It wasn’t long ago that I was approached to lead a class for the children who didn’t qualify for PreK at our local Sunday school. The main driving factor for me to commit to anything is always my children. The fact that both my children would be able to participate in this class, well that’s a good enough reason for me to do anything.
Our Sunday school begins at age 4 with PreK and there was quite a demand for children who are almost 4, but wouldn’t turn four in time for the cut-off. When I signed up to lead the class, with my exceptional partner who co-teaches alongside me, I honestly thought we would have a total of 6-8 kids or so. Most likely consisting of children of existing teachers, or siblings of elder children who are enrolled. That was the idea behind it.
When the registration opened, the swiftness of enrollment shocked us. We had so many people sign up, that we just didn’t know when to stop enrollment. Well, we ended up having 19 children enrolled with 2 lead teachers and 4 assistants. It has been an adjustment, but a great success!
The structure of the class is consistent from week to week, with a combination of a hands on craft, a collective class activity, some letter recognition and practice writing arabic letters, a circle time and of course wudhu and prayer. Each month my co-teacher and I alternate who is the lead, so that we can get a break from lesson planning. We integrate the Islamic calendar and pertinent events that are going on into our class. It has been an incredible project for me, and I have poured my heart out into every sunday that I teach. The best part is seeing the progress in these children from week to week.
My advice to anyone who is looking for a program such as our Sunday school in their own community, is to do your research about what is out there, and what is successful in other areas/states. Starting a program really isn’t too much of a challenge, and once you have the idea in place, people will be drawn towards your project. The more people you get involved, the more successful your program can be. If you feel like your community is lacking, then get involved and try to bring a new idea into the mix. And if it doesn’t work out, well there’s always the option of starting your program at home!
What’s been your biggest struggle with an Islamic school program for your little ones? I’d love to hear your feedback, write below in the comments. And if you are looking for support, please do reach out, working together can make a tremendous impact.