We know you have questions. Here is a list of the frequently asked questions with their answers.
What is AYA Montessori?
Aya, meaning “Model” in Arabic, is a center that aims to nurture Muslim children in mind, body and spirit through Montessori Education and with our developed Arabic and Islamic curriculum inspired by the Montessori way. The Idea of Aya Center started with the birth of the first grandson in a nurturing family of educators, entrepreneurs and Artists. This project further stemmed from understanding the prophetic tradition “Your Lord has a right upon you, yourself has a right upon you and your family (community) has a right upon you”, which formulated the need for Aya as a healthy environment that supports the community’s next generations.
Why Aya Center?
Our mission it to educate and raise balanced Muslim American model children through spiritual, social and intellectual growth grounded in Montessori education and embedded in Islamic teaching.
Where is Aya Center located?
The Center will be located in Elkridge, MD in Howard County, right at the intersection of rt. 95 and rt. 100. The address is 6785 Business Parkway Suite 104, Elkridge, MD 21075. We currently getting the school ready for tours so it's not officially open to the public yet.
What Ages do you accept?
Our center is accepting two levels:
1) Assistance to Infancy (Montessori approach) (6 weeks - 3 years)
2) Primary Montessori for preschool ages (3 years - 5 years)
How big are the classrooms?
We follow the strict regulations set by Maryland's Board of Education for the teacher/child ratio. The group sizes are small compared to other Preschools and Day Cares. We are accepting a limited number of children to ensure only the highest quality in teaching and one-on-one attention. At the same time, the Montessori approach encourages mixing of ages that include a slightly larger number of students for the primary level to develop social and behavioral skills in children.
Do kids get to play outdoors?
Yes! We are developing a fenced outdoor playing area that is appropriate for different age groups.
Do you have a curriculum?
While we ensure a fun and loving environment, we encourage our young students to learn through play. All our classrooms adopt the Montessori method characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.
We have Montessori trained teachers and administration and know the materials and curriculum by heart. What's unique about the Montessori method is that children develop on their own pace. There is no delay in the Montessori education, unlike a normal class where everyone has to move at the same pace. Here are some characteristics of Montessori Education:
- Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 5 years old by far the most common.
- Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
- Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours
- A constructivist or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
- Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
- Freedom of movement within the classroom
- A trained Montessori teacher
What subjects does Aya Center teach to kids at such a young age?
With all the freedom and fun that the students get, the Montessori approach focuses on these major subjects:
Botany (The scientific Studied on Plants)
Is learning Islamic studies & quran mandatory for everyone?
We welcome kids from around the community, so Islamic and Quran studies are not mandatory for everyone.
Our team has developed an Islamic and Arabic curriculum that fits the Montessori approach, designed to prepare the future leaders of Muslim Americans. But while those subjects are part of our curriculum and tuition fee, they are not mandatory. We are building a kids mosque inside our center for our students to gather, learn Islam and Quran, sing Nasheed and have a hands-on experience. For students who don't like to join the class, their care-giver will always be with them in their classroom focusing on other material.