Northern Virginia Ethical Society

"Act so as to bring out the best in others, and thereby in yourself"
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2013, 03/17: Growth Spurts and busy children!
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The last two years of Sunday School at NoVES has meant a lot of new growth. It's been an exciting time for us at NoVES as new growth is something we've worked hard for with our new website, getting on Meet-up, being active on Facebook and just a general change of focus during platforms. People are open to growth and are excited about it.  It took years of ground-laying work, but it's coming to fruition. We are growing and that includes growing in the middle of the season too.

This winter we had the return of two children we hadn't seen for a couple years. They left because their friends had left. They came for a visit and were thrilled to find new friends and have decided to stay. We have new families with children of all ages and they have decided to stay. It's making our classes fuller and richer for it and it's making teaching the children much more rewarding.

We started the year with 3 little ones in our pre-school class. We now could have 8-10 on a given Sunday. That class is working on getting in touch with their feelings. A lot of the time moms and dads stay in the classes with their little ones, but as they grow more comfortable (the children), parents are finding they can leave their sides. I've seen some wonderful, cute projects come from that room, but a lot of time is spent on play for these 2-5 year olds.

The Kindergarten and First grade class has seen growth too. This class too can top out at 8-10 children on any given Sunday. They are learning: Courage Loyalty, Justice, Respect, Hope, Honesty and Love. Around President's Day they learned about "honest Abe" and the true story about George Washington and his chopping down of the apple tree. The've learned about courage of trying new things. They've learned about Hope. These children are so bright and curious that both the teachers have to prepare and research really well before each class just to keep up with these whippersnappers.

The 2nd and 3rd grade classroom has had so many wonderful celebrations. This class too can have about 8-10 children per Sunday. They are finding in the winter months, especially, there is no lack of holidays! Hmmm... coincidence that times of darkness (winter) people find the need to celebrate more? This class, with the older class are also singers for Spring Festival (which I'll talk about next time). My son is in this class and every week I see they have fun celebrations. Like doing an egg on a spoon race! or flipping flapjacks.

The 4th, 5th and 6th grade class is our smallest class, but it's our growing the most class right now too. We started the year with two children in that classroom and we could now have up to seven. This class is learning about comparative religions. One of our members is a Wiccan, so she just shared a bit about that practice with the children this past week. Coming soon, another member is Hawaiin and she's going to share some Hawaiin religious traditions/ideas as well.

Our oldest group of students (7th-9th) is deep into their Our Whole Lives Curriculum which is the human sexuality course. While there is some nervous tension talking about sensitive topics, there is also good discussion about important topics that are relevant to them. And I think they would agree that it's not nearly as embarrassing a class as it sounds like it would or could be.