Recently I have been more involved in teaching young children Baha’i classes. And it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to describe what these classes are about for those out there who are not familiar with this concept or have questions regarding what we do. I will try to do this to the best of my ability…So here it is:
Baha’i children’s classes are as the name states, based on the teachings and Writings of the Baha’i Faith. There are different components to each class:
1. Prayer and meditation.- this is a very important component because it not only helps children memorize prayers and learn to show reverence and respect during their own and others’ prayers but it helps children maintain that innate connection with God, as well as to get into the habit of saying prayers daily.
2. Singing.- Pretty self-explanatory. The songs we sing have higher motives such as the abolition of all kinds of prejudice, the unity of the Messengers of God, qualities and virtues we should show forth in order to fully shine as human beings. This is a very fun activity for the kids.
3. Story-telling.- This component of the class helps illustrate the topic of the day’s lesson. Usually these stories are based on the story of the life of ‘Abdu’l-Baha (the son of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith – Baha’u’llah). This is so that they can relate to an actual person; a person who was the Perfect Exemplar of what we should aim to be: kind, generous, loving, caring, detached —and the list goes on.
4. Games.- Obviously every class deserves some fun and physical activity. Children must be allowed to play, that is what their job is!
5. Arts and crafts.- Depending on the circumstances and the age of the students, the teacher picks a suitable activity for the children to express themselves artistically. Most times it would consist on colouring sheets with illustrations that reinforce the concepts studied throughout the lesson.
These are the 5 main components of a Baha’i children’s class. See? Nothing strange…just activities that encourage children to ask questions, know that they are spiritual beings and that they have been endowed with the capacity to show forth all the attributes of God such as courage, patience, respect, trust, truthfulness and love.
There are Baha’i children’s classes running all over Australia and the world. If you would like information about them, you can ask me or simply look for the website of the Baha’i community of the city you reside in. Good luck!