Summer hols are here!
Unfortunately we're not going anywhere as it will be the fasting month soon.
As usual when the kids are at home the whole day and night, that means Mama is 'working' the whole day and night!
It's not even been 1 week and I'm already feeling tired! And Ramadhan is just around the corner too!
For this long school break, I've had a little 'meeting' with my kids (my mother who is a retired school principle taught me how to have 'meetings' with children a long time ago!!) and we've decided what is to be done during the holidays.
The list goes like this;
After sahur: Read the Quran
10am - 11am : Revise Juzu' Amma and Juzu' Tabaruk and Juzu' Qad Sami'
11am - 2pm: School work
2pm - 3pm: Memorize Asmaul Husna
9.30pm -10.30pm: Read novels
10am - 11am : Revise Juzu' Amma and Juzu' Tabaruk
11am -12pm: Finish the Maths workbooks and English workbooks he's had for ages but never finished
2pm - 3pm: Memorize Asma ul Husna
Free time: Complete the 500 piece jigsaw puzzle
9.30pm -10.30pm: Read big novels
Big H said he wanted to finish reading the whole Quran this Ramadhan. I told him that he needs to read at least 20 pages daily for that. He said he'll just try anyway..
"So at what time of the day do you want to read the Quran?" I asked. I wanted them to have a timetable and specific times to do all that they want to achieve so that it's more organised and more achievable for them - and also so that Mama can chase them if they're not doing it!
"My Muallim said the Prophet said the best time to read the Quran is after Subuh so that's what I'm going to do."
"OK." I said encouragingly but dalam hati: MashaAllah anakku...tapi iye ke kau boleh buat ni??
Little H specifically wants to read 'BIG' novels during these holidays. He had already declared to me previously that he 'prefers thick books rather than thin ones' and has already finished the 'BIG' novel that is Black Beauty just yesterday. :) Not that he hasn't been reading many thick novels already - he's already finished the whole of the Harry Potter series, mind - no other kids' books gets thicker than them!
So, okay..that's fine.
Both the boys love reading now, mashaAllah, although this wasn't the case last year.
So how did I change them? I practically forced them to read books in the beginning - but to me there's no other way about it - I needed them to discover the pleasure that is READING and they needed to do that by reading on their own. I bought books that I thought would interest them, I took them to the library, I encouraged them to read comics i.e. Tintin initially to gain their interest. I set a time at night just for reading. I read with them at first because they like their Mama to read with them. And finally, finally it worked, thank God!
After a few weeks of being 'forced' to read, Little H began to get immersed in his story books and later on Big H joined the fun too. Not that Big H didn't enjoy reading before that, mind. He loved reading but ONLY information books e.g. about football, sports, history books, Islamic books...funny, right?
During these holidays I let them play a bit on their Wii after dinner until half past 9 by which the rule is to be on their beds reading their books until half past 10. During school days they have to do whatever work from school or normally, from madrasah (as schools here don't normally give homework except for the weekends) after dinner and then it's straight to books as well.
Fair, me thinks.
Anyway, Little H has a new hobby now which is jigsaw. He's finished one 200 piece one recently and has asked for another one as a present for his good results. Mr S bought for him a 500 piece one - 'upping' the game so to speak - so all the free time he has, he's sitting at his desk trying to complete it!
Better jigsaw than sitting in front of the TV playing games and bickering with his brother every free time they have, right?
So this is how I intend to have some 'control' over the kids' activities during the holidays.
It's going to be tough, what with Ramadhan, the baby, breastfeeding and knowing me, my cravings to eat and cook this and that during the fasting month.
Hopefully I'll manage.