Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Holy Week has begun. As we teach our children about the three R’s, we ought to make room for the events surrounding Easter as well! Some ideas to do this include:
Each day this week, read a New Testament story about the Savior. Discuss the miracles, the compassion, and the teachings of the Master. You can do this before the beginning of your school day, in the evening before bed, or around the dinner table. If you have pictures of the stories you discuss, post them. Place quotes from Christ around your house; memorize one or two. Attend church as a family. Teach the symbols of Easter. Find ways to incorporate Easter themes and vocabulary into your studies. Spelling/vocabulary words, historical readings, pictures and art study, music, and so much more can be incorporated into each day’s work. (Just remember to keep it age-appropriate. Do not discuss the specifics of crucifixion with young children. Those details can be saved for when they are teens.)
Small children love to learn of Him. For the young ones, focus on the easiest understood lessons- the Beautitudes and Lord’s Prayer from Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), the story of Nicodemus (John 3: 1-10), the calling of the 12 Apostles (Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20), the importance of children (Matthew 18:1-6, 19:13-14), Christ walking on water (my favorite version- Matthew 14:22-33, and the Easter story at the close of each of the Gospels. Read from the Bible. Find storybooks that retell events of His life. Have an egg hunt.
As your children get older, read each of the four Gospels together. Discuss His teachings, His example, His love, and His centrality in our lives. Delve a bit more into the multitude of lessons in the parables, the stories of His life, death and resurrection, and the importance of learning who He is.
Some of the symbols of Easter are familiar; others are less commonly known.
the Palm Tree: represents the palm branches lain on Palm Sunday as Jesus entered Jerusalem.
the Cross: signifies the Crucifixion of Christ, and universality of His love.
the Tomb: the symbol of the Resurrection of Christ. It portrays the true meaning of Easter, and the reason for our Joy in Him.
the Ass: recalls the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
Robin: legend tells us the robin plucked a thorn from the forehead of Christ, staining his breast red. To this day, all robins have red breasts.
Egg: the emerging of the chick symbolizes the Resurrection of Christ.
the Whale: the story of Jonah and the whale in the Old Testament is a type, or symbol, of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
In all of the teaching we do in our homes, the religious teaching is the most important. Of all the religious teaching we do, the most important is this: He lives! And because He lives, we will live again!