just a little note to let you all know that the new year of children’s classes has begun here, so I’ll be posting reflections again after an unjustly long hiatus. as always, go nuts with leaving comments! I’d really love to see as many people posting their thoughts as possible, so that we can all learn from each other. one interesting feature this year will be that I’ll be going over the curriculum we used a few years ago—so you’ll see a lot of old lessons popping up with new reflections added to them. hopefully this will help me (and you) better reflect on how children’s classes change as the children get older. Since most of the lessons are already somewhere on this blog, I’ll be bumping them up in advance so that people can have a chance to look at them and leave comments—for instance, this week’s class was on obedience to parents (I’ve added some wrap-up comments to it already), and next week’s class is on kindness to animals, which you’ll find below. if you’re up to follow the whole curriculum as it happens, you may also want to check the class calendar in the sidebar, which will give you a glimpse of what’s coming for us in the next few weeks—surprise me by looking ahead and leaving comments on upcoming lessons!
September 27, 2008: 1.5 hours, 3 children, average age 8-9. we’re back to one teacher again (me). got off to a bit of a rough start (wow, how many times have I written that) and had to go over the rules with the kids. now that I think of it, I totally should have expected to spend this class going over ground rules. one of the children was especially impatient, “we already know the rules!!” (yet was throwing pillows and sitting improperly, etc). so we ended up spending a fair bit of time at the beginning just trying to get ready for prayers, which is never much fun. same child also wanted to read “the longest prayer in the prayer book”; had to reason with him a little on that point (we don’t want to discourage children to say prayers!). so I asked if the children knew people that they really loved talking to and listening to—conversing with—someone to whom they could feel comfortable telling anything. then I explained that praying is the same, but conversing with God. God listens to us, and we are able to tell Him anything that’s on our minds or on our hearts. if we pick a prayer from the prayer book and recite what it says, and yet our minds are elsewhere being silly and not paying attention to what we’re saying, then God wants to hear us and listen to us, but there’s nothing to listen to.
we’ll have to revisit this concept with the children, but especially with that one child—the concept that prayer is not just parroting the words in a book, but is something you genuinely feel. perhaps we should devote a part of one class to “how to choose a prayer”; is this an issue that others have had? how did you deal with it? is it something that becomes clearer to the children as they grow older? is it better to deal with it when they become junior youth? dunno, lol.
craft went very well; we made cards for our parents—I did a run to the new art superstore that opened up close to here, and picked up some really nice materials and stamps for the kids to use. it was genuinely fun to do for all of us—we weren’t many, of course, so that probably helped things go smoothly. kids were very excited to hear that there would be more art projects. need to fit in more games, though, especially for the one child who seems to have a lot of trouble learning without them. it almost seems like we should be taking more time for the class, that an hour and a half isn’t enough. now that our kids are older (8-9) they should have the capacity to keep their attention on the lesson as long as it is reasonably varied, and today’s experience seems to have borne that out.