by Dina Rehab
Research confirms that healthy early childhood experiences, particularly during the first five years, are critical to the physical, mental, emotional and social development and well-being of a child. It is during these early formative years that the foundation for life-long learning, health and behavior are established. It is, therefore, critical that children develop ahealthy sense of self, the other, the world and the interconnectedness between them—while remaining conscious of the Source or Creator—during these early years. As children utilize their senses to explore and discover their environment, it is important that they receive simple, yet spiritually-sound, information that helps lay a solid spiritual foundation during this critical stage of development. Young children are naturally inclined to learning more about their spiritual world and many begin to ask questions that relate to who created the world and how as early as the ages of three or four.
Rose Garden Academy (RGA), a new preschool/kindergarten in Lake View, Chicago, offers holistic education within an Islamic framework for children ages three to six. The program is designed to offer education for the mind and spirit, and empowers children to lead balanced and purposeful lives as competent and conscious global citizens.
Spiritual and character development, service-oriented projects, hands-on learning and problem-solving are only some highlights of this program. Students are encouraged to explore their physical world and spirituality in a safe and friendly environment that supports their natural curiosity and spiritual inclination. Qur’an and Islamic Studies, Arabic Language Immersion, World Series Program, core subjects, Art, Physical Education (fitness, sports, hygiene and nutrition), and Gardening, are other components of RGA’s pioneering curriculum. Acquiring a healthy attitude and outlook are fundamental to the RGA approach; students learn how to take responsibility for their world by identifying challenges as opportunities that prompt them to become an active part of the solution.
Students observe, explore, discover, reflect upon and appreciate the diversity of creation. Key themes integrated throughout the curriculum include developing the fundamental concept of “Tawhid” (the oneness of the Creator) and understanding the 99 names or attributes (Al-Asma Al-Husna). Students engage in activities and projects that center on the remembrance of and reflection on the Creator’s magnitude through the diversity of creation. Students are also engaged in conscious living, exploring and internalizing values, understanding emotions and motivations, and developing essential social skills and social responsibility.
Spiritual awareness is a fundamental aspect of an RGA education. Rose Garden Academy provides individualized attention to students in a holistic multicultural learning environment to develop a community of competent, spiritually connected, value-driven and culturally attuned citizens that feel an innate responsibility towards serving the world of tomorrow.
To learn more about Rose Garden Academy, join the upcoming informational session on February 21, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Visit www.rosegardenacademy.org for more information.