What does spiritual growth look like in preschool?
It has been such a blessing to have the new preschool at Saint Timothy’s this year. One of the great things about having a preschool at a Catholic school is the ways that we can begin to pass on the faith and spiritual development to the next generation already during these formative years.
Mrs. Hennen, our preschool teacher, wrote the following about what spiritual growth looks like in preschool.
Preschool children learn through play; it’s how they solve problems, work to understand the world around them, and explore things they have seen or heard. In our classroom the Bible literally comes alive! We read bible stories each week and then provide students with the appropriate tools, time, and activities. Then, we sit back and watch as God appears in their play and the learning unfolds before us.
In preparation for Easter, our 4 and 5 year olds have been reading children’s books and discussing Jesus’s death on the cross. As usual, during our free exploration time, a discussion spontaneously broke out. One of our students started to build Jesus’s tomb out of magna tile blocks. Soon others where joining in, adding the “stone” to the tomb, and building their own tombs. Suddenly one of the students exclaimed, “I forgot the door! How is Jesus going to get to Heaven?” Another student responded, “He doesn’t need a door!” Just then another concerned voice erupted from the writing center, “How are WE going to get to heaven?” Before, I could even respond, a response came from across the room at the coloring table, “Don’t worry, Jesus will take us to heaven!”
Our students are also using Christ as a model for their social and emotional development. We often talk about how we can be more like Jesus. When an argument breaks out, we stop and talk about how Jesus might solve the problem, what we can say to show we care for each other like Jesus cares for us. In essence, because Christ is the center of our classroom, our students work as a community to raise each other up. They are such eager participants in our faith. Many times, I take pause and marvel at how God works through our students. In our classroom, we truly are growing together in mind, body, and spirit.
What a blessing it is to have a preschool now at Saint Timothy’s. May God bless your weekend ahead.