Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Safari park!

Making use of the beautiful spring-time weather, bookworms decided to have some fun in Safari park. The weather was beautiful - in fact, just perfect for a park outing. Children enjoyed playground, while mothers were discussing some organizational matters related to the book club. We did have a couple new homeschooling families join us - Alhamdulillah, the community is growing!

After common snack time, some families left for home, while others continued to enjoy the attractions of Safari park.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The manners of dinosaurs and paper weaving

As usual, bookworms were happy to come together for another book club. This week, the smaller bookworms enjoyed two books about dinosaurs. Well, not really about dinosaurs themselves but about dinosaurs who were behaving like small children. :)

We read "How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?" and "How Do Dinosaurs Eat their Food?" by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.

Starting out with the food habits of dinosaurs, children smiled through the numerous bad habits the dinosaurs in the book had - they burped, they threw cereal from the table, they put beans up their noses, spit out their broccoli half-chewed and blew bubbles in their milk. But it turned out that all the bad habits were just jokes - the real dinosaurs sat neatly at the table, said "please" and "thank you", finished food on their plates and asked for more, if they were still hungry. Bookworms did discuss also that food is a blessing that Allah gives us, therefore, we should always have good manners of eating, say our Duas before and after the meal and thank Allah for the food He gives us.

In the second book, the dinosaurs were sick with flu. And once again the first part of the book was full of funny bad habits dinosaurs had - throwing dirty tissues all over the floor, spitting out their medicines, running away and hiding when in doctor's office and not keeping their blankets on, when in bed. In the second part of the book, we learned that actually the dinosaurs were very patient when they were sick - they listened to the advice of doctors (because doctors know best), took their medicines nicely, stayed in bed and drank lots of juice.

After reading, small bookworms had activity - making a small weaved carpet of colourful strips of paper. Umm Uzair guided them through step by step, until everybody had a nice colourful carpet to take home.

Big girls had a bit more challenging paper weaving activity - they were making small woven pouches that were opening up.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bookworms Sports Day 2014

On a beautiful Wednesday morning in February, bookworms had their first ever sports day! In fact, first ever sports day of homeschooled children in Karachi! Umm Ayeshah kindly invited us for this event to a park nearby her home in Malir Cantt. She and her girls were the hosts, who made this day happen - thanks to all of them for the warm welcome and all the work behind the scene!

The official program of the Bookworms Sports Day 2014 was as follows:
9.00 arrival of guests
9.30 informal games
10.00 Qirat (by Hassan Suharwardy)
10.20 races for boys / girls - football
11.00 young kids and girls races / boys football & cricket
12.30 cleanup time
12.45 move indoors for certificate distribution
01.15 Salaah and lunch

Children participated in the following races: flat race, book-on-the-head race, lemon-and-spoon race, frog race, wheel-burrow race, walking backwards race, three-legged race, sack (pillow cover) race, skipping-rope race, flying of paper airplanes and tug-of-war.

Around 11 am, kids enjoyed also a snack break - courtesy of Umm Ayeshah, who had wisely understood the need for that perfect chocolate bar, which would give the required energy to continue the races! After the races, kids chilled out in the nearby playground.

Seeing the children enjoy the races and have so much fun, mothers also lined up for some races - flat race, book-on-the head race and three-legged race. Needless to say, children were very excited to see them compete. 

Participation certificates were issued to 33 homeschooled children, Alhamdulillah. Handing out of certificates was followed by a closing ceremony - Party Poppers!

Special thanks to Dr. Mehreen for the cute name tags and to sr. Atika for printing out the certificates.

Insha'Allah, Sports Day from now on will be an annual event of Bookworms Book Club.

Here are some photos from our first ever sports day:


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolatina and the wonders of microscope

Today bookworms came together in the home of aunty Atefa. Smaller children had their usual book club reading - this time, it was a book by Erik Kraft titled "Chocolatina".

About the book: "You are what you eat," Mrs Ferdman reminds her students during every health class. But all Tina likes to eat is chocolate. On day she wishes Mrs. Ferdman's favourite saying were true, and the very next morning, she wakes up a completely chocolate girl! What will the other kids think? What will Mrs. Ferdman do? And will Tina ever become un-chocolate again? Kids who like chocolate - and even kids who don't - will love this scrumptious story and its delightful illustrations.

Before starting their reading, small bookworms had a discussion about their favourite foods. When Umm Uzair asked them to name their favourite food, we discovered that girls had the tooth for sweets (brownies, cupcakes, chocolate, etc.), while boys voted for savoury items (pizza, cheese, etc.). Children discussed, what it would be like to eat only their one favourite food for an entire month - for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As they talked, how it would affect their bodies, they realized that cake-eaters would most probably look a lot more heavy by the end of the month. Likewise, starving with no food for a month would make us loose a lot of weight and would leave a very negative impact on our health.

Then, small bookworms continued their discussion about the kinds of food that are good or not good for us, and what it actually means, if we say "you are what you eat" - a phrase that would appear in the book they were about to read.

After reading the book, small bookworms had a colouring activity - from among a variety of foods on the page, they had to colour only the ones, which would be good for their health. 

Big bookworms had an excellent opportunity to see under microscope a variety of cells. The presentation was prepared and given to children by Dr. Sophia and aunty Lubna, who is a science teacher. Here is a diary entry that one of the bookworms wrote after this presentation:

Dear Diary,

Today I will tell you about a microscope I saw - a real microscope in the bookworms club. Sophia aunty is a doctor and her son has a microscope, so Sophia aunty decided to bring it. Oh and the book club I am talking about was on 22-01-2014. So where was I - oh yeah, so she got the microscope and she showed us how the inner skin of an onion looks like. First she talked about plant cells and animal cells - about how they are different from each other. She said that the difference is that plant cells have walls around them and animal cells don't. And that human cells and animal cells are the same. Then she showed us the onion cells. Then, when everybody was gone, I said to Sophia aunty that I wished I cold see blood cells. Then she said that she had a sample right there. She put it in the microscope. It was like a shirt design - there were thousands and thousands of small tiny red dots. I decided to call my friends to see it too. Sophia aunty had some more samples but I didn't see them all - only another plant cell from a different plant. Those plant cells were bigger.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

3D snowflakes and flowers painted on fabric

Today bookworms came together for a very chilly meeting, as the weather in Karachi has been exceptionally cold for the past week. Some of the smaller bookworms chose not to take off their coats and even caps, in order to keep warm. Also the day’s reading was about cold and snow (which we do not have, though, in Karachi) – we read “Harry and the Snow King” by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds.

Before reading the book, kids had a discussion about cold weather and snow. It turned out that some of the bookworms had seen snow and could share their experience of it: Sulaiman had travelled together with his father to a snowy area in Pakistan, Muhammad had seen the artificial snow in Dubai and Safia had been to a snowy area of Pakistan together with her family.
Harry, the main character of our today's book, was very eagerly waiting for the snow. The first fall brought just enough snow for him to build a very small snow king. But then the snow king disappeared. Harry was sure that it was kidnapped... Should he call the police? Or is there more to this mystery than meets the eye? Find your own copy of "Harry and the Snow King" for discovering what happened with Harry and his snow king.
After the reading, small bookworms had a discussion about snowflakes - how raindrops turn into snowflakes in snowy areas, how every snowflake has six corners but a unique design of it's own, how such variety and beauty of snowflakes makes us think of the wonders of Allah's (swt) creation. Then, we set out to make our very own snowflakes - this time, 3D ones. And here is what we came up with.

If you would like to try out making your own 3D snowflakes, here is the link with directions:

While the small bookworms were busy with snow and snowflakes, the big girls worked hard on fabric painting - a workshop conducted by aunty Hina, who kindly shared this her talent with the girls. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the workshop! Jazak Allah Khair, aunty Hina!