Minaret Academy is one of the only Islamic schools to offer a certified Montessori Program for Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students. The program was opened in 2003 with one classroom of only 15 students and has flourished to a maximum of 82 students in 4 well equipped classrooms.
Each classroom is populated with 18-24 students from ages 3 to 6 years old with two full time teachers present at all times. Montessori students also learn Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Quran. The Montessori approach focuses on the spirit of the child and helps develop their social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Our teaching method is rooted in self-directed activities, hands-on learning, and collaborative play.
The Montessori program’s philosophy, curriculum and objectives are based upon the following beliefs:
• Children learn best by doing, through discovery.
• Children benefit from planned educational activities.
• For children, play is work.
• Each child is unique; therefore his/her special qualities must be respected.
Benefits of Mixed Ages
The Montessori ideology adopted by Minaret Academy strategically chooses to mix the ages of students in each classroom. The rosters are balanced by placing small groups of students from age 3-5 years old in the same class to benefit from each other’s learning experience:
• This mixture allows older children to help the younger ones with various activities.
• The younger children become more independent without totally relying on adults.
• The older children learn patience and tolerance as the younger children learn proper social behaviors. They also love to share their knowledge with others, and in the process, they reiterate what they have already learned.
• By watching the older children work, the younger children strive to challenge themselves and look forward to future activities.
Hands on activities for the young children 3 - 6 years. The hand is the companion of the mind. Even the youngest child becomes engaged in activities for long periods of time, which in turn helps them understand order, sequence, develop fine motor skills, concentration and eye hand coordination.
Scientific Apparatus, internationally acclaimed. The art of learning through the senses with activities for the enhancement of Visual, Chromatic,Tactile, Auditory, Muscular and more. Interrelated for further refinement of senses for early learning of math, language and developmental science.
Children work with activities in Mathematics and gain knowledge through the use of quantity with numerals with the help of the Decimal System. Memorization of Basic Math facts.
Activities in Geography, Botany, Zoology, Earth Sciences. Beginning with simple puzzles, all activities progress through experiments and discoveries.
Children learn to read, write and comprehend at a young age. All language activities progress from learning the phonetic sounds of the letters of the English Alphabet progressing all the way until fluent reading is established.
By Mrs. Mumtaz Saleh, Montessori Director Liaison DSS
The dynamics of a Montessori Classroom lies in the coexistence of harmony and peace. Love is universal. At Minaret Academy, this love for a child is unconditional, yet its functions have conditions. The teachers in our Montessori Program understand the child’s inner need for success. As adults, we respect the child who has the need to develop and those who need solace. Most of all, we respect the child who cries out to us in rebellion. These are examples of a child’s developmental stages.Just as a butterfly evolves from a mere caterpillar, the child is not only forming his intelligence and physique but building his character as well. By Montessori standards this process is referred to as “the will: to do or not to do. To comply or not to comply.” The butterfly goes through a metamorphosis completing its term. When the butterfly first emerges from the cocoon, it cannot fly immediately. Why? Because its wings are wet therefore it must be protected until they are dry and can fly away. What would happen to the butterfly if the insect was “helped” with too much human interaction? The weakened wings may become injured and adhere their ability to fly. This is exactly what happens to a child’s psyche when it is stressed out with pressure from adults or peers. A Montessori teacher must ensure an organized, spacious, and stimulating learning environment so they can observe the child’s flight into endless discoveries and progress at their individual pace. Here, at Minaret Academy, we have integrated the mission of “montessori” - a scientific method of education, hand in hand with Islamic values & morals, so that our young children will absorb, understand, grow. Then : Emerge ! Into society as self directed learners and motivated future leaders.
Our Montessori classes are licensed by the California State Department of Social Services. Students learn through hands-on discovery in a strategic environment that is conducive to the child’s developmental needs. Teachers strive to help each child gain self-esteem and confidence as they grow socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Students progress steadily from one success to another, prepare for academic challenges, learn to master arithmetic, reading and writing, cooperate with peers, experience the wonder of nature and science, use their imagination, express their individual thought process through creative art and work independently in a cohesive prepared environment.