Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Muslim tot-school: masjid artwork, and a question for other Muslim moms

Umm An-Nu'man over at A Muslim Child is Born has a lovely set of three downloadable templates for masjid-based art.
I picked one, shrank it down quite a bit, printed it out and laminated it, and since then we've been trying to use it. Umm An-Nu'man and her kids used paints to fill it in, but Basbusa hasn't had much practice with paint yet, and is still far too fascinated by "exploring" it to be able to use it in a real "art project." (Much more interesting to find out what happens when she sticks her fingers in it, paints her feet, mixes colors together, etc etc :)

So, we tried scribbling in it with markers, outlining it with crayons, and even putting it underneath the paper and doing "rubbings" of it. They all worked in the sense that Basbusa got the general idea, but I think she's still a bit too young for a structured project with a pre-set goal, and I don't want to do anything that might teach her to think that there's a "right" and a "wrong" way to do artwork. So, I put the template aside until she's a bit older.

But I guess something sunk in, all the same! This morning Babusa was scribbling on her magnadoodle while I finished off some work on the computer, and she suddenly said, "Mama! Masjid!"

Well, I'm sure a mother's rosy-eyed view is influencing my interpretation, but you can kind of see what she means, right? :)

And a question for other Muslim parents: have you tried - or even seen in real life - any formal Islamic Studies "curriculum"? Do your children use one in Islamic School, and if so, what do you think of it? The ones I've heard of are IQRA, ICO Islamic Studies and Goodword, but I have no idea how good they are, and there seem to be millions of other options too. Basbusa is still too young for these, but I want to start investigating the possibilities so that I have some sense of direction when she's older. I'd like something that concentrates mostly on Islamic values, using examples from the Quran, seerah and ahadith, rather than just presenting simplified versions of stories from the Quran or getting tied up in the technical details of exactly how to wash your ears in wudhuu'. I'd really appreciate any input, even if it's just, "My kids did fine without any formal curriculum," or "I have no clue either, but I heard from my friend's aunt's sister that X is no good..." Jazaakum Allahu khayr!! :)

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