Having a child of formal education age, I sometimes find that I focus so much on him and getting work done, that the younger one doesn’t get the same amount of attention in this sense. Several fellow homeschoolers reassured me that it is quite normal for subsequent children not to be as academically advanced as the first was as a pre-schooler, simply because a mother would not be physically able to give him/her all of her attention and focus completely on his/her learning needs and no one else’s. However, I do feel the need to involve Bilal more Insha’Allah and do some sort of structured playing with him, rather than letting him spend the time I homeschool Yusef playing on his own. Since the good weather started and they started spending most of their playing time outside, I found Bilal’s behaviour deteriorated. It is probably partly a phase (I remember his brother going through the same at roughly the same age), but I also suspect that it might be due to him spending too much time playing on his own and basically being “left to his own devices”. Although we talk when he is outside and he is loosely supervised to make sure he doesn’t do anything too daring/silly, I feel he doesn’t spend enough time doing something with me, especially given that I cannot participate to outside playing as I do indoors.
With this in mind, I ask Allah’s help and decided to try harder to get Bilal engaged in some age appropriate homeschooling. Alhamdulillah, he already does Qur’an every morning (i.e. I recite about 2 pages of juz ‘Amma and he recites along. He can’t read and he doesn’t yet understand the whole “repeat after me” method). A few days ago I introduced writing in flour (it might have a technical name but I don’t know it). Despite my huge excitement (I had been keeping the little wooden tray and the expired gluten free flour for months with this purpose in mind and I was so chuffed to find that that my dough scraper fitted perfectly as a surface smoother) the success was only partial.
“Bilal, did you like writing in flour…”
“… or not so much?”
“hmmm…. not so much”
It still ended up like this though, so it must have been fun… at least a little!
I think we might very well come back to it another time. But for now, time to bring in some serious playdough Insha’Allah.