CSSC Children’s Circle (starts 2/5/17)

 

Program Objectives

  • Meet the needs of young children and their families who are current or prospective members of CSSC
  • Provide children ages 3-10 with an age appropriate alternative to Sunday circle
  • Familiarize children with the values and practices of CSSC
  • Foster confidence in the child’s own innate spiritual and ethical wisdom.
  • Integrate families and other caring adults into the spiritual and ethical education of our community’s children.

Mission

To provide a community within which our children experience a sense of belonging. To skillfully guide and affirm our children as they explore, question and develop their own spiritual beliefs and the shared values of the Common Street Spiritual Center.

Teaching Philosophy and Methodology

Our teaching philosophy is based on the understanding that children are innately spiritual. Our teachers aspire to foster confidence in our children’s spiritual development by affirming their right to know, trust, share and act on their own inner wisdom.  Content is delivered through the use of narrative and a variety of engaging activities.  Learning occurs when children engage in exploring, experiencing, creating, discovering, reflecting and interacting with adults and peers.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is based on the shared values of the CSSC.  Each session will consist of a six week exploration of a paired themes followed by two weekend workshops and at least one family gathering.

Themes

September-October: The Power of Words & Social Justice

November – December: Gratitude & Generosity

January – February: Love & Service

March – April: Cooperation & Environmental Stewardship

May –June: Empathy & Celebrating Diversity

July-August: Simplicity & Mindfulness

Workshops

Workshops are an opportunity for community members to serve as guest teachers. During this time guest teachers will share their passions, skills and diverse spiritual and religious practices as it relates to the current theme.

Family Gatherings

Family gatherings are an opportunity to strengthen the community, expand on curriculum themes and support parents as they nurture their children’s spiritual and ethical development. These gatherings may be in the form of a community service project, hike, holiday celebration or shared meal.

Parent Involvement

Parents will be provided with supports to expand their child’s experience in the Children’s Circle.  In addition to family gatherings parents will receive in writing an outline of the day’s theme and activities.  This may also include talking points or activities to further engage their children in the exploration of the session’s theme. Additionally, parents will be provided with a suggested reading list (adult and children’s books) and will be encouraged to utilize the Children’s Circle library.

Daily Rhythm

The daily rhythm of the children’s circle is based on the structure of the adult circle, preparing children for participation in the larger community.

10:30-10:35 Children Participate With the Adult Community

Children are included in the full congregation and join in the centering moment.  Rev. Ian may make an announcement that the children are welcome to stay or join the teachers for a children’s service focusing on (state weekly theme)

Children transition downstairs.

 

10:40-10:50: Children’s Greeting & Centering Moment

Children form a circle, with guided visualization they quite themselves.

Passing the rock: children say their name and answer an introductory question designed to help children connect with themselves in the moment or to the daily theme.

An overview of the day will be given.

 

10:50-11:05 Story & Snack

The story will serve as an introduction to the day’s theme. The teacher will pose an open ended questions during and after the reading to encourage engagement and reflection into the story’s message.

 

11:05-11:30 Activity

A fun activity will be planned to explore the day’s theme.  The activity will be flexible enough to accommodate all ages or older children will be paired with younger children to assist.

 

11:30 -11:45 Cooperative Clean Up and Closing

Children will work together to clean up the space and return to the circle

Children are invited to reflect on and share their experience of the day while practicing respectful listening.

Children are thanked for sharing.

 

Transition Upstairs

 

11:45 Join the Adult Service