We’ve recently received the good news that since we don’t live in Singapore anymore, Mars does NOT have to sit for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) in 2013 when she turns 12. We still have to submit annual reports to the Ministry of Education and if we do return to take up residence in Singapore before she turns 15, she will have to sit for the said examination. I’m relieved – not because I am afraid of the PSLE, but because I feel that I now have even more freedom to devote more time to other topics and subjects. I had, prior to this, been concerned about our learning days being devoted to merely preparing for the PSLE. Education in Singapore has changed a lot since I was a child. I don’t like what it has become … it is a blessing that I can now in shaa Allah spend even more time on Islamic studies, Arabic and being true to my Charlotte Mason aspirations. I feel like we can once again breathe life into our learning days alhamdulillah.

The girls and I have discussed our goals at length and we’ve decided to strive for the following:

  • Diligence and fortitude without supervision, seeking reward only from Allah.
  • Obedience with cheer and grace and truthfulness
  • Complete attention during readings.
  • Narrate clearly by dictating or writing after one listening without prompts or clues.
  • Perfection is Allah’s domain, but we will strive to develop the habit of striving for excellence in execution.
  • Handwriting should be neat, spelling must be correct and words must be enunciated clearly and properly.
  • Memorise and understand the Qur’an. Learn stories of all the prophets, companions and scholars. Apply all these lessons to our daily life.
  • Learn and recite ahadeeth and athar.
  • Develop the habit of reading the Qur’an and keeping our tongues moist with the remembrance of Allah.
  • Learn and recite famous speeches, poems and exerpts from great literature.
  • Read whole chapter, great living books.

  • Journal scientific studies and develop a thorough knowledge of the various branches.
  • Keep a detailed notebook of their study of History and Geography.
  • Learn meaningful and crafts and skills, including home making.
  • Keep a commonplace book.

7 thoughts on “Rejuvenation

  1. Assalamo alaikum,

    MashaAllah so good to see you back in the blogosphere! I’m sooooo jealous of the lovely books, my mouth is literally watering… We are in Jordan atm, kids are in the dreaded school, would love to be home edding. Please tell us more about the practicalities of HE’ing in a country where it is rare. I mean, HE’ing in UK is unusual, but not unheard of. Here, my poor children were deemed as “uneducated” by the education board because we weren’t able to produce a school report :-( I’m seriously suffeing from a lack of bookitis, is p&p not so expensive for you. I’ve yet to find ONE bookshop here!!!! I mean ONE!!! On the upside though, their arabic is coming on leaps and bounds mashaAllah.

    We can’t have it all, can we?

    • wa `alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh :)

      I’ve missed the www and blogging to be honest – it’s been a hectic year as my mother was not well. (She’s better now alhamdulillah!) Homeschooling in Pakistan is considered unusual especially in Islamabad so I totally understand how you feel. It was worse when my eldest was much younger – we were literally spoken to like we were freaks, so much so it got very difficult to maintain civility. Even now, I think many people are skeptical (they don’t hide their incredulity well LOL) about our lifestyle. I think the big difference is that I have a thicker skin now and I can let the comments slide without feeling the need to defend our homeschooling. It took me a long while though – there was so much anger and resentment in me towards certain people who really hurt us.

      How irritating that the school board considers your kids uneducated! I’m pretty sure that you guys have covered so much more in greater breadth and depth. Why have you put your kids in school? Was it for the Arabic? (I don’t mean to pry and I’m not judging either so if this is a sensitive issue, please feel free to ignore my question!)

      Postage IS expensive so I have not purchased anything online since living in Pakistan. There was a second-hand bookstore in Islamabad we used to frequent – it’s moved so we are hunting down another! We usually buy books when we are in Singapore and lug them all back to Islamabad. Over there, is a wonderful Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya (it’s better than Borders! LOL) and also a local supplier that orders books without charging shipping. During our last trip, we ordered from Book Depository (free shipping to Singapore but not to Pakistan). They took quite a while to deliver (no wonder shipping is free!) so we went back home to PK emptyhanded and had to wait till my husband went back to Singapore for work before we got them.

      We’ve just discovered another online store called Fishpond that offers free shipping worldwide. (I’ve not tried this yet.) I’ve just checked and Book Depository delivers to Jordan for free :)

      Wonderful that your kids are doing so well in Arabic :) I think that is such a blessing ma shaa Allah. I’ve heard lots of nice things about Jordan – especially that it is very beautiful!

  2. WA WR WB,

    We are in Jordan only temporarily (unsure for how long yet) but the decision to come here was mainly to improve their written arabic. We initially had them at home but in honesty to make it worthwhile school was the only option. The only thing that is keeping me sane in this situation is the fact that it is temporary, I am raring to get back to HE (with several hours of homework everynight there is no time for anything extra :-( and inshaAllah whilst I am very keen to see progress in their arabic, i am looking forward to relighting that little fire of learning that we had previously.

    I’m very excited about the fishpond, jazekAllah khair for this, but on the down side the last time we had a package sent her it took five months to arrive and it had already been opened, lol. It can’t hurt to look though!

    • I agree that the ‘immersion’ approach, so to speak,’ is necessary. I’d love to hear more about your experiences as you go along – my husband would like to do the same so this would be wonderful feedback. He was thinking of Egypt, I believe – I hear it is a lot like Pakistan LOL!

  3. I home educated for many years before coming to Algeria, my eldest are 19 and 20 and we’ve had all of our children learning at home since they were 4 and 5.
    I miss homeschooling greatly to be honest. There is alot to be disatisfied with in the Algerian school system. However their Arabic has improved enormously, and they are much more connected to the masjid.
    Insha’allah you achieve all that you have set out to and more.
    Homeschooling is such a blessing masha’allah

    • Kate, I honestly believe that you’ve kept your homeschooling lifestyle and added so much more to it since moving to Algeria – this is the impression I get at least :) I just love the goodly recipes, frugal tips and thoughts about homemaking. I need to do more of this with my children for sure. I think I might do the same if I were in your shoes and in Umm Salam’s – being fluent in Arabic is SUCH an enormous blessing, ma shaa Allah. And oh yes, the masjid – how lovely…

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