March 09, 2012

Baha'i children's classes..east legon, ghana

after prayers and singing, this photo is how we began last week's children's class.  they made happy, crazy, angry and serious, thoughtful expressions.  it's one of those little shared experiences that they enjoy together..

i have been opening the classes up to the jr. youth for 2 reasons:  we have a very small group of children who come regularly, and we have jr. youth who are sincerely interested in attending a 'Baha'i children's class' in addition to being a part of the jr. youth group.  the entire group of children and jr. youth who have come to the classes is 10.  some of the jr. youth who are in the group do not attend these Friday afternoon classes.

holding children's classes in ghana is just as different from south africa as south africa was from america.  not only is the core number very small, it is held in our home and jr. youth are a part of it.  i stick mostly to the Ruhi, Book 3, but sometimes integrate Book 3a and the Kenyan materials as well.  since the same kids don't come all the time, i do a lot of repeating of lessons.  since last September -- with a month break while our family went to America -- i've only introduced lessons 1-6 and 12.  they have learned a handful of the lessons' songs, stories and Selections from the Baha'i Writings.

good conduct is emphasized more than any other aspect of the lessons.  the most important result is that the children's behavior begins to conform to a high standard of behavior, beginning with good manners and attitudes toward each other.  it is about being polite and courteous, kind and generous, patient and truthful, cooperative and honest.  it is also important to me that they leave happy, that happiness is what the associate with a Baha'i class.  true happiness is derived from spiritual behavior so i strive to make the environment both serious and light-hearted.

kids made decorations for the Ayyam-i-Ha party in one of the classes

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