Category Archives: Reading
One thing we as parents know about raising children is that all children love stories (including many, if not most adults)! Reading is fundamental for a child’s development at every stage of their life, not just for developing their language skills, but also to develop their creative thinking. One of the challenges for Muslims living here in the west is to screen the content of these stories for their children. Some may consider us to be prudes for even discussing this topic, dismissing our concerns as being “fanatic”, “wahhabi”, “suffocating”, “overbearing”, but the truth of the matter is that quite a bit of children’s stories have content that are questionable by Islamic standards.
How so? Magic is a common staple of children’s stories for centuries (e.g. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio – which also happen to be standard Disney cartoons that most children watch), but the reality is that magic is HARAM in Islam, and should not be presented to children as being something that is glorified, or a path to immediate success. This is precisely what the allure of magic is for non-Muslims: It is a quick and easy way to become successful, no hard work, no du’a, and everything is for this present life (i.e. no concept of the Akhira). No du’a, no trust in ALLAH, no hard work, no patience. Nothing.
The problem with this, is that if our children are brainwashed with these false images, they will become disenchanted with Islam, and only focus on attaining worldly benefit. When we look at the stories of any of the Prophets, we see that there is a constant struggle against evil, their is a need for patience, and a requirement to have trust in ALLAH, and ALLAH alone. No wishing upon a star (which would be kufr), nor asking some phantom “fairy god mother” (also kufr, and who is neither a “fairy”, not a “god”, and nor your mother). As children get older, they read “The Wizard of Oz”, and when they get a little older, they come across “Hairy Potter”. The root of this problem is that we as parents first need to be aware of the magnitude of the concept of magic in Islam. If we are to be our children’s teachers, then we need to first and foremost become students ourselves, and learn the fundamentals of our beliefs. It is only by being proactive can we properly educate our children.
It seems that I am perpetually teaching reading around here. Since everyone is about two years apart, I guess this is true, lol. My first child took to reading so quickly and has developed such a love for it that I often have to force her to go to bed at night. She’s used flashlights, nightlights and whatever other source she could find to light her books. Finally, I gave in and purchased a lamp for her so that she wouldn’t damage her eyesight.
Today, we continued with Suratul Ikhlas. Her memorization is going well, masha’ALLAH.
Saxon Phonics 1 is coming along well also. Each day a new letter is introduced and she has to use the letter tiles to spell words.