Category Archives: Homeschool Management

TJ’s Homeschool Center

I’ve been busy updating and reorganizing the TJ Homeschool Center site and here’s a look at some of the new/updated offerings:

Recent Posts:
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in 1. TJ Alerts/News, Back to School Homeschool, Homeschool Management



Here are a few tips for organizing for a new school year.

Create/Find and Organize Administrative Papers

Set up a binder or other storage system and make/gather all administrative papers and plans

  1. Create school year calendar with breaks and quarters/semesters, etc.
  2. Create a course of study (list of classes and books/resources)for each student for the year
  3. Plan out each class for each student for the school year against the school year calendar(i.e. make a syllabus/schedule of lessons)
  4. Collect/make needed teacher admin papers such as attendance logs, grading sheets, etc and file; keep master copies in a designated place such as a binder.
  5. Set up student organizers (weekly or daily assignment sheets, calendars, reference papers, charts, checklists, reading logs, etc); make/find necessary papers for organizer

(I currently use presentation books –books with page protectors preattached)

Set Procedures/Routines

  1. Create a daily household schedule and post it in study area
  2. Set up a school schedule routine:
    1. Set school start and end times
    2. Designate breaks times (bathroom, water, snacks etc)
  3. Set up guidelines for work to be submitted:
    1. Headings on papers (establish a format)
    2. Expected format of work itself (i.e. fold paper in half, don’t write in margins, number the pages, neatness, how to show final math answers, etc.)
  4. Set up procedure for submission and return of “homework”/Class work
    1. When  and where should homework/classwork be turned in
    2. Where to pick up after graded/reviewed
  5. Establish Make-up work policies
  6. Set consequences for not completing work 

Set Up Classroom/study area

  1. Set expectations/rules for study/class time (Make poster to hang in study area) and review with student(s)
  2. Post daily class schedule in classroom
  3. Set up study/class area (let kids help)

                                         i.    student desks or personal study areas

                                       ii.    walls/bulletin board displays

                                      iii.    supply area

  1. Obtain student’s personal supplies and distribute
  2. Set up any centers (stationary or portable (file folder center, for example or a science center)


To build enthusiasm for the new year, take kids shopping for clothes and school supplies and let them set up their backpacks/school supply pouches, etc.




Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Back to School Homeschool, Homeschool Management


Scheduling the Islamic Homeschooling Day

Scheduling the Islamic homeschooling day

Responsibilities and needs vary from family to family, of course, but here is a general step by step plan you can use to schedule your homeschool day. This plan is more so geared toward the homeschoolers who have few outside activities (like us).

  1. Start with the PRAYER times

Go back roughly 30 minutes before the call of the Adhaan and set this as your chore/clean up/prayer prep time until the Adhaan.

Go up 30 minutes from the call of the Adhaan to allot for time for prayer, thikr, and Quraan reading/reciting after the call of the Athaan.

  1. Schedule BEDTIMES AND WAKE UP times

For older kids, you may decide to allot bed preparation and free time after ishaa to come up with a realistic bed time. (Also establish mom’s bedtime and wake up times)

  1. Schedule in MEAL PREP, EATING, AND MEAL CLEAN UP times (main meals and snacks)


  1. Schedule blocks of time for different SCHOOL sessions/classes. 


For older kids, you might schedule 1 hour blocks of time, planning for 45 minutes of instruction/studying and 15 minutes for transition/bathroom, etc.

For younger kids, you may want to schedule 30 minute blocks, planning for 20 minutes of actual instruction.

And of course, this all depends upon the number of classes you will conducting each day and how much time  needed for each class/study period as well as other household duties.

  1. Factor in any other duties such as OUTSIDE ENGAGEMENTS, grocery shopping, etc. or things that depend on other people. You may need to move this step up higher in the plan (most likely step 4) if you have considerable outside duties. We have very few outside activities and so this was not as great of a priority for me.




4-5 am                  Prayer prep/pray/Quraan

5-6                         Quraan memorization/review; Mom free time or daily planning

6-7                         Mom chores; wake up younger kids who aren’t obligated to pray;

                              morning routine

7-8                         Breakfast prep/eat/clean up

8-9                         AM Chores/School Prep

9-10                       Class Period I    (core classes) (Quraan/Arabic are good to start with)

10-10:15                AM Snack/bathroom break

10:15-11                Class Period II    (core classes)

11-12                     Class Period III (core classes)

12:00 – 12:30        Dhuhr chores; lunch prep

12:30-1:30             Pray/Thikr; Quraan; lunch     

1:30 – 2:15            Class Period IV (core or elective classes or study hall/homework)

2:15-3:00               Class Period V (core or elective classes or study hall/homework)

3:00 – 3:30            Asr Chores; snack time

3:30-4:00               Pray/Quraan

4-6:30                    Meal prep and eating/clean up

6:30-7:00               Maghrib Chores

7:00-7:30               Pray/Quraan

7:30-8:00               Free time or daily review of subjects

8:00-8:30               Ishaa chores

8:30-9:00               Pray Ishaa/Quraan

9:00-9:30               Prepare for Bed (bedtime routine)

9:30-10:00             Bedtime I or free time for older

10:00                     Bedtime II for middle kids

11:00                     Bedtime III for oldest of kids


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Posted by on May 14, 2011 in Homeschool Management


Improving Your Homeschool

I’ve just put together a little section at TJ about ways you can improve your homeschooling. It is just a miscellaneous selection of things to help, in sha’ Allah and I hope to add to it from time to time

Improving Your Homeschool

Bloom’s Taxonomy
Learning Styles
Lose the School in Homeschool
Seven Laws of Teaching
You can access this section at, TJ’s Homeschool Center.

You can find these links in the left navigation menu area or just check the very bottom left for the TJ archive under February.

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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Homeschool Management


Wellness Wheels: Models for Homeschooling (and parenting)?


I was Googling life skills resources one day and came across some graphics which I thought were interesting.

I’m sure there are many terms for them, but one term for them was a “wellness wheel:”





Another variation:





The Wellness Wheel demonstrates how the dimensions come together to promote a more complete well-being.
When all six dimensions come together equally, the wheel is balanced. Lack of any of the six produces an unbalanced whole – this is normal!
Effort should be balanced among the dimensions in order for overall well-being to improve.


As I looked over them, I thought, what a great model not just for life skills but for homeschooling as well. As homeschoolers, it is easy to fall into the rut of focusing heavily on the secular subjects. As can be seen from the wheel, wellness, by Allah, comes from attempting to make sure that individuals are more well balanced (not just book smart, but street smart, money smart, has adequate social skills, knowledgeable about the deen (religion) as well as the ability to apply it to life, etc).

In addition, you can take this model into your secular courses to create a more enriched learning experience as well as one which is more hands on and related to real life (as opposed to knowledge for the sake of knowledge) by incorporating activities from among the different components (add physical exercise to a math drill or create more critical thinking opportunities in math instead of just doing math problems; learn about how a particular math concept is used in a particular occupational field, show real life applications for concepts studied).

If you are interested in learning more about the wellness wheel and its components, scroll back up to the “Source” links or Google “wellness wheel.”


Posted by on December 11, 2010 in Homeschool Management, Teaching Tips


Daily Work Check Off Sheet

imageJust thought I’d share a simple form that we’re using now to track what subjects get done each day.

I left in Word for others to tweak—it has seven spaces each day for seven kids so you can reduce (or even add more if you need to).

5 days per sheet.


How we use:

Pretty basic checkoff sheet. I put one check in a box if class work has been completed for a class and my kids turn the work in. Then, I put as second check in the box when I have checked the work and it is free of errors.  If the kids have to correct work, I wait to make the second check.  

It’s great for me to quickly see who has done what and what has been corrected.

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Posted by on August 11, 2010 in Homeschool Management


Getting Organized for the New School Year

image As usual, we’re starting another year without being where I want to be plan wise.  However, we seem to be off to a pretty good start. 

This summer, we took our first long break, 1 month. In our homeschool history, we have never taken  off that extended period of time from classes. 

This break started off as one week (we do school for 10 weeks, then a one week break, generally). Well, heading into this one week break, I really had it in my mind that it would be two weeks (I just didn’t tell the kids til the week was almost over).

Then, the two weeks turned into three, and then three into four. 

About half way through the break, I did plan out our school calendar, when we’d start and finish, in sha Allah. And I did start a little planning, but other projects I was working on took up most of my break.

Our school year this year started last Sunday, August 1, as planned.  For not having planned too much, it started off pretty well alhamdulillah.  Most of the kids did something the first day and ever since.  My 12 year old, the one I struggle with the most, hasn’t done any formal school since we started this year.  He’s my engineer and has been making cardboard creations, listening in here and there to me reading history or a news article to another sibling.

Today, I am really starting to work out the nuts and bolts about our admin, how they will turn in their work, making folders to keep their class information handy, etc.  I’m hoping once I get this worked out, in sha Allah and get a few weeks planned out, I’ll be able to turn more attention to my 12 year old.  Right now, I just try to extract out as much learning as I can from the activities that he does do.  He’s very good with visualizing the mechanics of things and then creating something amazing from them.  Then, he likes to talk about them and so we get into a little science sometimes.

Well, I had meant to talk a little about our organization, but became a little long winded, so in sha Allah in my next post, I’ll share what we’re starting out with as far as getting organized.


Posted by on August 4, 2010 in Homeschool Management


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