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I made some manipulatives this week. I printed these out, laminated them, cut them out and then stuck little square magnets on the back of them. I am finding having them on the magnetic board is good for keeping them very visible and out of reach of little hands.
Days of the week and months
For the months, my girls sorted them into order then matched them with the correct number of days for that month. The days were just put into the correct order and then both would be messed back up again and the activity started all over again.

With the numbers and number blocks, they can be used for hands on and a visual representation of math problems. They are coloured to match the Math U See program we are using (dark green single blocks, orange 2 block, pink 3 block, yellow 4 block, light blue 5 blocks, purple 6 block, vanilla 7 block, brown 8 block, light green/blue 9 block, dark blue 10 blocks). We are currently using the blocks to make 10 families.
Number blocks 1 and 10
Number blocks 1-9
Number grid

Last but not least are the letters. These were made for extras to go with my All About Spelling program we use (and LOVE). They are great for spelling and really work.
Letter grid - AAS
I need to make some extra phonograms and will have to post them at a later time in shaa Allaah, I am hoping you will be able to save and print these if you so desire. To make them as durable as possible, I suggest printing them on light card before laminating, however plain paper will work too.

If you found this helpful, I'd love you to let me know. If you have trouble with the format also please let me know.

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Helpful links

Posted on 2012.12.23 at 20:07
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My oldest 3 are doing a free online Arabic course. They love it. I think I am going to sign up and start doing it too. If you are wanting to learn Arabic, give it a go, www.learnarabic.com

Onto the next helpful 3 links. I hate it when I lose great links because my computer dies or whatever. I had saved my links to a link sharing website that was still in beta. I LOVED that site. It made it so easy to find what I was looking for by being able to search for a word in the title or tag. However it turns out that the website closed down without giving me any notice and I lost all my links again. I have decided to find some new sites where I can do the same thing, only this time I am going to store them on 3 different sites (ok, going a little overboard, but I really don't want to lose my links. I need them for the kid's school). The first one I am using is www.diigo.com . The great thing about this site is that you can highlight text on the page you are saving, as well as adding sticky notes. Even better than that is that when the two accounts are linked it can automatically save your links on www.delicous.com which means I can save my links on two sites without any extra work for me. The last one is www.evernote.com . i love that you can save a static copy of the page so that even if the website closes, you still have the information you need saved. 

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Posted on 2012.02.28 at 07:11
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Aa'ishah is in grade 3 this year and Khadeejah is in grade 1. I'm yet to find a new rhythm now that I am teaching two separate grade levels. It hasn't been too bad, especially when both of the girls decide they want to get their school work done for the day so they can enjoy the rest of their day. If they are in the right mood for it I can set one a task (like writing) while I do a different subject that needs more one-on-one with the other, then swap. One day, school was finished by 10am, masha'Allaah. Some days though we are still doing school work at 6pm - ok, granted the kids weren't well and I was taking it easy on them so they weren't doing school work most of that time. I have found that the day goes much smoother if I stay awake after Fajr and get all my bits and pieces done before the kids get up. Once the kids are up, the computer stays off, except for Maryam and Ibraheem to do Readingeggs while we are busy with school.

For about the last month we have been using a button system to control screen time (computer time). Each of the children have a zip-lock bag with their name on it. Each time they do something good they get a button. If they do a hard job, or a yucky job, they get a "double button". Examples include, tidying up, getting food for one of the other children, helping another child, wiping the bathroom sink, completing a school subject, reading hadith and Qur'an, etc. Examples of "double button" jobs are getting the washing off the line, folding the washing, cleaning the toilet, taking rubbish out to the bin etc. Each button is worth 10 minutes computer time, but no games. They can spend this time watching documentaries, or researching things of interest to them (with a watchful eye). Each double button (we made them purple buttons) is worth 20 minutes game time. If they have buttons, but no purple buttons, but really want to use a double button, they can swap 3 buttons for a double button. Once they have 5 buttons, they may swap those buttons for $5, but they can't be swapped back. So far, I have found that the children play a game once or maybe twice a week, they watch a few documentaries a week and they are saving up money (one child in particular).

I was very happy with the effort Aa'ishah put into her writing yesterday. She is someone who hates writing and tends not to put much effort into it. Yesterday was great though, and I hope to see many more pages like this, insha'Allaah.

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Posted on 2012.02.26 at 11:04
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The other day Aa'ishah did a heap of self-guided research on cake decorating. Eventually she came up with a recipe for butter cream icing and asked if we could pipe some flowers. 

The photo didn't turn out very clear I'm afraid.

Of course, you can't have icing without cake, so we made up some pumpkin cupcakes to decorate. I didn't get a photo of them. They were eaten too quickly, masha'Allaah.

Yesterday I came across a great post for math activities 
I decided to print out the multi-pies and skip counters before the kids woke up. When we tried out the multi-pies, the answer was hard to conceal quick enough with a finger, so we decided to glue some flaps over the answers.

Aa'ishah had 3 pumpkins growing on her vine, masha'Allaah. Thanks to her little brother, she now has only 2. Thankfully it was getting pretty close to being ready to pick anyway. Here is her 3rd pumpkin this season.

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Lip balm

Posted on 2011.12.19 at 14:38
My essential oil order arrived. Straight away I made a couple of lip balms. I made a base of 
2 tbsp beeswax
1 tbsp shea butter
1 tbsp cocoa butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sweet almond oil
approx 1 tsp cocoa powder

I melted them in a pyrex jug in a saucepan over low heat. I then divided the mix into 2.

For the Choc-mint I added 10 drops of peppermint oil (I think I'll do slightly less next time).

For the Hazlenut Cappuccino I added 8 drops of some Hazlenut Cappuccino fragrance oil.

I wasn't meant to add the shea butter to this mix like I did, so it ended up slightly softer than intended. This recipe made 9 tubes and 2 10g pots.

I can't wait to try more combinations. 

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Yummy, ice-cream and cheesecake

Posted on 2011.10.31 at 10:48
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In my effort to drastically reduce sugar, but still enjoy some foods I love, yesterday I made some ice-cream and cheesecake.

First, I made some strawberry ice-cream. I made a puree of strawberries and cooked it on the stove with a small amount of sugar (I think about 1tbsp of sugar to 2 or 3 cups of puree) until it thickened. Once it cooled I mixed it with cream and placed in the freezer. Every now and then I stirred it. Once it was all frozen, I put it in the food processor, blended and put back in the freezer.  We all love it.

Next, I made mango ice-cream. I pureed about 1 1/2 mangoes with cream and froze the same as the strawberry.

With the cheesecake, it didn't turn out the best, but it does taste like cheesecake. I decided to make it crust-less, since the crust would just add sugar to the recipe. I used about 1 1/2 mangoes pureed, one package of cream cheese, about 2 tbsp of lemon juice, about 1/4 cup of yoghurt (can you tell I'm not the measuring type?) and one egg. I baked it in a hot water bath in a 175C oven for an hour. This was my first attempt at a baked cheesecake and considering I didn't follow a recipe I don't think it was too bad. I would have preferred to make a non-baked cheesecake like I would normally make, but I had no gelatine. 

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Seeds have sprouted

Posted on 2011.10.23 at 08:17
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I have managed to get some seeds to sprout, yay. However, I'm not too sure what they all are. I didn't mark them and forgot what I planted where. Note to self: Write a map of the garden next time. Anyway, it's exciting to see what comes up and what they turn out to be.

I think these ones might be eggplant.

This is my ground cover mint. I estimate it's grown to almost 2x the size of what it was when I bought it (6 weeks ago).

The parsley and coriander are going to seed.

I suspect these ones are Winter Squash (Spaghetti Squash)

And I suspect these are broccoli or cauliflower 


I'm pretty certain there are rocket

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Posted on 2011.10.11 at 13:56
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Yesterday the children were working on their bubble wrap projects. I would like to share the results with you.
Aa'ishah's corn Khadeejah's cactus

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Posted on 2011.10.10 at 12:14
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Aa'ishah made a book. She did everything entirely by herself (apart from laminating it and a little help with binding). I didn't even know she was going to make one. It is great when kids lead their own learning. Much better than being on her back telling her to write something.
I heard her saying to Khadeejah the other day "Isn't learning fun?!"

Here is the book she made anyway.

Something else she has done almost entirely on her own was a study on coffee. She pulled out the encyclopedia the other day and was looking up "coffin" which was not actually there. Since she was right next to coffee and it interested her she read the 3 pages of information on it. Afterwards I suggested she write up a diagram to help her remember the process and this is what she came up with.

She has also written her first poem and was very happy with her effort.

Craft has been fun too. Aa'ishah and Khadeejah came up with the idea of making a jack in the box. We used the cut edges left over after laminating things for the spring and pom poms to make flowers and glued it into their dad's empty mint tin. Here is the finished product.

Currently As'ishah is in the process of making a cob of corn out of paper and bubble wrap and Khadeejah is making a cactus out of bubble wrap and pipe cleaners.

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Posted on 2011.10.10 at 11:41
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I have a brown thumb. I have a habit of killing plants that are meant to be good survivors. I continue to try though.

Yesterday I got outside in the rain and turned the soil in our garden bed and worked in some soil improver and lime. I was motivated wasn't I ! I then planted all the plants we bought at the markets and Bunnings the day before (also while it was raining). When I was finished I was so muddy, hahaha. About an hour later the sun came out and it didn't rain for the rest of the day. Oh well...

Here are my plants as of today. We planted quite a few seeds today as well as well as sweet potato and the chilli plant. We'll see how many survive my horrible gardening skills, and my overly zealous children.

Chocolate mint, yum. I planted this just under the tap that drips lots of water when the hose is turned on.

Stevia. I had never tried stevia before, but it's quite yummy. I planted this close(ish) to my chocolate mint in a partly shady area.

Thyme. Planted alongside the Stevia.

The main garden bed. Tomato and basil with various seeds throughout as well.

Main garden bed again. Strawberries and tomato

Poor Aa'ishah's plant is very loved by something

But our weeds thrive

Khadeejah's plant that she bought is doing ok though.

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