There wasn’t a pressing need for a Ramadan chart. There is lots of them around. However, my boys are into a bit of a castles/knights/medieval weaponry kind of phase. We are planning to design our own coats of arms tomorrow insha’Allah. I thought I could take advantage of this interest of theirs to tie in this very important and beautiful concept regarding the fast; I made a little chart with shield shapes for the child to colour one in (or fill it with a pattern) everytime he/she completes a fast, insha’Allah.
Fasting is a shield CHART
May Allah grant us all a beneficial, peaceful and thankful month of fasting. May our fasting shield us from sin and from the Fire. Ameen.
This year it did NOT look as though I was going to make it to the Winter conference at the Salafi Masjid (Wright street masjid) in Birmingham. Hind is 2 months old masha’Allah and still quite unpredictable… so with her and a 4 year old in a very crowded sisters section… hmm… I was afraid of having to do an “emergency” phone call to my husband on the men’s side to come to the rescue and take us home prematurely. So I had made my peace with the fact that, this time around, he would go on his own Insha’Allah (masha’Allah he sure deserves a break from us all, eh eh). However, he kindly offered to take us all on one of the days and have both boys (barak Allahu feeh) so here is the word spotting challenge I quickly prepared for Yusef (who just turned 8 in Safar a couple of week ago, masha’Allah). I would have loved to make it prettier but I don’t have the time. This way each page will (or should! Insha’Allah) fit on an A5 page.
WORD SPOTTING CHALLENGE – SALAFI MASJID WINTER CONFERENCE 2015
I am sharing just in case someone is going and has kids who are too old for colouring pages but don’t quite have the maturity to take real notes. Have them shade/tick a square every time they hear one of the words. You may want to add all tokens up somehow for them to result in some sort of reward *smiles* but if you think they might catch a few points, then definitely encourage them to take notes Insha’Allah.
I was thinking of recreating a “conference away from the conference”: since we weren’t going to experience the actual thing, me and the boys were going to sit in the office, listen to the talks with some worksheets and snacks while my husband looked after Hind. I think we might still do it actually… It sounds like fun!
For a long time I thought about introducing a reward system connecting certain types of age appropriate house chores with money, but struggled to find the right format. Then I came across an ice-cream cone reward chart for toddlers on Pinterest (https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/397935317045719021/) and immediately loved it. It isn’t just cute, it is perfect for a boy who is still too small to read (and will still be for a while) as well as his older brother, it goes on the wall neatly instead of sitting on my kitchen counter where it could easily be knocked over (I had considered using jars with marbles), it doesn’t require much printing and did I already mention it is so cute? I want one for myself, for when I am a good insha’Allah. Plus I got to use my craft papers and laminator, which is always great fun.
The idea is not that children should be paid for contributing to housework. It is their duty to pitch in and I do not believe they are entitled to payment for it per se. However, I want to encourage them and to create good habits, insha’Allah. I want them to learn to be responsible for whatever money they have, to chose how (and if) to spend it and to know where it comes from, insha’Allah. Also, I chose some specific jobs they dislike to do. I am not going to reward Bilal for washing the dishes or Yusef for reading, for example, because they love it and they would do it for hours given the chance… the list I put on the chart is not exhaustive and I do add things as they come to my mind. I might even do the opposite: restricting the reward if an ice-cream scoop only to a specific job they are particularly adverse to(i.e. Yusef taking off his clothes neatly or Bilal dressing on his own, as he can get lazy about that).
So far it is working well, Alhamdulillah. My husband said I’ve been too generous by putting £5 as a target… Yusef is already almost there… I was stuck for an amount to put, I didn’t want to be too liberal with it but also I wanted to give something they could realistically spend in an amount of time that wouldn’t be so long they would completely forget what they are doing and why. But the prize awarded might be modified as we go along.