Dear Berry Patch Families,
Faith matters. As a school community, it’s “our desire that each child enrolled at the Berry Patch learns about the heart of God.”1 Faith lessons and family values are rooted at home, in what a child learns, observes, and lives each day. The Berry Patch staff reinforces these values in the classroom.
Foundational faith practices like praying and reading the bible, come from intentional leading on the part of the parent. The bible is a roadmap, instruction book, and communication tool all rolled into one. Reading the bible with children of any age provides a solid foundation in faith. The lessons learned today will translate into truth for the future when the going gets rough. When Mom and Dad lean on God, scripture, and faith-filled friends, children learn to do the same. These practices become habits in times of need and celebration. We as parents will not do it all perfectly, but where we’re lacking, God fills in the gaps.
If you don’t well-equipped to lead your family in faith matters, you’re not alone. Little kids expect Mom and Dad to know everything. Truly, it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Learn with your children! The goal is to guide children to develop faith habits that last a lifetime.
Try these tips for incorporating faith practices into family life with young children.
1. Find a good time of day that works for your family: bedtime, breakfast, quiet time after lunch or family dinnertime.
2. Begin with stories. Throughout the New Testament Jesus taught in parables. He asked questions. Follow his teaching example by asking your children open-ended questions.
3. Keep in mind, the younger the child the shorter the verse or scripture lesson.
4. Weave prayer into your family’s daily activities. Saying grace at mealtime is a great way to start a meal quietly with a focus on gratitude. Make prayer personal for your children by including family, friends, schoolmates, teachers, and neighbors. Here are a few ways to pray:
- ACTS Prayer Model (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) provides a framework. Children learn first to adore God by listing His attributes. Confession clears to way for earnest prayer. A thankful heart takes into consideration all God has provided before the requests begin. The relationship grows and God is not easily taken for granted when the scope of prayer is broad and worshipful as compared to a laundry list of wants.
- Memorized prayers infuse prayer into a child’s day.
- Body prayersallow for a kinesthetic experience for children. Touch the mouth and pray for kind words to be spoken, the eyes to see those in need, the hands to help others, and so on.
- Scripture Use a concordance to find the area in which your child is struggling. For example, Psalm 4:8 can be used at bedtime to alleviate fear by inserting the child’s name into the text. “In peace Anna will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make Anna dwell in safety. Amen”
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com to discuss intentional faith building activities. As always, I’m happy to help!
Becky Danielson, M.Ed.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
1. The Berry Patch Parent Handbook: Philosophy, Goals, and Curriculum 2020-2021