By Juli Herman
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“I don’t understand what he’s saying! There are too many ‘shuhn’ words!” He was about 5 years old then. My son is now 12. My husband and I have developed a habit of listening to audio lectures from CD on road trips, and from a young age, our kids have been exposed to these lectures. Today, it has become somewhat of a family tradition.
When packing for a road trip, we would ask the kids which CDs they would like to listen to. Recently, we even had them each choose the CD of their choice at the Ilmrush booth at a bazaar. Having listened to many lectures before, I would ask them why they like to listen to a certain speaker, and they would share their opinions about the delivery style, pitch, tone, and sense of humor of the speakers. It hones their ability to focus, discern, analyze, and develop personal preferences with regard to lectures that are mostly geared towards adults. More importantly, they also reap the benefits of Islamic knowledge, even if some information is beyond their understanding. Besides, it beats doing Islamic studies in a ‘classroom’ setting. Even if they don’t listen to the whole lecture, they’re bound to be impacted by parts of it, which may prove to be longer lasting and by Allah’s guidance, action-changing. While they watch the sun sink below the horizon from inside a moving vehicle, Uthman’s a.s. blood drips onto the Quran he is reading. The combination of audio and visual input leads to a different learning process that you can’t get indoors.
So, instead of turning on the radio, or even those movies (if you have those DVD players in your minivan), even if your kids are 4, 5 years old, play beneficial lecture CDs. The best lectures for this purpose are stories of sahabah, tabi’ee, scholars, and seerah.
However, this is not limited to long road trips. Play them when you’re driving to the library with them, or when running errands, or when you go the masjid. Nothing induces curiosity and interest to listening to a lecture like having the engine turned off at a cliff hanger. Trust me, I’ve had the kids actually remain sitting in the van even after we’re parked in the garage just so they could find out what Muhammad AlShareef was trying to point out about a certain matter. And the next time we venture out, we all look forward to continuing where we left off. What better way to integrate Islamic Studies in your homeschool?