Islamic Books for Children

Bismillah,

So, your child can read. She is reading books. I suppose after children start reading and have developed the joy of reading, the most important task for parents is to provide them with good books. Books that help them to broaden their horizons; Books that help them to understand the world; Books that help them to differentiate between what is good and what is bad; Books that help them to shape a morally responsible character; Books that promote virtue and discourage vice.

Alhamdulillah, there are many Islamic story books out there than ever before. I would not say we get lots of choice or we always get the quality we want. Nevertheless, the market is developing and with each year behind, we can see more and more Islamic story books aimed at Muslim children of all ages.

Here is my long awaited book review for some of the books we have purchased awhile ago. Alhamdulillah, children have learned so much through these books.

1. A Concise Children’s Encyclopedia of Islam– big S is very much into encyclopaedic books at the moment. I would especially recommend this for children between the ages of 7-10 as they get to read about various phases of Islamic history, Muslim countries, inventions made by Muslims scholars, Islamic rituals and much more. Very interesting to read and beautiful illustrations (with no eyes)

2. Room 101 and Other Stories– I was very much impressed with this book. It is definitely a MUST have book for each Muslim household. Stories were originally written in Arabic by Dr. Ahmad Bassam Saeh, later translated into English by Dr. Imran Alawiye. There are twelve stories altogether, written both in Arabic and English (half a page in English, half a page in Arabic). A great tool for those children who need to practise their Arabic reading and vocab through stories. The book is made using great quality paper, hardcover and contains beautiful illustrations. Each story is so relevant and appealing to today’s society.  Children are encouraged to draw their own conclusions through characters’ behaviour and actions. They learn through each story that whenever a bad/evil is committed there will be a consequence to meet; Whenever good is done there will be a reward to reap; The head of all good deeds is the obedience to Allah swt. Big S (who will be 6 next week inshaAllah) loves this book and reads it every night. Little S (4 year old now) loves to be read as this is too difficult for her to read by herself.

3. Stories of the Prophets– again this book was written originally in Arabic by Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, translated into English much later. This is ideal for more older children between the ages of 9-12, as it uses text only and no illustrations. It presents the lives of major prophets’ sent by Allah in more greater depth, using Qur’anic and hadeeth references. It is very informative, yet simple and easy to understand for children 7+. Ideal to be used as textbook in class, at home or school etc. It helps a child to understand all prophets’ mission through perceptive observations. Highly recommended

4. Allah and Me- Learning to Live Allah’s Way, teaches that a Muslim does everything for Allah. The book helps to form a strong faith in “Allah knows what is best for us”. The stories are short, simple and easy to understand. There is a Q&A and task based activity after each story. So, you can invite a child to have a follow up discussion after each story to find out what Allah expects from children, what He likes, what He dislikes etc. I find this book very practical as we often refer to one of its stories during the day. The stories are appealing and relevant to most children’s daily life. Allah and Me discusses some Islamic virtues/rituals which we should practise in our daily life in order to live according to Allah’s will. A perfect book to link child’s every action to Allah; to introduce a healthy dose of love of Allah and fear of Allah. (Illustrations are okay)

5. The story of Muhammad saw in Madina– simple and concise introduction to seerah for slightly older children, I would say 6+. Our 6 year old really enjoyed reading it all by herself. Great book to be read to children 4+. Excellent quality paper and excellent illustrations. Stories contain informative explanations and vivid descriptions.

6. These are set of story books published by The Islamic Foundation. We have had them for awhile now. I would say big S grew out of them but they are perfect catch for small S, so ideal for children between 4-6.

Hilmy the Hippo series, 5 books with excellent content and illustrations in this set titled: Hilmy the Hippo learns to Share; Hilmy the Hippo learns to be Grateful, Hilmy the Hippo learns about Death; Hilmy the Hippo learns about Vanity, Hilmy the Hippo learns not to Lie. 

I Can series, 4 board books with awesome illustrations in this set: I Can Read Qur’an Anywhere, I Can Wear Hijab Anywhere, I Can Make Dua Anywhere, I Can Say Bismillah Anywhere.

A Caring Neighbour– A Caring Neighbour

Our Grandad– 

 

 

Cindrella- an Islamic Tale- Cinderella - An Islamic TaleFinally, the set of books about “Know How’s” by Writeway Publications for younger children. These are not story books but lists a number of things about How To Be a Good Muslim on various topics with beautiful illustrations on each page. There are 4 books in this set titled  How To Eat and Drink; How To Be A Good Child; and How To Be Safe; How To Keep Clean. These have been little S’s favourite books recently and little I loves them too.

Alhamdulillah, we have been so far very pleased with our purchase of Islamic books for children. I have to admit that they are a bit expensive sometimes. But, we can not purchase them in charity shops, most libraries in the UK do not provide great variety of Islamic story books for Muslim children and these books are definitely not available in car boot sales. So, we have no choice but to buy them sometimes. InshaAllah, it is a good investment in shaping our children’s character. I can see this especially in big S since she reads these books all the time and then questions me on certain aspects of our life in order to understand more; or certain actions of book characters to make out the conclusion.

Best Foundation Summary weeks 12 March- 18 March

Bismillah,

I dont know how to name these posts, wallahi I struggle lol. It is the summary of what we have been doing the past week/weeks so decided the best way to go would be just putting the dates in.

Qur’an reading

We did Surah Kafirun from Um an Numan. MashaAllah girls did so well all the activities inside. It is a bit easy for Sumayya but perfect for Safiyya’s level.

    

Arabic Handwriting

Sumayya is doing a page a day from her Scribe book as well as independently writing/copywriting words from her Arabic books. Safiyya mashaAllah independently writing all the letters of the Arabic alphabet.

  

Arabic Reading

We have started using My First 100 Words from the Qur’an book. Kids read words in Arabic, copywrite them and talk about the meaning. They get to colour the pictures for each word. We were talking about how Allah created the earth and human beings; how some people have ears but they cant listen to; they might have eyes but they cant see; but for those who use their ears and eyes well and lived as Allah ordered them to live- there will be nice armchairs with soft cushions in Jannah etc. We are revising Ahsanul Qawaid. We read lessons 16-17 with Sumayya and lessons 4-5 with Safiyya. Alhamdulillah Safiyya just started reading the words with fatha.

  

Math

Safiyya finished her Math workbook from Autumn Learning Books. MashaAllah she can count 0-50, write numbers 0-20 and is doing simple addition problems. Sumayya is progressing on MEP Year 1. We are practising counting by 2’s with both girls.

 

Prophets’ stories

Sumayya read the story of Musa a.s. We did all the worksheets inside and talked/discussed the content in greater depth. Then I gave kids a paper and asked them to make snakes. They made one long chain-style snake by cutting and sticking paper strips. Then they drew and cut out lots of smaller snakes and were role-playing how big snake ate all smaller snakes using their crafts. MashaAllah good way of getting them narrating the story.

Creativity

MashAllah they are both so so creative. Sumayya is always drawing and describing her pictures to us in such great detal. Below she drew mommy, Sumayya, Safiyya and Ibrahim in Jannah. Apparently we were all by the lake and I was trying to get some water. There were green pebbles and she even wrote PRINCES MAMA for me lol. Then again she drew the whole family- mommy, daddy, Sumayya, Safiyya and baby Ibrahim in car seat. Me and daddy had crowns on our heads given by Allah swt because we have been good. Alhamdulillah.

We have also been spending a great deal of time outdoors, thanks to recent nice weather. They are always collecting stones, sticks, feathers etc to make something out of them when they get back home and mashaAllah they do. Sumayya has nicely washed one feather and decided to use it as a pen. She keeps asking me for ink and she wants to put her feather in ink and write with it. I dont know where to get such ink

  

Safiyya is N1 creative artist in the household. She never lets me put anything in the bin (recycling bin) be it food packaging or plastic bottles and bags. She is always waiting for me to use one of the packaging things so that she could have the box etc. She was asking me to use the lasagne sheets so that she can have the empty box. I gave her the empty box, she covered it with white paper; drew animals on one side and people on the other side of box and said it was Nuh a.s ship.

These two are ship as well and she has different stories to go with both. Her stories are never ending, she keeps going on and on making new sequence in a story

  

Aqeedah and Seerah

We have been learning more on Good/Bad Deeds and Jannah. InshaAllah I will try to reinforce the positivity to encourage the love of Allah, the love of Qur’an, the love of Jannah so they fall in love with being good and doing good deeds in order to get to Jannah.

We are still learning about prophet Muhammad saw’s family; who was who in the family; good and bad uncles etc. They have done one more coloring page from Easel and Ink

Russian

MashaAllah their interest in Russian language is increasing day by day. The past 2-3 days we have been reading the famous children’s book Buratino by A. Tolstoy. It was my favourite as a kid and I read and translated it to the girls at bed time a couple of days ago. Since then Sumayya pretends to be reading it, spending about 30-40 mins with her big Buratino book in her bedroom. She doesnt like being interrupted when she is not a confident reader. She could read 3-4 words in the book. She could read all these words; Buratino, papa (father), lisa (fox), kot (cat). And she started talking a little phrases here and there. Safiyya was trying to cut a large cardboard and Sumayya said ostorojna- be careful; just so randomly and so casually lol. I was surprised and amazed. InshaAllah with a bit of push she will pick it up very quick, she is literally teaching herself how to read in Russian. All I do so far is read books and let her watch the cartoons made based on the books we read.

So we read this book and we watched the cartoon here and I am trying to speak a little Russian every day for simple phrases such as: sit down, stand up, come here, eat, wash your hands etc.

 

The Best Foundation Curriculum Summary: Weeks 28 Feb-11 March 2012

Bismillah,

SubhanAllah we have been so busy over the past couple of weeks and I find it hard to commit time towards blogging regularly. But I guess that is the same issue with all blogger homeschooling sisters, mashaAllah. Blogging does help me to contemplate and review our homeschooling and identify what steps I shall be taking next in terms of kids progress with each subject.

So, we have been trying to stick to our new curriculum. And Best Foundation is based on Qur’an and the Sunnah. All the other subjects are incorporated into one of our main subjects. Geography based on seerah, handwriting based on aqeedah, math based on Qur’an etc.

And here is what we have been doing over the past weeks.

Qur’an Hifdh

Alhamdulillah we do listen to Qur’an 20-30 mins each morning. I go with each child individually to revise 5-6 surahs they have already memorized. And we listen to a surah we are memorizing 3 times at the end, repeating after the sheikh.

Sumayya is now memorizing Surah Naba and Surah Abasa. She can read them both from the mus’haf and when she does it she recites them both without pausing. But when she recites them purely from her own memory then she does pause quite often and can’t remember the next ayah until I mention the beginning of it. Safiyya is now memorizing surah Takathur.

Arabic Reading

They have been reading from their reading book at Arabic school and memorizing the vocab inside. In addition we read from Ahsanul Qawaid. Sumayya is currently on lessons 14 and 15. Safiyya is learning the different forms of letters and on lesson 4 and 5. She has just started reading, mashaAllah. I just can’t believe it but she has grasped the concept of letters have different forms at the beginning, middle and end so quick and started recognizing them very quick as well.

  

Arabic Handwriting

We do lots of copywork for our Arabic handwriting. Sumayya is still using Scribe from Learning Roots and has just started the section copying words. Safiyya has Arabic Writing Book from Goodword books for tracing but she is also trying to independently write all the letters.

  

Safiyya’s independent handwriting attempt and tracing. Some pages she did from her writing book from Arabic school with exercises. She is memorizing the vocab in that book too, alhamdulillah.

      

Seerah

We have been reading stories from the Tell Me About Prophet Muhammad saw book and have lots of discussions on the life of the prophet saw. The last story we read was about Khadija ra and her marriage to the prophet saw. And here is what they have asked me

– Did she really like the prophet saw?
-Why her baby boys died when they were babies?
-Where is she now, is she in Jannah?
-Was she prophet’s best friend?
-Why was she reach?

We have also been doing the coloring pages based on the Sealed Nectar from Easel and Ink. So far we did 2 coloring pages. It started off with prophet’s lineage. So the girls have learned that Ibrahim a.s had 2 sons named Ibrahim and Ishaaq alayhumussalam. Prophets Musa and Eesa alayhumussalam were the children of Ishaaq a.s and Muhammad saw was the only prophet from the children of Ibrahim a.s.

Aqeeda

Previously we covered the angels Kiraman Katibeen and how they count our good deeds and bad deeds. And the punishment of the grave or the fire for being naughty, the bliss and Jannah for doing more good deeds. I try to reinforce the positivity so we talk more about Jannah and rewards and therefore we should be doing more of a good deed. But sometimes by accident we may do things wrong, and when that happens we should immediate say sorry to Allah swt and follow it with a good deed. That is girls understanding and alhamdulillah when they do something wrong immediately they try to please us by doing something nice at home.

We have been learning about Jannah lately in our Aqeedah sessions. We have read a book by Goodword and done a couple of activities based on that. But they learnt that Jannah is a big garden, very big park. And we have recalled all the previous parks we have been in the past and I explained that Jannah is even biggest than any park we have been so far. It is the biggest garden with the most beautiful flowers, the sweetest fruits, the healthiest vegs, bouncy castle and toys. And everyone has their own castle in Jannah. Some of the conversations we had

Sumayya:

-Mommy, is everyone young in Jannah or old?
-People of Jannah are very young, they dont age, they have no wrinkles on their faces
-So, grandma becomes young again if she goes to Jannah
-InshaAllah yes
-So she becomes white like you
-I think so
-So, she can have babies in Jannah. Then we dont have to give Ibrahim to her

(lol, we always talk about grandma taking Ibrahim back home when she goes back because she doesnt have anyone to live with. And Sumayya suggested that she should have her own babies and grandma explained that she had babies like daddy when she was young. But now she is too old to have a baby. Therefore Sumayya came up with the above idea that inshaAllah if grandma keep being good then Allah gives her Jannah. And she becomes young again in Jannah and can have her own babies instead of taking Ibrahim from us)

Safiyya:

-Mommy, can I have sweets
-You can have in Jannah but you have to be good until then
-And the sweets never make me poorly in Jannah. All the chocolates in Jannah are healthy
-Yup. And you can have as much lollies as you like, you never get toothache, tummy ache etc
-And I never get eczema in Jannah
-That’s right
-And we dont need toilet in Jannah because there are no toilets
-That’s right. Everything is pure and clean. We eat what we like but we dont have to go to toilet
-Mommy ask Allah to give me pink castle in Jannah
-Ok inshaAllah 

  

We read the book and talked about the flowers in Jannah. Sumayya absolutely loves nature, flowers, birds, animals and planting. She is forever busy in the garden with one of her gardening projects. She has asked me to plant something so many times. It was also the 1st day of spring so we talked about the changes in nature, more sunshine, daffodils and bluebells. So it was nice arts/crafts session relating both to spring and Jannah. We got it from here. We also got the above spring badge from Easel and Ink. And when finished coloring, cutting and pasting Sumayya wrote underneath: I love flowers. I like to water them. MashAllah, these two sentences she came up with, wrote without me suggesting anything. But she composed grammatically correct sentences, wrote them with the correct spelling. MashaAllah even English is not our 1st language at home, she can read and write better than her peers whose 1st language is English. And we have not done any grammar or spelling lessons, she seems to pick up all her linguistic skills from reading lots of books.

Qur’an party

I said to Sumayya when she finishes memorizing surah Naba we would do the Qur’an party for them. MashAllah one of the homeschooling moms I know did Qur’an party yesterday and it was awesome. We did lots of Qur’an centred activities, party games such as pass the parcel, puppet show about learning Qur’an etc. Kids and adults really enjoyed it and it was so refreshing. May Allah reward the sister. So, my girls keep talking about their Qur’an party and cant wait to finish memorizing their surahs. They keep making Qur’an charts like progress chart where they tick the box for finishing a surah. They keep drawing Qur’an tree and designing an invitation card and brainstorming ideas about how to decorate the house etc. Here is some of their cards

     here is her bakery list of things to get for the party. Her handwriting is improving too.

Tafseer

Alhamdulillah, after long hesitation on whether we should start doing something constructive on tafseer or not, I finally introduces the  tafseer using the pictorial worksheets from Little Starts of Islam. We have so far done surah Nasr and surah Lahab, we did these two because we were doing Quran centred workbooks of these two surahs from Umm an Numan. So, it was nice that they could read and understand the meaning/translation by using both.

Creativity

Alhamdulillah they are always reading, writing, making arts/crafts on their own initiative. Sumayya is always designing her cards and writing letters. If she makes someone upset she she quickly writes a letter to apologise. If she is upset with someone she quickly writes a letter asking not to make her upset. Safiyya is writing all the letters of the English alphabet independently but she cant obviously spell words yet. So she does ends up writing lots of individual letters up and down the paper and decides that it is a letter to someone in the end.

Here is Sumayya’s letter to my brother. She has never met him but they talk to each other via skype and they love each other mashaAllah. It says: To my lovely uncle Murod, I want to teach you about flowers and plants
  

Here is one of Safiyya’s letters. She draws flowers, colors them in, cuts them out and sticks them on a paper with gluestick.

Reading

Alhamdulillah Sumayya enjoys reading. On average she reads between 1 to 5 books. After much thought we have introduced chapter books and alhamdulillah this book I got from car boot sale ages ago was excellent start for chapter books. I would highly recommend it as it is a living book with beautiful illustrations and easy but not dumbed-down language.

 

Safiyya is still learning to blend. She recognizes all the phonics and some of the short words. She still uses Jolly Phonics flashcards too

Geography.

We do map drill based on prophets stories/seerah stories. When we read a story we try to locate places, towns on the globe, map, atlas books etc. We had this Picture Atlas since Sumayya was a baby but I had completely forgotten about it. As we moved the bookshelf to kids bedroom upstairs I had to rearrange books and found this. It is very interesting book and again I got this in car boot sale lol. I am telling you sisters, books are real bargains in car boot sales.
  

Russian

We still have not done anything specific for our Russian language apart from reading books and watching educational cartoons. One of our favourite books are about the Old Fisherman and the Golden fish by classic Russian poet Pushkin. I often read it before bedtime, translate the story and discuss the content. My dad always narrated this story to us when we were young and we all loved this story. One day I was speaking to my dad on the phone, I asked him to tell this story to Sumayya over the phone and passed the phone to her. Sumayya enjoyed it so much and I remembered my childhood. Grandma retold the story in that same tone and using the same language etc.

We have also watched the cartoon here

So, these are what we have been doing recently. InshaAllah when I am a bit more advanced blogger I would like to share files etc. I am trying to learn how to use box net.  I copy pasted the Easel and Ink coloring pages into word document but I dont know how to share files at the moment. So, if anyone is interested in using those then inshaAllah leave your email in the comments and I will email you the files for which there is no link in this post. JazakAllah khayr for stopping by.

Seerah Progress

Bismillah,

Alhamdulillah, this year we have been learning the life of the prophet Muhammad (saw) in more detail. We have two books to use for our seerah studies. I use the following book during our study time. We read one story at a time and do a follow up activity. So far we read the following: The Prophet’s birth; Nursed in the Desert; A visit to Yathrib. I read the story and summarize it to the girls. Thereafter, I ask them to narrate the story back to me whilst doing a follow up activity. They narrated the 1st story like this: The prophet was born in Arabia many many years ago. There were three towns in Arabia at that time: Makkah- a barren valley where people used to come to pilgrimage of Hajj; Madinah- an oasis famous for its palm trees and dates; Taif- mountainous refuge place during hot season famous for its grapes. Muhammad (saw) was born in Makkah. His mother’s name was Aminah, father’s name was Abdullah.  The prophet’s father died when he was a still baby. 

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