Monday, March 22, 2010

Church Time: Occupying Little Ones' Hands and Minds!

Mar. 22, 2010

from A 2nd Generation of Homeschooling

I read a great tip a while back for keeping kids occupied AND learning while sitting in church with their parents. We have since added to those tips. It is also a great method for training the children to take notes.

**For the youngest/non-readers** They are to listen to the pastor and draw a picture of something he is talking about. If they cannot choose a word due to their young age, mommy or daddy could prompt them by whispering in their ear.

**For young readers/writers** They take a word the pastor says and write it down and then doodle around it. For older readers/writers, they write a sentence or quote that the pastor says and doodle around it.

**As they get older** They write more and more of what the pastor says.

All of this not only occupies their hands, but also their minds and hearts. They will pay even closer attention to the sermon if Daddy (the spiritual head and discipler of his wife and children - Eph. 6:4) asks them to show their work to the family on Sunday afternoon. The kids will look forward to sharing their work, as well as sharing what GOD taught their little hearts. Sunday should be a precious day for the family and this is a way for all the family members - young and old - to learn from God!

We use these methods with our children, as we go to a "family integrated church". They retain SO MUCH since we started implementing this. Another thing to help the ones (say 5 and under) stay quiet or focused AND to retain things is to have them sit by you and tap your arm/leg every time they hear a key word in the sermon. For instance the other day our pastor was talking about praise. I whispered the meaning of praise in Jake's ear (4 years old) and then had him tap me every time he heard the word. At our "review time" with the family every Sunday night he was able to proudly tell me what he had learned! He now looks forward to the "quiz word" every Sunday!

Lisa Metzger

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