Alhamdulillah Abdurrahman has just finished iqro level 3. Things are smoother now and Abdurrahman is more eager to read every single day. Honestly, I was amazed that he can read part of verses really well. Looking back when he struggled to read even one by one letter, I didn’t expect him to progress this fast.
The biggest challenge that I face while teaching him quran through this iqro book is to keep him motivated and to keep boredom away. I can fully understand if he’s not so eager to read because iqro book consists of all letters, no pictures at all, unlike most of his story book.
Well, of course I can design my own so-called eye-catching iqro book, with all fancy pictures. But, right now I don’t have time for that. Also, a lot of people have been using iqro book for years, not only in Indonesia where it originated, but also neighboring countries like singapore and malaysia, even some muslim community in united states. So, I believe this book should suffice by itself.
So how to do it? Today I would like to share some tips to keep my preschooler interested in learning how to read quran.
1. If your child has not been exposed to iqro before, start using arabic alphabet flash card. I got mine from my friend, and the flash card helps the children to get familiarized with this entirely new alphabet set. Let them play with it, do some role play (e. G. “ow.. Letter ba wants to ride the choo choo train”, you got what I mean) , and paste some at your fridge or some corners of your child’s whereabout at home. Let it be part of their daily life.
2. Keep the learning session short. Preschoolers are known for its short attention span, so don’t force them to focus when they can’t. They won’t and you’ll just waste your time doing that. Start with five minute session gradually increasing it to time span comfortable for you and your preschooler. With Abdurrahman, usually 10 minute is our border, but if he’s willing to, he can continue to read further.
3. Rather that having one long learning session every day, try to break it up into multiple sessions, say, one in They morning and one in the evening.
4. Keep it attractive. Use child-friendly language to teach. Rather than saying one vertical stroke and one slanted stroke when teaching the vowel sound (sound of a and i), I choose to say this stroke is sleeping while the other one is standing.
5. Make it a game. There were times when abdurrahman was eager to combine iqro book and flash card at the same time. We read one word from iqro then We tried to reconstruct the word using the flash card. Fun!
6. A lot of praise. Children loves praises. So don’t forget to give them praises even after they read one word. I use different phrases, such as good, very good, well done, excellent, awesome, wonderful and at the end I know that Abdurrahman loves to get ‘awesome’ and ‘I’ m very proud of you ‘ praises more. So I begin to use this particular phrase after he did some difficult section. He becomes more eager to learn. Score!
7. Give a lot of incentives. We don’t usually let Abdurrahman play games or watch movie in regular basis, but if he does well in his iqro reading, he gets to enjoy 10-minutes screen time before bed time.
Special prize is given after he completes each level of iqro’. We want it to be very special, so we intentionally chose the prize from his wish-list. e.g. For completing iqro 2, he snatched die-cast disney cars toy car. I also started a new routine of making him a certificate of appreciation whenever he completes a particular milestone. This is to remind us of his achievement and I hope he will appreciate this little thing.
8. We as parents can do many thing that we can to encourage our children to learn Quran. All toys, special food, and many more that you can promise. But always remind you children that this reward from us is literally nothing, compared to the abundant reward that Allah has prepared for them for learning Quran.
9. To keep your children motivated, you need To keep yourself motivated too. Sometimes, after a rough day of teaching Quran, I felt at lost, feeling incompetent, or simply feeling let’s just put this aside, I will do it when they are older or simply send them To Quran school. Hold on, be persistent to your self. Always remember what Allah has promised us. When you feeling tired of teaching, remember that for every single letter that your children utter while reading Quran, you will get exactly the same rewards as they do. Not only now, but five, ten, or thirty years letter, or even when you have passed away, the rewards still continue to grow and grow insya Allah.
That’s it. I hope these tips are useful for you who’s teaching Quran to your children.
Do you have any tips to share to encourage your children to learn some new language, or entirely different set of skills ?