Teaching your child to read the Quran should be one the joys and accomplishments of a Muslim parent. But it can be very frustrating when they don't pick it up as quickly as you think they should. Learning to read the Quranic Arabic is an essential part of a Muslim child's life, but they all learn it at different stages and paces. Others may be far more advanced, while your child may still struggling with the basics of the alphabet, and if this is the case, it can be easy to feel frustrated and stressed. Many parents lose hope, feeling at a loss after repeating the same lessons over and over again.
However, it is vital that you remain positive and encouraging. Just because your child is learning at a slower pace than others, it doesn't mean they won't catch up eventually. Instead of doubting your child's ability, have a look at the way you are approaching this challenge and think about what could be causing problems. There are many things that we, as parents, can do to assist in our children's learning; so have a read through these points and ensure you have them all covered.
Not Having Burning Desire to See it Through
Ask yourself: how badly do I want to see the day my child read the Quran fluently? If it were a serious concern, it would manifest in clear and determined action. Set yourself and your child an end goal and date, creating achievable and realistic accomplishments that you want to reach. Write these down with your child, and discuss the steps needed to reach it. Rather than one huge goal, try to break it down into more manageable chunks to avoid the task feeling too overwhelming. Ensure you allow yourself plenty of time, taking set backs and delays into consideration. It's important to give your child freedom to learn at their own pace, rather than feeling too rushed. Schedule some time a few days a week to work on progress.
Not Making Determined Du’a
Above all, make determined du'a to Allah for help and the strength to achieve the goal. We’re not talking about lacklustre efforts here. But rather the sort of du’a you feel to the core of your heart. At the end of the day, it is your accepted du’a, determination and firm effort with your child that will allow you to see they day they read Quran fluently.
Using a Broken System
As with anything in life, you must have the right tools to be able to complete a task. Most children will learn from the Qaida, a book that effectively asks as a course book on their journey. But these books differ dramatically in the style of teaching and instructions. Many are imported from abroad and have not been adapted or developed for the demands of the modern child. As all children learn differently, try a few books and programmes out before settling on one which suits your child best.
Changing Teachers too Quickly or too Slowly
Similarly with teachers and madrasah, if your child is struggling to understand their lessons, try an alternative option. Ensure they spend long enough with the teacher before making an informed decision, though, as swapping and changing techniques too often can cause confusion and are counter-productive to progress. Speak to other families and make your decisions based on recommendations and research; look for teachers who achieve positive results, with happy students and parents, as opposed to teachers and madrasah who are simply available at the time.
Lack of Concentration in Class
Preparation is a vital part of the learning process, so ensure your child is eating healthily, has had enough rest, and is in the right state of mind to learn. Failing in these will only create more struggles for your child to overcome, and make it even harder for them to learn. One of the main issues to look at is food intake before class. Is you child having a nutritious meal that will empower them with the mental energy to see it through the lesson? Or are they being filled with sugary delights or heavy meals that will weigh their minds down?
Not Enough Revision at Home
While they may learn new lessons in class, they will not remember them or fully understand them without revising them at home. Failing to revise is the main reason most children struggle to learn new skills, so ensure that you spend plenty of time assisting them and going over their new skills. You make up a large part of the learning process, so don't think you can leave it all in the hands of the madrasah and teachers.
Imbalance Between Praise and Reprimand
Be aware of how your child is spoken to. Those who are too soft can lose control of the child's learning, while overly-strict teachers and parents can intimidate and upset the child, leading to resentment and failure to learn. Be firm and strong-willed, but ensure that they are praised and congratulated for every achievement they make.
It's time now to consider these factors in your own life and start work on creating the best opportunities for your child. At Learning Roots, we're putting together an awesome accelerated program to help parents realise their aspirations in getting their children reciting Quran fluently within a year. Join our mailing list to stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, please comment below with your thoughts, feelings and suggestions for overcoming slow progress in children's Quran reading. We'd love to hear your thoughts!