Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Friday, 22 August 2014
However there has been one blog that I have repeatedly gone back again and again, several times a month, for many months now and that's the Bravewriter Blog. It's a very inspirational blog to help homeschooling mothers teach writing. But it does more than help with the academics as its encourages adopting a lifestyle within the home that facilitates writing. There is a manual that you can buy that explains the Bravewriter philosophy and products that give direct teaching instructions, but as yet I hadn't bought any. It is quite pricey. I suspect that it is worth it's price but having been following the blog for long time, I feel it's been enough to give me the confidence to follow my children's interests for writing projects. When necessary I transcribe for them, writing down their ideas that they are not able to write down as their ideas exceed their stamina for writing. Bravewriter encourages acting as a scribe for your kids, or working in partnership with your kids. This has been a bit of a breakthrough for me as I used to think if I wrote it down for them it would be like cheating, or they would always rely on me and become lazy writers. Instead I have found, that by writing for them, they are more keen to have their ideas down on paper and they themselves have taken to writing independently more and more. What I absolutely love about the Bravewriter philosophy is that instead of presenting writing as another academic subject to be taught using workbooks and exercises, it helps one to really embrace writing as just another extension of thought and speech so communication between mums and kids are encouraged, as is nature walks to increase awareness of ones surroundings and increase experiences that will fuel ideas for writing. Reading aloud together is off course a top priority but Bravewritier also promotes watching programmes and having discussions based on these.
The part of the Bravewriter program that my kids love hands down though is the "Poetry Teatimes". This is where we prepare some hot drinks, yummy snacks (even more exciting when homemade by the kids), and settle around the table with a stack of poetry books and we each take turns reading a poem. When I mention Poetry Teatime my kids almost quiver and shoot off to grab the books and pour over them selecting their poems to read aloud. They love it. I love it. What's more to say?! Head over to the Bravewriter site and the Bravewriter blog, I really doubt you will regret it.
Sunday, 17 August 2014
In the midst of all the things we have been busy with, U has increased the daily time he spends on hifdh, as planned. Most days we try to get in 2-3 hours, but because of the amount we have been going out, its very fragmented and sometimes it feels like a bit of a strain trying to do it all. Its entirely my fault! Its not really fair to expect U to be able to focus on Qur'an for lengths of time when the rest of the day is packed with activities that divert his mind and energy on so much else. So inshallah we will be stepping down a few notches on outside activities and engagements. Despite all of the distractions, alhamdulillah U has still made alot of progress, compared to the rate he was going before and he is on the penultimate surah of Juz Amm.
The method that we have fallen into is that he memorises three lines a day. On the fourth day of the week he reviews all of the lines he has memorised for that surah. And then day five, six and seven....well its weekend by that time, and housework to catch up to, other chores that have piled up, guests visiting, or going out as a family....and well just a general running out of steam...until Monday when we start the whole cycle again. We are definitely going to need to organise our time better so that almost half of the week doesn't escape us.
I just noticed today, a sister very kindly commented on the previous post that memorising a page shouldn't take that long if one is consistently memorising everyday....umm well, we are still very far from that level, but again much of this probably has to do with us getting distracted with other activities. However the sister's comment has re-motivated me to double up on our duas and efforts. The sister also mentioned that revision is the harder part. Although U is good with his revision, I can see that it is getting harder to keep up with so I also hope, with more time at home, we can concentrate more on revision which has so far been done mostly in the car on the way to and fro places. But it is still early days, and that why I'm sharing our hifdh process right from the start so that others may learn from our mistakes!
Monday, 16 June 2014
Anyway, I thought I might use this blog as a place to record our journey as most of the Quran hifdh stories I've come across mention their schedules once it’s been fine tuned and they are already in the full swing of things. But I've always been curious to know what process they go through to get to the "memorise a page in twenty minutes" stage. From all who I've spoken to and what I've read the three essentials is dua, persistence and consistency...and then it just get easier with time.
The method we are using to memorise is an ayah by ayah method (or line by line if the ayah is longer than a line). So we recite an ayah twenty times by looking, then ten more times alternating with looking and not looking. Then I test U on the ayah five times. If he can do it on the fifth time he continues to the next ayah and so on. At the end of the three lines, he reads all three lines twenty times, then ten times alternating looking and not looking then I test him on the whole three lines five times.
That's what we did in the morning split into two hour-long lessons. He had a break in the middle which ran on longer than expected (an hour and a half) and when he sat down again it took him a long time to focus and he got quite emotional as he was finding that he couldn't remember even after the twenty times. We both agreed that we would keep the break shorter and indoors to see if it helped keep his concentration better. I tested him again later in the afternoon on the way to A and U’s swimming lessons. He said he had forgotten it all. Now normally I might have flown off the handle a little bit with that remark…not because he forgot it but I always tell the kids that I never want to hear them say ‘I can’t’ but ‘I’ll try’, but having memorised three lines myself in the morning, I tried reciting my ayahs and actually at first I felt ‘Oh my gosh I can’t even remember the first word!’. It took a while to recall them and even then I got stuck halfway through. So instead of making a huge deal about his attitude, I just recited him his ayahs a few times and he recited with me. After the swimming lesson on the way back he still couldn't recite it independently. So in the evening I got him to sit down and read his three lines a few times, to test himself then I listened to him. However I fear it will all be gone tomorrow and he will be demotivated and that's something which I have felt myself. But I have to remind myself and him that with dua, persistency and consistency it will get easier inshallah. It’s not the amount that we can recall which is important for us right now but that we get in the habit of doing this daily and that week by week we improve.
This week as we are new to memorising three whole lines at a time and its taking a lot more time than I imagined and its actually quite tiring, I have decided not to get U to revise his other surahs. I will also probably not ask him to do any ‘school work’ but in honest truth he will probably get a lot of things done anyway as he loves reading and is very very curious.
I’m still trying to work out how to fit in revision of old surahs into our routine. Also tomorrow we are meeting some other kids in the park so I’m wondering how to work our hifdh around the times we have to go out for most of the mornings or the day. U wakes up really early so the simple solution would be for me to wake up with him and we would start earlier than our usual . But I’m so tired in the mornings as baby N is still nursing and keeps me up at night. But I think it’s the only way not to miss a day of hifdh as I really feel that daily lessons is key to keeping up the momentum.
Last thing to mention about today is that we started watching the series “Traveller with the Qur'an”. We watched it as a family and it was so timely that we started watching it today because mashallah it was a brilliant motivating way to end the day. I really recommend everyone to watch it!