Children's Guide to Sunnah

6. Islamic Dress code

6.1. What needs covering. (Awrah)
6.2. Hijab
6.3. Growing the Beard
6.4. Wearing Gold and Silver (men)
6.5. wearing Cosmetics

7. Purity & Cleanliness (Tahara )

7.1. Natural Disposition (Fitrah)
7.2. Bathroom Manners
7.3. Ablution (Wudu)
7.4. Dry Ablution (Tayammum)

8. Salah (Prayer)

8.1. Call to Prayer (Adhan and Iqaamah)
8.2. Visiting the Masjid
8.3. Humility in Prayer (Khushoo in Salah)

9. Food and Drinks

9.1. Etiquettes of Eating and Drinking

10. Photography

10.1. Keeping Children’s Toys 
10.2. TV & Animated Movies (Cartoons)

11. Music

11.1 Listening to Nasheeds

12. Animals

12.1. Keeping Pets

13. Islamic Events and Celebrations:

13.1. The Prophet (saw)’s Birthday 
13.2. Isra’ and Mi’raj
13.3. Ashura (10th of Muharram)

14. Non-Islamic Events

14.1. Celebrating Birthdays
14.2. Valentine’s Day 
14.3. April Fool's Day
14.4. Mothers’ Day
14.6. Respect for the National Anthem or Flag 
14.7. Ruling on plays and skits for the purpose of Dawah
14.8. Face Painting

15. Academic

15.1. Punctuality
15.2. Ruling on beating children
15.3. Homework and mentoring
15.4. Copyright and the ruling on photocopying some parts of academic reference works 
15.5. Copying tapes and CDs with the aim of distributing them 
15.6. Copying tapes
15.7. Copying programmes

16. Sports

16.1. Racing
16.2. Archery 
16.3. Falconry
16.4. Swimming 
16.5. Boxing
16.6. Electronic Games


Procrastination in ADHD children

Work has to be broken down in smaller segments for these children. They get overwhelmed easily if loaded with a lot of work at a time and would try and avoid doing it. Hence it’s a best strategy to present them work in small portions, two question at a time should be the rule.

It’s always helpful if the study time begins with something easy which the child can accomplish successfully. Reinforce this success by praising the child or providing some incentive and then later introduce things that are more difficult. Reinforcement will encourage and boost motivation to accomplish things.

Any ADHD child depending on the severity of their disability finds it hard to focus for a long period of time. Their attention span at any given time does not exceed 10 to 15 minutes. Hence an ADHD child cannot be expected to sit through one hour of study time with out moving or leaving their seats. The study time should include frequent movement breaks after every 15 minutes as allowing them to move will help them focus better for next 15 minutes of study time.

Placing a stop watch or timer on the desk will help these children to work within the time frame. The stop watch provides challenge and limited time to initiate and complete work timely fashion.

ADHD have a lot of stored up physical energy, by moving and running around their brain tries to focus on things. If they are stopped from moving they find it hard to process information. Hence ADHD children should have some structured physical activity in their daily schedule. Their study time should always follow after doing some physical exercises as this gives an outlet to their physical energy and will help them focus better. Swimming, biking, gym etc are some of the examples.

Majority of children with ADHD are kinesthetic learners. They have tremendous physical energy and learn physical tasks easily. Hence the following strategies can be helpful for them to avoid procrastination:

They like learning when provided with hands on learning opportunities.
They learn well on field trip, with models, or real life objects, when they can actually, smell, touch, feel and see what is being referred to in words.
Make learning experiences as concrete and as relevant as possible.
Teach and review things in active game like way, where they can be up and moving, visually alert and challenged.
Provide opportunities for them to learn and express what they have learned that involve more than listening and speaking.
Encourage them to play with clay or straw when listening or studying as by fidgeting with something in hand helps them to focus better.
Encourage them to use a rocking chair or moving and standing as this may increase their ability to concentrate.
Allow them to do their work on black boards as standing and doing work will help them to focus.

And lastly encourage these children to pray five times consistently, as praying will improve their concentration and provides a structured schedule to the day and help flexibly change focus from one task to another.


Massrat Shaikh,
Educational Psychologist.

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How to Support Your Child’s Reading

How to Support Your Child’s Reading
(Grade One)

Key points:

  • Choose books that have Islamic value.
  • Give a brief background of the story before you start reading.
  • Introduce the author of the book, and discuss the biography very briefly as most Arabic names are too complex and hard to remember.
  • While reading, encourage your child to predict what will happen next, and connect characters or events to those in other books, stories, Quran and Hadith.
  • Discuss what has been read after short intervals, and find out what kinds of stories they enjoy reading for example: Stories from the lives of the Prophet and Sahabah, moral stories, adventures, animal stories or stories about other children. Also encourage children to explain the reason for their preference.
  • Take turns while reading a story with your child. Do not interrupt to correct mistakes that do not change the meaning.
  • Explain the meaning of difficult words and break them down to spell them correctly.
  • Make a list of difficult words and build a vocabulary list to reflect on later.
  • Use the structure of the stories i.e., the beginning, middle and ending to organize thinking and sequencing for discussion.
  • A question and answer session at the end of reading would be challenging as well as interesting.
  • Key questions to ask: Who? What? Where? How? Why? As these would form the basis when structuring their creative writing.

To promote reading for all children:

  • Set a good example as a reader – read every day at home, even if it is a newspaper or magazine.
  • Make reading fun – a time that you both look forward to spending together.
  • Enjoy yourself and have fun when you are reading together. The most important thing you can do to help your child become a successful reader is to let them know that you enjoy and value reading.
  • The more children read, the better readers they will become, and the more they will want to read.

Learning to write – how to help your child at home:

  • Do not worry too much about untidy writing. You want your child to write for fun and pleasure.
  • Help your child to make their own labels and notices to put up in their bedroom or around the house. For instance, the kitchen is a good place to get started and label the spices e.g. salt, sugar, tea, coffee and so on.
  • Your child can help you write your shopping list!
  • A list of stationery when you visit the bookstore is next!
  • A list of friends and family to invite for Eid and other occasions.
  • A list of things to do can help practice capital letters and lower case letters.
  • Write letters to their grandparents or other family members, and let your child convey messages of their own in short sentences. Let them watch you write sample letters, spelling or alternate words.
  • Set up writing tables with pencil, rubber, color pens and some fancy stationery so they can use their imagination to write when they want to.
  • Do not worry if your child crosses out words when he/she is writing. Many children try out different spellings until they think a word looks right. Get them to practice on scrap paper then write the word in place when they are happy with it.
  • Start a diary with your child when you are on holiday and encourage him/her to draw and write about things they have done.
  • Make a word-box full of words that your child uses the most and to which you can add new words.
  • Play word recognition and word games with your child e.g., pairs, scrabble, hang-man, and others.
  • Most important of all, have a positive approach and take time to share and talk about your child’s writing with him/her; lots of praise will encourage your child to keep on writing.
  • And finally, have a lot of patience!!!

Procrastination in ADHD children

Attention Deficit / Hyper Activity Disorder known as (ADHD) which is a neurological condition that affects the ability to regulate attention in a child or adult. ADHD does not mean that a child finds it hard to concentrate rather it means that the child is attending to everything around him but is finding it hard to single out their attention on one task at hand to get through it successfully. As a result some children react to it by overacting behaviorally; being hyperactive, difficult to control and impulsive while on the other hand some may react to it by being sluggish, inattentive, and drifting in their own world.

ADHD is a learning disability caused by neurochemical imbalance. The Neurotransmitter that is affected is Catecholamines. This neurotransmitter governs attention, motor behavior, and motivation. Hence an ADHD child finds it difficult to moderate his attention, Impulses, behavior and response to stimuli. This neuro chemical imbalance damages the executive functions of the brain.

Executive functions are like brain’s CEO. It can be understood as actions we perform to accomplish self-control, goal-directed behavior, and the maximization of future outcomes. When executive function is damaged it results in disorganization, difficulty getting started and finishing work, remembering homework, difficulty memorizing facts, writing essays or reports, working complex math problems, remembering what is read, completing long-term projects, being on time, controlling emotions, and planning for the future.

Researches done with ADHD children show that 89-98 percent of children with ADHD have deficits in executive skills. ADHD children experience roughly a thirty percent developmental delay in some skills such as, organizational and social skills, ability to start and complete work. The brains of students with ADHD mature three years more slowly than their peers. This explains why their executive skills are delayed. ADHD children suffer with reduced levels of brain chemistry in the area of the brain responsible for boring work like reading and writing hence these students can play video games for hours but struggle to complete their homework in a timely manner.

Procrastination is the inability to start work in timely fashion. Ability to start and finish work in time is an executive function of the brain. Hence when an ADHD child procrastinates it’s not because they are lazy, or lack interest in learning but because they have a deficit which affects the healthy development of the brain. ADHD children lack mental flexibility to shift their attention from one task to another. They also find it hard to concentrate and focus on anything that requires sustained mental effort and so procrastination is also used as an avoidance technique by these students.

Strategies to help ADHD children get over procrastination:

ADHD children require hyper organization. They lack the ability to take responsibility or to initiate a task. Hence they require special support with organization. Defining the work timing, what has to be studied, arranging the study material and providing a schedule will help them to get started with things.

ADHD children work best with high structure. There daily schedule has to be defied in details and followed very consistently. Study time has to be defined and they should be encouraged to study at the same time every day. Having same study time everyday gives the brain opportunity to prepare itself for the approaching work time and helps the brain to orient and focus better and get started with the work immediately.

ADHD children should be encouraged to study at same place or same desk every day. By sitting in the same place the brain starts associating the place with work and helps to get started with work immediately and is focused.

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Making a Difference

Today, several online homeschooling programs have opened doors for many parents to homeschool their children under their supervision. 

As the name suggests, an online homeschooling is conducted from the home and hence the parents’ role is with a difference. The difference here is the level of commitment and responsibility that the parent takes on behalf of the child(ren). Their child’s education becomes a greater responsibility for them.

First, let us understand how an online homeschool operates because it takes some effort to have a five or six year old child sit in front of a computer for x number of hours to study when he/she would prefer to play!

Online Homeschooling provides students access to a virtual classroom in their own home environment where they are taught using Information Communication Technology (ICT). Such classrooms provide visual aids such as presentations, online e-book reading, educational audios, videos, games and much more use of whiteboard to interact with the student. Using Paintbrush features also allows the teacher and student to communicate effectively. These features also help them to grow intellectually with the state of the art technology presented to them. 

When children first attend public schools most parents experience difficulty in convincing the child to spend time in a new environment, some being afraid and some even being shy. However, an online school eliminates this issue to a great extent. Children who are very shy and cannot talk or express much in the traditional classroom communicate more confidently in a more relaxed environment which is their own home. 

Moreover, an online education program also requires children to adhere to discipline. This means that we need to inculcate values and discipline in them at a very young age. . 

Some of the important strategies that will help parents ensure success from this type of schooling are as follows:

Online schooling brings parents and parenting abilities right under focus. So parents will have to be Very Determined, Goal Oriented, and Very Consistent.

Parents will have to have an attitude that expects ‘success,’ ‘accomplishment’ and ‘excellence.’ Apart from what is being taught online, parents will have to contribute a reasonable amount of time every school day to help their child(ren) cope with his/her academic needs, such as doing homework, revising or learning lessons, encouraging them to read books, and so on making sure that they are locked into a very productive formula: you must be able to motivate the child to do his/her homework with a good approach even if you have only a basic knowledge of his/her after-class assignments. You must demonstrate a sense of need, love and support. You must believe that your child is eminently capable of learning whatever is being taught in class.

Following are certain strategies to help parents and their youngsters take this journey to being educated smoothly:

Have consistent daily schedule before or after class hours. Define time for homework, play and other activities. A daily timetable or lesson plan gives structure to a child’s day. It lets children know what to expect, and prepares them mentally to perform better. Even sleeping time and meal time have to be defined and should be followed as closely as possible with consistence. By following a structure we instill in our children basic rules of organization and discipline which is immensely important while conducting homeschooling or online schooling program and also in the building of our child(ren)’s character.

Have a dedicated study area for your children. For online schooling, place your computer in the area of your house where distraction is less, but is not completely isolated. Your child should be able to focus without being distracted by what is happening around him at home. So provide an academically facilitating environment at home during school hours.

As online schooling is part time, children do have ample time at hand which should be used productively. There should be certain hours of the day that children should spend doing academic work under the guidance of their parents. Parents should review homework, classwork and encourage children to pursue them.

Children enrolled for online schooling should also have opportunities for extra-curricular activities in their daily schedule. This will give them an opportunity to socialize with other children and provide an outlet for their physical energies.

To make very young children attend online school can turn out to be difficult as they are physically active and will find it hard to sit through long hours. Along with the curriculum presented by the school, parents can ensure the following:

  • Enhance learning by providing hands-on activities of what is being taught
  • Try to discipline young children by mentally preparing them for the class
  • Clearly stating the rules that have to be followed during class hours
  • Allow physical movement and frequent movement breaks
  • Keep important things like water and some snacks handy
  • Have a star chart to reinforce good behavior
  • Encouragement & reward should be given after positive behavior
  • Encouragement & reward could be anything from praise and approval to play with a favorite toy
  • Children who are fidgety can be allowed to hold a straw or clay, as physical movement helps some children to concentrate better
  • Using a rocking chair for hyperactive children can be helpful when attending school, as movement helps them to concentrate
  • An adult should supervise the online class as this will ensure the child is attending and focusing

An online program such as YMOH offers ICT prior to its academic year, preparing students before it starts. The ICT program, in particular, facilitates the following benefits:

  • Knowing about the basic components of a computer and how it works
  • Learning keyboard skills.
  • Opening, closing and saving files.
  • Using Paintbrush and Notepad.

For older students, conducting research or learning to use an online dictionary

It is also important that parents ensure that they:

  • Periodically ask the child(ren) to show you what they are doing on the internet
  • Be available to talk about internet safety and be more involved in their computer use
  • Place the computer at home in an area where you can monitor it easily
  • Have a specified time of internet use and be consistent in following it, and encourage them to spend time away from internet and electronics
  • Be a role model
  • Parents can also install keyboard log software wherein the computer would save a log of all that has been typed on the keyboard and makes monitoring easy.

Every child can be a success. It’s about feeding them the correct formula, and the correct formula is:

  • Knowing that your child is an Amanah from Allah
  • Knowing that every child is Unique
  • Believing in their ability to perform well
  • Knowing that children are born with a natural instinct to learn!
  • Knowing that modeling is the foundation on which we learn and is good
  • Knowing that truth is strong and necessary
  • Knowing that all questions are intelligent
  • Knowing that a correct diet is vital for physical and mental health
  • Knowing that the child should be given as much freedom for learning and self expression as possible

Once we feed this formula to our children
They will grow Insha’a Allah,
And how?

May Allah reward us for our efforts. 

Massrat Shaikh.
Educational Psychologist

Procrastination in ADHD Children


Making a Difference


Children's Guide to Sunnah

Childrens Guide to Sunnah

True and Beneficial Knowledge