A few years ago, my niece Michelle sat on the couch crying. She just received word that good friends had been in a serious auto accident, hit head-on by a drunk driver. Her 3-year old son, Tyler, climbed into her lap, put his arm around her saying, “It’ll be ok, mom, I’m here.”
As our children grow, our hopeful prayer is they will be people of compassion, responding to others’ needs.
Schools are great a helping kids find out how to do things – reading, writing, math, research, and critical thinking to name a few. They are good at helping kids discover the importance of physical activity, sharing, honesty, art, music, and learning languages to name a few. What I don’t see very often, is helping them to discover more about themselves by looking at who they are, what makes them tick, why they think certain things are important while others don’t, or how to become centered rather than scattered. It won’t work to simply tell them to go discover themselves – we have to be there to mentor them on their journey.
Children who enjoy being together look forward to more times together. That’s why it’s essential to create ways for children to get to know each other and to build relationships. However, it’s easy in children’s ministry to focus mainly on the learning. Children will be more likely to come back and learn when they have friends.
I have been doing lots of thinking and wondering about what those of us doing formation in churches can learn from school teachers, practitioners, and educators. In searching the web for information that might help us discover new ways to form our people in the faith, I came across this article (http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/8061) on essential skills for children and youth, based on the “C’s” of education. The “C’s” of education vary depending on which list you turn to, but the most comprehensive list is Communication, Connection, Collaboration/Cooperation, Creation/Contribution, Community, Continual Learning, and Culture. If we think about how we can incorporate these into our life of faith and our learning, I think we could go a long way toward a more holistic approach to learning.
The Learning Exchange Blog is written by our team of Curators: