed to graze, they come back to their enclosure when called. And except when the door is accidently left open, they do not jump or dig their way out.
All is well.
Of course, they’re still vicious. Not only is Floppy everyone’s kicking stone, they must realize that with a small twist of fate, anyone of them is in danger of being turned on by their sisters. Muhammad found one of the reds laid out and struggling to remove a long piece of twine that had become tangled around her feet and legs. She was hungry, thirsty, covered in dust and so fatigued she just lay there wings askew–every once in awhile straining to raise her head and pull at the string with her beak. When Muhammad freed her, she barely had enough energy to limp to the food and water to gulp down all she could. She was probably tied up most of the day.
Did any of those hens try to help her? Did they make the usual noise to alert us? No. Instead, they sat around her in a semi-circle, waiting, waiting, waiting… for supper, perhaps. In addition, Muhammad swears he has witnessed the hens snatch a bee or two out of hole in the wall of our home, no longer deterred by the possibility of an attack.
Big Red is subdued. She has not interacted with me since our last tete-a-tete; not even a squawk when i call her by name. In fact, I can no longer readily identify her from the other Reds. Me thinks she lost her ‘queen diva’ spot after the other hens witnessed what has come to be known as, “The Battle of the B’s” (not what you think).
She may have also simply decided I’m no longer worthy of her attention.
Anyway, per Jamila’s request, we (muhammad the cameraman, and I) taped part 1 of a 2-part mini movie on raising hens. This episode is the every-other-day morning snack, watering and view of the coop. Unfortunately, our video camera has a substandard mic so its hard to hear what’s being said at times. Then, somehow TWO THIRDS of the footage was not recorded before it broke down altogether. We bought it from Big Lots– enough said…
Alhamdulillah, we were able to salvage 4 minutes
Let us know what you think. Leave a comment on youtube and below.
Part 2 is coming up…one day, soon. Insha’Allah.
Looking for a way to spruce up your Arabic class? Do it with glitter! What kid doesn’t like glitter? Fun, sparkly, and oh so pretty, glitter is one of my …I mean the kids favorite craft supplies to use;-) So I decided our next Arabic alphabet project just had to be done in glitter!
The end result:
As a Muslim homeschooling mom, it is very important to me that my children learn the Arabic language. Homeschooling allows my family to provide an Islamic environment while teaching them about Islam, Islamic History, and Muslims, while integrating this with all their other subjects.
For those of you considering homeschooling your children, I encourage you to give it a try. I believe that teaching your kids at home is the very best gift you can give to your children and to yourself. You may feel apprehensive and unsure of yourself. In fact, most moms feel the same way in the beginning. It’s ok! With time you will build confidence, and you will be happy that you made the choice. If you really want to do it, Insha’Allah, you can!
If you have any pictures of Arabic projects you would like to share with us please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will feature your project on my next blog! As always we thanks you for stopping by, and please visit us again:)
“Verily we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ân in order that you may understand” [Soorah Yusuf: 2]