Hafazan Surah and Doa

Isn’t it lovely and heartwarming when our kids can recite Surah in their solat?

Isn’t it touching and soothing when our kids can recite doa after solat FOR US, their parents?

The key is repetition. Don’t worry if they can’t even read Arabic yet, but it’s helpful if they recognize alif ba ta.

We’ve tried this with our kids and we’d like parents out there to practice with their kids, InshaAllah.

  • Make a point to solat jamaah as a family, father as the imam of course.
  • After Al-Fatihah, father recites the surah you want kids to memorize.
  • Read the surah as often as possible during solat jamaah, in the car, at home, from CD or MP3. FEED their EARS!
  • Listen to them reciting the surah to you. This is the part where we as educators guide them with their pronunciation (i.e makhraj) and also a little bit of tajwid (2 harakat, shaddah etc).
  • Be patient!!!! This is the trying part. Remember when we learnt Quran or Muqaddam as kids. Sometimes we got frustrated right? So put ourselves in kid’s shoes (or crocs hahah).
  • Do it over and over and over, InshaAllah, even a 3-yr old can pick up the surah and reads it in her own language.
  • Tips: If one parent starts to ‘hilang sabar’ (maklumlah..manusia biasa kan?), the other parent takes over.
  • Tips: If they recognize the alphabets, write out the words – letter by letter- as visual aids.
  • The same process works for DOA as well. I’m sure most kids can recite Doa Makan right? Now, teach them Doa 4 Parents – “Allahummaghfirlanaa zunuubanaa..”

May Allah bless us all. Amiin.

Start a blog 4 your kids

Writing helps us to express ourselves. Like adults, kids have feelings too. They have stories to tell and share. They are just like us, only smaller and tinier in size.So, my latest project is starting a blog for my three kids, Muhammad, Musa and Maryam.

  • Let the kids create and decide what they want to write. As parents/coaches, we give ideas and suggestions.
  • Most kids nowadays are familiar with computer keyboards, so they can type on their own.
  • Another option is, have them write on a paper and you can type for them.
  • Any way you choose, give them the FREEDOM to express themselves.
  • Insert some images or videos. Kids love visuals and sounds.

Why blogging?

  • keeping up-to-date with the latest communication style
  • they SEE results! (C’mon, we as adults love seeing what we write appears on the net and get responses frm others right?)
  • when they see the product (i.e the blog posted online) they have the motivation to write more.
  • writing IS reading, and reading is power. Read more, know more, more power.
  • kids are natural storytellers – and honest ones too. We learn more about life by seeing the world from their eyes.
  • it’s EF..YU..EN.. FUN FUN FUN.

p/s: Check out my kiddos’ blogs (Muhammad, Musa, Maryam) – see blogroll – and leave some comments. They’d be honored to receive and read them.

Trip to Muzium Negara

Abie was telling a story about Hang Tuah to the kids. They asked to see the warrior’s face, how he looked like. You know kids.. they want confirmation, right? Muhammad and Musa even suggested YouTube, just in case Hang Tuah’s there. Hahaaa..

So we decided to take them to Muzium Negara. Rasa-rasa macam ada potret Hang Tuah kat sana (memori lawatan sekolah rendah).

What a disappointment! Some parts of the museum were under renovation. Grrr…. But the little historians-in-the-making learned about colonization. The Dutch, the Portuguese, the British occupation of our homeland.

Personally, Muzium Taiping is waaaaayyy interesting!

So, back to Hang Tuah – I think we’ll go find the P.Ramlee movie after this. Teneng neneng teneneng neneng (the background music of the fighting scene…Raja zalim raja disanggah!! something like that..)

today’s lesson: Loop-di-loop Writing

I love cursive handwriting. Orang dulu-dulu have such nice and delicate handwriting, right? Unlike today’s generation – coz we are so used to typing. That’s why I’d like my kiddos to practice their penmanship by learning to write cursive. After all, this is a good hand-eye exercise for them (sampai mulut pun ikut senget when writing). If we want our kids to be readers, they must be writers as well. Writing IS reading.

Why cursive? Well, why not? Of course there are pros and cons to teaching kids cursive. In today’s day and age, anybody can get by without nice or legible handwriting since typing is all it takes to express oneself. But, personally I want my kids to practice good penmanship no matter how advanced we become technologically.

It’s not the end that matters, but the PROCESS of learning which includes:

  • sharpening their fine motor skills (from wikipedia:coordination of small muscle movements which occur e.g., in the fingers, usually in coordination with the eyes. In application to motor skills of hands (and fingers) the term dexterity is commonly used.)
  • paying attention to details
  • developing artistic skills
  • being patient (doing it over and over again)
  • instilling passion for writing AND reading
  • and enjoying our time together as a family
  • oh one more, cursives help improve their jawi/arabic handwriting and vice versa.

Where to start? Loads for online worksheets available. Just type ‘cursive worksheets for kids’ and va va voom! You’ll get it. I compiled them and make a booklet for mis estudiantes.

10-15 minutes a day is enough – I treat cursive session as ‘a commercial break’ during their homeschool lessons.

Go ahead and give this a try!


Autobots..transform and roll out. Transformers..tenenet tenet… (tak hafal lirik laa).

Last Hari Raya, Muhammad n Musa’s money collection reflected the nation’s economic growth. Alhamdulillah. They spent a portion of Raya dough for Transformers Chess Set. They’ve been eyeing the set since Ramadhan when we took them to Toys r Us. So, we told them to start saving and use their own money to buy that. So, it’s timely that Eid was just around the corner.

I admit that I get confused when playing because the pieces look so…robotic. I mean each resembles the Transformers’ characters, unlike the usual chess. The boys have no problems with that. They love their mini robots.

I like it when Abie’s friends got so amazed with the chess set. They should get one while stocks last!

p/s: Once, they played chess online with a guy from Russia. That Russian won (takpe..we won’t be sore losers, right kids?) They enjoy playing with their Abie and Pak Lang. InshaAllah, we plan to enroll them in Intelligent Chess course at AMPAC, AzZahrah BBB. Come join us, friends!

Maryam Mengemas

Our house is very simple. Minimalist (so far laa…in the future who knows?). Thus, a part of our homeschooling routine is to include our kids in setting the ‘floor’ (not dining table, don’t have one) for mealtime. The first student who will be on the move is our Ketua Kebersihan, Miss Maryam. Whenever she hears the word ‘lunch’, ‘cook’, ‘food’, ‘eat’, automatically she’d ask me for

reconfirmation – “Is it lunchtime/dinnertime?”. Then she’d go and roll out the mat, spread the ‘saprah’ and arrange plastic plates and cups. Sometimes everything is set way before the food is even ready. Talking about efficiency!

Album ku..

The compere of the day was Miss Fizza.  She made me feel at ease, thanks Fizza! For the show, she brought her along her favourite stuffed animals – Pepper, Oscar and a teddy bear.  Norish Karman came with her two kids (*adorable Pucchi and  cool Teddy*).  NK read a page to her kids.  I love her English accent.  From the way she told the fish story to her kids, we could tell that she does this often.   By the way, her kids are trilingual – English, BM and Mandarin.

Hmmm…purple is my colour, kan?

Me on Air

Feb. 15, 2008 – 12 n00n

My round face was on tv. Wanita Hari Ini to be exact. The producer, Azizah Ariffin (my law of attraction ‘gang’) called me and invited me for the second time. Applause!! I love the topic – Benefits of Storytelling to Children. As usual, before I made my appearance on national tv, I will always do my research first. Always be prepared! From my quick research, experience and reading, I’ve summed up the benefits of storytelling into six categories:

C: Communication Skills – Listening especially. When kids listen, their brain absorbs words, phrases, the rhythm of the language. Listening involves EARS, EYES and HEART. Good listener makes a superb speaker.

E: Enhance Bonding – enuf said!

R: Reading & Writing Skills – Storytelling is the BRIDGE between ‘first’ language (listening, speech) and ‘second’ language (reading, writing). How can kids understand what they read when they don’t have enough info or input in their head? How can they write fluently if they have limited ideas?

I: Imagination leads to Creativity. Being creative is always a bonus. The brain is at work. When the brain is used to doing its work, i.e. thinking, InshaAllah our kids will grow up matured and wise.

T: Teaching Lessons. As I said on WHI – “Mana kita lebih suka, Cerita atau Ceramah?”

A: Attention-span. Kids have short attention span. Telling them stories teach them to focus. They must follow the sequence of the story from the start until the end right?

I’m reminding myself to keep doing this (storytelling) to my troop. Be a ‘selamba’ mama!