I am happy to welcome Umm Haroun from Arabically for a heartfelt post about the senses associated with learning Arabic with your child:
“Growing up, my mom learnt how to read and write her native language through my school books. She could speak, but not read or write it for the longest time. Her child became her source and sink. I would ask her for help all the time. Hence, she was always on a mission to absorb it more quickly than I could. That is how she recollects learning it not just for her child, but for herself.
Most of you reading this and following fruitful ventures like Arabic Seeds to instill Arabic learning, feel the same way. You are learning with your child/children, and there is so much that goes into the process apart from just learning the language. We are always addressing the resources, crafts, skills, and techniques of learning and teaching it. However, I want to open a new area of discourse. The emotions that are a part of this journey.
There is beauty in striving together. Be it in the form of homeschooling or school work. You are always on the look-out for fun teaching aids while browsing. After going through perhaps a dozen, you decide to try one out. The uncertainty is always two sided. Will your child love it or detest it? Will it be a source of learning or just another fun experiment which is taught and forgotten? Together you march through marshes and storms. The language becomes a source of bonding between you and your child.
Most of the self-study guides suggest having a language buddy to improve your speaking or overall language skills. Do we look any further? We are often shy about making grammar mistakes in front of others. However, when children become your language buddy, they are far from being over critical of your mistakes, giving each of you the time to learn and improve at a good pace. Embrace the vulnerability.
There are days where you wish you could give your learning more time or be better equipped to answer your child’s questions. Add to it, the stress of feeling stuck at the same level. When I started reading children books, I realized my reading has been at a grade 2 level for the longest time. Any book without pictures and big fonts was intimidating. How was I supposed to challenge myself? By learning more and exposing myself to advanced texts. Take in these hardships and sail on. Do not fear graduating to higher levels. Be it for yourself or your child.
Treat yourself and your child. Your child deserves it. Throw a surprise Arabic themed party. Start a local Arabic language club to make friends. Motivation can come from different sources. Find your source and stick with it.
Love it and express it. We love learning Arabic for different reasons. Share them with your child. Ask them what is their idea of fun. Create joy around learning it. When you are bonding, facing hardships, creating memories and friendships around the language, the love will surely come.”
Can you relate? Feel free to comment below!
More about the author and Arabically:
Umm Haroun is the founder of ARABICALLY. A Canadian start-up currently based out of UAE. She is a Social Systems Engineer by profession and an Arabic Language advocate by passion.Arabically grew out of her love to solve social system issues. Most of Arabically’s projects are engineered with science and love.
Arabically aims to be a platform to celebrate and inspire the love of Arabic Language. They offer easy and accessible online classes for ladies who want to kick-start their Arabic language journey (Basic Grammar and Basic Reading). Another exciting project, is their Arabically Adventure Lab which is a creative space to learn and enjoy Arabic for children. They hold interactive workshops, combining science and Arabic to engage the child. Currently, they are collaborating with organizations in UAE and are launching their first workshop in March, 2017.
Check out their work at: www.arabically.com
Related blog-post on our blog: Raising my child in Arabic boosted my own learning
_ Emilie, cofounder of Arabic Seeds.