real writing for real kids

Muhammad and Musa have joined for a month now.  It’s a site where teachers and learners all across the globe meet and become friends.

Through, our boys have made friends from other countries.  They email each other and get to know their new friends and the countries as well.

Writing to a real person is a practical writing lesson for Muhammad and Musa.  They write to communicate….in English.

Of course, the most popular question asked would be about themselves and Malaysia.

It’s interesting and funny to see what goes on in their mind from their correspondence with people from another continent.

So, if you are a parent or a teacher, connect to ‘write’ away!


The Dean has spoken!

Our beloved friend, who’s a dean at one of the colleges here in Klang valley wrote this:

Super Coaches,

Both of you are a great parents. I love the way you choose. Only the brave and superb parents can do this. Very challenging experience. Both of you will never stop exploring, researching and predicting the outcome of homeschooling.

Allah gifted you the excellent kids, so do the kids- they are also gifted the excellent parents.
The purpose of education is not for academic excellence only, whereby in our Malaysian schools that is the top priority. Thinking skills, socio-emotional development and spiritual wellness in developing their emotional intelligent- regrettably been ignored in our school system, even it is clearly stated in the Malaysian National Education Philosophy. In term of implementation, the teachers, the school management, the state education department and the ministry still not showing the positive efforts towards this. (Contohnya, ajar Sains & Matematik, takde pun inculcation of Islamic values…)

The most important thing that need to be inculcated in our children’s cognitive development is the spiritual wellness- the awareness of the existence of God (Allah), and how the relation with Allah become the focal point in their way of life. I believe that both of you are capable to educate your kids in the right direction.

My own experience, masa borak2 dgn parents yang nak ambik anak kat sekolah, masing2 sibuk dok compare, anak dapat nombor berapa? Markah BM, BI berapa? My Irfan is very playful. Well, typical boy type. Walaupun markah tak setinggi budak2 lain, overall % is 86, whereas anak2 org lain about 90 % and above, to me, its ok. I will never push him to study, hantar tuition to improve grades…

Let him explore his school life, let him enjoy going to school, let him think what ’school’ is all about, not going to school as a routine in his life, getting good grades is to make mama happy, doing homework to satisfy the teachers… To me, the most important thing is that, let Irfan think what a life is all about…

Abang Yoji!

On our way back from Ipoh, heading towards Taiping, we stopped a cyclist.IMG_2877

Reason:  The road was going uphill.  We wanted to offer a lift – he could put his bike inside the hiace and we’d take him to his destination.  (Aduh..mesti penat nak naik bukit.  Kesian dia..jom ajak tumpang) – this was the script in my head, from the perspective of a couch potato.

However, he refused because he was on a mission to cycle from Singapore to Penang.  We could just say, “Ok fine.  Good luck!” but we were determined to have him as our guest.  A golden learning experience for our kids!  Homeschooling, right?

After much persuasion, we gave him our address and promised to wait for him in Taiping.  He was planning to spend a night in Taiping, by the way, so it worked out nicely.

His name is Yoji from Hiroshima, Japan.

ice breaking session Yoji-san accepted our offer to stay for a night.  Ohhh!!! Seronoknya!!!

The kids call him Abang Yoji.  I wished I had recorded all the questions Muhammad and Musa asked Abang Yoji.  Yoji-san entertained them well and the kids were being excellent host, I thought.

I was amazed when the boys told Abang Yoji about surah-surah in the Quran.  They also performed solat in front of him.  My boys…proud to be a Muslim!  Sarah and Maryam also sang their favourite nasyid (Nazrey Raihan’s songs) for Abang Yoji.

For dinner, we took Yoji-san to a restaurant in Kamunting.  Lapar sungguh abang Yoji kita.  The dinner time was loaded with more questions from the boys and stories on Yoji’s side.reading japanese

Imagine the boys’ excitement when they got Abang Yoji’s email…


one month pause (2): voice talents

Ramadhan this year was really a fruitful month for us – mentally and spiritually.  Well, physically fruitful too because we indulged in dates daily.

Both of us took one month off from traveling for seminars (tetapi ada terselit satu dua program).  We learned our lesson.  In the past years, we spent some days and even weeks on the road in effort to earn extra financially.  Though we got what we wished for, alhamdulillah, we felt burned-out.  Too tired to start the extra solat.  Hence, the golden opportunities to earn extra points for Ramadhan just flew like that.  Oh, rugi sungguh.

So Ridz and I made a pact to change.  Now that Ramadhan is over, our challenge is to MAINTAIN and SUSTAIN the changes we have started in that blessed month.

1.  No visit to Bazar Ramadhan at all.  (berjaya…except three days beli nasi kukus from abang kelantan in our area)

2.  Iftar at the surau when there’s iftar at the surau. (berjaya!!!)

3.  Tarawih, minimum 8 but must strive for more (takbir!!! boleh rupanya…)

4.  Extra… (this must be kept secret)

Wait..I just noticed the topic is ‘voice talents’.  Here goes…

Kami menyumbangkan suara (up to you to interpret the phrase) for a locally produced 3-D animation, ARAFAH.  This telemovie is about Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) from the eyes of insects.  The setting – Arafah, the place for wukuf (where pilgrims gather and camp together).  The insects are searching for food.  Where there are people, there are food.

I play the voice of Dara, the dragonfly and Miss Nom, the sssssnake (uh-huh..with accent ala Queen Latifah y’all).  Ridz is Gag, the fly.

ARAFAH will be aired in the Middle East inshaAllah.

arafah sneak preview

one month pause (1) – hafazan project

chaotic raya pose


Salam Aidilfitri!  Ramadhan has been a very fulfilling month for the whole family.  Alhamdulillah, Muhammad and Musa have started their Juzu’ Amma memorization project.  Way to go, kids.

Of course, this project is ongoing because memorization is not one-off kind of thing.  They must be able to recite or continue the ayat (verses) from any surah (‘chapter’ of The Quran) at any given time.  This makes the process challenging – and funny too.

Kadang-kadang start ayat surah lain, tamat surah lain pula.

One case in point:  Surah al-‘Asr.

Subhanallah, this surah is so short but this was what happened to Muhammad:

“Wal-‘asr.  Wa layaalin ‘ashr.” – Oops..astaghfirullah.  Ter-confused dengan surah al-Fajr daaa…

Both were so caught up with the longer surah (like Al-Inshiqaq, Al-Mutaffifin, An-Nazi’aat) that after they got these in their heads, they even forgot the verses in shorter surah.

Lesson here:  Repetition is key to mastery.

This is the ‘bling-bling’ of homeschooling.  It’s up to the parents to decide the syllabus for the kids.  What’s more practical – knowing the term PHOTOSYNTHESIS and knows who ALFONSO d’ALBUQUERQUE was

or being able to make use of the ‘longer’ surah in solat?

Usually, when asked “What type of syllabus” do we use in homeschooling, we’d repeat this:

“By the end of the day (not literally of course), what do you want your kids to be?  To have?  To do?”

You decide!