Dana’s Family Life: A Photo Essay Series

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This is a short story of what a typical morning in our homeschool life looks like.

I’m a homeschool mom of 4 children ages 11, 8, 5, and 3. Life is busy at this stage of our lives and sometimes it feels like we are always running. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool when our oldest was about 4 years old. We didn’t realize then how homeschooling would define our lifestyle.

When I scheduled a photo session with Bridget Eldridge I knew I wouldn’t be able to truly convey a typical morning in my life. Mainly because I would have to change out of my workout clothes and wear something more modest and cover my hair. But I knew we would have no trouble going about the rest of our normal routine. I am so thankful and grateful for the photos Bridget was able to capture from one of our typical days at home. For I fear sometimes that we will not be able to remember all the little joys we’ve had together.

We usually start off with everyone around the table. I keep the little ones occupied with something while I alternate doing the main lessons with the older two. I teach them Language Arts and Math at home. Other subjects like science, history, and art are taught through our homeschool co-op, local Rec center, public library, online, or at the mosque. My little one usually tries her best to distract us when we first start, she eventually makes herself busy playing or “exploring”.

We love our math curriculum. It is really hands on and requires playing a lot of games which keep the learning process fun and makes it easier. While I play a math game with Jennah, Maryam is doing her 20 minutes of independent reading and Noura climbs my chair. 

After finishing up our math lesson, Jennah heads to the computer to do her online reading program. It is especially designed for kids with dyslexia, and I love that she can do it independently. Meanwhile, Maryam and I do her language arts lesson. We are trying a new curriculum this year and we absolutely love it! It’s called “The Good and The Beautiful“. It is Christian based but none of its teaching go against our Muslim faith. It teaches good morals, love of nature, and the importance of prayer. 


Maryam is a perfectionist, like her mama. Here she is trying to make light of her misspelling of a word. 

 

Meanwhile, my youngest has decided to play with her play dough on the kitchen floor. 

My son was in the other room, hiding behind his mask. He really doesn’t like being in photos.

I later joined her for a few minutes after she asked for my assistance. Jennah takes a short break and rides her roller blades around the house. 

My face here wonders “What’s next on our agenda?”. Something I do constantly to keep up with my many to-do lists, both mental and physical ones.

Jennah starts her science experiment for her Tuesday class at the Rec center. She’s using Petri dishes to see if bacteria will grow from her unwashed hands vs. after washing with soap. A second Petri dish will show wether bacteria will grow from yogurt. 

Next, we put away our homeschool books and get ready for our weekly Poetry Tea Time session. It’s a wonderful addition to our homeschool routine that I recently learned from “The Brave Learner” by Julie Bogart. An amazing book on sparking joy and magic into ones homeschool and life in general. I highly recommend reading it.

My younger two are very excited to be using real teacups, and drinking real (herbal) tea.

Everyone helps out. The girls help set the table while my son helps me prepare the food.

We all look through some poetry books. The kids can pick a poem to read themselves or ask me to read it to them. While someone reads, we listen and enjoy some tea and snacks.

The kids always get a kick out of Shel Silverstein’s poems and illustrations.  

We hope you enjoy this photo essay series peeking into the lives of a few of our contributors. Photos for this series are by Bridget Eldridge Photography. Bridget specializes in capturing moments that show the love in the chaos, the humor in the frustrating, and the magic of the mundane. She is on a mission to celebrate moms by getting them in the frame and show them the amazing job they do everyday. To learn more, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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Dana was born in Amman, Jordan and moved to New York with her family in 1995. Dana met her husband in NY and they have been living in the DC area since 2012. She has 4 children: Jennah (2008), Maryam (2011), Saleh (2013), and Noura (2016). A Graphic Designer by profession, Dana is currently enjoying being at home with her children. She homeschools her two older daughters and she is very passionate about working out at home, making delicious/nutritious meals for her family, and being all around creative. Dana loves exploring the DC area with her family, she likes drawing, enjoys escape rooms, and loves unwinding with a cup of tea and a good book at the end of the day. Stay in touch with her through her Instagram @danascreativekitchen, and check out her food blog (danascreativekitchen.com) for some of her favorite recipes.

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