Before You Begin

{Note: I’m still trying to figure out this new blog.  This post should have gone in earlier; I forget to hit “Publish”]

These lessons are based on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. It is assumed that
the grown-up working with the child on these lessons is a student of Christian Science, or
someone who is not opposed to a Christian Scientist’s point-of-view with regard to the
Ten Commandments. It is also helpful if there is a Bible available for study, along with
“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, and her other
books contained in Prose Works. This is not mandatory, however, because most of the
citations are included within each lesson. Further study is sometimes recommended, but
the books are not required when reading the individual lessons.

For younger children, the parents will want to read through the lessons, and choose
the ones appropriate to the child’s age or ability to read or understand. With children, it
is important to realize that they do not usually develop the ability to understand abstract
concepts until about age twelve. The youngest ones are generally very literal-minded.
You can read them the citations, but they may not be able to grasp the significance
without a concrete illustration, or “parable,” to think about. I have tried to include these
whenever I could, but you will know your child best, and may have some good ideas how
to help get the points across. Many of the more abstract or absolute statements of Science
are there to provide authority for the comments I have directed to the children. Those
citations are for the benefit of you, the teacher. You can choose which ones to share with
your younger children.

Although I have defined the terms that are central to each lesson, I was not able to
offer definitions for all the more difficult words that are found in the citations, due to space
limitations. I have left it up to the readers to take time to look up those words where there
is a need. I do not recommend skipping a lesson if there are too many big words, since one
way a child learns the vocabulary of our textbook, as they would for any new subject, is
simply to hear the words spoken in context, even if they do not understand right away.
Depending upon the age and interest of the pupil, you can stop and look up new words.
You will notice that each of the lessons for the older children ends with an idea of
how to put the lesson into practice, or recommendations for further study. These are only
suggestions, and it is good if you and your child can come up with ideas of your own. In
order to make these practice ideas work, you might want to check in with your children
later in the day to remind them of the ideas you discussed in the morning, or go over the
lesson again at night, and discuss how they might have used the ideas that day.

Although the lessons generally focus around one theme for the day, some of them
may have a number of ideas to juggle, and you can certainly spread one lesson out over
several days, or use only what your child can handle. You can also choose to go over all
the lessons based on one particular commandment before moving on to the next set, or
you can mix them up. For your first time through, I recommend going over the lessons in
order as they appear in the book.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One:  The Ten Commandments”




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