Category Archives: Uncategorized

Homeschooling

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It’s been so long since I updated this blog. This is partly because I have started homeschooling Zayd early this year, and started a new blog for that. However, I found that I am also not as active in updating that blog *sigh.

But for the sake of continuity, I am still going to try to update here. And as I go along this journey, perhaps I should also think about maybe just continuing here. We’ll see.

Anyway, so at the start of this year I decided to homeschool Zayd. End of last year, after we moved to this new place, we went looking for kindys around this area. However, I found that there’s nothing that I felt suitable for us. I have also always been toying with the idea of homeschooling. In fact, we went for our first homeshooling meet up when Zayd was 6 months. I always knew somehow deep in my heart that perhaps homeschooling is the more natural choice for us.

But of course, homeschooling is not the most popular choice. Although growing in movement, many people still view homeschooling with skepticism. Also, while I think homeschooling is good, I don’t want to impose my belief on my child. I would want him to experience all schooling options and find out what is the best path for him.

Because he is 4, I felt this is the best year to start introducing him to homeschool. However, me and my husband is also looking for kindys for him to experience once he reached 5 years old.

After 3 months of homeschooling, I saw tremendous improvement in Zayd. When we first started, he could not even hold a scissors. And now, he is cutting left and right like a pro. He also has gained confidence in making arts and crafts, his imagination and creative-play is growing and deepening. His vocabulary has steadily increased.

I also found out that our bond becomes stronger by doing all these activities together. I get to know many sides of him that I would have not if we do not spend some time together everyday doing crafts, learning, or simply taking a walk down the lake. I am so grateful for this opportunity to bond with Zayd.

The only thing I am concerned is that he is still a bit shy and reserved in social situations. Which is what the most concern with homeschooling is. Because of this, we are trying to find a kindy that he can go half-a-day to play and socialise with other kids. We’ve found one that we like, so we might give it a try there once he turned 4. However, I must also remind myself that it is normal for kids to feel this way. In fact, I was really shy when I was a kid. I spent most of my time in kindy crying by the fence. So, I must relaxed my expectation and learn to see my child as who he is.

All in all, I am grateful for this opportunity to homeschool him alhamdulillah 🙂

Zayd’s advice to Mummy.

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I was having a difficult time yesterday and sometimes I love to share what I am going through with Zayd just to see how he will respond. I never have any expectations of what he would say, so more of than not I will be quite surprised listening to things that he came up with. And yesterday’s one really top the list for me.

Mummy: Zayd, I am feeling a bit upset today.

Zayd: Hmm..maybe you should rest.

Mummy: But I am not tired, I am upset. (made a sad face) (and also I cried a little bit before that so he knew I was in a somber kind of mood).

Zayd: Maybe you should make dua to Allah. And Allah will make you feel happy and not sad anymore.

I am really touched and cried again (yes it’s the hormonal times of the month)  and could not believe that he could give such advice. It was really interesting how he could relate feeling/emotion to Allah at such young age.

Sometimes I wonder how much he understands what he was saying, or even what I was saying to him – but I am grateful because somehow by the grace of Allah, the idea is already planted in his mind.

May Allah keep the consciousness, the love and the awe of Him ever steady and growing in his little mind ameen.

 

My Quran-reading 3 year old boy

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ok not really reading – but more mimick-ing me!

I just have to capture the moment and shared my feeling of this. After Maghrib prayer a few days ago, which he sometimes joined, (also he didn’t know how to pray and I didn’t teach him at all – he just loves to join together when me or his dad started praying), he picked up 2 Qurans from the shelf, one mine and one small shiny gold one (that he found in his ayahtok’s house and claimed as his own) – and he started ‘reading’ it. He mimicked the Arabic sound I make when I am reading my Quran and he continued to do that until I finished reading my Quran and he put both of the Quran back on it’s place.

From him I really learn the meaning that a child will not do ‘what you told them to do’, but will do ‘what you do’. In this age of parenting, where babies classes are the norm and your child is expected to know their ABC’s as soon as they can speak – I chose a different route. I chose to let my child be a child. I want him to play as much as he can, be with his families as much as possible, and just be happy.

The first 7 years of a child’s life is very precious. The sunnah told us that this is the time where we are supposed to love and play with them the most. So that they will form a strong bond with the parent and the rest of the family members. And from my observation of Zayd’s growth, he really does not need any ‘formal’ or ‘structured’ lesson plan for him to learn. He learns and absorbs everything around him like a sponge. What I did is to take care of his environment more, than to dictate what he needs to learn. By making sure that he is not exposed to too much media (tv, video, etc), and to allow him with lots of creative playing and exploring, bringing him to good places and gatherings (mosques, gathering of knowledge), I hope he will absorb his surrounding and learn from these subconsciously.

And the rest of it, I leave it to Allah to always guide him, protects him, and bless him always. My dear, dear son 🙂

Listen. Really listen Mummy! (reminder to self on the day I felt like the worst mom in the world *criessss*)

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This morning I was a monster mummy for sure! I screamed bloody murder and was very impatient with Zayd. And the sweet boy that he is always ready to forgive me when I said sorry. I spent some time after that to reflect one what was happening and why I was unleashing this really ugly part of myself on him and this is what I learnt.

I was changing the sheets and was very excited about it (because I am a clean freak and loves all things neat and tidy), when Zayd popped his head out from the bathroom (he was having his morning shower) saw me changing the sheets and scream “I don’t want fresh sheet day!”. At first I ignored him. But he continued his whining and nagging and it got the best of me.

I snapped and get really angry at him. I forced him to quickly brush his teeth and impatiently made him finish his showers – basically being a top grumpy mother! And he cried of course, probably not understanding why I am angry at him just because of him expressing his dislike for fresh sheet day.

Ok, let’s backtrack. He, like me and his dad – likes things clean too. He used to love ‘fresh sheet’ day and loves helping me and his dad doing the changing of the sheets. So, I don’t understand why he was behaving like he was today.

But, one thing I realised (after introspection), is that I am actually angry at the assumption I arrived at because of his whining. When he complained I don’t like ‘fresh sheet’ day – what I heard was that ‘I don’t like what mummy is doing. I don’t appreciate mummy wanting to clean stuff for me.”. It’s stupid I know. But I took his simple complain and turned it into a melodrama in my head, spurred by my own personal issue.

After I calmed down, I called him back gently to me and asked him again why he didn’t like the ‘fresh sheet day’. He said because he liked the sheet he had. He doesn’t like the new sheet. He doesn’t want me to change the things that he like.

I realised that as he is growing up, his preference and personality is becoming firmer and stronger. He had definite ideas of what he likes and what he didn’t like. Of course, sometimes it will go against common hygiene practise like changing the sheets – but 3 years old don’t understand that yet. So, it’s my job as mom to get out of my head and don’t let my own personal issue interfere with my mothering.

What I need to do was to calm myself down. Be present. And listen, really listen to what he was expressing. He didn’t do that just to annoy me. He had real legit reason (in his 3 years old head) – and it is my job to get to the bottom of it.

I felt really bad today and I still do even as I am writing this. 😦

Ya Allah, please help me in  controlling my anger. Please release me from the burden of old emotional issues. Please help me to always listen and be present with my child. Please forgive my terrible mothering today and other days too – and guide me to always be better mother, better daughter, better wife, better Muslim every day in every way ameen.

Hari Raya 2016

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Our theme is purple this year. You originally wanted blue, but we could not find a suitable blue ‘baju melayu’ so for the first Raya we chose purple and we got blue for your casual Raya wear on the 2nd day.

You are starting to get the idea of what a ‘Hari Raya’ is. You looked forward for the ‘ziarah’ and are so excited to receive many many raya packets. You still do not know what is in the Raya packet and I am just so happy for that 😀

Your favourite Raya delicacies is the ‘ketupat palas’ (the triangle ketupat), and ‘london almond’ biscuit. Well, you basically eat everything but those 2 seems to be your favourite this year.

You had your first playing ‘bunga api’ experience at your Ayahtok’s house. You don’t seem to be too excited about it. Hmmm. Maybe because you are a cautious boy, or maybe simple the idea of a ‘bunga api’ does not appeal to you yet.

Alhamdulillah for a wonderful Raya celebration and may Allah bless us with many many more Raya celebration together, in health and Imaan. Ameen.

“Allah gives me superpower!”

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Zayd is in this phase of wanting to be superheroes and having superpowers. He was not really exposed to the Superman/Batman/Spiderman yet because hmm..well, his mummy is not really into Superheroes? ehehe So he picked this up from random Youtube videos, and cartoons that he watched with his cousins.

After shower one day (we normally have this mother-son conversation after shower because this is when he is not yet super-active running around here and there and a bit more focused and attentive to what I had to say), he was telling me about his superpower.

Zayd: Mummy, I have superpower! I am super strong! I am super man!

Mummy: Who give you superpower?

Zayd: I don’t know..

Mummy: Allah gives you superpower! (and suddenly I was inspired by an idea to make this “Allah gives me superpower” a thing ehehe)

Zayd, do you know when you are fighting bad guy and you need superpower, all you need to do is raise your hand like this, like you are making dua and say  -“Allah gives me superpowerrrr!” (in a really exaggerated comic voice and gestures) And Allah will give you all the super power you want!

Zayd: Really? “Allah give me super powerrr!” “Allah gives me super powerrr!” (in cute exaggerated comic gesture, repeat 100 times ehehe)

After that conversation, sometimes when he was in his imaginary fighting bad-guy mode he will go “Allah gives me superpowerrrr”. And I will always smile.

My dear boy, may you grow up knowing that all the super power you need in life comes only from Allah. And all you ever need to do is call out to Him in your dua and Allah will always always listen and gives you super power 🙂

 

Storytelling 3 year old

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Zayd loves telling stories now!

Whenever I put him to sleep, he normally loves to hear me tell stories. What he will do is he will pick a character – that usually involves some sort of a vehicle and an animal.

Like this:

lorry, car, elephant, and cat

frog, towtruck, and monster truck

and sometimes

lorry, car, fire engine, helicopter, truck and..fish

and sometimes the character gets so long and complicated that it was impossible to fit them all in one story, so I leave them out. The funny thing is he always remember and will ask – ‘mana lorry?’, ”mana truck?’ahaha.

Anyway, I guess he picked up my style of story telling and the other day he asked me ‘Mummy do you want to  hear my story?’

So I said ok..this was new..

Then he started telling me stories about how he went to ‘work’ (something he picks up from his father) and heard a sound (insert monkey sound). What is it mummy?

..is it..a monkey? (mummy replied)

YES, a monkey. So Zayd bring the monkey home..the monkey hungry..so Zayd cooked for the monkey and give him food. nyum nyum nyum.

Suddenly.. (he even used ‘suddenly’ a word that I admit overly-used in my storied to him ehehe)

And he kept telling the story for a good few minutes by adding this and that into the storyline. And I was really amazed!

Somehow just by listening to my stories night after night he learnt how to tell stories by himself. He picked up the style, the storyline, the words I used..Masha Allah. How amazing is the ability that Allah give to us.

Zayd’s dad also loves to tell him stories. And we took turns to tell him stories and read aloud to him since he was a baby. Alhamdulillah for the ability to see him grow from being the one we tell the story to to the one who’s telling the stories now! 🙂