Children's Classes with Rochester Baha'i Community
*The event has already taken place on this date: Thu, 07/16/2020
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Bahá’í spiritual education for children is intended to nurture spiritually vibrant and healthy young people who will grow up without prejudice and with a positive, powerful sense that they are important to God and have a role to play in serving humanity. In communities around the world, Bahá’ís are developing neighborhood children’s classes to help foster this spiritual development of children.
Baha'i children’s classes include:
- Saying prayers and singing songs
- Memorizing quotations
- Learning stories
- Playing games
- Creating art projects
These classes help children:
- Develop spiritual qualities such as love, generosity, unity, truthfulness, kindness and justice
- Discover their own unique talents and capacities
- Discover the world of nature and create beautiful works of art
- Develop a sense of purpose
What distinguishes Bahá’í-sponsored neighborhood children’s classes from current educational practices?
Bahá’í teachers believe in the nobility of every student, that each one is “a mine rich in gems of inestimable value”. They study the nature of spiritual qualities and develop knowledge of human talents and capacities so they can help their students discover these gems in themselves and actively polish them.
Children are born in a state of potentiality, ready to develop their unique spiritual qualities in order to contribute to the welfare of society. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated that “the hearts of all children are of the utmost purity,” and that “they are mirrors upon which no dust has fallen”. Like a young plant or tree, children will grow and develop based on the training they receive and the influences they experience. Nurturing children, in both the community and at home, is integral to the life of the community, for children “bear the seeds of the character of future society”.
The aim of Bahá’í children’s classes, then, is to nurture the tender hearts and minds of children by helping them to develop spiritual qualities and the habits and behaviours that constitute the essential attributes of a spiritual being. Teachers of Bahá’í children’s classes are volunteers, often youth or adults who live in the neighbourhood where classes are offered. They see teaching children’s classes as a service to offer the younger generation, who will soon inherit the spiritual and material progress of their community.
what does a typical lesson look like?
Lessons include a number of different activities, such as songs, stories, arts, crafts, and drama, which build on the central theme. Prayers and readings from the Baha’i writings which support that theme are also studied and memorized.
Each lesson in a Bahá’í children’s class generally has a particular theme or central idea. In classes for young children, these themes may be related to a particular virtue or spiritual quality, such as justice or truthfulness. Lessons in later grades touch upon a variety of topics, including specific elements of good conduct (such as the importance of cooperation) and the nature and history of religion (illustrated by stories from the world’s great religions).
how can i find a class in my area?
The best place to start is by contacting the Bahá’í community in your area. Bahá’ís are present in almost all of the nations of the world; you can get in touch with them through their national websites or through the official Bahá’í website, bahai.org. From there, you can ask about children’s classes in your area.
And if you like what you’ve read here and you’re interested in bringing a Bahá’í class to your neighbourhood, why not become a teacher? Bahá’ís around the world offer training courses open to anyone who’s interested in contributing to the betterment of their community, regardless of their background.
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