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Bayt ul-Hikmah

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Everything posted by Bayt ul-Hikmah

  1. These books were read to me when I was young, and I also just took the little girl's perspective. However, reading them aloud now as an adult, to my brown children, they give me pause. For me, the Native American issue is one that lends itself to discussion easily not only because it is discussed in the book itself but because settlement *of previously occupied land* is essentially the theme of the series, of the Ingalls' lives. Those historical issues are easier for me than the easy use of offensive language. Sweet sweet Pa singing songs about darkies?! (I'm not even going to address the minstrel shows!) What?! I just wish those things weren't there. It wouldn't make any sense to tell Laura's story without addressing the "Indian issue" and surrounding attitudes, ideas, biases, etc. However, of all the fiddle tunes Pa played, why include this one? Clearly no one thought it a problem to include them. The song lyrics really caught me off guard as I was reading aloud to my two boys. Yes, they could be discussed, but it's just such a random occurrence in Little House in the Big Woods. Now, do my boys identify with Laura? Or do they see the only mention of people "like them" talked about disparagingly, and is that what they take away from these books? Probably the former, but I don't really know. I think it was easy for my parents to tell little white me that "darkies" is an offensive term that people used a long time ago but oh we don't do that anymore. It is an entirely different conversation with kids of color, particularly emotionally. But, I don't think it should be. I think it should be devastating for all of us. I think that in my family, these are either read-together books or read when older books. I'm not one to cast aside books for these issues, but I also wouldn't want very young children (my boys are avid, early readers) to pick these up and tackle them alone.
  2. My ds10 wraps his thumb around the pencil despite being corrected since the very beginning. It drives me completely crazy, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. His dad holds a pencil exactly same way, and he lives thousands of miles away from us (so clearly my ds didn't pick this up by watching him). Maybe what is comfortable does have to do with inherited hand proportions?
  3. I cannot agree with this more! My boys' school here in SEAsia uses Singapore books (My Pals are Here) with very un-Singapore methods. Let me just say that the magic is *not* in the books themselves. (I had no idea something as brilliant as Singapore could be taught so badly...) So yes, read Liping Ma!
  4. My ds7 enjoyed the Secrets of Droon series at that stage and moved from those to Deltora Quest.
  5. Hello! I need book ideas for my ds 9. He is a pretty strong reader and is drawn to very advanced books, but I don't want him to miss out on the great literature for his age group that I know is out there. He particularly enjoys fantasy, adventure, historical fiction, and anything exciting and/or scary. He has recently read and loved the Harry Potter series, the Kane Chronicles, and the first three in the Mysterious Benedict Society series. He also really liked the Hobbit, but I'm hesitant to have him start the LTR trilogy -- I'm afraid it will be over his head(?). He read some of Percy Jackson, but he is looking for books that are not part of a series. We're in Indonesia, so English books are few and far between here (and expensive!). So, we need books that are available for Kindle. Ideas? Thanks!
  6. It turns out shipping MCT here would cost $50, so that's out for now. Maybe I'll pick it up on my next trip to the States. In the meantime, I'll need something else. I love the look of Bravewriter, but I worry that it won't actually get done. IEW and WWE are appealing in that they are more "do this today" sort of programs. But, in that same vein I don't get too excited about something so regimented. WWE is downloadable, which is a big plus. As for Dancing Bears, I was thinking about Fast Track over A because ds6 is already reading. His intonation and comprehension is great, but he has a tendency to guess at longer words. For spelling, I know I don't want AAS. I love the program, ds9 did two levels as a little guy, but I can't handle all the pieces! I just want something to draw ds's attention to the basic rules of spelling so he pays attention to "those pesky details" at least sometimes.
  7. A little background: I homeschooled my older ds for grades K and 1 and my younger for PreK. Last year, I went back to school and put the kids in Montessori school (where they thrived!). Then last August, my boys and I moved to Indonesia. This year, they have been in the international, English-language Montessori school where I teach. While the first half of the year has gone well, it looks like they will be moving to a local school where all instruction will be in Indonesian, starting in January. As my kids' Indonesian is very, very rudimentary at this point, I will need to keep them going in math and of course English. I'll be using SM for math, but I can't figure out English. I don't want anything too time consuming, as they will have full days at school and will need time to play outside with their buddies, play piano, and just be kids. DS 9 is a voracious reader, has a huge vocabulary, is a horrible speller (out of carelessness, primarily), and is a natural writer. His time in Montessori has given him a very solid foundation in the parts of speech but not much other grammar. DS 6 is still working on his reading. Henry and Mudge, Frog and Toad, and similar books are a breeze, but Magic Tree House is still a bit of a stretch. Both boys write in messy cursive, but both are capable of decent handwriting if they put forth effort. I've been considering Bravewriter for both boys and MCT for my older. I am considering Dancing Bears Fast Track for my younger, and perhaps Apples and Pears for my older. (Or R&S Spelling? I've heard good things about it, but am a bit hesitant to use non-secular materials.) We read together tons and will continue to do so. I'm looking for depth, and not fill-in-the-blank worksheets. Suggestions?
  8. :iagree: In my elementary Montessori teacher training, we did a lot of work with numbers in non-decimal bases (base 5, base 7, etc). WOW! While we were learning how to present this work to children, it made me realize how much knowledge we assume as adults. I highly recommend it as an exercise in humility!
  9. Pimsleur has an English program for Arabic speakers. You can try a sample lesson here.
  10. How about Suzanne Strauss Art's The Story of Ancient China?
  11. We had trouble with this too until I managed to think outside the box a little. I ended up storing them under the furniture (couch, chair, bookshelves) lol. It's not as nice as one of those nice cabinets, but it worked and the kids were able to access them. I agree that the pincer grasp on the knobs is key. Also, you are able to trace the pieces to make your own maps. And, the geopuzzles don't always have one country per piece. We have the Asia one, and large countries like China are divided into pieces, and smaller countries are grouped together. Not to mention the brilliance of having the knob of the puzzle pieces in the capital's location! Oh the genius of Montessori! The little ones have no idea that they're internalizing the locations of all the capitals of the world. :D
  12. Oooh so many good options! :D Thank you all!
  13. Thank you for the suggestions. I think I'll have to make due without Frog and Toad on an e-reader. Bummer. I will look at the Free and Treadwell readers as well as other things I can find for a regular Kindle. At least there are options for him!
  14. Would you mind checking? Here is a link. That would be wonderful, thank you. I have a regular e-Ink Kindle for myself, and amazon didn't let me buy it as it didn't detect a device or app that it would work on. I would like to have some way for my little guy to read on a device because we can't take many physical books with us and access to English-language books will be quite limited. I was hoping he'd be into Magic Tree House and similar titles by now, but he's just not there yet.
  15. I have a question. My family is making a big international move, so we're looking into e-readers for the first time. My ds5 is in the Frog and Toad stage, and most of the early readers on amazon say they are available only on Kindle Fire or Kindle for Android. I don't particularly want a Kindle Fire, but I could probably be convinced to buy an iPad. So, my question is, would these early reader books work on the Kindle iPad app?
  16. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke is excellent!
  17. What are the primary differences between the old and new ones, and which do you prefer?
  18. Salaam! We're also Muslims, and we used this timeline with great success. I pm'ed you about some of the theological issues. Basically, I don't see any contradiction between creationism in Islam and what we see in modern science. There are a few ayat in Quran about life originating from water, like 24:45. <<Allah has created every [living] creature from water. And of them are those that move on their bellies, and of them are those that walk on two legs, and of them are those that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things omnipotent.>> I think that the Charlie's Playhouse materials are very flexible as long as you're comfortable with different forms of life appearing at different times over millions of years. From my understanding, it is a widely agreed position that the seven 'days' of creation are not seven days of 24 hours but instead refer to large periods of time. It works for me!
  19. :iagree: It's the process not the product! :D
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