New Horizon believes in developing 21st Century skills in each child’s academic, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional being to be ready for the challenges of tomorrow’s world. The combination of a rigorous academic and enriching religious studies program provides the necessary foundations for raising successful and conscientious American Muslim citizens. New Horizon utilizes nationally adopted curriculum and textbooks as a guideline for instruction in the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Being an independent school, New Horizon aims to exceed the national standards where teachers incorporate critical thinking, analytical reasoning, effective communication, and problem solving skills in everyday learning.
In the lower elementary school grades, students focus on the foundational skills and strategies of reading and writing using various methods of instruction based on their individual benchmarks. Students in kindergarten and first grade use leveled reading material and RAZ kids, a technology-based reading program, in order to include various levels of instruction and meet all students’ needs. Students in the lower grade levels also begin with working on sentence structure and move towards writing multiple sentences on a specific topic and, by second grade, begin learning how to write a paragraph. Students in the upper elementary school use novel units to practice various reading strategies, such as summarizing, questioning, and predicting. The novels provide authentic reading opportunities to read longer texts. Students in grades third – sixth work on writing for different audiences and are exposed to writing detailed multi-paragraph compositions on various types of writing such as narrative, informational, expository, and descriptive writing.
To help develop critical thinking skills, New Horizon utilizes Singapore Math, a sequential, systematic math program that offers clear, simple explanations of math concepts while also placing a strong emphasis on problem solving through model drawing. This method also offers pictorial models to help guide students between concrete mathematical experiences and abstract representations.
New Horizon utilizes the FOSS (Full Option Science System) science curriculum. This inquiry-based approach to learning offers students the opportunity for more discovery and hands-on experiments. Teachers also use science journals to integrate the components of the scientific method with writing. Students in fifth and sixth grade participate in a science fair, which allows them to use the inquiry-based approach to bridge their curiosity with a specific subject area. Winners from the science fair advance to the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair at the middle school level.
The New Horizon social studies curriculum is inter-curricular with links to historical fiction novels in the reading classes. Students in the upper grades work on research and note-taking skills and regularly collaborate on presentations. Simulations and field trips as well as history-based assemblies further enhance the social studies curriculum.