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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

LIEBSTER AWARD!

I have recently been awarded the Liebster Award by the inspirational Raising Young Believers. Thank you so much! :)


If you were like me, you probably have no idea what the Liebster award is! So here is a brief overview:
The Liebster Award is an online award that is by bloggers, for bloggers. It’s passed from person to person to encourage connection and support within our writing community, and to help discover new and upcoming bloggers.

To accept the award and participate there’s just five simple rules:
1.      Link back to the person who nominated you
2.      Answer the questions given to you by the nominator
3.      You can choose to nominate up to 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
4.      Create 11 questions for the nominees
5.      Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

Here are my answers to the questions asked by Raising Young Believers. So much fun!

1. Do you cook? What’s your favourite meal to prepare?

Yes, I do cook. When I have time, I love experimenting with new recipes and I'm getting quite good at baking breads and cakes. My favourite meal to prepare is a traditional English roast dinner. It reminds me of my childhood :)

2. What do you do in your time off? How do you unwind?

By the time the children are asleep, and any last bit of housework is done, its usually 10pm. To unwind I like reading or writing new blog posts. This blog brings me so much joy! 


3. Have you ever been camping? If no, would you ever go camping?

I went camping as a teenager with my school, and I hated it! I love being outdoors, but nothing beats having a nice warm shower and curling up in a 'real' bed after a long day hiking! 

4. As a child, did you enjoy school?

Yes, for the most part, I did enjoy school. But often I felt that it was a complete waste of my time! I vividly remember sitting in a English Literature class learning about World War I poetry and saying to my friend, 'Why are they making me learn all this! When am I going to use this!' Even then I had an opinion about education!

5. What is your greatest fear?

Being buried alive....enough said!

6. Sweet or salty foods?

Salty! Savoury pastries, pretzels, salted crisps.....yum!

7. Movies or books?

Books. I can't even remember the last time I watched a movie! When I go on holiday, the first thing I pack and unpack are my books! Total Bookworm!

8. Summer or winter?

This is hard but I guess I'd have to say summer. I love pottering about in our garden, tending to our very modest vegetable patch, as well as doing school work with the kids outside. 

9. Tea or coffee?

Coffee, coffee, coffee!

10. Where do you get your blogging inspirations from?

I read a variety of blogs by all kinds of women! I think my first introduction to the blogging scene was Noor Janan Homeschool. Its still one of my favorites! 

11. Share the link to a blogpost you most enjoyed writing.

It was fun writing 'A Day-In-The-Life' blog post. I knew our home was a crazy place, but it wasn't until I wrote this that I realised how crazy! 

  

And now my nominee is:

Suhaila from Play, Unpenned - Please check out her blog. She writes beautifully about gentle parenting and the importance of play, as well as many other things!



And the questions that I would to ask are...

1. Describe yourself in three words.

2. If you could recommend one thing for a new mum to buy for her baby, what would it be?
3. Do you use a baby-carrier, and if so which brand?
4. If you could describe your parenting style in one word what would it be?
5. Are you are early-bird or a night-owl?
6.  If you could be a character from a book/movie, who would it be?
7. Where would you most like to travel?
8. If you had the whole day off (no work, no kids etc.) what would you do with your time?
9. Favourite food?
10. What do you write about in your blog?
11. Share a link to a blogpost that you most enjoyed writing.

I can't wait to read your responses! 


Please remember us in your duaas.


Peace and Love.




Saturday, 12 September 2015

Book Review | The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play Book


Its that wonderful time of year where we all feel excitement for our fellow brothers and sisters on Hajj, and anticipation for the coming of Eid.

I've been following Shade 7 Publishing for some time on Instagram and had been planning to buy their book 'The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play book' for my boys for Eid al-Adha.

Well, I was thrilled when the publishers reached out to me and offered to send me a copy to review, as well as offering all my readers a DISCOUNT CODE on the price of the book. I am so excited to share this beautiful book with you all.




'The Story of the Elephant' is an Islamic children's book based on Surah al Feel (Chapter 105) of the Holy Quran.

For those unfamiliar with the story:

The tyrant ruler of Yemen, Abraha, leads his army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka'ba. Allah sends a great flock of birds to protect His house, they drop stones onto the soldiers from a great height and the whole army perishes. 

It's the perfect story for a children's book! 

Uniquely, this play book features pop-ups, interactive flaps and tabs, as well as a colouring map and press-out elephants to re-create the story. It is suitable for ages 3+.


The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The army of elephants!



The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Beautiful bird pop-up



The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The Ka'ba - Dramatic End to the Book

I thought it would be fun to make a YouTube Video of my first impressions when I opened up the book. I hope the video will be useful for you to see inside this book and help you get a feel for it. It's my first ever Youtube Video, so please forgive my amateur videography skills! I'll get better insha'Allah!




Well, my thoughts on this book are...it's brilliant! 

Firstly, its is really well written. It kept my boys engaged and interested.The language used is pitched at the right level, being neither too complicated for little ones, nor to simplistic. 

"Abraha was so cross, he sent an army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka'ba stone by stone."

Secondly, the paper is thick and glossy, and will withstand whatever little hands try to do to it!

My favourite bit...Pull the tab and the elephant kneels down!

Pull the tab to watch the stones drop


The illustrations are beautifully hand-drawn and the pop-ups are completely charming! My kids were so excited when they saw them:

"Wow!"
"Look Mummy, the elephant's got a hat on!"
"Look at that! Look at that!"
"The Ka'ba!!!"

I particularly appreciated how the publishers have incorporated a little Seerah into the book. They mention that the year of the elephant is the same year that our beloved Prophet was born in, and talks a little about Abdul Muttalib. They add another dimension to the educational experience by referring back to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and the duaa he made to protect Mecca.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Abdula Muttalib's camels

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The duaa of Abdul Muttalib

The book also features some duaas in Arabic, which are very clearly written, with vowel markings, transliteration and translations, so anyone and everyone can benefit from them. 

There's a simple quiz at the end to reinforce what your children have learnt, with the answers hidden underneath yet another flap!

The book contains a large pocket at the back that contains the colouring map and a press-out card Ka'ba and loads of elephants. One way you could use this is to re-create the elephants approach to Mecca using these press-out figures. For kids that enjoy hands-on learning activities, this is great way to reinforce what they have heard and bring the story to life.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Colouring in his Ka'ba



The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
"I've got the mummy elephant! You've got the baby one!"

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The whole family joined it!

My 5 year-old son loves this part in particular! He keeps bringing out the map and adding more and more detail to it. Then he sets up all the elephants and the Ka'ba with great satisfaction! Unfortunately its all a bit to fiddly for my 3 year-old to do on his own, so he's happy looking through the book again and again, pulling all the tabs and lifting the flaps.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Using this map to revise geography
The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Reenacting the approach of the Abraha's army 

This book is definitely robust enough for young children. So far it has survived some serious love from my little ones!

'The Story of the Elephant' makes teaching this Quranic tale, not only easy, but a really special and memorable experience for children. It has to be my kids' favorite Islamic Children's book at the moment. 

It is not just a picture book, or a pop-up book, its a whole educational experience. It encourages learning and love for the Quran in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels . We even used it to teach Geography, History, Character building and Islamic history. 

I highly recommend this book. We absolutely love it!

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE:


The publishers have very generously asked me to pass on a DISCOUNT CODE to you all. 

This discount is exclusive to the readers of Our Muslim Homeschool. 

US Residents 

Receive 45% DISCOUNT off the cost of the book. 
Visit TAQWA MEDIA and enter the Discount Code OMHS2015 at the checkout.
This is offer is limited to the first 6 copies sold.
Thereafter, it will entitle the customer to 20% discount. This offer is only valid for then next 2 weeks.

UK Resident and REST OF THE WORLD

Receive 20% discount off the cost of the book.
Visit SHADE 7 PUBLISHING and enter the Coupon Code OMHS2015 on the 'Cart' page.
It is only valid for the next 7 days.
(09.00GMT Saturday 12th September to 09.00GMT Saturday 19th September 2015)



Shade 7 Publishing have also created a cross-curricular 6 week lesson plan pack to go along with this book, for children in years Reception to Key Stage 2. It conforms with the New 2014 National Curriculum framework in the UK. 

For my followers the publishers have agreed to:
1 Book + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £49.99 (inc. UK shipping).
3 Books + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £99 (inc. UK shipping).

If you live outside of the U.K. contact them directly for shipping costs. 
If you are interested in the lesson plan pack, then email them at info@shade7.co.uk  to arrange purchase

We will be working through some of these lesson plans over the coming weeks insha'Allah. I will keep you all up to date and show you how we have been using them on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.


The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review

I hope you found this review helpful. If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions. 

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Thank you so much for stopping by our blog!
  
Please remember us in your duaas.  


Peace and Love.

Disclaimer: Shade 7 Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book. This review was NOT sponsored. All opinions expressed are genuine! 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Story of Ibrahim: Mobile Craft Activity


Story of Ibrahim craft
Story of Ibrahim craft

This week in our Muslim homeschool we have been looking at the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). 

In my humble opinion, I find children retain these Islamic stories better if they are followed up with a hands-on activity. This craft is very quick and easy, and will help your children to remember what they have heard.

The story I related can be found in the Quran [6:75-80]We began by reading a simplified version of this story from the I Love Islam Series: Book 1.

The story tells us how Ibrahim (AS) asked his people if they believed a star was God, but when the star disappeared in the morning he said, "See! That star is not Allah. Allah would never go away!"

Then he asked his people is the moon was Allah, but when morning came he said, "The moon cannot be Allah, because Allah would never go away."

Finally he asked them is the sun was God, but inevitably the sun set and so the sun too could not be Allah. Allah always exists. He never sets and never goes away!


After we finished the story it was ....CRAFT TIME!

Materials Needed


Foil card (Various colours)
FREE PRINTABLE
String
Glue Stick
Materials for Story of Ibrahim craftScissors
Permanent Marker
Sticky Tape
Hole punch


1. Begin drawing a sun, moon, star and a large semi-circle onto the foil-card with the permanent marker. Allow the children to cut them out.

2. Cut around the wording on the FREE PRINTABLE and glue it to the large semi-circular card.

3. Cut three lengths of string (approximately 15 cm each) and tape either the moon, sun and star to the bottom of each piece of string.

4. Tape the other end of the string to the semi-circle. In my opinion, it looks best if the strings are all different lengths.

5. Punch a hole in the top of the semi-circle with a hole-punch, and use some string to hang your mobile up. Our mobile has taken pride-of-place hanging from our kitchen curtain pole!


Story of Ibrahim craft

How have you taught your children this story? I would love to hear! Please leave me a comment below. 

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For a daily look into our homeschooling day follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.
 


Thank you so much for stopping by our blog!
  
Please remember us in your duaas.  


Peace and Love.