Homeschooling and I: It’s Time for Kindy! Err..is it?

Aiman is 3 years old this year! đŸ˜€ Some of us are already excited to send the lil ones off to kindy. What about me? Well, I guess not yet.

When Aiman was born, I actually planned to send him off to kindy at 3 years old. I thought, if he just stay home, he would be wasting precious time to learn.

As time passes, my hubby bought me my first Iphone, then Aiman grew and started to show interest in my phone, so I tried to search for apps that would teach him the basics of knowledge; getting to know the alphabets and numbers.

Seeing the progress my son had made, and seeing that he is not at all wasting his time at home (well, playing is not a waste of time for kids, you know..it’s a form or learning too), i finally decided against sending Aiman to kindy this year. I don’t know about next year yet though. For now, I think it is good for him to learn at home where I can teach him a lot of things, and at the same time bond with him, and let him bond with his baby brother. Oh have I mentioned that Aiman is teaching Irfan alphabets, numbers and colours? Just like I taught him before! Then he will kiss Irfan, just like I kissed him! đŸ˜€

Now that he has known all the alphabets and has correctly grasp the concept of numbers, starting now, the new academic year for my homeschool, I will start to teach him reading and counting. (Thanks to Teacher Amani for the tips hehehe..the good thing about having a cousin who teaches preschoolers :D)

Dear friends, please do not forget that school can never replace the thousand other things that we must teach our youngsters. Manners, moral values, religious values, just to mention a few. It can never substitute the parental role, and parental love in a child’s mind and heart. No matter how much money you are willing to spend to send your child to the best schools, please do not forget that the best educator for a child is the PARENTS, and the best school for a child is HOME.

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Homeschooling and I: The Wonders of the Children’s Minds

Since a few weeks ago, my 3-months-old-today Baby Irfan and I had started a new routine with the Ipad. Schooling! Not schooling as in ‘going to school’ but ‘learning like in school’. Believe it or not, a baby as young as a newborn is already very much capable of absorbing new knowledge. In fact, this is the best time to teach them everything there is to learn. If only you know how wonderful a child’s mind is, you will be amazed!

How Do I Teach My Kids?

After not much of an experiment, I found that Irfan is very fond of this one particular application called “My First Arabic“. It is developed by Islamkids.Media Sdn Bhd under the “babykhalifah” series. I do recommend this app for parents who have Apple device. This app teaches numbers, shapes, colours and days. It is animated and colourful. I also bought My First Iqra’ and Wudhu’. Aiman also learnt from these apps since he was nearly a year old. I also downloaded a few other learning apps developed by yufid.org (Kids Dua, Hijaiya, Hisnul Muslim etc), Fisher Price (Where’s Puppy’s Nose, Shapes and Colours, Let’s Count, Animals), BlueOnionSoft (BabyApps, BabyWord).

Credit to Islamkids.my

Watch this video of Aiman learning Arabic alphabets. He was using an the app Hijaiya developed by yufid.org.

Besides using the Ipad, I actually still use the conventional way to teach Irfan; the flashcards!

I got all these cards from Aiman’s paediatrician’s clinic and from Enfamama’s newsletters. All for FREE!!! I used to show these cards to Aiman ever since he was 2 months old. At that time, I was not sure he was learning. I even felt like I was starting too early because he did not show much of a response except just staring at the pictures. But after a few months. I noticed the fruit of my efforts when he showed his interests in trains, particularly Thomas the Tank Engine. So then I learnt that it is never too early to start.

I also stimulated my children’s minds by talking to them a lot. Just show them things around them and introduce the names of things, the functions and maybe tell them a few things about it. Talk to them in simple language that they can comprehend. It will simply enhance their intelligence and promote learning. Keep them interested with things around them.

You don’t need expensive toys to boost your children’s development. Simply make use of things around you. It is God-created and it is free!

Don’t forget to sing to them too! Children learn ABCs faster if it is taught by singing. See my point? Sing to them the famous nursery rhymes whatsoever. They will love it.

Youtube is also a wonderful tool for learning. Search the keyword ‘phonics’ and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of videos teaching ABCs, shapes, colours etc. Search ‘alif ba ta’. In short, search whatever you can find to teach the children. BUT, parental guidance is very much needed because kids nowadays are very smart they can surf the youtube without help, even if they cannot read yet. Please remember to restrict the hours your children spend on the devices and don’t let them go to sleep with it.

Aiman at ‘school’

You might want to read this too: How to Stimulate a Child’s Mind

Well, that’s all for now, I think. Irfan is already awake and I need to ‘start my school’ now. Ilalliqa’~

Homeschooling and I: Teaching your child to read

Few days ago, as I was surfing the internet, I found a few interesting sites about homeschooling. I have actually read about it before, but didn’t quite capture the idea of it, until I found this blog, which soon made me realize that “hey, i’ve been homeschooling my son all this while! how come i not know?” So what is homeschooling all about?

Basically, homeschooling is having school at home, instead of at school, and being taught by the mother, father, or both, or a private tutor. Homeschooled kids do not attend any formal school; government or private. Usually, children actors and actresses or athletes that travels a lot are homeschooled. They have a private tutor who will follow them anywhere they go . Some kids are fully homeschooled, but some are part-time homeschoolers. Part-time homeschoolers usually are taught things that they don’t learn at school.

The best thing about homeschool is you don’t have to wait until your child is four years old to start learning the basics of ABCs, numbers, reading, writing and counting. You can actually start from now! I started introducing my child to the basics since he was 6 months. I showed him flash cards which I got for free during visits to the paediatrician. I also bought him a box set of books on numbers, ABC, shapes, colours and first words. In our free time, my husband and I will cuddle with him and read to him, show him the colourful pictures in the books and introduce the names of things. Even at first he just mostly chewed on the books, it was actually worth it because now he can say the names of every single thing in the books, he knows the alphabets and can properly count 1 to 10 just before his second birthday.

Aiman’s first set of books

Present from Uncle Wan for Aiman’s first birthday

Learning Arabic and Alif Ba Ta. Found these cards at the KLIBF.

Three important lessons i learnt during the months are firstly, don’t put the pressure on yourself and the little one. Let him absorb knowledge at his own pace. If you try to make him learn too much at once, he will turn his focus away somehow. Heheh. Secondly, be very very very patient. You won’t get anywhere if you get angry very fast. If you get angry, you will upset the kid. When the kid is upset, it will be very difficult to handle him. Finally, don’t worry if your child seems to be playing and not learning much. Give him time. And kids don’t read until they can talk. If you teach your child to read early, by the time they can talk, they can read too. Same goes to reciting the Qur’an.

Aiman’s reading corner arranged by Papa. There used to be pictures on the wall but Aiman pulled those off. Everyday, Aiman will sit quietly here and read .

He especially likes to read about planes and stars and spiders, because he recognized those from his baby books.

Aiman can tell you the story of Goldilocks and also of Three Billy Goats Gruff!