We’re delighted that the world is slowly going back to normal, but as moms, we’re working hard to ensure that the summer reading slide, especially Arabic reading, doesn’t affect our children.
If you’re looking for resources to help jumpstart your child’s Arabic language learning journey, we have 15 Arabic children’s books that teach all about the alphabet, colors, and numbers.
How do we deal with a prolonged “shutdown” of normal activity in light of a pandemic like the Coronavirus? That is a question parents the world over are grappling with right now. With little time to plan or prepare, we are entering uncharted territory. For many of us, access to unlimited online resources that are being widely shared on social media can be overwhelming. For many, the idea of trying to homeschool one or more children while “teleworking” or managing a home is daunting at best.
Here are five ways you can make the most of this time with your kids at home (and naturally, use Arabic along the way):
For parents of multilingual children, libraries can be a great resource, although non-English titles in North American libraries can be limited. But that's changing, as librarians are becoming more attuned to their community's needs and the increasing diversity of cultures and languages spoken across the US and Canada.
Arabic children's books are increasingly making an appearance, much to the delight of parents on the hunt for resources to reinforce their children's understanding of Arabic. While some libraries do a great job of advertising these diverse titles, many community members still don't know they have access to multilingual books.
We know that reading doesn’t begin at school or when kids are old enough to spell out the words on a page. Reading begins when a child is just a few months old and reading becomes part of their daily routine, most likely as they cuddle up with a parent for bedtime.
When kids are too young to read or even speak, parents should focus on making reading fun and enjoyable. But what about when kids have other distractions that may not keep them as engaged as they once were? We have found these steps help us keep our kids engaged in Arabic reading.
When it comes to teaching one’s children Arabic, in a non-Arabic speaking country, and in the face of technology and shortened attention spans, there’s not much in the way of “past experience.” Yes, many of our parents had to teach us Arabic too, but for most, it was their dominant language as immigrants to the US or Canada. For second or third generation Arab-Americans, that is not the case. So the challenge is even more daunting but the desire to maintain one’s connection to their heritage, faith, and culture is strong enough to motivate many of us to stick to it.
We asked ourselves and other parents teaching their kids Arabic about the mistakes they made in their journey and we found several common answers. Here are the top five mistakes parents make when teaching their kids Arabic, and ways to avoid them (if you’re new to this) or fix them (if you’ve already made some).
When we launched Maktabatee in April 2016, we knew that we wanted books that could be read in this context, that would allow children to see the beauty of Arabic storytelling, away from some of the old school story lines and graphics that we were used to. Since then, we’ve heard from many community members who are hosting similar programs in their schools and libraries. If you don’t have one in your area, why not start one yourself? If you’ve thought about it, but are not sure where to start, we broke it down for you into five steps, drawing on our own experience as well as tips we gathered from talking to others who have been involved in starting or organizing an Arabic story time in their community.
I have one underlying theory to how I teach my son Arabic: make him associate Arabic with fun things. My own experience with Arabic growing up was miserable, making me associate the language with painful and boring lessons and constant failure on my part to fully understand. The little I do remember from my childhood Arabic is the fun stuff, and eight years of private school lessons have been blissfully blocked out.
What child doesn’t love caring for a furry pet, visiting the zoo, or watching their favorite animal themed cartoon shows? In fact, if you think about it, so many children’s television characters are animals. Our children’s love for animals is innate, somehow developing at such an early age, even without any pets around.
When the idea of Maktabatee first emerged, we questioned the viability of selling books, a product that seemed to be going out of business. But our...