my lesson planning

The website that “saves” me!

t4lI love this website! It truly is a lifesaver for me as a homeschooling and college student mom.

On the days I just have too high of a workload I use this. She gets to do her work with minimal interference from me and it also gets graded, gives her quizzes and even break/play/rest time. It includes reading; social studies, science, and math assignments. I love that it grades her so I can see if she’s having difficulties with any subjects and go back and teach it to her again.

Another thing that I love is that you can select up to three grade levels for it. So for example: she’s advanced in science and reading so I have her on 6th grade level work in those subjects. She’s a little behind in math so I have her at the beginning of 4th grade level work and all her other subjects she is right where she should be. Which is 5th grade work. This allows her to revisit what she needs to learn while still challenging her and allowing her to succeed. It also doesn’t punish her with boredom by being stuck in Grade work that she is already ahead of.

The website is

I think they either have a free try out, or a referral program where you could try it for cheap for the first month or something? if they do and you decide to try it out to help your children with their school work, to practice more, or to homeschool tell them Holly Garza sent you.


I believed her


And as she looked at me, her eyes piercing right through my very soul; I felt it reverberate through my body. She said “he’s crazy girl…. he hates me, he’s fu**ing crazy” I believed her as she said those words. They reverberated through me touching something deep and unknown yet very familiar. I believed those words like I believed that everything dies; like I believed in love, life and everything dark. Just like I believed her dismissive laugh 2 seconds later and we talked of the upcoming year. We talked of cook outs, Wisconsin and how it was going to be her best year yet. Three and a half days later:in a private room at the emergency room in Silver Cross Hospital detectives told me “there’s been an incident, some people broke in to your sister’s home and she’s been shot. …”

detectives apologized to me as they said “there’s been an incident”…….

Not everything that flies, was born with wings.

The mamá:

I love butterflies- It’s always been symbolic to me.

Originally posted on |-| Fajr |-|:

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

Not everything that flies was born with wings.
How captivating is the butterfly;
the way it floats,
and then soars.
But it was once a tiny creature
by the eyes of men;
born with hundreds
of tiny feet,
stuck to the bark of a tree.

But today
it enchants,
captures the gaze,
and leads the way.
Steps will lead
to leaps,
and persistence leads
to progress.
Not everything that flies
was born with wings,
so remember your ability to soar.

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Time for a change

asalaamu alaikum Peace be upon you all

Ever get into an uninspired mood or routine? Then rearrange your room/home and feel better?

That’s what I’m going for here.

I’m looking for feedback, what would YOU, the reader, like me to post about?

I have some ideas but I’d like to know where your heart lies. What is it that hasn’t been written you’d like to see about?

Life, religion, parenting, working, Not working, reading, etc Let me know

Priorities and “Falling apart” when we NEED to keep it together Part 3

For Part two click here

Asalaamu Alaikum waramatluahi wabrakatahu (May the peace, the mercy, and the blessings of Allah (God) be upon you).

Buenos Días (good morning or good day) y’all! =) 

In sha Allah all is well WONDERFUL LADIES.

AlHamdulilah  all is well around here  and I’m even extra happy to get a message saying you are reading and enjoying the blog. Sometime I wonder if I’m talking to myself and it’s good to get feedback. I’m grateful that you are able to relate and find benefit here.




In continuing with the series, which really could go one forever, we shall tackle self-improvement and peace with ourselves.


  • Self-examination
  • Gratitude
  • Creativity 
  • Commitment 


Okay, I know those are some big words but have no fear in implementing and trying to strive for the tips in post one and two. These can easily be added to our goals as well. I know I have repeatedly told you all to be kind to yourselves, to be patient, consistent and forgive yourself for lack of perfection however that doesn’t mean I am calling us to stay unmotivated, and unfulfilled.


Bring yourself to account before you are taken to account (on the Day of Judgement),” and, “Weigh your deeds before your deeds are weighed.” (“Hasibu anfusakum qabla antuhasabu, wazinu anfusakum qabla antuzanu.”) – Umar ibn al-Khattab

This is most recently, one of my favorite reminders ma shaa Allah. Who else can be a better critic of us than ourselves? Who can tell me what I need to do and when better than me? I’ve recently been more contemplative of this and trying to add more productivity to my own life. However, it doesn’t need to be a burden and can actually be quite interesting or even fulfilling.

As the quote says “I’m in this for life, not a life sentence” Author unknown

Sit down and get yourself a notebook or diary, in it write down what Good you found in your day, from the most innocent, trivial thing to the the most important. Write down your school or work accomplishments or your homeschooling accomplishments. Write down what good eeman boosting or Islamic things you did and what you strive for tomorrow. This will be private so be as brutally honest while kind with yourself as possible and strive for improvement. 

Not only is this great for goal setting, feeling accomplished and encouraging for us it’s also something that was practiced by the salaf (predecessors) of our Ummah. Many of the sahaaba would make up the account for themselves at the end of each day, repenting for the wrong they did and determining to do better the next day.So you’ll be seeing all you do, get the reward of that, revive a sunnah :) and goal set ma sha Allah 

Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullaah) said, “You will never meet a believer except that he brings himself to account.”

This I find extremely helpful because it’s useful in boosting my mood (When I see all I truly do instead of feeling like a failure)

This helps me improve my self in character, spirituality, self-improvement and all things. It’s helpful to see everything on paper.


*Gratitude- When you aren’t used to always being grateful or if you live in a argumentative environment be it home, work, school etc it’s hard to know where to begin doing this. I mean, sure we’re grateful, right? I mean we say thank you to people for ALL they do for us, we thank Our Lord non stop for all of our blessings…. or we try to anyhow.

Imagine walking with no hands, no vision, no legs. Some people have these pebbles in their road yet are more grateful than us! SubhanAllah May Allah guide and forgive us Aameen 

“My sin burdened me heavily. But when I measured it against Your Grace, O Lord, Your forgiveness came out greater.” – Imam Shafii

There are literally countless of things to be grateful of. From the most trivial, like a good drive somewhere to the best Guidance in sha Allah. There can be thousands of things in between those two that we alone know best which blessings move us the most.

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ [Quran, 14:7]

From a great nights rest, to a child homeschooling with us, obedient children, a loving mom, a patient husband, eye-sight the list is endless alHamdulilah  Sit down, write at least 10 things down that you’re grateful for at the beginning of your day and watch yourself have a brighter, happier, peaceful day in shaa Allah .

Gratitude is one of the best and quickest ways to regain our focus. Many times when we feel stuck it means we’re giving too much attention to things that stress us and aren’t showing gratitude to the stuff we can do and we have. Remember we are by default going to have anxiety about certain situations. That’s okay but still try to keep in  mind gratitude.

Indeed, mankind was created anxious: When evil touches him, impatient, And when good touches him, withholding [of it]. [Surat Al–Ma’arij: 70:19-21]

If your anything like me now you’re feeling a bit neglectful like perhaps we are very grateful but we’re realizing we could have been so much more. Don’t despair. 

O son of Adam, as long as you call upon Me and put your hope in Me, I have forgiven you for what you have done and I do not mind. O son of Adam, if your sins were to reach the clouds of the sky and then you would seek My forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, if you were to come to Me with sins that are close to filling the earth and then you would meet Me without ascribing any partners with Me, I would certainly bring to you forgiveness close to filling it. [Hadithi Qudsi]


* Creativity -

I remember once reading a book (I think) and there was a quote that stood out to me so I wrote it down. It was a way to give myself forgiveness for not being touched by the “creative/feminine/decorative” gene. I really don’t have it y’all, Not a drop! It takes lots of reading books, and google with pinterest to come up with ideas in homeschooling. Anyhow the quote also made me remember how when I’m inspired to actually write a post or do something I’m usually busy at that exact moment. The quote said ” Creativity is not designed for fitting into a mother’s busy day nor is it convenient”  I’m sure there was more to it but it looks like I trailed off in my notebook (ADHD rears it’s ugly little head) But yes, I know I just said to call ourselves to account however this doesn’t mean when and if you find inspiration to write, paint, knit, sew etc you just ignore it. Being a woman, a whole person it’s okay to do enjoyable things in life as well. We can’t be rules and rigidity all the time.


* Commitment – 

Be committed to yourself above everything! You alone will feel the joys of accomplishing all of these life changes we have discussed in the last few posts. However the beauty of self-improvement is it usually makes us a better person which enhances everyone’s life around us which in turn comes back to enhance our lives ma sha Allah alHamdulilah. When we take steps to be content our mood improves and we’re kinder to other and a joy to be around. When we de-clutter our minds and our homes we are more productive, thus less stressed and not overwhelmed ma sha Allah 

When we clean, re-organize and smile while trying to be a good example not only do we Feel better but we become better and it can be a means of attaining good ma sha Allah. Remember Abu Huraira quoted Prophet Muhammad as saying: “Removing a harmful thing from the way is also Sadaqah”.

I hope this series has been helpful to you =)


Priorities and “Falling apart” when we NEED to keep it together Part 2

Asalaamu Alaikum waramatluahi wabrakatahu (May the peace, the mercy, and the blessings of Allah (God) be upon you).

Yes I know, I’ve been “away” for a while. I was supposed to be writing how to stay productive and I couldn’t write about something I wasn’t doing.

After the deep freeze of which we are Still in by the way. The move, brrr I DON’T Ever want to move in Winter again! Add unpacking, homeschool and part time work I just couldn’t post. That and I’ve always been bad about being consistent with blogging so that’s me. Besides, I figure real life, home, people and homeschooling is more of a priority than the net.

Anyhow things have FINALLY settled, my place looks more like a home (yay!) and I finally petitioned facebook to start looking into why my homeschooling Muslimah Mommies page isn’t showing up.

get up

I figured now that I have more time I could finish this blog series on prioritizing, de-cluttering and adding structure our lives and time in sha Allah (God Willing). For part One Click here

On to ways to keep or get the ball rolling on being a better, happier you, here are other things I learned, had to do, try and fail before trying again.

* Confidence

* Relaxation

* Perfectionism

First things first Don’t forget to be Nice to YOU!

The Merciful One shows mercy to those who are themselves merciful (to others). So show mercy to whatever is on earth, then He who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

* Perfectionism

So you’ve been reading these and now instead of falling apart you’re obsessed with cleaning, learning, cooking, etc etc….(I’m not, but you may be ;p I don’t have that in my DNA)

We’re sure everything we’re doing can be better or might even all be wrong! How, how on earth can we get out of this mentality? We are responsible for our homes, children and all and what a blessing it is ma shaa Allah!

Ibn Umar ra said that Rasulullah saw said: “Each of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked about your guardianship. The leader is a guardian, and the man is a guardian over the people of his house, and the woman is a guardian over her husband’s house and children. So each of you is a guardian, and each of you will be asked about your guardianship.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

But how do we avoid falling into the magazine-like home keeper in which no one can make a mess? Or how do we keep our-self from assuming we have to be that way?

Remember to tell yourself “I am a good woman/person/daughter/wife/mother, I will NEVER be a perfect one”

“I asked Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) which deed was best.” He (the Holy Prophet) replied: “The prayer at its appointed hour”. [Sahih Muslim]

Now I’m not calling us to continue our lazy ways nor to be content without goals but it’s okay to know we’ll never be perfect. We fret so much at times thinking everything we’re doing is wrong. We’re so insecure that everything we do as a woman is bad or reflecting on other women, muslims, daughters or our kids. We’re totally neurotic at times about this so called perfection we seek. We are Human beings, we are NOT perfect!

“In the sight of Allah, only piety puts a person above another”

The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to seek refuge in Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) from laziness that he used to mention it daily in this dua: “O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.” [Sahih Bukhari]

*Confidence- Be confident in yourself ladies! No, not arrogant not “look good” I mean confidence in your capabilities and that your Lord made the best you that you can be. Now arrogance is NOT from Islam and the believers are called to be slaves of their Lord and Humble.
Comprehending ones’ intelligence, looks, abilities, potentials, and building on the existing capabilities in the attempt to satisfy one’s desires and attain to the true human identity. This is in no way in conflict with the order to trust in Allah and be humble. After all as the quote goes, “You are on a rock floating in space!” SubhanAllah …’s so deep, when you zoom out looking at images of the Universe you see even the Earth becomes smaller and smaller in our amazing Creators fashioned decree until it’s a speck, we are a speck on a speck….but I digress….subhanAllah It’s awe-inspiring to me.

Anyhow, There are several things that contribute to the positive conception of self-confidence. The first is to LOVE YOURSELF and be kind to you. Also comprehending oneself, one’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, duties, and material and spiritual assets. What is the most effective plan for using these assets? These are all points and questions that stem from the two key religious concepts: self-knowledge and recognizing one’s God-given blessings and appropriately exploiting them. Remember to implement the tips, ideas and advice from post one and this one to help you boost your confidence. After numerous and painful tries you’ll learn to clean as you cook, do laundry before it piles up, read those 2 Arabic letters and you’ll start feeling a smile creep up on your face, that, that right there is what you use as your fuel to keep going and build your confidence in knowing you are in control of certain areas of your life and can change some things :)

* Relaxation- Say it with me, no, for real say it aloud and mean it. “When I take time to rest, I am not wasting time. I am Enjoying it.” Now repeat. Yes I know, There is only so much time in a day and caring for our duties, be they work, the home, school, religious, family or children takes up most of it. Too often we use our free time to do household chores, homework, work (even worse!) This is NOT rest! In the quest for our self-improvement we must not get too hung up on perfection or trying so hard to be better that it makes us grumpier. It’s unrealistic to expect to be at our very best every single day. Remember not to blame yourself when you have days that are less than your best. There are days at work/home/parenting/homeschooling that flow as naturally as laughter and you feel a comfort, love, ease and comfort in knowing that you know and enjoy what you’re doing. these days nothing interferes with that feeling Even these days we deserve a little break but much more so on the days we question our roles. Days Where we wonder why bother and feel so hormonal or overwhelmed, we REALLY deserve a break on those days the most!

By allowing yourself relaxation time , some quiet time to make enjoy nothing, make dua, pick up your favorite hobby or just re-group you’re improving the quality of time you give to other people.

Aisha reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything except that it disgraces it.”

Source: Sahih Muslim 2594

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Imam Muslim

TJ’s Homeschool Center

Priorities and “Falling apart” when we NEED to keep it together Part 1

Asalaamu Alaikum waramatluahi wabrakatahu (May the peace, the mercy, and the blessings of Allah (God) be upon you).

whooo! Aren’t you tired?!?
You’re tired, you’re ALWAYS tired. Yet here you are, scrolling. You’re possibly imagining I, and other moms on the blogosphere are perfect, well rested, got everything together and are crafty, smart and imaginative, NOT TRUE! Well at least not in my case or half of the “real” women in my life who admit doing deep cleaning only before others come over and posting their nicest, most productive work. So, perhaps, there are ma shaa Allah some nifty, creative, beautiful well-organized women out there ma shaa Allah and may Allah allow us to be a lot more that way Aaamen but for transparency purposes I’m not going to pretend I’m the one to look up to. I’m not. I just wanted to give you some tips, advice and a “meditation” if you will.

There are a few things I had to learn to attempt stability, organization, peace and productivity so I wanted to share them with you all here:

*Nurturing Oneself


* Self-Affirmation


*Expectation/Self image

and many, many more but since I know many of you are overwhelmed we’re only going to tackle these for now in shaa Allah (God Willing) besides, I’ll let you in on a little secret; I’m overwhelmed myself. I’m in the middle of packing (which really means I don’t know where to start) since we’re moving about 40 miles away at the end of the month so I’m going to make this at least a two-part series, which honestly might be more since after moving we’ll have to get settled in.

*Nurturing oneself- I know, I know we “get ready” and take care of ourselves, heck we’re the ones who are independent, strong and keeping everything running (Give yourself a Tap on the back You REALLY are doing a lot!) but no matter how strong you are, you still need nurturing. When we start to feel like we want to trade places with our baby, child or husband it’s time to start to pamper us a bit. You’re probably thinking you don’t have time, money, ideas or desires to care to pamper yourself, you do. Just like your clothing is a beautification a protection from us the womb is for a baby and our spouses for ourselves we can use our home as a little pampering station, cocoon of sorts, a womb. Let’s make this place serve us. While the children are sleeping or outside with dad/sister/mother/neighbor etc we can give ourselves a homemade pedicure, scrub those feet and make them soft and new. We can make a special coffee or tea treat with a cookie and enjoy a few moments of silence. We give and we give and we give and this is extremely taxing on us.

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Four things are part of happiness: a righteous spouse, a spacious dwelling, a righteous neighbor, and a comfortable mount. Four things are part of misery: a bad neighbor, a bad spouse, a restrictive dwelling, and a bad mount.”

*Simplifying- Gift extra items, sell stuff on e-bay or re purpose the items you aren’t using. Honestly we don’t NEED those items we haven’t used in a year and we shouldn’t have so many garments that we have to push the clothing out the way to pull stuff out and view it. Make pillows, curtains, bags or sell, gift and donate these things. As for clutter or messy homes in which you don’t know where to begin, start slow. Pick one corner, one shelf or one “Space” and beautify it. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the whole home, you’ll just overwhelm yourself more. Pick one area a day do that space. Clean the wall spot in that space, de-clutter it, make it pretty. Look at your accomplishment, smile and pat yourself on a job well done. Repeat this everyday or twice a day until your whole place looks and feels better. Sometimes nurturing you means creating a place or space where you can be alone and responsible only for you. A reading nook, a writing corner, an Arabic learning station, a craft area,a prayer corner, knitting station etc

Always remember to ask Allah to help you feel less stress, the days you are peace, not stressed, happy or calm remember Allah. Ask Allah for His aid continuously as you work Hard on trying to train yourself to strive for doing these things.

Abu Ya ‘la Dailami and Ibn Asakir narrated: Abu Hurairah and Anas Ibn Malik said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Allah loves rescuing the one who needs rescue.”

Ibn Abbas reported: I was riding with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he said:

يَا غُلَامُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلْ اللَّهَ وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْأُمَّةَ لَوْ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَكَ وَلَوْ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ رُفِعَتْ الْأَقْلَامُ وَجَفَّتْ الصُّحُفُ

O young man, I will teach you some words. Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. If you ask, ask from Allah. If you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the nations gathered together to help you, they cannot benefit you unless Allah has written it for you, and if the nations gathered together to harm you, they cannot harm you unless Allah has written it for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages dried.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2516, Grade: Sahih

* Self-Affirmation- Admit it, we’ve all had days (I’ve had whole years like this!)when we are so thoroughly exhausted we almost forget we as a person exist. We look how we feel and in turn feel how we look. Clothes don’t fit how we want or pjs are so comfy we wear them too much then look at ourselves all disheveled, tired and overwhelmed. We get into feeling numb and robotic almost disconnected from others or the world in general. We stare at things trying to learn by osmosis (Arabic for me) and get nothing, nothing gets absorbed. You’re too tired to sleep and too sleep-deprived to function and get things done. AlHamdulilah (Thank God through it all) our heart doesn’t stop beating even if our brain feels like it’s trying to run through mud! Enjoy the consistency of your heartbeat and take your cue from it, slow and steady wins the race. Do consistent, even if small things and you’ll get through it.
A’isha said that Rasulullah saw said: “The deeds most loved by Allah (are those) done regularly, even if they are small.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

Be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.

Abu Ya ‘la Dailami and Ibn Asakir narrated: Abu Hurairah and Anas Ibn Malik said: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Allah loves rescuing the one who needs rescue.”

* Priorities-

ah this is the medicine I need most myself. NO the Smart Phone is NOT the first thing we should grab after waking up. OUCH, phones, computers, tablets tv s etc these should be sometimes things yet are the ones that KILL all our time sadly. These are sometimes things or should be used either as a reward after everything is done OR used as tools. Yes there are many things that can aid us in our homeschooling, learning, islam etc but are we not distracted by the OTHER stuff we do with them? I was. Facebook, candy crush etc etc start doing the biggest tasks after your morning prayer, quiet time. Tackle the things that drain you or need your brain more in the morning and feel less stressed while blogging, facebooking etc.

Another thing, change your voicemail on your phone- Leave a message stating you are busy with family, studying, homeschooling, or work and pick a time you aren’t busy with yourself, your home, studies or others to text or call others back. WHY, why, why do we feel the need to allow something that was supposed to be for convenience to interrupt us?!? Why do we feel we have to stop everything and answer the phone when it rings or a notification goes off? Will the person calling about nothing homeschool for you? Most likely not. Necessity dictates we start recognizing our limitations. I’m not saying don’t whatsapp, text, or use your phone. I still do but I no longer allow it to stop what I’m doing. Being a woman means we have to put ourselves first so we can put our home, spouse or children first.

In sha Allah these tips can be helpful for you ♥ remember take it easy on yourself

To Be Continued……..


A New Spring

The mamá:

Loved this!

Originally posted on |-| Fajr |-|:

As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah

A New Spring

We all like to begin and turn a new page,
We are souls with a passion, regardless of age.
A new spring will burst from a cold winter,
A new flame will arise from a burnt cinder.
Fresh winds and breeze move across the land,
Knocking on a window; decreed and planned.
Opportunities will crop up, so fulfill your destiny,
Don’t fear the new dawn, for tomorrow is a mystery.
Leave behind you a legacy, and much goodwill,
Knowing you’ve tried, and try you will.
When at the end of your tether, turn a new page,
Do not stagnate in life, do not stay in a cage.

View original

Joy, or “Just Wait?”

The mamá:

Loved her thoughts

Originally posted on Diving for Pearls:

As I wait at Target, a young couple pushes a stroller in the line behind me. The stroller, brand new, appears to be on its maiden voyage. I  peer at the tiny sleeping newborn, his fingers curled up near his ruddy face.

“You guys do good work!” I comment. The parents beam with pride, but the weariness in their eyes lets me know that they are all still in the process of getting to know each other. The lady behind the couple glances at the stroller as well, and asks. “Is this your first?” They nod proudly.  “Just wait…” she snorts, and then follows with a comment about unruly teenagers.

Inwardly, I wince. We seem to live in a country overrun by a great lot of negative naysayers when it comes to parenting. I remember hearing comments like that when I was a new (and overwhelmed!) mom.  It seemed that many parents were suffering from a chronic…

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