In an age where Christian beliefs face assaults from different quarters, parents need to place more value on religious education (RE) for their children. There is an ineluctable power in just simple faith. Still, it is helpful to review why these materials for kids are essential.
How is Religious Education Taught?
Religious education is taught through the following:
- Photographs and pictures
- Religious scriptures
- Visiting worship centers
The children learn religious lessons through:
- Asking and answering questions
- Sharing their experiences and knowledge
- Written work
You can get these materials from bookstores or online. You can also check out Worship Woodworks for guidance on how to get Sunday School Bible lessons for children of different ages.
Benefits of Religious Education Materials for Kids
Now that we have seen the different materials that kids can utilize for their spiritual education, let’s see the benefits they will derive from the learning process.
1. Amplified Faith
Children generally learn from what they hear and see. As parents continue to exercise steadfast faith on a daily basis, they teach their kids by example. However, when those kids encounter other people (in Sunday School) who openly exhibit the Christian tenets, it deepens the gospel of faith and hope in the word of God and His dear Son. Also, as they continue to read from the scriptures or watch religious clips showcasing Bible stories, their faith increases.
2. Instills Discipline
In religious classes, there are clear rules. Therefore, each child is expected to be self-disciplined. This helps to encourage the inner reserve of dignity, including respect for people.
Additionally, certain Biblical characters teach the importance of self-discipline. For instance, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, his brother. The story holds an important moral for kids to be content in any situation they find themselves in. As children continue to expose themselves to similar lessons, they pick the morals and gradually apply them in their lives.
3. Shared Values
Staying around people of like-minds who are experiencing similar religious education helps a child to grow and become responsible in adulthood. The child will also learn how to live in the love of God every day with neighbors who are equally moral.
4. Immersion in God’s Word
This is an obvious benefit. When you spend a reasonable amount of time with someone, you may soon start talking and thinking like that person. This was the same for the disciples of Jesus. Hence, the people of Antioch named them Christians, meaning Christ-like.
As children are exposed to lessons from the Bible, it reinforces their moral development. It shapes the way they think, talk, and act. You can visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-to-teach-kids-to-understand-the-bible/ to learn how to teach your kids to read and understand the scriptures.
5. Wisdom for Daily Living
The following are areas where kids acquire wisdom when they use RE materials:
Literature, Music, and Art
Many great writers, musicians, composers, and artists had deep philosophical and/or religious inspiration and motivation to do their work. Most of them were based on religion and made references to religious literature. Therefore, we cannot understand the insight they try to communicate if we do not have previous knowledge of religious stories and ideas.
Culture, History, and Philosophy
Why do we exist? Where is our destination? What’s true and best? How did we originate? Why is each individual unique, with different preferences and tastes? What do we gain from a society that is diverse? How can people understand the traditional cultures and history of their country as well as other countries if they do not understand the philosophical and religious traditions that helped to shape them?
Morals and Ethics
In the midst of diverse ethical and moral dilemmas we encounter in life, from personal to global issues, what does it mean to live a good life? How can we say that we are doing the right thing? Who is trustworthy? How should we make decisions? It is the principles we learn from religious education that helps to guide us when we face a moral dilemma.
How can you be happy? What is the best way to manage relationships? What are the skills that make people successful in life? Which emotional resources will help you to lead a healthy life? Religions hold insights into practical life skills like proper communication, critical thinking, humility, sensitivity, and empathy.
Politics, Social, and Psychology
What is the best way to understand the relationship between people? Do belief and religious groups speak about contemporary issues and what do they say? Why do news feature beliefs and religion so much? What is the best way to understand the festivals and religious practices that our neighbors celebrate?
What is our motivation? Why are public institutions structured in a certain way? How should/do people in power behave? How should/do people react/respond when others exercise power over them? If we do not have any knowledge of beliefs and regions, our answers to these tough questions will not be complete.
Why Kids Should Attend Religious Education Classes
Having seen the importance of exposing your children to materials for education in religion, let’s also discuss why they should attend the classes.
First, little children may be unable to understand everything that happens during a Mass celebration or a sermon. This is because they are not designed for kids to understand, which makes it difficult for them to pay attention or just sit quietly.
On the contrary, during classes, the same values and concepts as Mass are taught in a way that is fun and easy for children of different ages to understand. The classes engage kids through games, songs, and books while reinforcing religious truths gained from the lessons.
Second, the classes enable children to make friends in an atmosphere of love and positivity. The classes even look like mini-communities where the students ask questions as well as talk about their beliefs with peers of like minds. That is where they get to understand what it means to be a member of a larger congregation that’s also supportive and loving. It helps them to anticipate a period when they will participate in Mass celebrations as they grow.
Third, it helps jumpstart the connection a young child has with God. Unlike adults, children are more receptive. When they receive religious truths, it helps them to form a bond with God, thereby, forming their religious identity at an early age; a bond that will likely last forever.
Lastly, these classes promote feelings of hope, peace, and well-being, including a desire to behave well. These feelings are the same as when people gather to celebrate Mass or hear the sermon. And when your kids understand sermons or Mass better, you will gain more peace at home. You can click here to see the health benefits of attending church.
We cannot over-emphasize the benefits of RE materials for children. It helps them to connect with God at an early age, instills discipline, amplifies their faith, and so on. As we expose them to these materials, we can also consider enrolling them in classes where they will meet other children of like mind.