Monday, 25 August 2008

A parent's guide to helping their child with homework

Homework is an important part of a child’s learning process, it is also a great way for parents to get involved and stay informed about what is being taught. The best way to ensure a productive learning experience while doing homework depends on the child. Being stuck at a desk, in a quiet room, alone is not always the best way to learn.

When your child gets home from school, it is important to discuss their day and find out what homework they have been given. This allows you and your child to create a plan for getting the homework done.

Some children would rather jump right in and complete their homework rather than have it on their mind all afternoon. Others need a mental break from the day before they can delve into more schoolwork. Either scenario is fine, as long as there is a mutually agreed upon plan.

It is also important to give your child a healthy snack or dinner before they begin their homework. Hunger can be a major distraction, and kids are usually looking for any excuse to put off doing their homework. Eliminate the chance of this distraction by providing a healthy snack, preferably with protein. Good snacks include a piece of bread with peanut butter, some turkey and carrots or a fruit smoothie. These snacks should keep their energy level up and keep them from feeling lethargic.

Next, decide on the best environment for your child to do their homework in. It could be at a desk in their room, at the kitchen table or in an office. Any area is fine as long as it is relatively free from distractions. Never allow your child to do homework with the television on. Many people prefer light background music, and studies have shown that it could be beneficial to thought, versus a room that is dead silent.

Before your child sits down to work, be sure that all the supplies they will need are readily available at the table. Also be sure that they have used the restroom and that they have a glass of water to drink. Avoiding these potential distractions will save your child time once they begin their homework, as well as preventing breaks in their concentration level.

The amount of assistance you provide your child with their homework, again depends on the child. If you are concerned, consult their teacher for guidance on how much help they should be getting. In general, you should be available to answer questions but not hanging over their shoulder doing the work for them.

It is especially important to not overly assist your child on school projects. Parents tend to put too much emphasis on the quality of their child’s cotton ball igloo or Popsicle stick replica of the White House. Oftentimes, parents end up making it their project and the child loses out on a valuable learning experience.

The most important things to remember when helping your child with their homework is to help them stay organized, provide a comfortable work environment and answer any questions they ask without being too involved.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Fasting Story

"But, Mum, I do not want to eat. I am a big boy and I can fast," Thabit told his mother.
"But you are fasting, Thabit. 7-year-old children eat in the morning and a little in the afternoon and then they don't eat anything else till evening."
"But you do not fast like that, Mum," the little boy insisted.
"I am older, Thabit. Grownups fast that way."
The young gentleman sat deep in thought and then asked, "Mum, why do we fast?"
"That's a good question, Thabit." She got up and went to the kitchen cupboard. She removed something from it.
"Do you know what this is, Thabit?"
"It's a blender."
"Do you know what it is supposed to do?"
"It blends passion fruit for juice." His mother laughed. "Yes, it does blend. Our body does the same thing. It grinds the food we eat; it takes what it needs and removes the rest. It does this everyday, day in day out."
"Doesn't the body get tired, Mum?"
"It does. Just like the blender. When we have blended juice for too long, it refuses to work. Then it needs fixing. So we have to give our body a rest so it can work better for us. That's why we fast in Ramadan and some other days in the year."
"Does everybody fast, Mummy?"
"Not everybody. If you are ill or expecting a baby or if you are old and weak like Daddy's grandpa or if you are 7 years old then you don't fast.
The little boy thought some more. He ate the food his mother had set before him without much fuss. "What if you don't want to fast?"
"What is your sister Nur's favorite color?" "Pink".
"And what is the color of her uniform for Madrassa (School)?" "Blue".
But she says she'd like to wear her pink hijab when she goes."
"And why doesn't she?"
"She is afraid Ustaadh (Teacher) will punish her."
"You see, she was afraid Ustaadh would punish her. Ustaadh will punish her because she has broken the rule of the madrassa by wearing pink.
You see, Thabit, Allah knows what is good for us and so we have to do as He commands, because He sees and knows everything. We love Him and fear Him and we don't want Him to be displeased with us."
"But don't you get hungry, Mum?"
"Of course we do. But we keep ourselves busy on other important things to take our mind away from the food. We read the Qur'an, or we visit the sick people or we go to the mosque and listen to dars. You see there's plenty to do and before you know it, it's time to eat!"
"Is there another reason why Muslims fast?"
"Yes. You are lucky, Thabit, because you have food everyday. Not everyone has food to eat."
"Like the poor people at Baroda Road?"
"Yes, like them. If we go hungry like them, we will be able to understand that they need help."
The little boy seemed satisfied with the answers, his mother had given him. "Mum, can I go with you and Daddy to help the poor?" "By the Grace of Allah, you can."

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ramadhan Tips For Muslim Family

Ti01. Buy all necessities for the month of Ramadan before Ramadan so you can spend less time during the holy month rushing around. You can be more focused on your religious rituals and spiritual development. Everyone in the family, even the kids, can participate, writing a shopping list, preparing some meals to be stored in the freezer.

02. If you have gotten into bad sleeping habits throughout the year, start readjusting now so you can wake up for Fajr prayer.

03. Sunnah fasts of Shaaban (the month before Ramadan) help to prepare for Ramadan and help to make the transition into the holy month a smooth one.

04. Reduce TV watching and prepare the family for the new spirit of Ramadan. Engage with your kids more and more in creative activities that remind them of Ramadan. (Suggested activities including reading the moral story books in group).

05. Organize your tape/CD collection to make it easy to select and to play nice nasheed (Hamd/Naat) to sing along together or Quran and Dua recitation, so as to introduce the spirit of the month gradually.

06. Plan ahead for the time you are spend at home in order not to lose the balance between your responsibility as a parent to supervise the children's studies and your engagement in religious practices such as reading Quran and praying Salat.

07. Plan ahead if your daughter needs a hijab to accompany you to the mosque. If possible, get shoes for the kids that are easy to tie when they leave the mosque. Do you or the kids need prayer rugs for prayer? Plan transportation to the mosque and back home.

08. Prepare as much cooking as you can before Ramadan. Here are some time-saving tips:

Prepare some vegetables and store them in the freezer to have them ready when needed.
If you soak dates in milk or water and eat them for Iftar, pit the dates before Ramadan.
Chop onions, garlic and store them in the freezer to have them ready when cooking during Ramadan.
09. If you are planning to invite guests for Iftar, the best time to do that is during your monthly period (menstruation). This has several advantages:

You will be able to taste the food that is going to be served.
You won't be engaged in some acts of worship so you'll have more time for cooking.
You won't have guilt feelings for staying after 'Isha' with the guests and not going to the mosque.
10. Prepare your kids before Ramadan that they have to help you more in housework and in setting the table and preparing the Iftar. Relate their action with the notion of Sadaqah and good deeds. Remind them that the reward of their good deeds is multiplied during Ramadan.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Joan Packer Isenberg and Nancy Quisenberry

Children are growing up in a rapidly changing world characterized by dramatic shifts in what all children are expected to know and be able to do. Higher and tougher standards of learning for all populations of students are focusing on a narrow view of learning. Consequently, students have less time and opportunity to play than did children of previous generations. Few would disagree that the primary goal of education is student learning and that all educators, families, and policymakers bear the responsibility of making learning accessible to all children. Decades of research has documented that play has a crucial role in the optimal growth, learning, and development of children from infancy through adolescence. Yet, this need is being challenged, and so children's right to play must be defended by all adults, especially educators and parents. The time has come to advocate strongly in support of play for all children.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Dari milist tetangga...

Suatu ketika saya dengan teman-teman sedang makan sate. Kemudian seorang teman menyatakan betapa ia ngeri setiap melihat sate yang potongannya besar-besar.
"Kenapa?" tanya saya
."Saya ingat keponakan yang meninggal karena makan sate," katanya.

Dia bercerita, waktu itu sedang ada syukuran dengan makan-makan. Dia masih ingat melihat si kecil keponakannya yang berlari-lari sambil membawasate. Usianya sekitar 4 tahun. Kemudian musibah datang. Anak kecil itu tercekik daging sate.

Semua orang berusaha menolong. Anak itu dibalik, dipukul-pukul belakang lehernya (bahkan sampai biru-biru, kata dia sambil matanyaberkaca-kaca) . Daging sate tak juga keluar. Lalu mereka mencari angkot untuk membawa anak itu ke rumah sakit. Dia masih melihat anak kecil itu tersengal-sengal menarik nafas di kendaraan.

Pemandangan yang sungguh memilukan.Tuhan berkehendak lain. Anak itu meninggal di perjalanan. Sampai di rumah sakit, petugas memberi tahu bahwa untuk mengeluarkan benda yang mencekik tenggorokan, cukup dengan memasukkan SEDOTAN MINUM ke kerongkongan.

Lalu hisap sehingga benda itu menempel..
Lalu tarik.
Sesederhana itu.
Menangislah semua orang.
Betapa sederhananya untuk menyelamatkan nyawa. Betapa berharganya ilmu untuk menyelamatkan nyawa. KALAU ANAK ANDA TERCEKIK MAKANAN KENYAL, keluarkan PAKAI SEDOTAN!

Semoga lebih banyak jiwa yang terselamatkan dengan pengetahuan sederhana ini. Amin.

PG/ TK ISLAM SMART BEE - Children Education

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