Help your child to become a Life Long Reader

The foundation for learning to read is in place long before children enter school and begin formal reading instruction. You can help to create this foundation by talking, listening, and reading to your children every day and by showing them that you value, use, and enjoy reading in your lives. These are 20 ways to make your child a life long reader:
  1. Read to your child every night
  2. Take turns with other adults to read aloud.
  3. Create a library of books in each child's bedroom.
  4. Tell stories to your children.
  5. Get your children to tell you stories.
  6. Ask family members to recall stories of family incidents.
  7. Share and discuss articles from newspapers and magazines.
  8. Read road sign and billboard out loud.
  9. Play 'I Spy' in the car.
  10. Listen to audio tapes/cd in the car.
  11. Read a recipe together as you cook.
  12. Read the movie advertisements together.
  13. Write shopping list together.
  14. Organize a library or book store membership for each child.
  15. Take advantage of book fair program and special event.
  16. Encourage children to read the label of food packages.
  17. Enter reading competition.
  18. Encourage your child to make a scrapbook.
  19. Have a policy on television, computer games etc. 
As parents, the most important thing we can do is read to our children early and often. Reading is the path to success in school and life. When children learn to love books, they learn to love learning.

Parental Involvement

Parents can help in their child’s development in a number of ways:
  • Always talk to your child about Islam and being a good Muslim.
  • Get involved in your child’s school activities or events.
  • Communicate with your child’s key worker to know his/her progress, potentials or even problems.
  • Be the role model to your child.
  • Listen to your child. Children are very curious about the world around them. Always relate their questions to Allah.
  • Look at books and read stories together to encourage the development of reading habit. 
  • Reward your child when they do something good.
  • Develop sharing and social integration within the school.
  • Encourage friendships with peer groups.
  • Check and respond to your child’s communication book daily, in case there is any news from class teacher, and/or the school management. 

Art for Children

Benefiting from Art
When it comes to education, art seems to be the subject that is forgotten and set aside. How will art help my child? You may ask. Aren’t there other subjects that are more important, that my child should be concentrating on rather than wasting time on painting drawing and making things?

Of course all subjects are important and play a vital role in education and these should not be sacrificed for the sake of art. But the nature of art is that can be beneficial to all other subjects, and can work in harmony with them.

Before talking of the subject of art, it is important to point out firstly, when it comes to creating art, as Muslims we must adhere to what is acceptable and what is not, especially with what is on display. Indeed we have the Noble Qu’ran and the Sunnah as a guidance as to what type of images can be depicted, and this is the bases of the art. Therefore it is not so much art for “art’s sake”, rather art for the sake of education and benefiting our children and therefore, for the sake of Allah insha’Allah.

Tips for parents
When your child starts creating, it is not about the end product; rather the process of creating that end product that is important.
Ask questions about the picture/model, rather than just saying “oh that’s nice”.
Make positive comments, as negatives comments can be highly de motivating.
Pick out a few pieces of your child’s work for display; this will give the child a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Stick it on the fridge or frame it in a room or even upload as a desktop for the computer.
If it’s a model, let it be a talking point.
Integrate art with curriculum at every opportunity, including Islamic studies. Art can be a wonderful way of teaching tawheed, learning about the masjid and the rich history of Islam.

Benefits of art
Builds motor skills - learning to cut, paint and draw will help with your child’s motor skills in a way they can enjoy, without any pressure.
Develops hand – eye coordination.
Builds on self esteem – creating something and showing mummy or daddy is a wonderful way of feeling valued for making a creation.
Self expression – Helps a child think for themselves, which benefits them in other subjects, e.g. in English, such as creating stories and poems.
Awareness – art can help your child to be more aware of their surroundings and to “look” at things in different ways. It also helps them focus on projects.
Problem solving – teaches a child to be creative and find alternative solutions to problems.
A wonderful way to channel energy for energetic children.
Builds confidence and encourages interaction.
An opportunity to spend time with your child.