Selecting the right school can be a stressful decision. Though education options abound, finding the ideal fit requires effort, discernment and, often, financial dedication. How can a caring Muslim parent navigate these difficult waters?
Drawbacks of public education
While public schools in the United States are affordable, they are fraught with uncertainty. State-run schools are overcrowded and underfunded, leading to low standards of learning and burned-out teachers. As a growing population exacerbates these issues, students are placed in classrooms where teachers neither know their students’ names nor have the capacity to address those students’ individual learning needs. In addition, traditional religious values are generally abandoned in favor of a secular curriculum.
Why private, Muslim schools are a thriving option
Choosing a school shouldn’t feel like playing the lottery. As a parent begins to consider a private, Muslim school option, they can expect to find a range of attractive features. Each of these facets will demonstrate the superior quality of the private school choice.
Traditional values. Public schools have a legal mandate to teach a religiously neutral curriculum. In a private setting, however, students can know that they are being taught desirable values from both teachers and peers.
High-quality education. Many public schools are forced to evaluate student progress using a standardized test at the end of the academic year. Lawmakers frequently shape expected learning outcomes to match these testing requirements. Private schools, however, are exempt from state-mandated testing. This offers the opportunity to teach for student success instead of test scores.
Small class-sizes. In private schools, classrooms maintain a low student to teacher ratio. These environments enable teachers to truly know their students.
Individualized education. Though public schools utilize a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, private institutions allow educators to tailor their lessons to student needs.
Greater opportunity for parent involvement. In Muslim school contexts, parents have more chances to play a role in their child’s learning. A student’s education shouldn’t stop at school; rather, it needs to continue at home as well. When teachers in small classrooms know their pupils personally, they can provide individualized feedback to parents. With this knowledge in hand, parents can support their child’s academic growth in a targeted manner.
By taking advantage of these insights, Muslim parents can make a more informed decision about their child’s schooling.
You might think that finding an Islamic School in the USA would be difficult,
but it could not be further away from the truth!
In fact, there are numerousIslamic Schools from which you could choose, and if you would like your children to attend one of these schools, you will be able to find the one which suits all your needs. There are many Islamic Schools in the USA, and all of them have the necessary curriculum which was reviewed by the state, so the education that your child will be getting is within the national framework. What is different, however, is that apart from teaching all the regular subjects, Islamic schools also teach Islamic culture and history.
Washington Islamic Academy, Virginia
Al-Amal School, Minneapolis
Al-Huda School, College Park, Maryland
Al-Salaam School, St. Louis, Missouri
Al-Ihsan Islamic School, Syracuse, New York
Al-Qalam School, Springfield, Virginia
Al-Hedayah Academy, Fort Worth Texas
American Islamic Academy, Dearborn, Michigan
An-Noor Islamic School, Wichita, Kansas
Brighter Horizon School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Clara Mohammed School, New York, New York
Claremont Islamic School, Pomona, California
Crescent View Academy, Aurora, Colorado
Darul Uloom Al Qasimia, Shamokin, Pennsylvania
Iman Academy, Houston, Texas
Islamic Academy of Florida, Tampa, Florida
Islamic Academy of Riverside, California
Islamic Academy of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
Islamic Foundation, Villa Park, Illinois
Islamic Education Center in Manassas, Virginia
Islamic School of Greater Kansas City, Missouri
Islamic School of Portland, Oregon
Muslim Community School, Potomac, Maryland
MET Islamic School, Portland, Oregon
New Horizon School, Los Angeles, California
Pleasant View School, Memphis, Tennessee
Silicon Valley Academy, Sunnyvale, California
Universal School, Bridgeview, Illinois
If you don’t know what to expect when enrolling in an Islamic school, do not worry! Here is the text which should clarify what to expect from each topic or subject in school.
The goal is to teach the students how to read simple books, but also to learn how to analyze them. We will also learn how to write names, words, sentences, and small paragraphs in English and Arabic. This will be accomplished through active word formation, combining consonant sounds with vowels sound, and connecting the phonetic sounds with each other. In late October I will begin to make a vocabulary list of words that we come across in our beginning reading. We should finish basic reading by the end of the semester, and then concentrate on speed through word and sound recognition by the end of the academic school year, at which point you should be able to use language independently.
The goal here is to teach the students about our solar system orbits of the moon around the earth, and of the earth and other planets around the sun, the length of a day, a month, and a year. We will also study our custom-made earth, and how Allah has designed us, along with all of his creatures, to live on this very special planet. We will also learn about our environment and the weather. We will continue to discuss the numerous and various creations of Allah, and how they affect us, and how we have affected the planet. We will continue to learn, in our health science unit, about our bodies, and how certain parts of our bodies were created to conform to different aspects of our environment. We will also discuss, as part of both our science unit, as well as our social studies unit, the theories as to why there are differences between people from different areas from around the world. This subject is theoretically made up from different sciences.
Our goal is to learn about people, cultures, and history in both Islamic world and other parts of the world. We will combine some aspects of science weather patterns, and environment to discover why we look different. We will continue to study the history of the United States, as well as Islamic History. Other histories will be glanced over as well. We will also study some aspects of human social behavior, and how we, as Muslims must get along with each other, as well as with other people that Allah has created.
Our goal in math is to learn about numbers but also how to write them, how to add, subtract, and eventually, how to multiply them. We will learn about weights and measures, clocks and timers, and money and how to spend it. We will also use manipulatives, such as M&Ms to add, subtract, and multiply, this should make math not easier but also fun and tasty!
ART We will concentrate on using art in adjunct to all of our academic disciplines, as well as art in itself. The purpose is to channel intuitive, creative ability from students, through color and different artistic medium. The students are more excited and interested in their academic work when they are allowed to draw or color. This helps them to feel that they had a hand in creating the assignment.
COMPUTER SCIENCE We will learn the basic use of the computer. We will also use the computer as a tool to assist us in teaching certain mathematical as well as writing skills.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION We use this unit to exercise. Our exercises are designed to stretch muscles, promote toning, and improve the cardiovascular system. We use a series of maneuvers used in ballet and aerobics.
MUSIC We will use music songs, etc. for both language arts, as well Assembly, every three Friday’s when everyone would be able to show off their musical skills.
Philosophy remains one of the strongest pillars of society and its cumulative knowledge. In the world philosophy, Islamic philosophy takes a special place. This branch of philosophy is important to Islamic schools, but also to all other schools of thought. Learning how to think is one particularly skillful activity that not everyone can teach or learn. That is why we devote special attention to Islamic philosophy and take time to teach it properly to all students.
Mission and Philosophy
The school’s mission is to help individual Muslims develop and utilize their talents to the benefit of mankind. Also, the school seeks to help Muslims learn and practice their Islamic values and morals. This mission is based on the Philosophy of Islamic Education, where individuals are responsible for their actions, and knowledge is sought to help them realize the great bounties of Allah and to worship Him in the way that most pleases Him. Islamic Education is just one of many ways in which you could deepen your devotion to Islam, but also just learning about Islam could be an enriching experience.
Goals and Objectives
Teach Muslim children to be good citizens by developing awareness of their role in their local communities and the society at large. Because societies are made up of individuals and learning how to be a functional member of society changes all of our society.
Practice Islam as it was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Increase students’ knowledge of Quran, Sunnah, and the Arabic language.
Help Muslim children excel in learning and compete with their counterparts in passing the Standards of Learning as mandated by the Department of Education.
Build a model in moral education.
Help Muslim students develop their decision-making skills, stimulate their intellectual curiosity, and prepare them to compete in this fast-paced world of technology.
The Washington Islamic Academy adapted the Fairfax Public School Curriculum in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The students will be prepared to pass all requirements of the system, including the Standard of Learning (SOL), which are required for graduation. Also, children will learn Quran, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language, and Islamic History. The integration of curriculum will help learners develop their basic skills while preserving their identities as Muslims.
The school started this academic year of 2001-2002 with grades: K through 4th. With the help of Allah and the support of our community, we will add a grade annually. Grades are there to show the progress of our students, but we are also very much aware that the progress in learning is what counts the most.