The Potential of a Child
At Redeemer Anglican Church we love children and want to be intentional in our approach to their spiritual growth. We’re aware of and sensitive to what we know from established, tried and tested research about how and what children learn at their particular age and stage of development. We value a multi-sensory experience for children as they are invited into storytelling, manipulatives, visuals, art, music and movement. Adults are guides encouraging children to be active learners through exploration, questioning and wondering, not just learning the “right” answer. We provide a non-coercive way for children to work out answers to their own existential questions. We believe children can learn to be open to the Holy Spirit to guide them personally. We believe children have an innate spirituality and desire to connect with God. We trust this powerful process to lead children in ways that are joyful and authentic. We are creating a sacred space and prepared environment for children. Children love to worship with their families, but it is also helpful for children to have a space of their own. In their classroom, everything they need is easily accessible and organized, making their work as independent as possible. Their classroom is beautiful, each piece special and treated with care and belonging in its own space. We believe the space and the environment are the child’s teacher; the adults are the facilitators in how to use these. We keep order and freedom in tension. A careful external ordering of space and materials facilitates the child’s autonomy and mastery.
We value mixed ages in the classrooms. We are all learning from each other. If I know how, I can show you. If I don’t know yet, I can ask someone a little older who already knows. We can collaborate. It’s okay that we’re not all learning the same thing at the same time. Everyone’s work is respected.
We are building a community through taking turns with materials, listening to each other, sharing personal information and praying for each other. Children develop responsibility as they learn to contribute to the community, take care of their class, and clean up after themselves. We focus on our relationships with each other above any curriculum or agenda, not providing entertainment through a scheduled program.
We help prepare children to join in the worship and life of their congregations as they develop a deeper understanding of stories, symbols, and rites. Throughout this precious time of childhood we also make connections with the broader Body through special music, art, presentations, and acts of service.