Setting Up a Classroom Library Focused on Jesus

You may have asked yourself: Where do I begin when setting up a classroom library and how should I include books for Jesus time? Setting up a classroom library can be very costly and overwhelming. It’s important to think about each child’s possible interests and have a variety of books available for them. As a Lutheran educator, I find it especially important to have a large selection of books centered on Christ in our classroom library to help encourage students to gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and what He did for us.

Teaching Little Ones: About the Altar

Church services can sometimes be confusing for little ones. They will have questions about what they are seeing. Teaching young children about the individual parts of the church service can seem daunting. And it starts with learning yourself what it all means! It’s a great opportunity to help them grow and understand the symbols of our Christian faith. This is the second post in a series on teaching our youngest churchgoers about the parts of the service.

Teaching Little Ones: About Pastor’s Vestments

Church services can sometimes be confusing for little ones. Why is it so quiet? Why does pastor wear that funny robe? Why do we say the same thing every week? Teaching young children about the individual parts of the church service can seem daunting. And it starts with learning yourself what it all means! This is the first of a series of posts on teaching our youngest churchgoers about the parts of service.

Teaching Children How to Pray

I will always remember the surprise and joy of listening to my brother’s first spontaneous prayer. In our family of six, my parents strove to lead nightly devotions and prayers. Though we didn’t get to it every night, it was enough that my brother, the youngest, was able to catch on to what we were doing. After a group prayer, the rest of us would take turns saying prayers out loud. In the middle of someone else’s petition, he suddenly burst out, “Thank You for the sandbox!” Then we knew it was time for Dalen to have a turn in our nightly prayers.

Teaching Moments and Retelling Scripture

Have you ever tried to explain Jesus’ family to a preschooler? It’s pretty fun. You get out a picture of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. You have this perfect little picture of Jesus with His mom and … hold on. You’re about to say dad, but you realize that’s kind of true and kind of … not true? And voilà. You’ve just taught the children about blended families without having any intention of doing so. Or at least, that wasn’t my own original intention as I stumbled upon this discussion my first year of teaching.  

Some might call that a rookie mistake, but I like to think of it as a great example of why it’s valuable to read stories of Scripture over and over again. Here’s why.

Faith Development in Early Elementary Students

Younger children in this age group trust God in the same way they trust adults in their lives. They talk about God as their Father and Jesus as God’s Son, but they still confuse God and Jesus. Older children begin to understand the difference between God the Father and Jesus; some add the concept of the Holy Spirit to their base of knowledge.

How to Answer Kids’ Hard Questions about the Faith

I was helping a friend by driving her daughter home from school one day. My friend’s daughter is in kindergarten. She was telling me about her teacher, who was about to go on maternity leave. “Hmm . . . I never really thought about how the baby comes out. How does it come out?”

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans That Teach about God’s Overflowing Gifts

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)

Around Thanksgiving, we think about being thankful to God for family, friends, and food. But how can we illustrate the lesson of God’s bountiful gifts in new ways? Having something visual and tangible can make things more understandable to children of all ages—and even to adults.

Techniques for Regaining Kids' Attention

Oh, spring time! The weather is warming up. The snow is melting. Spring break is coming. The children are wild. I love working with children, but I am always amazed at those times of the year when recapturing their attention seems impossible. This quick blog has my top tips for getting the eyes, ears and hearts of the kiddos back on you after small groups or discussion times. These could even be used to start your time with them.

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