Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Kinder Report - Day 3

Okay, I don't want this to get redundant, because this is going to go on for awhile, and some of what we do in class is repetition. Getting the kids to memorize the prayers, for instance, requires that they get said at least once each class. So, I'm just going to try and highlight the unique occurrences for each class. Emphasis on *try*. :)

Today was the first day that we went over the Gospel reading (which is something we will do every Sunday). We read it from the missalette and had the kids find it in their New Testaments (they don't have a complete Bible, just a children's New Testament) and follow along. Of course, theirs is a kids version, so the wording wasn't *exactly* the same, but after we read it, we went around the room and had them each read a verse, round robin style. (And L asked what it meant when there was a 'j' after a verse, which led to the explanation of footnotes). Today's reading was Mark 9: 38 - 48:

At that time, John said to Jesus,
"Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us."
Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"

And then we let the kids ask questions. M wanted to know what Gehenna was, and I explained (for simplicities sake) that it was another way of referring to Hell. And, of course, that took us off on the (short) tangent over when it's appropriate to say the word Hell. :) One of the girls, A, said that she didn't like the word at all, and wouldn't *ever* use it. Which I said was okay, and she just refers to Heaven as the 'good place' and Hell as the 'bad place'. Of course, she's six, so I imagine this will wear off eventually. And one of the boys, R, asked if they were *really* supposed to chop off their hands and feet. Deb explained that no, since *they* have control of their hands and feet, they can keep them from causing sin by controlling themselves. She explained that it really meant that, for example, that if you have a friend or know someone who is causing you to sin (she used the example of someone who encouraged you to steal milk from the school cafeteria) then it's better to stop being friends with them so that you *don't* sin, rather than keep being friends. It's speaking more of outside influences that you can't control, yourself - that it's better to remove yourself from them so that they can't tempt you to sin anymore.

The kids *really* seem to like the 'Word Box', for some unfathomable reason. We pulled two words today, 'Saint' and 'Holy Trinity'. I explained that a 'Saint' was simply a person who had loved God so well on earth, in life, that they had led holy lives, dedicated to God and loving other people and putting others before themselves, so that when they died, God took their souls straight up to Heaven. Which, of course, led someone to ask what happened to the rest of us, which led to a brief foray into Purgatory, which one of the boys, C, decided was like the worlds *worst* waiting room, and therefore all of the kids are determined to bypass the 'waiting room' and go straight to Heaven. :) For the record, we'll get more into Purgatory a little later in the year, but I tried to explain it, simply as I could - that most of us will die with some sin on our soul, and because we weren't *perfectly* reconciled to God at the moment of death, we needed to go someplace to become pure, and that place was Purgatory. Someone, I think it was R again, asked about 'what if you murder someone ?' which I opined was likely to get you sent to Hell. I know, I know, even killers can be forgiven, however, I said 'likely'. Also, I used a Monopoly reference (the Saints go straight to Heaven, do not pass Go, do not collect $200) and Deb thought the kids wouldn't get it, but they all laughed (nicely) at her and said they *loved* Monopoly. ;-p

We'd been over the Holy Trinity last class, so that was more a review than anything else, and all the kids remembered that the Holy Trinity was God - the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Now, when Deb had all the boys out of the class for a water/potty break (we take them out in shifts), J who is L's sister, told everyone why L was having a bad day. And, it had been obvious from the start of class that L was miserable. This led to the (brief) discussion about telling people about something about your sister or friend without asking them if they *wanted* you to tell other people about it, and how it wasn't very nice, because maybe L hadn't wanted everyone to know yet. (All the kids have been through Safe Environment and understand about telling an adult if there's abuse going on.) L said she was going to tell everyone when we did the Best/Worst of the week, and she did, and I'm pleased to say that be the end of the class she was looking happy. :)

Funny thing: we go over the Ten Commandments every class, and right after (today) we had snacks. And one of the boys dropped his cookie and said 'oh God!' and then immediately did that exaggerated smacking a hand over your mouth reaction thing. :) And all the other kids were suggesting what he *could* have said, instead - oh gosh, darn, etc.

We did discover that we're *definitely* going to have to separate the boys. If they all sit together, they sort of feed on each other and get a bit rowdy.

Right, so. Now for the Ten Commandments for Kids poster.

Just in case you can't read it, here's what it says:

1. Show God your love by loving others.

2. Be thoughtful and kind in what you say and do.

3. Thank God for each new day.
4. Help family members without being asked.

5. Take care of all living things: people, animals and plants.

6. Be true to what is really important.

7. Treat other people's things as if they were your own.

8. Always tell the truth and be honest.

9. Be happy for your friends when good things happen to them.

10. Share your things cheerfully.

Which are all very well and good, and things the kids should do, but they're not the Ten Commandments, not even the Ten Commandments in kid language.

Oh! While I was waiting for Deb to get there, I doodled on the white board. Now, I want to get a tattoo, when I've become the muscly, fit me. :) I've been waffling on what design I want, and no rush, cause this isn't going to happen any time soon, but I came up with one last night right before I fell asleep and I doodled it this morning and took a picture, so I don't forget.

Now, please, I can't draw, okay? I know it. This is just...a bad sketch. Okay?

It's the sword (us) in the fire (God's Grace) metaphor! (The black squiggles around the sword would be fire, but I couldn't draw fire...) And the sword would be glowing, like it was being heated...but I didn't have colored white board markers, just black. So *imagine*.


  1. I love reading about your class and what all interests the kids and what you all discus!! I'm even learning things about Catholic doctrine that I wasn't sure of before! Coooool!

    Yeah, those aren't really the ten commandments...hmmm. Nice phrases, but not "the ten."

    I can totally imagine that tattoo -- it will look GREAT on you! Thanks for doodling and photographing and posting so we could see it. :)

  2. LOL these kids are so cute. And yeah that poster isnt the ten commandments at all but it could be used like ten commandments for children. Kids just cannot understand the majority of the ten commandments you know? Even adults aren't 100% sure about all of them LOL.

    That tatoo is a good idea. You just need an artist is all.

  3. I love how kids reason things out.

    My nephew (4)is quite funny sometimes as my Neice (2 1/2), can be quite rough. He holds her at arms length and shouts at her.

    "we are supposed to love one another. we dont fight family". To which she said "but I need to practise!"

    What she was practising was nothing we show the kids in our family. She learnt chinese burns from an older child at day care!

  4. Susanne,

    I'm glad you enjoy it. :)

    Yeah, that's what I thought too. They're nice, but not the Ten Commandments.

    *thumbs up* It's a great design, yeah? Now I just have to get to the point where I can get it.

  5. LK,

    Heh. Yeah, the kids're great. I'm always enjoying what they come up with. :)

    See, I know kids don't understand the Ten Commandments (like you said there're adults who don't get them), but our kids seem to understand them just fine when we explain them. So I don't like this poster, it's just asking to confuse them, I think.

    That's my plan, is to be able to find a tattoo artist, show them my doodle and let them make it, you know, not suck. :) But I figure this way they've got a little visual aid to go with my rambling description.

  6. Slice,

    Kids're great. :)

    Oh, that's...not good, but funny.

  7. Your latest post suggested I might like this one and I was reminded of these weekly updates which I found so cute! Nice stroll down memory lane reading about the kids ... :)


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