Read-alouds

Ramadan Children’s Books

It is Ramadan! This month in Our Muslim Homeschool we have been enjoying a wide variety of Muslim children’s books, to teach the children about Ramadan and Eid.

Muslim children’s literature is an easy and fun way to introduce important concepts in Islam; such as fasting, tawheed, sincerity, amongst others, to children from a young age.

I strongly believe that the stories we tell our children leave an imprint on their hearts and memories, impacting them in later years. What can be better than to read books to them with beautiful meanings and strong morals.

Here are some of the Ramadan books for children that we have been reading aloud in our homeschool!

For a quick look at which books we have been reading in Ramadan, WATCH THIS Video:

Five Prayers Each Day by Elizabeth Lymer

This charming rhyming story teaches toddlers to count up to five using the Five Daily Prayers (Salaah). It’s short but very sweet!
” One, two, three, four, five prayers each day that we’re alive…”
Suitable for ages 1-3

Angels and Rainbows by Elizabeth Lymer and Brooke Alam

This is a touching story about a girl who loves to pray Fajr with her father, but is scared of the dark. Her dad teaches her some words (dhikr) that she can say to invite the Angels and their light (Noor) into her home.
The illustrations in this book are stunning. It is also worth noting that the depictions of people do not have facial features.
I would recommend this book for children ages 4-9.

Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman

This lyrical story introduces children to the excitment of Ramadan by focusing on the family rituals and events that take place. 
This book is suitable for children aged 3-5.

The Amazing Calendar Quilt by Sheikh Zubia Imami

This book teaches children about months of the Islamic calendar, teaching the names and of their significance Islamically. 
Unfortunately this book is out of print, but you can find it second-hand if you’re willing to hunt around!
I would recommend it for children aged 5+.

Ramadan Moon by Na’ima B. Robert

By far, this is the most well-known of all the books I have mentioned. It introduces Ramadan beautifully, in all its wonder and awe, to children. The story follows a family through Ramadan, from one moon to the next, capturing their excitement and feelings. 
The illustrations in this book are stunning.
This book is suitable for children aged 4-9.

Night of the Moon by Hena Khan

Night of the Moon is the story of a Pakistani-American girl who watches the moon’s phases, and talks about all her different experiences during Ramadan.
The illustrations are spectacular and remind me of traditional Islamic art, with lots of geometric patterns and vibrant colours.
I would recommend this book for children aged 3-9.

Sweet Dates to Eat by Jonny Zucker

This short and simple story introduces young children to Ramadan and Eid. It shows the family in the mosque, eating iftar, and celebrating Eid.
The illustrations are very cute and colourful! 
Suitable for children aged 2-4 years-old.

An Eid for Everyone by Hina Islam

This is a story about several children from different families, and their experiences on Eid day. The book focuses on remembering the poor on that day, and shows the children giving out Eid gifts to poorer families in their community. 
This book is suitable for children aged 3-5.

I hope you got some new ideas and inspiration from this blog post. Perhaps you found some new books for your children here.
What books do your children enjoy reading in Ramadan? 
Do they have a favourite? 
Please share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear about other Ramadan books!
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Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

Teach Your Four-year-old To Read

IN 3 EASY STEPS

This article is written from my own experience. By the Grace of Allah, I was able to teach my son to read fluently when he was 4 years-old. Now that he is 5, he can pick up almost any book, read it and enjoy it. At the moment he’s especially keen on our encyclopedia!

Whether you home educate, or your children go to school, this article will help all parents who want to help their children to learn to read insha’Allah.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Not all children are developmentally ready to read at 4 years-old.
PLEASE PLEASE don’t force a child who is not ready!!! It will do more harm than good!

However, if you’re child is ready and eager to learn to read, this article will show you how I did it, so you can ‘Teach YOUR Four-year-old To Read In 3 Easy Steps.’

Step 1: INSTILL A LOVE OF BOOKS

Love books, love reading , love learningIf a child love books, the he will love to read. 
If he loves to read, he will love to learn. Insha’Allah.
This is by far the most important factor in teaching your child to read and if you take nothing else away from this article take this:A child who is self-motivated will learn to read, and learn any other skill, much quicker and more easily than a child who is not self-motivated.

If you have to force your child to read, it will be much harder for both of you, take longer, and may even cause your child to dislike reading altogether. 

So how can you encourage this self motivation? There are several ways that you can nurture a passion for reading in your children:

Read to them

Set aside time everyday to regularly read aloud to your children. Make that time special for them. Cuddle up under a blanket by the fire, drink hot chocolate or just let her sit on your lap. She should look forward to that time with you. Make it magical. Give her your undivided attention, full of yor love and affection, and read her incredible stories that will feed her imagination.

Surround them with books

Fill your home with as many books as you can afford. There should be a small collection of books in every room for your children freely to look at.

If you have space, you may even make a little ‘reading nook’ for your home, a specially designated space, used only for reading and enjoying books.

However you decide to implement this principle, it will teach your child to give importance to books, and thereby give importance to learning and seeking knowledge.

Take a trip

Trips to libraries and other places of knowledge can show your kids that your family’s passion for reading is not in isolation, but there are many like minded people who share your enthusiasm. When they see other children excited by books, they will join in!

Step 2: TURN OFF THE TV

If your television is on all day, not only will this become a bad habit for your child, but it will also teach them that the TV is important, and more worryingly, that what the TV says is important!

There are many benefits to turning off the TV, but the most relevant to this article is that it WILL cause your children to read more. I have seen it in my own home. With no other distractions, children will pick up the books you have put in each room and read for fun.

Even if you can’t remove the television completely, at least restrict how much TV they watch. Limit the hours that the television is put on, and keep it off the rest of the time.

Self motivated reading without television
Reading Dr Seuss. mashAllah

Step 3: BUY THE RIGHT BOOKS

If you feel your child is ready to start learning to read (often referred to as Reading Readiness) you will need to invest/borrow some books to help you to begin.
The first thing you will need is a ‘Primer.

We have used the Primer:

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading  by Wise and Buffington

Another highly recommended alternative is

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson

 It teaches the rules of reading, beginning with the phonetic sounds of each letter, and then progressing to blending, through to difficult multi-syllabic words. By the time your child finishes one of these primers, you can be completely confident that they can tackle any other book out there.
Although these books are printed in the U.S. they are suitable for children in the U.K.

Once your child has learnt the sounds of the letters, they can also begin reading short books called ‘Easy Readers’, as well as continuing the lessons in the primer.

For the early stages I would recommend:

  

Having progressed through one of these box sets you can move onto more challenging readers. There are many sets and curriculum available that you can follow if you wish.

My advice would be to choose books according to your child’s interests rather than following a rigid curriculum.Whether its fairies, cars, horses or monsters, there are a multitude of easy readers available to buy online and borrow from the library.

Dinosaur Easy Readers
Dinosaur Easy Readers

Do not worry that you are not completing every book in the series, or reading them in the correct order, because if you are working through a primer, then your child will not miss any of the ‘rules’ they need to know.

What is more important at this stage is that they continue to love reading and books, and the act of reading does not become a chore to them. After the ‘Easy Reader’ stage they can read anything they want to (with some guidance from Mum!).

For more comprehensive reading lists, ordered by age, ability and topic, I would recommend Honey for a Child’s Heart
 by Gladys Hunt.

If at any point your child seems to loose interest, just take a break for a few weeks. Pinterest is full of fun activities for you to do with your child to improve her reading skills without opening up a book. She will be learning to read without realising it!

On those days when the kids are sick, or they just don’t want to cooperate, we use Reading Eggs, an online reading programme full of games and songs.

At this young age it is vital that you remain flexible and take a relaxed approach to teaching reading. Make it enjoyable and have fun!

So that I how I taught my Four-year-old to READ in 3 Easy Steps!

Of all three steps, step one (instilling a love for books) is the most important.

Without it you will face a constant struggle with your child, in an effort make them cooperate and do something they have no desire to do. If they love books, they will want to read.

Please leave me a comment below and tell me how you are teaching your children to read. What resources have you used? What are some of your children’s favourite books?

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Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

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Picture Books To Encourage GOOD CHARACTER In Muslim Children

The books we read to our children affect them. The words
and the images linger in their minds, especially before they fall asleep. The stories resonate in their hearts and  can leave a lasting impression. Such books have the power to teach a child life-long lessons, in particular, good
character.

Muslim Children's Books for good character

Below are a list of some of my family’s favourite picture
books that encourage upright character and good morals. 
These books do NOT contain the stories of the Prophets (pbut) but are works of fiction. Truly the best of characters was that of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and the other Prophets of Allah (pbut), and to them we should look for the best example. A list of my favourite Islamic children’s books will be published soon insh’Allah.  

This is NOT a sponsored post. These are genuine recommendations and are books that I read to my own children.

Whilst all the books listed are suitable for any child, those
marked with a (M) are specifically targeted at Muslim children.


Montmorency’s Book Of Rhymes by T.J. Winter (M)

T.J. Winter (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad) has written this charming collection of rhymes. With it’s fantastic characters and beautiful illustrations, rich language, and subtle moral undertones, it is a timeless classic that should be a part of every Muslim child’s collection.

‘The Masjid Mouse he has a house
Inside a minaret,
Because his roof is high and dry
Above the rainclouds of the sky,
His home is never wet.’
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Williams and Mohammed

A heart-warming story of two girls and their friendship in a refugee camp in Pakistan. 

‘In the morning Lina went to do the washing, wearing
beautiful sandal. She picked her way to the stream, careful to keep her sandal
out of the filth. Her old shoes has been ruined on the many miles of walking
from Afghanistan to Peshawar, the refugee camp in Pakistan. She had carried her
brother, Najiib, no bigger than a water jug then, but just as heavy.’


The Librarian Of Basra by Jeanette Winter

Based on a real story, this is the tale of a librarian’s struggle to protect the city’s books during the war in Iraq. One cannot help but be moved by her love of knowledge and literature.

‘All through the night, Alia, Anis, his brothers, and
shopkeepers and neighbours take the books from the library shelves, pass them
over the seven-foot wall, and hide them in Anis’s restaurant.’


Wangari’s Trees Of Peace by Jeanette Winter

Based on a real story, a woman’s fight to save the trees of Kenya, and restore the natural order in her homeland.

‘…Wangari returns to her Kenya home and sees a change. What
has happened? She wonders. Where are the trees?’
The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson

A fun and silly book, for those fun and silly moments! George wishes he wasn’t the scruffiest giant in town, so he buys himself a new outfit..a new outfit that will help a lot of other animals in ways you wouldn’t expect!

‘As he hopped, he sang to himself,
“My tie is a scarf for a cold giraffe,
My shirt’s on a boat as a sail for a goat,
My shoes is a house for a little white mouse,
But look me up and down –
I’m the smartest giant in town.”’

Hilmy The Hippo Series by Rae Norridge (M)
This series follows Hilmy the hippo as goes on adventures, learning from his mistakes a he goes.

‘“Hilmy,” said the large hippo. “There has been no rain for
a very long time. Our waterhole has dried up. You must be kind to us and allow
us to share this beautiful waterhole.”
’ (Hilmy Learns To Share)

The Perfect Gift by J. Samia Mair (M)

A story about appreciating nature and living in submission to Allah.

‘Sarah thought that the woods had never looked more
beautiful. Sarah took her special path to the right that only she knew about. The
path led to a stream that meandered silently through the woods.

Thank You O Allah! By Ayesha bint Mahmood (M)

This book is aimed at children under 6. It encourages gratitude to Allah for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us.

‘So dear younger Muslims,
Indeed we must say,
“Thank you O Allah!”
Each night and each day.
For beautiful blessings,
That Allah does give,
Let’s keep thanking Him
As long as we live!’

What books would you add to this list? I would love to know. Please leave me your recommendations in the comments below.

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For a daily look into Our Muslim Homeschool follow me on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Thank you for visiting our blog!

Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.

You might also like:

Muslim Homeschool Curriculum
Click