Art based literacy


So my daughter can read now. What to do next to improve her other language skills such as spelling, grammar and reading comprehension? Ideally I dont want to break up the language into spelling, grammar etc until she is older. I want to instil the love of reading into her heart, inshaAllah. I love reading classic literature myself, religious or otherwise. And I would love for my children to develop reading for pleasure as a hobby.

Books can take us to places we have not been and probably will never have a chance to visit. And books introduce us to people we would never have a chance to meet in real life. So, ultimately, books-emphasis should be on good living books– help us to broaden our horizon. So, I just want my daughters to develop the love of reading. And I believe if children keep reading, their spelling and grammar just comes along naturally because they would have enough exposure to good literature, where writing and expression of ideas are stylistic and the grammar is perfect.

So, in order to have more engaging literacy sessions, I have come up with the following plan to progress with Sumayya and Safiyya’s language skills.

Sumayya is now very fluent reader. She can even read my books and my SISTERS magazines as well, Alhamdulillah. Safiyya has learned all the phonics but she can not blend them to make a word. She seems to be better at sight-reading. She remembers words by sight but when I ask to join and blend certain sounds she looks at me blankly lol. Anyway, here is the plan inshaAllah.

For spelling and grammar– short lessons, art based activity, use as less worksheets as possible. More attention on developing their imagination and organize arts/crafts session 2-3 times a week on the subject that they are most interested at a time. Make the craft and try to write some sentences (Sumayya) and some words (Safiyya) based on their own experience. It is almost like a writing a diary. When Sumayya is a little older I will start using prepared dictation for spelling inshaAllah. And with Safiyya we will continue with MTS 3 set cards and Jolly Phonics flashcards in addition to our art based literacy sessions.

For comprehension skills– Narration. I always ask Sumayya to narrate me the stories she has been reading, in English and in Uzbek. She knows stories have beginning, middle and end. She usually retells the events of a story in the right order of sequence. She should extract the conclusion or morale from the story and we have a little discussion. Again, this can be done just on the go, whether I am cooking or we are travelling etc. And it is very effective, Alhamdulillah. Safiyya is not that good at narrating but if I provide some visuals to go with the story (i.e sequencing cards) then she makes the effort to narrate.

So, last week they made a nest and a flamingo. Sumayya loves birds and always trying to make a conversation with them. So they both made these.

Then I wrote some sentences for Sumayya leaving some blank spaces to fill in. She read and completed the sentences. For Safiyya we did N is for Nest, F is for Flamingo and she did tracing letters N and F.


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