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.

Still more on handwriting…

Mars has been downright depressed about her handwriting. She and a friend were designing a publication and her work was erased because, she was told, it was simply “not good enough”.

I have not pushed her in this area simply because I don’t think the problem is that dire. It isn’t like she needs to be rushed into therapy – her handwriting, while a little erratic, is quite legible. I know though that her thoughts are exactly what her friend verbalised – “not good enough”. She has a perfectionist streak but her motor skills simply don’t match up and this has caused her a great deal of frustration. She often makes her writing extremely small even though I have told her that small doesn’t necessarily mean neat. Perhaps she thinks that large handwriting only make the flaws more prominent.

Anyway, I’ve been making more notebooking and copywork materials for her, Charlotte Mason homeschooler that I am :P In shaa Allah I will make them available for download soon. I just need a good PDF converter that won’t mess up my lovely designs :P If you know a good one (preferably free!), please let me know.

Edit: OK I feel silly now… there is a Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-In that allows you to export and save to the PDF and XPS formats in eight 2007 Microsoft Office programs. I used to KNOW these things :P