About Lote Tree Learning - Read this first
“A butterfly can flutter its wings over a flower in China and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean”
-Robert Redford's character in the movie Havana
Although a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world cannot actually cause a hurricane on the other side, the metaphor of how things are connected is a powerful one. At the core of this connectivity is history. Learning history is all about connections: connections to the past, and connections to each other. Knowing what happened in the past helps us make sense of our present. Knowing how we fit into the larger global history, helps us connect to others. Knowing our heritage gives us a place to belong. Knowledge of history even gives us a basis to determine future actions. Currently, the world has become a global community, therefore making global history all the more pressing.
Our History Connections series spans from the Ancients to the Modern Era. Every year students will take a chunk of this history. In the first book, students will cover from Creation to about 500 C.E. In the second book, they will cover from 500 C.E. until about 1650 C.E. The third era will cover from 1650 C.E. until the Industrial Revolution, approximately 1850 C.E. The last era, the Modern Era, will cover from 1850 C.E. until our current day. All Eras have Islamic History integrated within global history, with more attention and time spend on important topics in the history of our Ummah. The four books in this curriculum are consecutive, not only in chronological information but also in building skills. The first book is best suited for early primary students, grade 1 and 2, although older students would benefit from this program as well. Should you start with an older student, up to grade 4, we do recommend starting with Book 1. However, we will suggest a few adjustments below.
Starting with an older student
Older students may still enjoy looking at the images and extracting information from these, but this should be supplemented by a more challenging task.For late primary students starting in Book 1, we recommend they read the paragraphs in the encyclopedia independently and outline the information. Outlining is the process where the student writes down the most important point of each paragraph and numbers these points with Roman Numerals. The crafts are enjoyable for older students as well, although they may read the instructions themselves and complete the craft independently.
Our unique approach to learning is summed up in the acronym IDEALS, which covers several methodologies and skills we believe should be covered in all educational programs,whether for primary students or adults. IDEALS stands for Inquiry Based Learning, Differentiated Learning, Experiential learning, Aptitude Training, Lens of Islam, and Social-Emotional Learning.
Inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that emphasizes the student's role in the learning process. Rather than the teacher telling students what they need to know, students are encouraged to explore the material, ask questions, and share ideas.
Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Differentiation is a framework for effective teaching that involves providing all learners a range of different avenues for understanding new information.
Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as "learning through reflection on doing".
Aptitude Training determines how well-equipped students are to make good decisions and solve problems in their academic, professional and personal lives. Skills are the building blocks that allow students to apply the knowledge they acquire in an academic context to real world problems and situations.
Lens of Islam integrates Islamic knowledge into elements of the academic program in order to provide students with an Islamic lens to view the world and to create connections between the deen and the world at large. Viewing the world through an Islamic lens will increase a sense of purpose and meaning, and allows students to foster their Islamic identity and live with integrity.
Social-emotional Learning is the process through which students acquire and apply the skills necessary to manage emotions and social relationships. According to Goleman, social-emotional intelligence “emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job”.