What is Shirk? Poster

A poster on shirk that I made when my older kids were younger.....

What is Shirk? Poster

Phonogram "-OLD" Lesson

An "oldie" (pun intended) but still a goodie in my book. This is a lesson I put together some years ago to teach the -old phonogram.  It includes worksheets and other activities.

-OLD Phonogram Learning Packet

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Another (Quick) Google Spreadsheet Homeschool Planner Example

In another post I explained how we use Google Spreadsheets for our homeschool planner. I thought I would show another simpler example of one of our planners.

The one below is for my 6th grader. We are coming to the close of the year and in our homeschool program (through a charter school) and there were lots of projects that needed to be completed earlier than we had expected as our supervising teacher is moving and we need to get the projects in earlier than the end of the year.

Here, I have made the planner look like a calendar layout with the subjects in the first column vertically.  In our previous planner, I used all kinds of neat tricks like drop downs to track the work flow (corrected, graded, finished, etc).  Here,  we just go with a simple color background change to indicate the status of work (e.g. the green background means I have corrected the work. My daughter can change it to yellow to show that she has finished it, and I would change it to red to show that corrections were needed).

When all the work for a given subject has been completed for the week, that row can be hidden. The math row has disappeared from the first week, below:

As I said in the previous post, there are limitations of using Google Spreadsheets, it's not quite as savvy as Microsoft Excel, especially when it comes to formatting cells. But, we have been using Google Spreadsheets this entire year and it's worked very well. The thing I like most about it is the digital aspect of it.  I can make changes to it on my computer or phone and the kids can mark their progress at their computers and at any time of the day, I can look and see what's been completed and what  hasn't. Before, when our planner wasn't web based, I'd have to drag around papers, folders, or binders  to whichever room I was in if I wasn't working at my desk.

One More Neat Thing You Can Do - Link to Documents or Websites

If you have a site that you want your kids to visit as part of an assignment, or say, you've made up a test that you have stored in your Google Drive, you can link to it in Google Spreadsheets to save time.

Clink on the icon that looks like a chain in the top menu area and a pop up comes up where you can enter a link:

You can type whatever you want the link to say and your child simply has to click on the link in their planner.....

My high schoolers do most of their non math work on the computer in Google Docs, so they could give me the link to a page that they have completed and that way, when I go to correct the work, I just have to click on the link and it takes me to the document (instead of me having to search my Google Drive--I have a shared folder with each of the kids, but I typically just do a general search for a page number and anything that matches will pop up, it's often faster than browsing our shared folder as I can search from the main google drive window without having to go into a specific folder).

So anyway, just wanted to share a few more tips for using Google Spreadsheets/Google Drive in your homeschool because it has really helped us be more organized and efficient.

Do you use Google Drive/Docs/Spreadsheets in your homeschool? If so, do you have any tips to share? 

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Moon Phases Pinterest Board

Come visit my Moon Phases Pinterest board for great ideas to study the phases of the moon:
Follow TJ HOMESCHOOLING's board Islamic--Moon Phase Learning Resources on Pinterest.

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Moon Connection.com

moon phases diagramMoonconnection.com - nice, simple site to get quick info on the moon and it's phases.

Ayyam al Beed (The White Days)

The next White Days are about 2 and a half weeks away....

The White Days

Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:“Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ayyam al-beed are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i (2420); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, (1040)).

“Beed”  is the plural of “Abyad” which means white. Three days (the 13th , 14th and 15th) of each lunar month are called “Al-Ayyam-ul-Beed” for the reason that their nights are bright because of the moonlight. The moon begins to diminish gradually after these days.

Abu Dharr (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) said: 

The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to me:“If you fast any part of the month, then fast the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, (761); al-Nasaa’i, (2424); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, (1038)).

Abu Hurayrah (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) said: 

“My close friend [i.e., the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witr.”
 (al-Bukhaari, 1178; Muslim, 72 1).

The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

‘Shall I not tell you of something that will take away the evil of the heart? Fasting three days of each month.’
(an-Nisaa’i 2/2386)

The White Days also provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the phases of the moon. TJ Homeschooling has lots of links to resources to learn about the moon phases. You can browse myMoon Phase tag to find all kinds of learning resources.

And you can mosey over to my Moon Phase Pinterest Board for even more:
Follow TJ HOMESCHOOLING's board Islamic--Moon Phase Learning Resources on Pinterest.

Place Value Learning Chart

A little helper to teach how to identify place value and how to read and write numbers in words.

Place Value Learning Chart

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Organizing Your Islamic Studies into Strands

Islamic Studies Strands

As with any other subject you teach, Islamic Studies is broad. In math, you have category divisions known as "strands." Examples of math strands are numeration, geometry, measurement, and data analysis.  In English you have reading, grammar, spelling and writing.  You can break down Islamic Studies into strands as well.  The strands can help you to cover the bases. Below is how I have chosen to break Islamic Studies down into strands:

  • Aqeedah (Tawheed, pillars of Islam, Emaan, Ihsaan, etc)
  • Salaah (Prayer, Wudhu)
  • Ibaadah (acts of worship, especially physical acts such as giving sadaqah, preparing for Jumuah,  etc.)
  • Adab/Akhlaq (manners, and character)
  • Quraan
  • Duaas/Thikr (supplications)
  • Islamic history (prophets and messengers, Sahabah, scholars, events, Islamic calendar, etc.)
  • Arabic (although this can count as a foreign language instead, but I currently try to teach it through/in the context of the Quraan, Duaas, and ahadith, etc.)

Breaking IS down into strands can make it easier to plan your instruction or helpful when selecting a packaged curriculum as it can give you ideas of what to look for in a program (making sure it addresses as many strands as possible).

In the next part of the series, you'll find a sample list of specific topics you may want to cover along the way, in sha Allah....

Originally posted 5/11/11

Islam is My Life - Start Up/Maintenance Hijrah Calendar Based Curriculum

Need some help getting started with Islamic Studies? Or just need something to get back up and running? My "Islam is My Life" might just help.

A few years ago, I wanted to put something together to help me to remember to review key Islamic concepts and skills.  I wanted it to be correlated with the Islamic calendar to help us get review of that in as well.

It took me over a year to complete it, and I anticipate still revising it from time to time, in shaa Allah. I first posted it on TJ Islamic Studies a few years ago, but it kind of got lost in the shuffle. It started out as a review curriculum but it morphed in to a little more as it includes reference materials (for examples lists of the Names of Allah, Prophets, wives of the Prophet, signs of the last day, scholars, and companions, etc) and some review suggestions/topics.

Someone recently requested it so I wanted to make it easy to access on the site because I was excited to share it again. It might not exactly fit your needs as is, and if not, I hope it serves as inspiration to create your own personal Islamic Studies plan.

Hijrah Based Islamic Studies Start Up/Maintenance Curriculum - By the Month
Each Islamic month has study/review topics for almost every day of the month

Examples of reference material included as well as review suggestions:

Download "Islam is My Life"

If you see topics that I've left off (such as jinns), please contact me so that I can add them in future revisions, in shaa Allah.

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What Does Clean the Bathroom (or Kitchen) Really Mean?

Well, it's time for us to revisit the answer to this question.  My kids' standard of clean unfortunately does not match mine or my husband's, so we are focusing more heavily on retraining efforts.

My husband was unhappy with my older son's efforts in cleaning the kitchen on his day so he went off schedule and added on extra days to his kitchen chore until he got satisfactory results.

It worked.

By the end of the week, the kitchen was the cleanest it had ever been when he did the job. So, in shaa Allah, we'll be trying to hold the rest of the kids to the same standard. It's time to get "tough" again and by tough, I mean more diligent in checking their work and requiring that they keep at a job until it's done correctly.

To help with that, I made up a list of daily and weekly expectations and printed them out for the kitchen and bathroom:



  • Clean sink (and wipe/dry faucet fixtures)
  • Straighten/wipe counters
  • replace toilet paper roll if necessary
  • fill istinja bottle
  • Pick up trash/empty trash can as needed; sweep if needed
  • Make sure bath rugs/mats are neatly placed/wash and replace when super wet or really dirty
  • Mop floor as needed


Sinks, Cabinets & Mirrors
  • Clean sink and straighten and wipe counters
  • Wipe cabinets (side, front, and doors)
  • Windex all sink fixtures and mirrors (main, door, and medicine cabinet)
  • Straighten medicine cabinet
  • clean toothbrush holders (inside and out)

Walls & Doors
  • Wipe both sides of door,  door handles and door frames
  • Carefully wipe light switch plates and switches
  • Wipe walls, including baseboards

  • Scrub tub and shower walls/doors including outside of tub and doors
  • Windex faucet fixtures

ALL toilet surfaces
  • Toilet bowl (inside and out)
  • Tank top and sides
  • Toilet bowl tank connector (area where seat is bolted down)
  • Wipe handle
  • Toilet pedestal/base

  • Empty trash and replace bag
  • Sweep floor 
  • Mop floor (all the floor including behind toilet and around sides of toilet and under cabinets)
  • Wash AND replace rugs and mats



  • Wash dishes
  • Dry and put up dishes
  • Wipe counters and stove (including counter near clean dishes)
  • Clean sink (clean out drains, wipe sides and around faucet and backsplash wall
  • Sweep floor
  • Mop as needed


  • Sanitize counters
  • Clean out microwave (inside and out)
  • Wipe down appliances and clean under them
  • Toss out old food and clean out refrigerator (inside and out)
  • Straighten, wipe down spice racks/pantry area
  • Wipe cabinets



  • Empty trash can
  • Replace trash bag
  • Sweep up any mess you make from collecting the trash


  • Clean out/sanitize trash can (outside and inside)
  • Wipe the wall/cabinet near the trash can

What about Rotations?

I also made up a new schedule. In this schedule, the kids do each chore by the week. Over the years, the rotation has fluctuated between rotating daily chores, weekly chores, or picking a chore card each day.  I have seen some parents rotate chores on a monthly basis. I think for us, I've found that the weekly chore rotation seems to work the best. Daily rotation is easier on the kids but harder for me to "police" and I'd get "Do I have to clean this, so and so didn't clean this from yesterday...." The weekly rotation is more forgiving for me (if I don't check a chore on a given day, there are more days to check.) Plus, the weekly rotation (or even a monthly one) gives you more time to ensure that the kids really know how to do a particular cleaning job or room. A weekly rotation also makes it easier to remember whose chore it is. When we went day by day, I was always having to look at the chore chart each day until we memorized whose day was what.

It's About More Than Chores

So, I'm trying to gear up myself up to be more diligent in checking their work as well as making them go back if the job's not done satisfactorily. As my husband and I discussed, it's not about making the kids do chores; it's not just about a clean house. It's about building a strong work ethic, learning to take pride in your work, and learning how to see a job all the way through to the end. In shaa Allah, these efforts don't just result in a cleaner house, but also children more prepared for their adult lives on their own.

What type of chore rotation do you use? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Something else?
Have you recently stepped up efforts like me to ensure chores are being done correctly?

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Is it Bad to Be "Haraam Police?"

I was online recently and came across something posted. In the comments section jokes were made about being confronted by the "haraam police."  I assumed that they were giving this label to anyone who ventured to give naseehah on the matter. I wanted to respond, but did not lest I be labeled among the "haram police."  Which is sad (on my part and theirs) because: 

"Ad Deenu Naseehah" (Deen is sincere advice)....

"...And the naseehah, the advice to the general folk, the masses of the Muslimeen, is that you try and put forth the effort to bring to them everything that is good in any way possible – in their dunya and in their Deen.
So if a person is upon sinfulness then you show him that he is upon sin, and you bring to him (evidence) from the texts that have come in the Qur’aan and sunnah to (show) him that he is doing something incorrect. And there is no difference between a person that is leaving off a waajib and the one that is doing something haraam. Both need to be told. And that is from the saying of the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wa sallam, “None of you will believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”(excerpt from "Explanation of the hadeeth “Ad-Deen An-Nasihah” Shaykh Abdullaah al-Ghudyaan)
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is  unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith” [Muslim]. via Salaf us Saalih.com 

The following illustrates the importance of giving naseehah:

From Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-SaliheenChapter 23:  Enjoining Good and forbidding Evil:
Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them : `If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.’ If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe”.[Al-Bukhari].

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that the consequences of committing acts which are forbidden in Islam are not confined only to those persons who commit them, but the whole society has to suffer for them. It is, therefore, essential that the people who are in the habit of committing sinful acts and violate Divine injunctions, should be checked to save the whole society from destruction. If this is not done, the entire society will have to face the Divine punishment.
[Riyad-us-Saliheen] Enjoining Good and forbidding Evil

So it's not a small matter to advise our fellow believers and I pray that we will stop using labels such as this when someone advises us and that we look at the message they are giving us and truly reflect upon it even if it comes to us in a not so positive manner (which can sometimes be really hard to do).  

And on the flip side, when we are the in the position to give naseehah, may we make sure that we do so in accordance with Allah's words and the sunnah:

As Allah says, “Repel evil with that which is better. Then verily, he between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)
 (Legislated Way of Correctly Giving Naseehah)
"Another example, is our practice of advising and dealing with one another. We have a little harshness, and we seem to blow mistakes out of proportion:
 This is why we need to return to the guidance of the Prophet -Salallaahu alaihi wa sallam. How did he deal with the Jews? Like the Jewish man that came to the Prophet -Salallaahu alaihi wa sallam- and greeted hm by saying, “As-saamu `alaik (Death be upon you), O Muhammad.” This Jewish man was a criminal, here in Madinah! “Death be upon you, O Muhammad”! So the Prophet replied, “and upon you.”
May my parents be sacrificed for him -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. What etiquette! Our bodies would waste away and we’d be unable to conjure up one tenth of his etiquette -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam.
 He said, “and upon you.” Our mother, `Aishah -radhiallaahu `anha- said, “Upon you be death and Allah’s Curse!” Upon you be… what? Death, and Allah’s Curse! So he said to her, “Calm down, O `Aishah.” She said to him, “Didn’t you hear what he said!?” So he responded, “And you, didn’t you hear what I said? I said, ‘and upon you’… Allah answers my supplication upon him, and he doesn’t answer his supplication upon me. Now, I say, May death and Allah’s curse be upon him.” Because the Prophet supplicated against him, and then said to her, “Compassion isn’t introduced to anything except it beautifies it, and it isn’t removed from anything except it deforms it.”

So how should we give naseehah?


Our Shaikh -may Allah preserve you, I hope you can explain the legislated way of correctly giving Naseehah (sincere advice). Especially if the advised person is a fellow Salafi who has made a few mistakes?

(This question was posed to Dr. Mohamaed Al Aqeel from Islamic Unv. in Madinah)


Naseehah (sincere advice) -may Allah protect you- has a very lofty status in Islam. The Prophet -Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam- said, “This religion is Naseehah”, thrice. We said to him, “For whom O Messenger of Allah?”, he said, “For Allah, for His Book, for His Prophets and for all Muslim leaders and common folk.” So giving Naseehah to our brothers entails enjoining virtue upon them, forbidding them from evil and calling them to all good things.

The Prophet -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam- says, “… and that you deal with people as you would like them to deal with you.” This principle -may Allah preserve you-, that you deal with people how you’d like to be dealt with:

– How would you like people to give you Naseehah?
– Would you like them to advise you with force?

– With foul language? With violence? Or with kindness?

And as the above article mentioned, this should be our way as well with our families (parents, spouses, children, siblings).

To be sure:

We must be careful when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression).  Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to  halaal.  This deen Allah has made yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr (hard).  Wallahu 'Alim. (Shaykh Bazmool)

That is why you bring the proofs/evidences when you give naseehah. And for the person receiving the naseehah:

 ".....verily a reminder benefits the believer"(51:55)

May Allah gives us the courage, wisdom, and desire to enjoin the good and forbid evil in the correct manner and  when naseehah is given to us let us remember that the reminder benefits the believer and to reflect upon the message that is being brought to us rather than focusing on the manner it was brought. Ameen.

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