I brought this gift for my son because Legos is one of his favourite games, and even though it’s written on this game that it is appropriate for the age (+16) and my son is about to be 11 years old, I did not hesitate to buy the game for him, and I was confident that he would be able to build it.
And indeed, within two hours he had finished building the model. (No amazement here!)
The Educator’s role:
Our task as parents or teachers is to discover what skills Allah created our children or students with, in order to develop it and then use it in the service of the religion.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to assign tasks to the right person for the task, as he was aware of the characteristics and skills of the people around him and assigns each person according to his capabilities and skills in performing the task, so he chooses Musab bin Omair to introduce Islam in Yathrib (before its name become al-Madina) and he chooses Osama bin Zaid to be the commander of the armies sent to Al- Sham in a conquest with the Romans, despite his young age, according to the companions around him (only 17 years old).
My siblings and I used to go to a British school when we were young, and the teachers were always keen to know the skills of every child in the school in order to develop those skills.
The teachers discovered my brother’s excellence in math, and they used to teach him maths, three levels higher than his age level, he was also excellent in playing chess and he won the competition made by his school even though he was still in middle school.
By time, my brother joined the faculty of science, pure math department and he excelled in it, he would explain the lessons to his colleagues and make summaries for the lessons and he graduated with a grade of very good, even though it is very hard to get this grade at such a difficult college.
The teachers discovered my sister’s excellence in science, especially biology and later she graduated from the faculty of medicine that she truly loves.
As for me, the teachers didn’t see evident excellence in the normal school subjects, but they would choose me to perform important roles in school plays and theatre (one role was a queen). And this is how British schools still operate till this day.
So, I learned from this, that it is not necessary for our skills to be in academic subjects.
Our skills maybe in areas that we may think are unimportant, such as the skill of organizing, public speaking, or dealing with people, or, or, or, or …. We shouldn’t limit the characteristics of our children to be in academic school subjects only.
Do we all have special characteristics and skills?
Yes, every one of us has a special characteristic that Allah created us with, and our job is to discover what it is and use it to support the religion, and if you do not know what it is, you have not discovered it yet, and you must work on discovering it for your children as well as yourself, and not just for our children, and try to find a way to implement it in supporting the religion.
We will need to think in a creative way to find a way to use our skills to support the religion and to pray to Allah to use us and not exchange us with other people.
We must also make our children participate in this process of implementing their own skills in supporting the religion because they do come up with creative ideas and so that they also share this view to life with us and more over they are the ones who are going to do it.
My son used to go to a Montessori school when he was four years old, and he had a three-year-old girl in the class (this is how it is in Montessori classes, where children from 3 to 6 years old are grouped together), so this girl could count to a thousand while my son could not count further than 100, because the Montessori method of teaching encourages going deeper and further with any subject that the child is distinguished in and aims to develop their skills and does not stop the child at the certain age that is standardly required to learn each subject.
So, accordingly I divided the subjects to be taught into 3 types:
1) Essential/fundamental subjects (Islamic studies):
This is Islamic studies, and this is the foundation on which we build everything and without it, our view on life will be incomplete and defected and we will never be on the straight path without it.
Creed then fiqh then history (these are the three topics that the verses in the Quran are mainly about) and Arabic language to better understand these three former subjects.
2) All general subjects (science, math, social studies, languages but from an Islamic perspective):
With these subjects only the minimum amount of information is required in each of these, and these subjects are also important because it is possible to use the information, we gain in these subjects in making links between different topics and creating something new, distinctive, and different, other than when we only know one subject, which we are good at.
These are found out by exposing the child to different and varied activities and information and then notice what your child is interested in.
Then you begin to develop this skill by looking for activities that reinforce this skill, and then link it with the aim of using them to support the religion.
Want to learn more about the flexibility of Islamic homeschooling?
Check out this article!
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