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Sahabat-sahabat seangkatan di luar sana,

Especially those who are curious about homeschooling and concerned about their kids’ education:

Our place, Coaching Zone, is open for you.

No, it’s not a center for homeschoolers.  No, it’s not a kindergarten or a school.

Coaching Zone (CZ) is our office – and it feels like home!

of lesson and function

Assalamu’alaikum Readers,

Quick Tip to teach Maths to kids:

The most fun way to teach a lesson is to relate it to the real world.  So, when Muhammad and Musa asked about how to calculate 20% dividend (they were playing board games), I jumped at the opportunity for a super-quick ‘teaching moment’.

On the spot, we covered the topic PERCENTAGE.  What is 20% of RM140.00?

Since Muhammad loves to shop (and enjoys making money too), I connected the lesson with DISCOUNTS and SALE.

This morning, we visited their aunt’s furniture shop in Shah Alam.  They saw stickers and signs stating 5%, 10% 25% discounts.  What an opportunity!  There and then we did quick calculation APPLYING the lesson covered yesterday.

When they see the connection between “lesson” and “function” , InshaAllah our kids will appreciate education.

wallahu a’lam.

Homeschool SillyBus!

Homeschool lesson day 3 :

“This is it” …Michael Jackson.  

The kiddos watched on their own last night, this morning again with Abi. Short pauses every now and then. Lesson plan:

1. English of course. They tried to catch the lyrics from MJ’s songs. Believe me it wasn’t easy.

They fell in love with “Thriller”, “Beat it” and “Smooth Criminal”.

2. Art (the dance moves…we followed a bit).  Here’s the famous “crotch grabbing”  move.

3. History. I loved MJ, so when I explained, they could see the emotion along with the story how a precocious …yup , they learned the vocab “PRECOCIOUS”…spinning lead singer of Jackson 5 grew up.

His lonely life, the failed marriages, the scandal, the conversion etc.

4. Motivation. No pain, No gain! They can see the perfect dance moves, they loved it. I made them understand that those awesome and breathtaking moves didnt come easy…HARDWORK..oops not that word again..HARDPLAY.

We LOOOVE Homeschool! Homeschool ROCKS…MJ Rocks..Auw!

Homeschooling Hijrah 1431/2010

Salam to Muslim-Malaysian Homeschool Readers (previously known as Casa Escuela),

MashaAllah, I’m so excited and full of adrenaline welcoming the new Hijriyyah calendar as well as 2010.  It will be a fun and fruitful year for the family, business and life as a whole, inshaAllah.

Barney’s motto, “Sharing is Caring” is deep in my heart.  (Apa tidaknya, when I was in Texas, I caught my English through Barney..hahaha..and I was 16 then – the age, not size).

In Islam, the concept of Infaq is about sharing – “memberi atau membelanjakan sebahagian harta atas jalan Allah”.  Knowledge, Health, Wealth and Time are our ‘harta’ or assets. The more we give, the more we get, inshaAllah.

Hence, allow me to share our Homeschooling Hijrah “Actionable Plans” with you:

(a)  Time Management

Those who’ve talked to us will understand that we have no rigid or fixed h-s schedules.  We don’t believe in regimented life for kids.  However, to instill a sense of time management, we just use the Solat Time as our guide.

Example, “Wake up for Subuh” (not because it’s time to go to school or it’s 6:00 am, you must wake up).  No, you wake up because  you have a duty to perform as Muslims.

So far, so good though I must admit there are days where the kiddos are guilty of  the “elephant Subuh” *wink* – don’t we all?

There must be a reason why the five prayers are programmed at a fixed time throughout the day, right?  Think, reflect, apply.

(b)  Modules

We have just engaged two tutors for the kids.  What???  Shouldn’t parents be the kids’ teachers in h-s, you might ask.

Our understanding of h-s is parents TAKE CONTROL of their children’s education as much as possible.  Meaning we choose what input we shall give them, what values to instill. We have the power to give them as much exposure to life as we can and best of all, it’s GUIDED EXPOSURE!

(i)  Hafazan

Abi, aka Ustaz Ridz, has selected the next Juzu’ for the kids.  Juz 29, InshaAllah.  Muhammad and Musa will continue to make their Juz 30 smooth and ‘fluent’, at the same time embarking on new surahs starting with Al-Mulk.  Maryam will start her hafazan of short surahs in Juzu’ Amma.

The HIE (Hafazan is Easy) module by Ustaz Wan Zikri is superb, mashaAllah.  We’ll apply the 3T formula:  Talaqqi, Tahdhir, Tasmi’.  Separate posting on HIE 3T soon.

(my personal mission:  Surah al-Insan…way behind schedule!)

(ii) Languages

One of the tutors, Abang P, will teach them basic Tamil (for sure we’re not qualified yet to teach the kids). Abang P and his friend, Abang N are future English teachers, now studying at a nearby uni.  They will guide them with other subjects as well (Maths, Science, English, BM)- but we told them early to include as much play and games as possible.  You know, TVIQ style of learning! I loike.

Abang J, will be our Mandarin coach.

note:  both Abi, Umi will join Tamil and Mandarin sessions as well.

(iii) Maths

Oh, yeah, we do have routines!  One exercise from Dr Kawashima’s book, Train the Brain. *highly recommended* Thanks to iPhone, we uploaded new applications called Math Drills and Mathemagics.

They have memorized their times tables 1 to 12.  From time to time, we do quizzes in the van to make the calculation ‘smoother’.

(iv)  Writing & Reading:  English & BM

We prefer real-life writing so they will continue e-mailing their pen pals through  Writing IS reading, so this activity covers both.  We also YM each other even though they are just in the next room.  No SMS spellings allowed, though.  The kids (including Maryam) chat with their Mak Lang in Melbourne and Mak Teh in New York on our behalf.  Hahaaa…sometimes they get the latest updates on their aunts and I’d be clueless.

At times, Muhammad and Musa even chatted with my friends.  “Who is this? Umi is busy” and the conversation would continue..seriously!!!

(v)  Progress Tracking System

Our h-s gets more organized this year especially in keeping track of the kids’ progress.  Thanks to SCORE A PROGRAM – Fellow homeschoolers and parents out there, check it out, ya!

Special posting on Score A coming!

(c) Traveling ….. Malaysia and beyond

The best lessons are learned on the road, while traveling in our hardworking Hiace.

We’ve covered most of Malaysia, except Daerah Rompin!

Next, we go regional so better make the passports soon *smile*

Ready kids, buckle up and sit tight! Oh, visualize our coming Alphard please…amin.