I’ve talked a little bit before about making a church-home connection visually for children. But there are so many other ways to bring a bit of church into your home, so that it isn’t just a Sunday thing.
- The easiest and most obvious way to bring church into your home is to talk about it! Discuss the Bible readings, sermon, prayers, liturgy, hymns, and Sunday School lesson throughout the week. Talk about what you learned with your children, and about what questions they (or you!) might have. And if you have questions, ask your pastor! Let your children see that even as an adult, you can go to your pastor if you don’t understand something from the service.
- Make use of the daily lectionary at home. Lutheran Service Book provides readings for every day of the year…use them! You can make it through most of the Bible in one year if you use these readings, so read and discuss them with your children.
- As I mentioned earlier, the visual component of worship can be reflected at home in banners, a crucifix, a Paschal Candle, an Advent Wreath, small pieces of stained glass or other art. Our family made an Alleluia banner that is a direct replica of the one at our church. We also made banners for every liturgical season, which are not replicas of the ones at church, but do reflect the colors our church uses…specifically, a blue banner for Advent instead of violet. The changing colors are one of the first things young children notice about their church, so mirror it at home!
- Learn the hymns you sing at church in your home. I’m willing to bet that your pastor would love to tell you what hymns he’ll be using in the upcoming services so you can familiarize yourselves with them. If you’re musically inclined, you can learn the tune at home. If not, you can at least go through the words, and talk about what they mean, as well as make sure your children understand the vocabulary.
- Use the prayer list from your church for your family prayers. Pray for your church family just as you do for your biological family…for those who are sick, suffering, or mourning, as well as for those rejoicing in marriages, births, and baptisms.
- Another way to make your church family a part of your family is to visit shut-ins. You’re already praying for them, so get to know them as well. Spend some talking with them, bring them a small gift when appropriate…it will benefit both them and you!
- Make use of the hymnal’s prayer services at home. Lutheran Service Book offers several options for prayers services, which can incorporate Bible readings and parts of the Small Catechism. The Daily Prayer offices even offer options for different times of day, from the morning to just before bed.
It is so important to be at your church weekly (or more often!), worshipping with your congregation. It is also important not to immediately forget about it until next week after you drive out of the parking lot. Make church a part of your home life, so that it’s familiar for even the smallest child!
I enjoyed our spring break, but it was nice to get back to work on Monday!
Turkey and Bunny picked up where they left off in geometry, working on constructing different shapes using a compass and a straight edge. They also continued to practice making perpendicular lines and bisecting angles. Ladybug has been working on ratios and measuring objects using centimeters.
In history, we learned about the Reformation. Most of this was not new to the children, but it’s always a good topic to study. We even got to use some of our CPH resources to add to our studies, which is always nice. We also learned about Henry VIII and his many wives, which is an interesting topic to say the least!
We reached the midterm review in our Anne of Green Gables study. Turkey was certain he wasn’t going to be able to recall any of the details, and then surprised himself when he remembered almost everything. Bunny, of course, has already read the book several times, so it’s all review for her. It really is a fantastic book…I’m so glad I finally had a reason that forced me to read it!
Our botany curriculum wrapped up with a chapter on nature journaling. That will be our focus in science from now until the end of the school year. We’re planning on going to the Missouri Botanical Garden every week, to practice sketching what see, and to see the new spring and early summer flowers as they bloom. We got started on Wednesday with a trip to see the snow crocuses, and all three children made good us of their new sketchbooks!
I’ll be back in two weeks with my next wrap-up…we’ll be having only two days of school next week, and three the week after, as we take time off for Holy Week and Easter. What can I say? A second spring break sounds like a great idea to me!
Today, we took a field trip to the Botanical Garden. We’re finishing up our science curriculum for the year, which has focused on botany, and the last chapter is about keeping a nature journal. We decided to take our sketchbooks out and capture the crocuses, but we were pleased to see a lot of other new growth, as well!
We decided after our visit today to make it our goal to visit the garden once a month this spring…we don’t want to miss out on any of the beautiful flowers!