Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I send my child to Beverly Hills Academy?
This may not be as frequently an asked question as it is the most important question. A child’s future and education is the most important concern as they are intimately related. We believe there is quite a conversation to be had, and feel that the following summarizes our passion for what we do here:
Beverly Hills Academy seeks to develop in each student a positive identity as an American Muslim who is prepared intellectually, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to succeed as leaders in tomorrow’s world. Our students are expected to integrate academic skills, Qur’anic principles and ethical behavior in order to make positive contributions to the global community. It is our aim to develop in each student a balanced character enriched with knowledge, inspired to excellence, and committed to the betterment of family, community and humanity.
Where did Montessori come from?
Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori’s first casa dei bambini (“children’s house”) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.
What is Montessori and how does it differ from traditional education?
Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.
Can I do Montessori at home with my child?
Yes, you can use Montessori principles of child development at home. Look at your home through your child’s eyes. Children need a sense of belonging, and they get it by participating fully in the routines of everyday life. “Help me do it by myself” is the life theme of the preschooler. Can you find ways for your child to participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys? Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child’s self-esteem.
At the school level many homeschooling and other parents use the Montessori philosophy of following the child’s interest and not interrupting concentration to educate their children.
In school only a trained Montessori teacher can properly implement Montessori education, using the specialized learning equipment of the Montessori “prepared environment.” Here social development comes from being in a positive and unique environment with other children — an integral part of Montessori education.
Why Montessori for the Kindergarten year?
The advantages of using the local schools often seem obvious, while those of staying in Montessori are often not at all clear. When you can use the local schools for free, why would anyone want to invest thousands of dollars in another year’s tuition?
It’s a fair question and it deserves a careful answer. Obviously there is no one right answer for every child. Often the decision depends on where each family places its priorities and how strongly parents sense that one school or another more closely fits in with their hopes and dreams for their children.
Naturally, to some degree the answer is also often connected to the question of family income as well. Although we are amazed at how often families with very modest means who place a high enough priority on their children’s education will scrape together the tuition to keep them in Montessori.
The value of the sensorial experiences that the younger children have had in Montessori have often been under-estimated by both parents and educators. Research is very clear that young children learn by observing and manipulating their environment, not through textbooks and workbook exercises. The Montessori materials give the child concrete sensorial impressions of abstract concepts, such as long division that become the foundation for a lifetime understanding.
Can I pay my Zakat to the school?
Yes. Dr. Maher Hathout outlines the option of paying your Zakat to an Islamic school in an article titled, “Zakat, Perpetual Charity and Establishing Islamic Schools in America”
1. God says in the Holy Quran in Surat Al Taubah: ”The offerings given for the sake of God are [meant] only for the poor and the needy, and those who are in charge therof, and those whose hearts are to be won over, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage, and [for] those who are over-burdened with debts, and [for every struggle] in God’s cause, and [for] the wayfarer: [this is] an ordinance from God – and God is all knowing, wise” (9-60). (The translation is from “The message of the Quran” by Muhammad Asad)
The verse states 8 categories as legitimate recipients of Zakat money, category number 7 is: for every struggle in God’s cause (Fee Sabil Allah). When promoting the cause of Allah was thorough physical confrontation with the enemy, the interpretation was limited to spending for that cause. However, when it became clear that defending and establishing Islam takes other forms that differ according to times and situations, the interpretation was widened to include projects that will establish, defend and promote Islam in the hearts and minds of people as with countries and societies.
Visit our Giving page to learn more about donations to Beverly Hills Academy