Thursday, October 31, 2019

Our Curriculum

Choosing the curriculum for your children when you decide to homeschool is one of the hardest decision you have to take. In schools, all these matters are sorted out by the management and parents have no say in it. But when you decide to homeschool, the whole responsibility is on your shoulders. I also explored a number of curricula, got advise from some experienced homeschooling mothers and came across this book "102 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum' (https://amzn.to/2Bn4WuP). And I have to say I was more confused than before....

I also read about Maria Montesoori, Charlotte Mason, Waldrof, and other approaches but nothing clicked for me. Then I asked myself, what are my priorities, What and how I want my kids to learn and then I was able to take the bold step of ditching all the popular curricula and develop my own taking bits from here and there.

So now this is what my kids study during a typical week:

English - adapted from Singapore curriculum
Mathematics - Singapore books based on Australian Curriculum
Quran - Memorization and understanding based on their level
Sunnah/Seerah - one Sunnah/topic in one week and practicing daily
Arabic - multiple resources
Science - occasionally


English:
In English I took the idea from school and followed the same schedule of assigning one day to each area. So this is how the work was distributed during the week:

Sunday  - Grammar
Monday - Vocabulary
Tuesday - Writing
Wednesday - Comprehension
Thursday - Free learning

Last year I got the amazing book Challenging English 4-in-1 published by Educational Publishing House Singapore which covers Vocabulary, Grammar, Comprehension and Composition. It addressed all the areas mentioned above except for writing. So, for writing they were allowed to choose the topic of their choice most of the time and write the required number of words

Mathematics:
We have covered mathematics from Sign Post Maths, Mental Maths etc but I felt my kids were having difficulty in word problems (everyone's favorite). So again, EPH Singapore came to rescue. The boks is divided into 4 semester and each topic has 3 sections. The difficulty level within each topic increases as the child progresses in the unit.

Quran:
Both of elder kids are memorizing Quran Alhamdulillah. But this is not at any conventional madrassah or program. I really wanted them to learn Quran out of the love of it and not because they have to do it. So, I gave them the choice whether to memorize or not and how much to memorize each day. There is no denying that deep inside my heart, I really wanted them to memorize and its very evident as well but I still insist them to do out of love of it. For that, I tried to create an environment for them rather than pushing them to do their lesson everyday. It takes a lot of effort and patience and many days its hard to keep them on it but we are doing it. And I believe, whatever they are doing is sinking into their heart in sha Allah.

Sunnah/Seerah:
When I started homeschooling, I started with one Sunnah every week to connect the kids to our Prophet pbuh in an easy way. Later I started a book with them on Seerah written by Martin Lings (Abu Bakar Siraj). It is, by far my most favorite on the topic. I aimed to finish the book within a year but its been one and a half year and we are only half way through it (no regrets). The reason for this slow pace is not that we are are not doing enough, but because we really enjoy doing it and discuss a lot of other things related to Seerah while reading it. Some days we hardly finish one paragraph from it because the kids have many questions to ask.

Arabic:
We finished the book 1 of Madina Islamic University but then I switched to Quranic vocabulary and Grammar. We do one or two verses everyday (we started from Surah Baqarah) and 2 grammar lessons a week from Ustadha Iffat Hassan's book on Quranic Grammar.

Science:
I started following a proper science curriculum in the beginning but soon I left that as well. The reason was my kids spent most of their free time reading encyclopedias, playing quizzes with each other and they were already covering a lot of topics from there. So our main source of information are the encyclopaedia and nat geo books on different topics.

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Our Curriculum

Choosing the curriculum for your children when you decide to homeschool is one of the hardest decision you have to take. In scho...