Religious School: A Responsible Approach

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Teaching Religion To Children In Pre-K

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16% of American parents send their children to a faith-based pre-K program. How do these schools teach children about such a complex topic as religion at such a young age? Believe it or not, most programs have significant success thanks to well-trained staff and support from the school and parents. Learn some of the ways private pre-K programs incorporate religion into the daily curriculum. 

1. Tell Stories

Young children love stories. Luckily, there are a lot of stories in religious texts that teachers can tell to pre-K students. 

Some of the biblical stories children respond to the most include:

  • Adam and Eve 
  • David and Goliath 
  • Job
  • Daniel in the Lion's Den
  • Cruxification and Resurrection of Jesus Christ 

Each story can be connected to a moral lesson. For example, the story of David and Goliath encourages small pre-K students that the power of God can give them the strength to fight forces much larger than them. The story of Adam and Eve also teaches children that there are consequences for disobeying.

2. Connect Lessons to Reality

Many of the lessons found in the Bible go over the heads of pre-K students. Teachers at faith-based pre-K programs need to find ways to connect the lessons in a way that young children can understand. 

Children may not understand the parable of the Good Samaritan at first. Most children can't pick up on moral lessons at this age, especially if it doesn't directly affect them. However, they may come to understand it when a child acts as a good Samaritan by helping another child clean up a mess or sharing their ice cream if they dropped theirs. 

3. Make Religion Lessons Fun 

Boring lessons can cause pre-K students to become restless. Children will retain more from the lessons if they have fun. Teachers can use fun religious videos or sing religious campfire songs to teach religion in a fun way. 

4. Encourage Critical Thinking

Pre-K students are at an inquisitive age. Some students may challenge lessons and ask purposefully provocative questions. As long as the input doesn't get disruptive, teachers will encourage this curiosity. Not only is the child engaged, but the child is also partaking in critical thinking beyond their years. This is just the beginning of the child's spiritual development. 

Faith-based pre-K programs don't expect young children to comprehend everything the Bible has to teach at their age. However, it's the start of a strong foundation. Contact a local religious pre-K school to learn more.