A teacher, at best, is a facilitator for something, you’re really a midwife trying to birth meaning in the soul of a student.
— Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Zaytuna College

For more than a decade, ILM Tree families have come together to collectively homeschool our children in the East Bay. 

ILM Tree families believe in the importance of a childhood which includes time for exploration of individual interests, time spent with family, chores at home, community service, and meaningful “work” outside of the classroom. These priorities are met through a weekly co-op schedule which considers these specific needs for the children. Homework is kept to a minimum in the younger grades and is purposeful in the older grades. Class sizes are kept small to ensure that a bulk of the “learning” happens in class with their mentor-teachers. All co-op classes are optional so that parents can choose a schedule that works best for their family. 

Read-aloud in the front yard stump circle.

Read-aloud in the front yard stump circle.

Early Childhood Program

Babies, Preschool and Kindergarten

The goal of ILM Tree’s cozy Early Childhood (EC) program is to be a joyous transition for our young ones into the world of “school”. With an emphasis on Islamic values, play, and exploration of the senses, the EC program creates a safe, home-like environment using repetition, rhythm, and routine. Children also benefit from listening to stories of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), participating in play-based Arabic language instruction, Qur’an memorization, and learning daily supplications. In addition, EC children are given daily access to the ranch through special nature programming for preschoolers and ranch walks to visit animal friends for toddlers.

Ages: Preschool is open for children who have turned 3 years old by Sept. 1. Kindergarten is open for children who have turned 5 years old by Sept. 1.

Infant/Toddler Program: Infant/toddler care, called Sprouts, is available only for ILM Tree members who are working or teaching on-site at ILM Tree. Parents MUST remain on-site when they have a child in the Sprouts program.


We believe in learning outside the classroom

Co-op field trip to the California Academy of Sciences


Our Approach

ILM Tree’s approach is loosely based on the well-known home-schooling manual The Well-Trained Mind which teaches a classical approach to education. We strive to balance traditional core skills and rigorous expectations with creative and play-based activities, especially for the younger children. The children’s Muslim identity is reinforced throughout all their classes, not just in Qur’an and Islamic Studies.

The education offered at ILM Tree is based on four principles:

  1. Strong mentor-student relationship both inside and outside of the classroom

  2. Growing the whole child with a primary focus on developing good character

  3. Minimization of media and technology in the academic curriculum and in the home life.

  4. Parental learning, support, and growth towards healthy families

We pool our resources to provide the following classes for our students in KG-8th grade:

  1. English Language Arts

  2. Math

  3. Arabic

  4. Quran reading and memorization

  5. Islamic Studies

  6. Social Studies

  7. Science

Islamic Studies

Our focus in the Islamic Studies program at ILM Tree is to ensure that our children learn what is required of them as Muslims and we strive to deliver the message to them in a way that feels relevant to their lives. We have a well-rounded curriculum based on the framework outlined in the Hadith of Jibril, upon him be peace, of islam (practice), iman (faith), and ihsan (spiritual excellence). Providing a cohesive curriculum that begins in kindergarten, students at ILM Tree study `aqidah (creed according to the Ash’ari school), fiqh (jurisprudence according to the Hanafi school), akhlaq and adab (Islamic character and etiquette), hadith (sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad upon whom be peace), spiritual purification, and the characteristics and biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.