The Paper Boy

It was near the end of last summer when my son Mahmood, then eleven years old, got excited about a simple flyer inserted into our local paper.  It was an announcement that a new newspaper carrier was needed for our street.  I, on the other hand, had reservations about the idea.  In my mind, taking on a newspaper route was a lot of work and involved a great deal of logistics.  I let him sleep on it and sure enough, his interest was still alive the next day.  So I told him to go ahead and call the … [Read more...]

Our Choice: Public School

There is a fascinating thread on the GrowMama discussion board about the benefits of public schools versus alternative schooling. This piece was written before that discussion was underway and is not a response. We hope readers will share their thoughts on this topic in both the comment section of the blog and on the discussion board!My husband and I are committed to sending our daughter to public school. On a very rudimentary level, we took this for granted since we both went to public … [Read more...]

Developing a Taste for Books & Movies

Growing up, I was aware of the movies, video games, and books that my peers read. True, as a homeschooler I was not exposed to them on a daily basis, but the pink and purple rows of The Babysitters' Club beckoned to me at the library. I knew my friends read them and loved them.I remember asking if I could read one, even putting them into my library bag once or twice. My mother shared with me why she would rather I not read those kind of books, but said I could try and see what one was like. … [Read more...]

How I Lost My Head

Homeschooling an almost five-year-old and a three-year-old has been a mixture of thrills, scary self-doubt, sweetest moments, and frustration galore. There are moments of brilliant discovery and moments of wondering if anyone is home up there. Some mornings, no chug of caffeine can lift the bleariness, and since the baby has already raided the morning trash twice and since I cannot bear to remain in the vicinity of such a dirty kitchen, I herd the gang into the car to spend the day at the … [Read more...]

Welcome Ramadan!

GrowMamaGrow would like to wish all its readers a blessed Ramadan. May it be full of good deeds, inspiration and change for the entire community.  May our children, along with us, taste its sweetness. Happy Ramadan!Here are a couple of ideas to help your children get a good taste of Ramadan and to help create lasting memories...Ramadan Calendar for KidsLast year I found a calendar idea in a craft book, tweaked it a bit and came up with these simple computer-generated Ramadan c … [Read more...]

Vegetable Gardening With Your Family

A tiny tomato seed is planted in the earth. It needs water and sun but slowly it grows from a seed to a tiny seedling and then to a beautiful tomato plant with branches bending under the weight of the heavy, ruby-like globes. SubhanAllah. Even as an adult, I feel humbled. I want to pass this feeling on to my children; I don’t want them to take all the vegetables piled high in the grocery store for granted. I want them to appreciate the perfection of Allah’s creation, evident to us as we watch a s … [Read more...]

The Car Ride

The Quran is filled with many stories that teach us valuable morals. It’s nice when parents can be creative and diligent in connecting the lessons and beauty of the Quran to children. In our family, we look for “teachable” moments to share and explore Quranic lessons. A few weeks ago, I had an interesting car ride…I was driving my 5 year old son to school and he said to me, “Mom, I’m nervous about my presentation today.” I paused for a moment and wondered why he was nervous. He was excited ab … [Read more...]

Breaking Life Into Little Pieces

I always thought I had to find my one thing, the pursuit or career through which I would make my contribution to Islam, society, or humanity. Taught by motivational lecturers and life-planning books that a jack-of-all-trades would never make a difference, I thought that to give my life meaning I had to excel phenomenally at one thing. I panicked in college as I looked for the perfect formula—the field that I liked, full of potential, filled with passion, that I could realistically do with kids a … [Read more...]

Tips for Teaching Quran to Young Children

The responsibility of teaching young children the Quran is a heavy weight on my shoulders. I imagine most Muslim parents feel this way.Part of my discomfort is that we are a non-Arabic speaking family. For years both my husband and I have struggled to memorize the Quran. I remind my self daily, despite the circumstances, that every Muslim is obliged to make attempts to learn and understand the book of Allah (swt) in the best way possible. I tell my five-year-old son and three-year-old … [Read more...]