Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts from a Friend

Anyone who knows me well knows that nothing gets me more excited than creativity and good ideas.  A couple of days ago, I received a letter from my friend, Asmic, who lives in Moscow.  She is implementing some innovative ideas in her children’s spiritual formation.  I’m printing an excerpt from her letter, because it inspired me and I hope it will you as well:

“I have so many projects on my mind! One of my ideas is to teach the Bible right from the beginning along with the other ‘sciences’. Like, when we read about the creation of the universe, I showed pictures of galaxies, named the planets of our solar system (and Pasha learned them), etc. When we got to Adam and Eve, I read him Psalm 139 and showed pictures about how our bodies are made.  . .  . Or Joseph and then the Israelites in the Egyptian period can be told on the background of Egyptian culture, art and architecture (in our art history books they always start with cavemen's art and follow by Egypt).

With Alyosha, who is 6, the creative phase follows immediately and inevitably. He starts drawing what he has just learned as if he cannot contain it or needs to process. Now that Kolya (he will be 3 in Jan.) has joined us in most of activities, I need some other ways to teach the Bible. Godly Play seems to be just what I need!
They love to worship! I play my guitar and they choose out of their musical instruments (mostly various percussion instruments) and join me with singing, playing and some crazy dancing. After few songs Alyosha begins to build huge crosses with his building blocks, and Kolya follows his example.”

Asmic is providing her boys with sensorimotor experiences that they need in order to explore and make sense of the abstract concept of an invisible, but personal God.  Because Asmic is incorporating science and history into her children’s religious education, their faith is being mentored in a holistic way rather than religion being something completely unrelated to other spheres of life and learning. 

Way to invest in your children, Asmic! And thanks for letting me share your thoughts!

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