Updated: Mar 22
I thought it best that I start with a blog on teaching children how to read the Qaidah. The blog will draw upon my own experience as a Quran and Qaidah tutor, which I have been doing for the past 14 years. I will cover one topic and will begin with how to teach children Qaidah. I will draw upon tried and tested methods and my own pedagogical training.
I have collected and made a range of resources that I will also link for easy access.
So where to begin? Bismillah...
Creating a love of learning
The very first thing that we were taught in our teaching degree was to nurture a desire and a love of learning. How can we do that? Well as parents and teachers, it is our duty to ensure that the children we teach and raise have a desire to learn. The desire to learn will ultimately turn them in to life long learners and when it comes to learning the Qaidah and the Quran, what better way to earn Sadaqah Jaariya then a child who carries a fierce love for the word of Allah?
In today's environment, holding onto the Quran is becoming harder as the trials and temptations of the world engulf us. Therefore I strongly believe in nurturing a love for Allah and the Quran from a very young age.
So how should I start?
Before I begin teaching a child the Arabic alphabet, I explain that what they are about to embark upon will be a journey to get closer to Allah. I explain that learning the alphabet will help them read the Quran and reading the Quran will help us understand the messages that Allah has sent us.
This should be enough to light a little kindling in their hearts as a child's fitrah (nature) is naturally inclined towards the belief in one God. This love can then be grown over time through talking about Allah's love and mercy and how if we follow the message, our life will be so much better.
So after the little introductory talk, we begin with Ta'awuz (AuthuBillahi- minash-shaytaan-irajeem) and Tasmiya (Bismillah-hirahmaan-iraheem). There is a fantastic visual of these on youtube by Understand Quran Academy. I explain briefly what it means and will get them to repeat after me. Repetition is a key way of learning and even a little goes a long way. I will then begin with just saying the first letter 'Alif.' We will talk about how it looks, I will get them to trace it on the page. I will also encourage them to read it whilst they are tracing it with their finger. I also sometimes close the Qaidah once they have read it a few times and ask them to show me what the letter looks like in the air. You can also get them to draw it (with their finger) on your hand and you can also draw it on their hand (they absolutely love this). I will then move onto the second letter 'baa' and we will repeat the steps (reading, repeating, tracing etc).
A good thing to do is also to explain where the sound should be coming from i.e. the makhaarij of the letter. This can be done through visuals which I will also be uploading in the future Insha Allah.
If the child in question is capable and eager I may then move onto the next letter.
Reinforcing learning through writing and other activities
After doing the first two or three letters, I move the child onto writing the letter (I will link these pages soon Insha Allah). The page will feature some colouring, tracing and an opportunity for them to practise writing it themselves. I hang a select few up on the wall so that they can serve as a visual reminder for when they come in the next day. A bonus of doing this is that it makes them proud of their work and so they will be more likely to remember the letter and indeed the lesson.
The booklet is available to purchase in the shop but the cards are free for a limited time, so grab them now! Click on the picture to access the Arabic letter practise booklet to download.
What other things should I remember?
Remember to tell the child that the Qaidah has the words of Allah in it and that we shouldn't place it on the floor. We should tell them that it is a special book, different and indeed better than any other. We should explain that it deserves our utmost respect and that they should carry it carefully and take great care so that it doesn't rip. Some of mine would end up ripping it by accident or just through gradual wear and tear. I always make sure that they help me fix it with sellotape and take out class time to do this just to show them them the importance of fixing and maintaining their Qaidahs.
Don't make their initial reading session too long. A general rule of thumb is to take their age and add 2 minutes as a child's attention span isn't long. I like to keep the alphabet sessions short and sweet as the pace keeps them interested and engaged. Have a few activities prepared in advance that they can move onto. You can find some free activities under the RESOURCES tab on the website.
See the 'free arabic letter worksheets' blog for a range of supporting resources.
Let me know if you found this beneficial and if you want me to continue this particular series. Also share with other teachers or parents who might find it useful.
If you think I have missed out anything, or if you do things differently, let me know in the comments below!