CSSC Children’s Circle (starts 2/5/17)
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
11:45 Join the Adult Service