WHAT’S THE LONG-TERM GOAL FOR OUR KIDS?
Before kids graduate and leave home, we want every child to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, experience the beauty and relevance of the Orthodox church and be fully integrated into the life of the church.
How CAN WE HELP THEM?
Set age-appropriate short-term goals or MILESTONES for each phase in a child's development and celebrate their achievements along the way. Below are the milestones for each class for 2019-2020 with links to resources so you can help them along the way.
3rd-4th: Psalm 1
5th-6th: Prayer of Thanksgiving
7th-12th: The Wave Challenge
How did we come up with the Milestones for each phase?
Just like there are milestones for physical, emotional and language development, we also want to recognize that there are spiritual milestones that our kids and youth go through as they grow in Christ. However, no two kids are alike and there is no exact formula that we want to force each child to fit into. We are simply laying out general goals that we want to encourage parents and teachers to guide kids and youth toward.
The class goals, or milestones, listed above were developed based on the research found in It’s Just a Phase So Don’t Miss It by Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy, but adapted to reflect our Orthodox faith, prayers, concepts and teachings. We took what we know about kids and their developmental stages and applied it to how they experience God and the church. We started from the ultimate goal that we want each child to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, experience the beauty and relevance of the Orthodox church and be fully integrated into the life of the church before they graduate and leave home. Then we worked from there to break down these goals into short-term, age-appropriate goals, or milestones, to be worked on year-by-year. Since most of our classes cover a 2-year span (1st-2nd, 3rd-4th, etc.) we will alternate milestones so that a new short-term goal is achieved each year.
We took this information of what is appropriate to teach and expect at each phase in a child’s spiritual development and created Phase Guides for each age from 2-years-old to 12th grade. Parents can use these guides to help them encourage their child in their specific phase in life. Phase guides offer them ways to make the most of everyday moments, engage them in Liturgy, teach them spiritual practices and build their church community. Check out the Phase Guides here:
Here are some wonderful books we’ve come across in our parenting journey. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Parenting Toward the Kingdom, Orthodox Christian Principles of Childrearing by Philip Mamalakis
The Ascetic Lives of Mothers by Annalisa Boyd
Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker
The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family by Kara Powell
What a Difference a Mom Makes by Kevin Leman
The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
You Can’t Make Me, but I Can Be Persuaded by Cynthia Tobias
Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson
Preparing to Launch e-book from Fuller Youth Institute
We LOVE kids books and hope you do too! Reading is a wonderful and enjoyable teaching tool at any age. Here are some books for kids and teens that we love.
Here are some of our favorite podcasts that have encouraging ideas, godly wisdom and practical tips from other parents who have been there.
Here are a few articles and blogposts that we have found to be encouraging and insightful.