My first thought after I had answered the questions in my previous blog was that I wanted to put Ameera into a Montessori school. Based on some reading and research, the Montessori method is more widely spread than any other modern method of education. The way it generally works is that the classroom is set up to be an environment that will come to be the childs own as they become responsible for its maintenace. It is set up in centers according to subjects and children are allowed to explore the room freely working with whatever interests them. They are allowed to work on a particular project until they tire of it and of course are guided by the teacher but the class is student led. Here is a link to some information on the method iteself.
http://www.montessori.edu/method.html description of the method
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2NjD65HrBA see the method in action
Why I initially was drawn to this method is because it gives children the freedom to move around all day. They are also able to explore whatever it is that interests them without time limitations and restrictions, yet there would be teacher guidance to assure that they are grasping concepts and ideas. Another aspect I liked was the use of raw and natural materials in the classroom. No artificial, man-made materials. I have a few friends who have their children in Montessori programs and when I questioned them about how they felt about the program. Some key words I heard were: independance, responsibilty, organization, advanced, hands-on, etc. These words they used to refer to the change in their children when compared to others who were not recieving a montessori education.
In my opinion I feel that any type of learning environment were children are able to move freely always works wonders with boys. As a 7th and 8th grade teacher, I have first had experience that most boys aged 1-14 generally have a hard time sitting in seat for extended periods of time being forced to focus on a teacher, book, activity etc that they have no interest in. I have always felt that the traditional school system was actually unhealthy for boys, especially if they have no outlet in which to release there pent up energies which unfortunately is the case with most Islamic Schools. They lack the funding and the resources to provide organized sports teams, practices, coaches etc within the school. I strongly feel that this is something that we need to work on and as a community we should help support for the furture inshaallah.
Anyhow if your interested in this type of schooling I would check The Village School in Waldwick
And some good reading:
Childhood Education by Maria Montessori and
The Child in the Family
This is some information on one option I am considering.