Sunday, 28 December 2014

Enhancing Reading Skills!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


 Alhamdulillaah Maimoonah's reading is going on well and she is able to sit for hours reading a book until she is asked to do something else. Giving her the right reading materials has indeed become a major challenge for me and inshaa Allaah I will write about it on a separate post soon.

While seeing her read so much I was pondering over few issues about her reading skills. Does she really understand what she reads? Is she reading for pleasure or is she really learning something? Does she get the message or core information of the book? How is her comprehension? Is she able to put out what she got out of that book? Does she understand what she needs to look into and pay attention to while reading a book to get the maximum benefit?

If she is to read a book from the Ulama (scholars) or even a book on the seerah is she able to note down the benefits she has got out of the book? Most importantly when she reads the tafseer of the Qur'aan does she really able to comprehend what Allaah says and does she get the message?

She does talk to me very informally about books she read and relate to me information that she has read, but I have really not made it a point to sit and ask her about each book nor have I given that amount of time sitting and discussing a book in a very formal way. I figured she does have a good command of the language and does have the comprehension but was not too sure if I am directing her correctly with regard to all of my above questions.

This led me to talk to a sister who is a qualified English teacher and in fact uses the techniques to get the child think and make the child understand what he or she should look into a book to get the best out of it. So she was willing to start an Enhancing Reading Skills weekly class at the QMuslimah Children's Library.

We have had few classes so far. We gave each child a notebook, folder, pencil and an eraser. 

The sister started with something very interesting. She introduced "Title" "Illustration", "Author" "Narrator" all by giving the kids a task. The task was "You have done well and made your mom happy. She wants to give you a gift and she has asked you to choose a book from a store." How would you do this?"

So each child came up with different answers. To make it short she then explained the importance of a Title in the book. She displayed different titles and asked the kids what they thought about the contents of the book by just reading the title. She also gave them a title and asked them to write all what they thought about the book. she used this book and had a an interesting discussion with the kids. 

Before reading the book she asked the kids to think what the book would contain? Then she read part of the book and asked each kid questions like Who are the characters in the book, what are the personalities of each of them, what was the setting, and so on...


The next classes included talking about description and descriptive words, parts of a story such as setting, beginning, build up, conflict, climax, resolution, ending, characterising and mood. The sister also reads a story at each class and asks questions from them and makes them attentive listeners and stresses the importance of paying heed to details while reading. She also continued with reading part of the Story from the book "Who Knows" and stopped before the resolution and asked the kids to come up with their own resolutions. After discussing she read them the author's resolution and ended with "Only Allaah knows Everything" including the Story of Moosa alaihisslaam and Khidr. 

Now they are learning how to write a story with a message.

This is how the classes are going so far. I have not penned down every detail here but wanted to keep a record of when we started these classes and what really led me to it.

When I witnessed these classes I thought to myself I really do not give so much of time for Maimoonah on these aspects. And this was just an excellent opportunity for me to get her into thinking and most importantly learn something from another sister who I trust would do her best in sticking to the same principles I hold and connecting all what she teaches back to Allaah and His messenger.

Apart from this Maimoonah is now learning to understand how she should be in a group class. The sister is also teaching her how she should focus on what she needs to do in a class even though she may get distracted by others. All the kids in the class are nice children but all are school going children except Maimoonah, therefore she is facing some challenges but is enjoying the company Alhamdulillaah. 

As we go on I will update on the progress Inshaa Allaah. I hope to use these learnt skill and start something with Maimoonah in the near future after I settle with few issues which will be learning to write down benefits from listening to lectures of the Ulama and reading the books of the Ulama. I want to give her a notebook and make her listen to one 30 minutes lecture and ask her to write down just few benefits from the lecture she heard. This way she would slowly learn to take notes and understand the benefits Inshaa Allaah.

I have not updated our study on Usooluth Thalaathah and Important lessons for Every Muslim for sometime due to time constraints but she is learning to do the scrap booking by herself and we have done a lot even though going slow Alhamdulillaah. I presume these skills that she is learning would enhance the scrapbooking of these two books as well Inshaa Allaah.

Hope this would benefit other sisters too in some way. You are welcome to share your thoughts on this by leaving a comment and would love to hear what you think about this!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Basic Silk Painting Workshop!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Alhamdulillaah we had a special workshop for our girls homeschoolers and non homeschoolers today and it was such a wonderful experience Maashaa Allaah! We got to know  from here a professional Art Community called MAPS in Doha was offering some nice casual classes. We approached them and asked them to do a special class for us and they readily accepted.

The girls learnt the very basics of silk painting, techniques, methods, and they also did a craft to take home. 

First they selected a design on a frame and sprayed water and started off by painting the background.

 Then they all were taught how to use the stone salt on the panting. 

They were taught step by step how to paint the design, dry them and also how to remove the masterpiece at the end. They also provide the girls with notes on the techniques and steps of silk painting.

The girls got a small snack during a break and also had a draw and one of the girls won a silk painted cushion

These are the final products of the kids,

Maimoonah was happy and liked her work. This is her's and we are planning of making a cushion for her using her silk painting Inshaa Allaah!

All in all the workshop was conducted in a very professional manner, all materials were provided and they catered to our needs like not drawing or painting figures with souls and provided a very comfortable environment for the girls. We thank Rashmi Agrawal the president of the art community and Natasa the instructor for a job well done with the girls. Looking forward to many more classes inshaa Allaah!

They are ever ready to arrange any such classes for any group of kids or adults. So contact Rashmi if you need to arrange a class or or course on Tel: +974 5560 3845,  

These out of home classes are making a big difference for Maimoonah these days as she is growing and needs some challenging changes I guess. To be able to participate in something like Enhancing a skill out of home in a proper environment is indeed a blessing for us homeschoolers! There are many arts and crafts classes and workshops happening around Doha, if you are living in Qatar, keep checking this page for updates on Arts and Crafts Classes and Workshops and choose a suitable one for your kids!

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