Principal's Message

Message from the Principal: Brother Eric Ali-- When guiding our children toward proper Islamic character, we must remember that part of being a wise teacher or parent is being kind and gentle with our children. During the time of the Prophet (saw), a Bedouin urinated in the masjid. Immediately the Prophet’s companions rushed toward the man to beat him. But the Prophet (saw) told them to leave him alone. After the man finished urinating, the Prophet (saw) told him, “Verily, filth and urine are not permitted in these masjids. Indeed, it is for the remembrance of Allah.” The Messenger said to his companions, “I was sent to make things easy, and I was not sent to make things difficult.” And he poured a bucket of water over the urine. Even though our children were raised in Islam, eventually they will have to choose to be Muslims. Let’s help make the proper decision easy for them.-- Al-Madinah School: 1635 South Saint Andrews Place, Los Angeles, California 90019-- (1-323) 296-5961

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creative Incentives and Activities for Kids this Ramadan By: Judy Atlagh

Asalaamu Aliekum,
I want to share some thoughts on the idea of incentives and something that worked well for my children last year. Of course we had the usual discussions about Ramadahn and its significance, what we get out of fasting for ourselves and our perspective on humanity at large. I also tried to make it personal by telling the children that fasting is one way to please Allah SWT and that when Allah SWT is pleased you are rewarded with Jannah and that Jannah is as nice as you make it.

On that note, I said each day of fasting is like earning a brick to place in your house in Jannah (everyone wants to live in a nice house, right?). This idea could be expanded upon as a physical representation in several ways. One way is that parents could make a picture of a house with 29 bricks plus one extra somewhere to account for 29 or 30 days of Ramadahn and allow the child to color in a brick for each day they fast. You could use stickers instead of could use the idea of a garden instead of a house. Anything that might work for a particular child. Another way, and perhaps this would work better for boys, would be to build a house out of duplo (large sized) legos (if you use the smaller ones, perhaps they earn one lego per hour so that they can earn enough to build a whole house).

This idea stemed from a discussion with a friend who thought that a calander where you open a window a day and inside was written a verse of Quran or a hadith or an idea for a 'good deed a day for Ramadahn' would be awesome.
Perhaps other parents have other ideas and would be willing to share.
For older children, perhaps selecting a special gift to buy for Eid and 'earning' a portion of the cost each day they fast would work. For in-between kids this could be simplified to something like earning a Chuck E Cheese token each day and then spending them at eid time. For that matter instead of building a house, maybe the child would be more motivated to build a pizza...
There are so many ideas.  Maybe...that's why I would love to hear thoughts from other parents. Also, it would be good to know how this idea might apply to other Islamic tasks like Quran memorization...
Be well and may Allah SWT accept our fasting and purify all our efforts,

Judy Atlagh is a nurse and mother of four children (9, 7, 4, 14 months). She also home schools several of her children.  Jazakalakhair, Judy, for your answer.

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