Seerah Snippets and Caravans

The 3rd Part of our Seerah Snippets was about the Prophet (saw) time as a trader. I read the caption to Noori (9) and Abd (2) from @kitabkids about Khadija (RA) who she was and her relation to the Prophet.

We talked about camel caravans and how it would have taken a long, long time to get from one place to another with the goods loaded on them.

I took out the two Flashcards from our Goodword Arabic flashcards that related to our story camel and dates to learn a bit of vocabulary. The pictures gave a nice visual aid aswell. Abd is at a stage where he likes to repeat everything that people are saying. So he really enjoyed repeating the words back to us.

Then we did a bit of role play. I took out some dates, a jar of spice and a wooden play till.

I asked the kids to pretend they had arrived at the market after a long, long journey by caravan. They then had to trade their goods i.e dates and spices with each other.

Abd really loves playing with his till and pretending to be a shopkeeper so he really loved this. Noori who is 9 enjoyed playing it aswell. Role play is a learning tool from little kids to adults.

I told them that when the Prophet (saw) arrived home and gave all the profits to Khadija she was very impressed as he had brought more than she had expected showing he was a great business man.

This was very short but sweet and we thought alot about the Prophets early life as a trader.

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If you enjoyed this you can find Part 1 and 2 here for more ideas.

Part 1 Seerah Snippets & Hot Chocolate

Part 2 Seerah Snippets & Shepherds

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Seerah Snippets & Shepherds

Our second part of learning the Seerah is about the Prophet Muhammad (saw)’s early life as a shepherd.

Earlier in the day I prepared a basket with some toy sheep and two books about sheep. I was intending to do a small world play but sadly that didn’t happen. Instead I sat the kids down and told them about the how the Prophet (saw) most likely became a shepherd at the age of 8. Can you imagine starting work at 8 years old and not going to school!

We then looked at this Hadith

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah did not send any prophet but shepherded sheep.” His companions asked him, “Did you do the same?” The Prophet (ﷺ) replied, “Yes, I used to shepherd the sheep of the people of Mecca for some Qirats.”

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْمَكِّيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ يَحْيَ عَنْ جَدِّهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ مَا بَعَثَ اللَّهُ نَبِيًّا إِلاَّ رَعَى الْغَنَمَ ‏”‏‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَصْحَابُهُ وَأَنْتَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ نَعَمْ كُنْتُ أَرْعَاهَا عَلَى قَرَارِيطَ لأَهْلِ مَكَّةَ ‏”‏‏.‏
We discussed what a shepherd was. Noori who is 9 already knew but we looked in more detail at a book called All About Farm Animals about sheep and thought about why being a shepherd is an important job.

All about farm animals

From sheep we get wool, milk and meat. We thought about what things can be made with these things. Sheep would be very valuable to the Makkans at the time. Plus in Ramadan it is tradition to sacrifice a sheep on Eid. We quickly went over the story of Ibraheem and Ismaeal.

I then showed them both a video of a shepherd in Saudia Arabia. Imagine what it would be like standing in that place. What would you see, do, feel in the heat?

To get Abd who is 2 and a half more involved we read Thats Not My Lamb and felt all the feely pieces thinking how a real sheep would feel.

Thats not my lamb

We then looked at what the Shepherds would eat. I found this Hadith on sunnah.com which was really interesting. I had no idea what a mastigure was so had to google it. A mastigure is a lizard with horns.

Lizard 3D

It was narrated from Jabir bin ‘Abdullah:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) did not forbid (eating) mastigures, but he found that distasteful. It is the food of most shepherds, and Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has benefited more than one person thereby. If I had some I would eat it.”
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو إِسْحَاقَ الْهَرَوِيُّ، إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَاتِمٍ حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ ابْنُ عُلَيَّةَ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ أَبِي عَرُوبَةَ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ الْيَشْكُرِيِّ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ لَمْ يُحَرِّمِ الضَّبَّ وَلَكِنْ قَذِرَهُ وَإِنَّهُ لَطَعَامُ عَامَّةِ الرِّعَاءِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَنْفَعُ بِهِ غَيْرَ وَاحِدٍ وَلَوْ كَانَ عِنْدِي لأَكَلْتُهُ ‏.‏

I pointed out that the Prophet (saw) didn’t like to eat lizard but he would still eat it without complaining because it is sent from Allah swt. The same as we shouldn’t complin about our food.

This was very short but sweet and we thought alot about the Prophets early life and being a shepherd.

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Here is Part 1 Seerah Snippets & Hot Chocolate

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Teaching Your Toddler Colours – Hands On

For Abd who is 2 and a half having a sister who is seven years older than him is a massive advantage. He watches every little thing she does and learns so much. I can’t say that I have done anything especially significant to teach him colours as he has learned alot from his big sister.

When I decided it would be fun to teach him colours to my surprise he pretty much already knew most of them.

There were a few things that we did which I will list below that we did in everyday life. Easy, simple and pretty much free which anyone can do:

Interaction

Talking, talking, talking is a big thing. Babies learn so much from you by having a face to face conversation with them.

Walking and talking is probably even better. With Abd I made sure to buy a pram that had the option to face me. This gives your child an enormous opportunity for face to face conversation. Your child can see your facial expressions, body language and the way your mouth is forming words.

When he had learned the name of something for example lorry, I would then add Green lorry or orange lorry.

Most mornings we will walk down one street that has deliveries to the shops. There will always be a green lorry and a white lorry that he knew to look out for and shout green lorry or white lorry.

For months and months we would do this. At home I would say, ” Can you pass me the red towel?” and pointed to it. Whether he knew what a red towel was it didn’t matter as he could see what I was pointing to.

Books

In our house we love books. Naturally I choose books with different subjects else I end up with a house full of number books or animal books. Luckily we don’t have much space so he only has two colour book. A small Julia Donaldson book about Colours. And another one by Julia Donaldson from the Tales From Acorn Wood collection. (I can’t find them to show here as I gave them away).

Eric Carle books are bold and bright and perfect to use to point out the different colours.

Eric carle

Reading these books helped him alot but any picture book in general is full of colourful pictures to point to and talk about.

Games

One week we had a dinosaur themed week which you can read about here.

I bought the Dotty Dinosaurs game from Orchard toys. I didn’t expect him to be able to play it but it was about dinosaurs and he could learn how to take turns and listen to us talk about colours at the very least.

Orchard Toys

But when we started to play he could find the colour from the dice, say it and find the matching counter. I was really surprised.

After that I was asking him to match colours everywhere. His Melissa and doug tea set has some tea bags in a little box. I took all the tea bags out and had him put them all back in the right place matching the colurs and saying the names.

Melissa and doug tea

What I have written about is just the beginning of learning the basic colours using things we already had at home and by having conversations.

Have a look around your house and see what you can find from the things you already have.

There are also so many amazing activities out there about colour matching and sorting too explore.

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Seerah Snippets & Hot Chocolate Part 1

I was never planning to teach the Seerah right now but it is the month of Rabi Al Awaal and Instagram is full of amazing parents doing amazing things. They have given me lots of ideas on how to teach my children about the Prophet Muhammad’s life in a fun and practical way.

I did this by telling my kids the story, setting up a sensory play and making hot chocolate.

This is Part 1 of the Seerah story of the Prophet (saw)’s youth.

I narrated the story to Noori (9) and Abd(2). At this point the Prophet (saw)’s Father had died and his mother sent him to the desert.

In those days, as it is now Makkah was full of travellers coming for pilgrimage. The living conditions were crowded and the number of travellers meant sickness was rife. The mix of travellers brought their own dialects and languages. Life was quite stressful compared to the dessert life. For all these reasons the Arabs would send their babies to the desert to learn the pure language, learn the traditions, get strong, lead an unstressful life and stay safe from disease.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was looked after by Haleema Bint Abi Dhuayb his wet nurse in the desert.

I explained to Noori that a wet nurse is someone who breastfeeds someone elses baby. If she breastfeeds the baby more than 5 times it becomes her relation. All the children she nurses becomes siblings.

At this point we poured some milk into a glass (to be used later) to make us think about this special realationship from breastfeeding.

Then I told the next part of the story.

One of the Prophets special milk brothers was called Abdullah. One day when they were both really small Muhammad (saw) and Abdullah were playing togther when two men appeared and picked up Muhammad (saw).

Abdullah ran to tell Haleema what was happening. Later on the Prophet Muhammad said that two angels had come, taken out his heart and cleaned away all the jealousy and envy making his heart pure.

Before telling the story I had set up a small sensory play. I put some heart shaped chocolates in the bottom of a dish and covered it with whole wheat.

I gave it to Noori and Abd and they searched around for the chocolates and put them on the plate next to the dish. They were surprised and happy to find chocolates in that boring looking dish. ( The hearts will be used for hot chocolate). They ended up eating most of them! Then they had fun feeling and sprinkling the wheat over each others hands.

They then put the hearts in a pan with the milk. As Noori poured the milk I said its like they were washing the hearts and making them pure.

We melted the milk and chocolate together. There wasn’t alot of hearts left so we added some chocolate powder to make it more chocolatey and enjoyed our hot chocolate. I told Noori everytime she sees a heart shaped chocolate she can remember this story.

I asked Noori to retell the story to me to see if she understood

Later on Abd decided to start spooning the wheat so I gave him a little sugar pot and he transferred the wheat to the pot in a child lead transferring activity. Afterwards we put the wheat back in the jar so we can make something from it.

This is our little short but sweet introduction to the Seerah, the story of Prophet Muhammad (saw)’s life.

Have you taught your children about the Prophet (saw)’s life?

Here is our Part 2 Seerah Snippets & Shepherds

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Dinosaur Themed Play

Before we had a son the Husband and I discussed dinosaurs. We both did not understand the fascination. They no longer exist and if they did everyone would be seriously scared of them.

Fast forward two years and the world has gone dinosaur insane. I went shopping recently and every single t-shirt and jumper in the boys section of one high street store had a dinosaur on.

Even my boy has started to like them. I blame Cbeebies. It was so cute when he found a toy dinosaur and started roaring. I suddenly started to like them a bit. I knew we had a dinosaur book at home and his Grandad had made a 3D printed one for him once.

I got on Pinterest and found some ideas for a dinosaur week. Once a week I rotate his toys and books and try and do a theme.

I went around his room and found some dinosaur related things and put them in his basket.

Books

Tyrannosaurus Drip-Juila Donaldson

Tyrannosaurus drip

We have had this book for a long time as it came in a set of Juilia Donaldson books. Reading her books is a pleasure as the rhymes are easy to read out loud, they have lovely illustrations and have clever plot twists.

Tyrannosaurus Drip is about a baby dinosaur who feels that he doesn’t belong in his family. Eventually he finds his tribe, but has to keep his scary adoptive family away from his real family.

Lots of roaring and ryhming with this book.

Game

Orchard Toys Dinosaur

I really love Orchard Toys as they are fun, educational and the illustrations remind me of my childhood. I was lucky to find Dotty Dinosaurs during our dinosaur week. I had no idea what it was about and the age range started from 3 years but its about dinosaurs so we can give it a try.

I have been trying to teach Abd (2years) about colours for a long time. We set it up and played it as a family. The least I expected for him to learn was how to take turns and hear us say the colour names out loud.

Suprisingly he could match the coloured pieces to the colour on the board. Depending on his tiredness levels he was really good at taking turns. The opposite side of the dinosaur board is about shape matching. I thought this would be very hard but he could do that side aswell. With practise he is slowly learning his colours and picking them out by himself. I didn’t realise how good these games are for learning!

Art

After a quick search for inspiration the only things we had in the house came together to make dinosaur suncatchers. I hate waste so used an old box and some old sweet wrappers. I tried hard to think of a way to glue them together but had to resort to the laminator.

I layed the dinosaur cutouts onto the laminating pouch and Abd aranged the wrappers in the cut hole.

Dinosaur Sun Catcher

The result was this dinosaur couple. The wrappers are perfect for letting the sun through and casting colourful shadows around. The combination of wrappers and the laminator made a really pretty effect.

Dinosaur Sun catcher

Sensory Play

There are photos of amazing small world play everywhere, but you need alot of ‘stuff’ for that. Luckily I found enough bits and bobs to make our own dinosaur little world, rocks nests, gems a grape vine tree, homemade playdough and of course our one and only 3D printed dinosaur.

DINOSAUR sensoryplay

As playdough is basically slime Noori had lots of fun with Abd playing around with this small world. ThItor favourite things were making dinosaur tracks in the play dough and rolling the gems into it. This kept them busy for a good half an hour.

Thinking back now we could have acted out the Tyrannosaurus Drip story.

So this ‘No Dinosaur Household’ welcomed dinosaurs for the week and I have to say we may well add a few dinosaur additions if they come our way.

Are your kids dino mad?

More Sensory Stories

Norman The Slug With The Silly Shell

Peter Rabbit

Chickens Can’t See In The Dark

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How Much Does Allah Love Me? – Book Review

How Much Does Allah Love Me

Author:Heba Subeh Hyder

Illustrator: Aatena Hassan

How Much Does Allah Love Me, is the first in a new series of books ‘Maymunah’s Musings’.

The story of a girl who loves Allah and understands that Allah is our creator and loves us back too. Maymunah is a thinker and sees the signs of creation all around her. But how much does Allah love her?

She knows the best person to pose this question to is her Mother. Her Mother explains to her all the ways that Allah loves her from his signs.

These signs are all shown to us through Aatena Hassans colourful, fun illustrations of animals, space, family and weather. All things that young and old are familiar with.

This is a story of Love, knowledge and family.

I like the book as it isn’t like a traditionally Islamic kids book. Maymunah doesn’t wear hijab and has big curly hair. But her Mother does wear hijab which is more of a reality than lost books which show everyone wearing the hijab. Having big hair was something I was teased about at school so too see a strong, intelligent girl proudly sporting her big hair is something I really admire and am happy to see. Her family seem to be made up of different races which is a theme through alot of books I have read from Prolance Publishing and is much needed.

I would say the book is aimed at young girls as it is very pink with love hearts everywhere. I wouldn’t stop a boy from reading it as the message is important for everyone, but I don’t think a boy would necessarily choose it for themselves.

The lesson we can take from this book is about loving Allah, and knowing Allah loves us In Sha Allah. I know alot of children who are taught to fear Allah but not necessarily feel the love.

Afterall Allah is Al Wadood. This is a geat story to teach our children this beautiful name of Allah and help them to understand how to see the signs of Allah. To ask questions and know that Allah loves us more than even our parents.

Noori’s View

This book is available to buy at Prolance Writing

Read more of our book reviews:

Yans Hajj

Nannis Hijab

Zaks Little Lies

A Race To Prayer

planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

Paradise Is Oh So Nice

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

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Learning The Meaning Of The Quran Part 2

My daughter is now 9 and I have found a new way of teaching The Quran to her since Learning The Meaning Of The Quran Part 1 by adding more techniques .

We are looking more into depth by learning word for word. I learnt this from my own Quran lessons and learning the meaning of each word really helps you to understand a deep meaning and connection. It also makes it much easier to memorise when we know what we are actually saying.

There is nothing wrong with teaching the individual words to young children either.

At the moment we are learning Surah Shams. When I say we, I mean we. I have realised I have been teaching Noori,when I should be putting the effort in to learn along with her for myself.

We still use the method from part 1 and also read from My First Quran With Pictures. Afterwards I write each word from one Ayah on small peices of scrap paper. I write the Arabic with tajweed rules in a different colour. Then the Englsih word underneath.

I find all this information from the Quran Hive app. It is a free app that tells you the meaning of each word. You can press the word, the meaning will come up and you have the option to hear the word spoken aloud which is nice if there are any tricky words.

It also tells you the tafsir of each verse which is nice and helps you remember each verse when you know the story behind it.

I then stick these to our living room mirror. I use the Noble Quran app to listen to the ayah and we read along. When we have remembered it we look more closely at the word pronunciation and talk about any tajweed rules that there may be.

If Noori can’t remember a word we try and think of a sign with our hands for example for the word sky we can point to the sky. We then look at the meanings of the words in English.

I then mix the words up and have Noori stick them back on the mirror in the correct order.

When she has memorised the Ayah in both languages I then chop the English words off. We then play a mix and match game to match the correct meaning to the Arabic.

I don’t expect her to get all the words perfectly right. As long as she has the right understanding that is what matters.

And that is how we learn each Surah word by word.

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Allah’s Blessings – Water

Have you ever stopped yourself in the middle of washing the dishes and really thought about water?

Water is just amazing. We drink it, wash in it, wash our things in it, use it for wudu, grow plants, grow crops. Basically weَ need it to survive.

Imagine one day you wake up and your water supply has been cut off.

You would be OK having a drink and eating food ect for one day. But as Muslims water is essential. How would we do ghushl or wudu with no water? How would we fulfill our main religious duty?

We know that the Prophet (saw) used only 750 mls or less of water to do wudu. I decided to try it out for a few a days and itَ made me more mindful during wudu. Was I doing all the actions properly? or mindlessly rushing and missing parts out? I also realised how much water I wasting during wudu.

Get yourself a bottle and try it out.

Wudu

Our water comes from rain. The Hadith below is really amazing :

Angels

Imam Ahmad transmitted in his Musnad from Anas b. M

Next time it rains just think that it is the angels who bring down that blessing Subhanallah! Watering the Earth, helping trees and plants to grow . Without trees we wouldn’t be able to breathe , without plants we would have no fruit, vege or nuts to nourish us. Animals wouldn’t have places to live corrupting the balance. Bees would have no hivesَ meaning no honey or pollination. And we would have no water to drink.

The rain can also be too powerful and bring about distructuon. You can find the Dua for when it rains here.

Here is a well know Hadith that I’m sure we have all hear of :

Waste water

The Prophet (saw) told us how precious water is and that we shouldn’t waste it even if we are at a big stream full of endless water. So how can we do this?

Here are 7 ways to save water.

  1. Use less water in wudu. If your using a tap keep it running slowly.
  2. Use natural cleaning products. The chemicals we use in cleaning our house and especially toilet can contaminate our water. Using natural homemade products will have less of an impact.
  3. Take shorter showers and have showers rather than baths.
  4. Instead of cutting down trees to make toilet paper, using it once and throwing in the toilet use water. Toilet paper can end up in landfill. If you got poo on your arm you would wash it with water not with just tissue.
  5. Buy used clothes. The fashion industry uses tonnes of water to make just one t-shirt.
  6. When washing the dishes don’t keep the tap running. If you are a tap runner put the plug in and see how much water you use.
  7. Any water you can’t use water your plants with it.

Can you think of more ways to use less water?

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Eid Breakfast At Abuelas – Book Review

Every once in a while a truly multicultural Islamic children’s book pops up showing the true diversity of Islam. Eid Breakfast At Abuelas is the latest one.

This is book 1 of the Trilingual Sofia series written by Mariam Saad and illustrated by Chaymaa Sobhy.

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

Each sentence is written in English with a Spanish word thrown in highlited in green. Incase you don’t understand the words there is a dictionary in the back with English, Spanish and Arabic words. This picture is so cute showing how Sofia is teaching her cousins Arabic words.

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

The story itself is about a little girl called Sofia and her multicultural family. It is set in Ramadan and Sofia is trying to fast. On the day before Eid her family travel by plane to visit her non Muslim family for Eid celebrations.

Even though her family are not Muslim they still love each other and celebrate Eid bringing the whole family together.

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

This story is nice for children to read as nothing worrying happens. It shows a nice happy family living together despite their differences. More often than not this is not the true case for many revert families, but teaching our kids stories like this could give them a spark of inspiration. Inspiration to find ways to bring their families together even if the adults have other ideas.

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

Sofias Grandmother is Mexican giving the story and illustrations a hint of Mexico. Coming from the UK I don’t know anything about Mexico or its culture and especially about Muslims there. So this book is a nice little introduction to a different culture and shows us that anyone can be a Muslim regardless of race or culture.

The illustrations are bright, lively and full of joy just as Sofia and her family are.

Here is a bit about the author

Eid Breakfast At Abuelas

This book is available to buy at Prolance Writing

Read more of our book reviews:

Yans Hajj

Nannis Hijab

Zaks Little Lies

A Race To Prayer

planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

Paradise Is Oh So Nice

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**This book was sent to me for free to review from Pro lance Publishing ***

Tips For Helping Your Child With English Homework

To all UK Mums. Is it only me that can’t understand my 9yr olds homework? She is in Yr 4 and last week she came home with homework about conjunctive clauses and something else I can’t even rember the name of.

I got out my trusty Carol Vordermans help your kids with English book and found the correct section.

After 5 minutes I still couldn’t understand it. This will take some serious studying if I can help her with her homework.

I’m still pretty proud of my Grade B,C in English GCSE but the world has seriously advanced in 15 years. Back then people were probably doing these things in A Level not year 4!

Can little kids understand this or is it all too much?

What is a Mum to do?

I may not understand half the things she is learning but I can still help her as much as I can. Here are a few ways I try and encourage mine to love writing and help with homework:

Spellings

Part of her homework was a spelling list for the next 2 months. I went through the first weeks spellings and asked her to spell them out loud. The ones she didn’t know I wrote out and blue tacked them onto the door. Now and again or everytime she walked past I asked her to look and spell them out. She quickly picked them up.

I then asked her to write each spelling down so I knew that she was using the correct letters. For example phonetically C and K sound the same so. In school they are asked too write the spellings out so it is important to make sure she is writing the correct letters.

I also asked her what the words meant and if she didn’t know to explain. I read a great quote that if a child doesn’t understand the words they are reading how can they love to read? This is something I had never thought of.

I’m happy to say she got 100% in her test.

Soryteller Dice

One thing that Noori really hates is story writing, punctuation and grammar. I know she knows how to apply these but she doesn’t want to. She is so wrapped up in her story that she wants to let it all out onto paper. The two processes of thinking of the story and thinking of the punctuation is too much at once. So the pressure of both make her hate it all.

This is so sad because she has brilliant ideas and professional writers have proof readers 😉 but this is for school so we need to conform.

I bought some storyteller dice from tiger. I didn’t know if she would love or hate them but they were worth a try.

We took them home and got out our notebooks (I had to play aswell).

We rolled the first dice and it landed on a picture of a tree. We had to write one sentence with a tree in it. When we finished we both read out what we had written. Then we rolled a second dice. It landed on a picture of a bird. We wrote the second part of our story involving a bird.We then read out what we had written. And so on until we got to the sixth dice which is the last one. It was fun for both of us to write stories and see what ideas we both imagined. That night my story writing hater wrote 3 stories. As she gets used to it am slowly adding in rules that you have to start using punctuation as up to this point she was just writing with no punctuation.

Usborne Write Your Own Story Book

I love Usborne books. They are educational and well illustrated. I found this story writing book.

It starts off easily explaining how to write a story. In my day it was just beginning middle and end. Now they have to do all that and build characters, settings and scenes. This book talks them. Slowly through it. It then gives them lots of precise writing different genres of stories and comics to get them out of their comfort zone and try new writing styles. Noori actually likes this book and has written quite a few stories

Reading

The best way to get children to improve their English skills is to read, read and read some more. Let them read alone, read to them or have them read out loud.

Find books they will love. For me this is very hard as Noori is a big fuss pot with books. She will only read ;David Walliams and Roald Dahl…That is it…

But now she has read nearly all of them. I have borrowed all different kind of books from the library and she didn’t enjoy them.

Then I read about Zanib Mian’s book Planet Omar. She absolutely loved it and read it in two days. You can read our review here.

This is one book you should get your kids to read to you. It is LOL funny and everyone any age will enjoy it.

These are my tips for helping your kids with English homework and ways of getting them to love writing and reading.

Do you have any tips?

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