Fasting Child Saturday, Sep 22 2007 

I got the following article from someone. It is really nice and helpful. Read and benefit from it:

A Child’s First Fast

Ramadan Project Friday, Sep 14 2007 

I hope and pray that this Ramadan brings many blessings for everyone and that we all increase and strenghten our Imaan.

I have assigned a Ramadan Project for my Friday class and hope to discuss the outcome of that project here. I hope that inshaAllah it helps everyone in the class and anyone who reads about it here.

Basically,  we all made a firm commitment, inshaAllah, to improve our ‘ikhlaaq’ (manners) to such an extent that everyone around us feel and notice a change in us. Since, our family members are the closest people to us and are the first ones to notice a change in us, I told my students that I will be calling their mothers and ask them if they noticed any positive change in their daughters. So be prepared, here goes the list:

1.  Parents: Absolutely no talking back to parents. Show them utmost respect and no matter what happens and what they ask for, the answer must be positive and respectful.

2. Siblings: Treat the siblings with love and respect. If they are older, be respectful and if they are younger be kind to them. No rude answers!

3. Teachers: Be respectful to your teacher at school. YES to your teachers girls!

4. Neighbors: Do something special for them. Cook/Bake something and take it to them especially to the mean ones!

5. Language control: no bad words, mean words or even silly words. Absolutely no usage of stupid, pissed off, idiot etc. etc. (I think I only allowed silly and dumb).

6. Tongue in Check: No back biting, period. Just don’t talk about others.

7.  Anger Management: It is obvious that we cannot stop ourselves from getting angry but our reaction in anger must be different. No fights, bad mouthing, screaming etc. Whatever we do, it must be different then our usual reaction i.e. come up with some positive way to release your anger.

8. Smile: Just keep the two ends of your lips a little more extended then their usual place. It is this simple. This is not limited to Muslims only but everyone that you see!

All this may seem hard to accomplish, but keep in mind that it is only for 30 days. Just THIRTY.

Lets get busy and let us know how it works out everyday.

First Day of School Sunday, Sep 9 2007 

My daughter started her first day of school on Tuesday. The exciting part was that it was her first time in a ‘real’ school (as my husband puts it). We learned about this school from a friend who moved from Houston. She started sending her children to this Islamic school and was very impressed by their academic standard (which is rare, unfortunately). It is an ‘honors study’ program and the students are tested before they are admitted in the school.

The school is quite far from our place, so Reem ends up spending almost 2.5 hours everyday in just the car ride! So we will see how long will this last! 🙂

It is too early for me to say anything about our decision of sending her to a ‘real’ school.  At this point, I cannot compare homeschool vs. Islamic school. But, inshaAllah, in a couple of months I will have my thoughts on this.  I am, however, experiencing to interact with a diverse group of Muslims i.e. parents and teachers at the school.

The campus is exceptionally beautiful. It used to be someone’s house before. It was funny when the school teacher told me that it was a family of only four members but they had 12 staff members! The drive to the school is also scenic, but it is another story that both of my kids get car sick once we start driving around the mountains. Abdullah throws up and so he hates going to “aapi’s” school!

I had never realized how stressful is ‘school shopping’. I thought it would be fun, but it ended up being a headache. I started shopping just a day before school started (my mistake but what can I do, it was my first time!). I went to 5 different stores before I finally found the composition books! It took me 4 days to finalize school shopping. Reem’s school has a unique uniform that only one store carries which is, without exaggeration, an hour 45 minutes from my house.  And I had to make two trips to the shop because I got the wrong size! So, in totoal, I ended up spending almost 8 hours driving everyday last week. My little one thinks that we have moved in the car and her car seat is her new room!

Hopefully, next week will be easier inshaAllah.