At the Islamic School of Portland, we seek to educate the child as a whole. Although our curriculum continues to emphasize the fundamentals of reading, math, and science it also provides more varied classes (such as Islamic Studies, Arts, and Arabic) so that each student is inclined to become more academically, socially, and spiritually well-rounded.
The curriculum is challenging and geared toward the objective of preparing our students to excel in all areas of study. We recognize that each student is an individual and thus the curriculum needs to be flexible enough to meet the needs of every student. Our smaller classroom sizes allow for teachers to tailor the learning experience to benefit every child. By doing so, the curriculum is engaging to every student while at the same time no student is left behind. Our ultimate goal is to enable each student to reach his or her fullest potential.
The workbooks used at the Islamic School of Portland was designed for Muslims who were raised in the West. The Islamic Studies curriculum was devised to ensure that students learn about their faith, worship obligations, and history, while it is applied to their daily life while it correlates to the level of maturity and understanding of the child.
This curriculum was constructed to build a strong Muslim identity based on Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). The Islamic Studies course covers three areas of study:
- Beliefs and worship: the students learn about the six articles of faith and the five pillars of Islam. Students are introduced to their Islamic rights and obligations and are presented with a clear and authentic picture of how they are fulfilled.
- Islamic history: students learn stories of all the prophets as well as other stories mentioned in the Quran. Students study in detail the life of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) as well as the thirty years that followed his death, known as the rightly guided Caliphate. The students are introduced also to stories of different companions of prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) as well as other important figures throughout Islamic history.
- Manners and morals: students learn about the Islamic code of morals,manners and ethics. For instance, they are guided towards the right actions to be taken in the following cases: respect for parents, elders, teachers, kindness, cleanliness, eating habits, Islamic greetings, modest attire, manners in the mosque, good relations with people of other religions, forbidden food and drink, and many others. Students are also instructed on inappropriate actions to be avoided, for example, backbiting, boasting, jealousy and miserliness. Reading and studying stories are an important component of this part of Islamic studies. Duaas(supplications) are also part of the curriculum: Students memorize daily duaas and recite them at appropriate times.
The Quran is the Holy Book of Islam. It consists of thirty parts which are divided into sections for which certain chapters are studied and memorized in each grade level. It is every Muslim’s duty to study the Quran, to understand its meanings and to apply them in everyday life. Quran memorization is very important to every Muslim, as it is a requirement for prayer and worship of Allah.
The Islamic School of Portland teaches Arabic as a second language to prepare students to read and understand the Quran and Sunnah. Our task is complicated by having a few students coming from Arabic speaking families, while most come from non-Arabic speaking families and are learning Arabic as a third language in the home. ISP has adapted our own methodology and built a curriculum that caters to our community.