Our religion values reading since the first verse revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was “read” from surah Al-Alaq. Reading is an important part of a homeschooling life and the primary means of gaining knowledge. Children are like sponges and absorb everything they are exposed to. Everything they read will read influences their heart, their way of thinking, and beliefs. This is why it’s crucial for parents to make sure that the children read only good and worthy books.
In Episode 74 of the Raising Mums podcast, Ustadha Mehded Maryam Sinclair shares her insight and wisdom in picking books for the Muslim child. This audio recording was a response to a question asked after her masterclass with the mums of Launch Your Homeschool.
Mehded Maryam Sinclair is an American writer, teacher, performing artist and student living in Istanbul where she studies, researches, and teaches the lives of the prophets known in the Qur’an to families all over the globe. She helps to inspire Muslim families to love their religion by telling them vivid stories that nourish their hearts. She is the author of two award-winning books, When Wings Expand and Miraculous Happenings in the Year of the Elephant, and A Trust of Treasures, as well as five audiobooks, A Mercy to the Worlds, The Bowing of the Stars, The Fall of the Tyrant, Take Heed, and Scents of Paradise. She has narrated classical Qur’anic stories to thousands of live listeners in the US, the UK, Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand. VISIT HER WEBSITE:https://www.stories-of-light.com
To find the right books for Muslim kids consider…
Imaginary reality and Physical reality.
In the past, stories reason for existing was in line with survival of a community.
Stories become problematic when boundaries between reality and fantasy are erased or no distinction between good and evil.
One should also avoid books promoting disunity of the family, shirk, or that are solely focussed on magic.
Launch Your Homeschool is an online course that will hold your hand and walk you through the beginning stages of homeschooling, built upon the framework of the Charlotte Mason philosophy.
I teach you how to choose the right subjects for your homeschool, how to choose the right resources and plan out your year to create a homeschool experience that aligns with the values and beliefs of your family. Whether you are homeschooling in the UK, or elsewhere in the world, this programme will help you give your children an incredible education at home.
I show you the essential teaching techniques that you’ll need to know to get started. There’s even an entire module on how to manage your time so you can still cook, keep the house tidy and take care of yourself, all whilst homeschooling your children!
It can be disappointing, maybe even heart-breaking, when your child won’t read. Many families have at least one reluctant reader who just doesn’t enjoy reading. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can encourage your child to read at home, and enjoy it!
This blog-post contains affiliate links. Please see the Disclaimer for more information.
Children who read do better at school , opens up world of opportunities There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy
In Episode fourteen of the Raising Mums podcast, I discuss a variety of different ways you can encourage your reluctant reader to start reading!
Edited 2023: Since this was originally published in 2019, Reading Eggs has begun to include topics such as abortion, gun violence, and LGBTQ issues within its online library.
How do we teach our kids to read? It can be overwhelming to even think about it!
I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to a reading programme that is simple for parents to follow at home. The Reading Eggsbook packs are fun, will engage your children’s imagination, and are highly effective!
We all want our children to read more, and enjoy the rich world of reading books brings! The best way to nurture this enthusiasm for reading in your home, is to start their experience with books in a positive way.
If they enjoy the process of learning to read, they will be eager to pick up books themselves to read in their own time.
That is why I believe the Reading Eggs programme is so effective. I have used their online platform for many years with my elder children. Today, I excited to introduce you to their range of books.
Reinforce learning with fun phonics games using their Flashcards.
You’ll Love Reading Eggs Books if…
-You want to provide your children with a solid foundation in literacy.
-You’re a really busy mum, and you are looking for something that is easy to implement and that your children can do a large part of independently.
-Your children enjoy colourful and visually stimulating books.
-You have children aged 3-6, who are just beginning to read.
Using the book sets from Reading Eggs, alongside the online platform, provides a complete learning programme to teach your kids to read. Through this programme your children will learn phonics, sight words, and develop a deep love for reading. insha’Allah.
Watch this video and spend the day with us! See what home education in the UK really looks like for Our Muslim homeschool!
Home education simply means to educate your children outside of the mainstream school system. What that looks like for each family is different but for us, as it does for many others, it involves plenty of time outside, sports and activities with friends and formal studies at home.
Watch how we teach Quran, our swimming classes, outdoor time and a heart-to-heart chat about “What homeschooling is REALLY like!”
This video and blog-post was sponsored by WordUnited, who kindly sent me their Arabic and Phonics programs, and compensated me for my time. This blog-post also contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.
WordUnited is an incredible website that stocks hundreds of high-quality educational resources for children aged 0-13. They have everything you can imagine on that site, from beautiful baby toys, resources for literacy, numeracy, science, special needs and even multicultural toys section! With hundreds of new products being added every week, WordUnited is set to become the next big thing!
WordUnitedkindly sent me two sets of books to review; the “Let’s Read” program, which teaching children the foundations of phonics, and the “Let’s Read Arabic” program which teaches children how to read Arabic words.
Each set consists of eight books. As your child progresses through the program, they gradually increase in complexity and build upon lessons learnt in previous books.
The books are small and easy for young hands to hold, as well as colourful and engaging to to children. They illustrations feature realistic high-quality images of objects that children will be familiar with in their lives. I really appreciate how the creators of these books have used visual cues to highlight the individual sounds that make up each word.
These books are ideal for home educators are they include parent guidance at the beginning of each book. This is really important to read as it clearly explains what is being covered and how to use that particular book effectively. I love it when a curriculum make it simple for parents!
The books can be purchased individually, or as a complete set.
Edited 2023: Since this was originally published in 2017, Reading Eggs has begun to include topics such as abortion, gun violence, and LGBTQ issues within its online library.
Online learning games are an effective method of improving children’s literacy skills and increasing their confidence in reading.
For years I have been using Reading Eggs in our home to teach the children to read. You can imagine my delight when Reading Eggs reached out to me and asked me to review their online reading programme! My children have enjoyed and learnt so much from Reading Eggs and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share that with you here!
This blog post has been written in collaboration with Reading Eggs, who gave my family free access to their online Reading programme and compensated me for my time.
I have used reading eggs with both my sons from the age of 4. After beginning the programme, I witnessed their literacy skills improve tremendously in a short space of time and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for reading grew!
Reading eggs is so much fun and it works!
What is Reading Eggs?
Reading Eggs is an Award-winning online reading programme for children aged 3-13. It is a safe online learning environment that gives children access to hundreds of reading lessons, thousands of interactive activities and over 2500 e-books!
Reading Eggs have also recently launched a Reading Eggs Junior, which is a new online learning programme for toddlers (ages 2-4) to introduce younger children to letters and pre-reading skills through songs, picture books, interactive activities and videos. It’s a lot of fun!
Benefits of Online Learning
Here a some of the benefits of incorporating online learning in our homeschool:
Reading Eggs has been cleverly created to allow children to maneuver their site with little need for grown-up assistance.
My children were easily able to progress through their lessons without my help, and soon worked out how to access all the other features of the programme.
Nothing hinders learning more than a lack of confidence. I have seen this in my own home. However as our children became more fluent in reading and progressed through the various levels of Reading Eggs, their confidence grew!
Builds Positive Associations with Reading
Reading Eggs is so effective at teaching reading because its is fun. From my experience, I found my kids wanted to do their reading lessons and were disappointed if, for some reason, they couldn’t do it one day!
My eldest son really enjoyed the phonics songs and the interactive nature of the lessons.
My youngest son loves the reward system they have in place! After completing the lessons, the children are rewarded golden eggs that can be exchanged for virtual prizes. This was a great incentive for him to work through the various levels. He loved completing his lessons so he could fill his virtual house with all the prizes he had won!
It’s wonderful to know that whilst they are playing and having fun, they are learning to read!
Mummy can rest!
Let’s be real for a moment! Online learning is not only an effective method of teaching children, it also has real benefits for homeschooling parents.
It gives me time to do other much needed things; like putting on the laundry, preparing lunch, teaching my other children, or just unwinding for a moment with a cup of tea!
Online learning is a fantastic means for parents to educate their children at home. Reading Eggs is an incredible programme and resource, and I would genuinely encourage you all to visit their website to see if their programme would work for your family.
If you have any questions about how we incorporate Reading Eggs into our homeschool curriculum, or if you have any queries about the programme itself, please leave me a question in the comments below.
Learning to read is one of the most important skills our children will ever learn, yet as parents, most of us have no idea how to begin!
Keep reading and I will walk you through the 3 simple steps and show you how to teach your 4 year old to read!
This blogpost contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.
This article is written from my own experience. By the age of 4, my son was reading fluently. Now at 5 years-old, he can pick up almost any book, read it and enjoy it. At the moment he’s especially keen on our encyclopedia!
And that’s what it’s all about for me; opening up the world of books to them whenever they’re ready.
Whether you home educate, or your children go to school, these simple steps will help you to teach your 4 year old 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.’
1. Develop their Love of Books and Stories
If 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 please take this…
A child who is self-motivated will learn to read, and learn any other skill that they want to learn, 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 your 4 year old
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 your 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 regular field trips
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, the books will most likely be left on the shelves. Not only is TV highly addictive for small children, becoming a bad habit that is hard to break, 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.
My children do have restricted daily screen-time, but I work hard to make sure that the TV and other devices are off for most of the day.
So, even if you can’t remove the television completely, try to 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.
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.
A primer teaches the rules of reading, beginning with the phonetic sounds of each letter. It 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 the books above 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’, whilst continuing the later lessons in the primer.
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.
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!