Q. I want to find a good Arabic learning curriculum for kids. Any Suggestions???
I was recently asked this question in the Mommy Muslim Facebook group. It’s hard to answer because there are so many options. It really depends on the age of your children and EXACTLY what you want them to learn. It also depends on how hands-on you want to be. If you are going to be very hands-on, what is your Arabic language level? When you think about all the variables, you can see how hard it is to answer.
Let me tell you about the two programs I use and recommend.
First a little background on me. I learned basic Arabic while I was growing up. I can read and write Arabic at about a third-grade level. I was able to teach my children to identify the Arabic alphabet and basic phonics. When it was time to teach them to read, I needed to use a textbook that would help me to teach them.
The textbook that I used was the Madinah series. Madinah offers their textbook for adults. The Arabic lessons help you to understand the Quran. They offer the same textbook for children. It covers the same lessons but adds pictures and fonts that make it easy for children to learn and remember. I enjoyed teaching them with these textbooks. It may not be easy to teach with this textbook without any prior knowledge. But with a basic rudimentary level, I think you would have no problems.
There is a difference between learning to read the quran, which is what Madinah series teaches, and learning to read with Tajweed. Tajweed is definitely an art. When Islam spread it became important to teach students to read and pronounce the quran correctly. No accents, no dialects – it must be read exactly- and read using the same pauses and breaks and elongations as it was originally revealed. These are the sacred words of Allah and we should try to perfect it as much as we can. Keeping in mind that slight changes in pronunciation can change the meaning.
Most people will tell you that Noorani Qaida is the best way to learn Tajweed. It is not a particular book or website but it is a method of teaching. It is comprehensive, easily accessible and widely available. Every book is exactly the same. You find this book and follow it step by step. If you “google” Noorani Qaida books you will find lots of copies from many sources. Youtube also has many videos of teachers teaching this method. So, you can have someone to listen to and follow along with for pronunciation help.
At my kid’s quran school, they use the Bidaya book. I have fallen in love with this book because they focus on Tajweed rules. The name of each rule, what it means, how to use it, etc. Noorani Qaida doesn’t do this as well. They also have a website, which is helpful for listening practice and quizzes. The program works very well for beginners and up. It does teach the Arabic alphabet. They even have flashcards to help. We use the “book”, “workbook” and website. Bidayabook.com You could get by using only the website, but I don’t recommend doing it that way. We should try to support these great teachers and the curriculum. Also the book is very helpful to have, even as a reference tool as you advance.
I also use the “Quranic” app on my android phone. This app teaches you vocabulary words from quran in an interactive and challenging way. There is a free and paid version. (I use the free version and it works just fine!) You can even start teams and challenge each other. Great for encouraging family members. (I’m the leader on my board! Yay! Al Hamdulillah.)
One last piece of advice:
Although there are a lot of other ways to learn Arabic. These are the three that my family uses. But as long as you have a good standard program, you should do fine. The most important thing to find is someone objective to listen to you read quran. Tajweed is like singing: You may think you sound great, but someone else will tell you how you really sound. (lol)
Below you will find links to the books and products mentioned in the article above. For some links I may receive a small commission for recommending products that I use and love! Be sure and check out the mommy muslim pinterest Arabic and Spanish language board for my links to Arabic printables. https://www.pinterest.com/sakrs/learning-arabic-and-spanish/
What are your recommendations? Leave them in the comments or join the conversation in our Facebook group :https://www.facebook.com/groups/701687213752206
This is the link for the “Quranic” app!