The following is an excerpt from the book “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three.”
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
These lessons are based on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. It is assumed that any grown-up working with children on these lessons is a student of Christian Science, or someone who is not opposed to a Christian Science point-of-view with regard to the Lord’s Prayer. 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 a necessity, however, because all of the citations are included within each lesson. Further study is sometimes recommended, but the books are not required when reading the individual lessons.
Parents or teachers will want to read through the lessons and choose the ones appropriate to the child’s age or ability to read or understand. Children 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 children best, and may have some good ideas on how to help get the points across. Many of the more abstract or absolute statements of Christian Science are there to provide authority for the comments I have written for the children. 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.
Those of you who have worked with Volumes One and Two will notice that there are no “Practice” or “Further Study” sections at the end of the lessons. I left those out this time, as the lessons on the Lord’s Prayer are geared more to thoughtful reflection. This also gave me a few more lines to use in the main lesson. You and your children or students can discuss creative ways to put the new ideas into practice. This is certainly what Mrs. Eddy wanted us to do as a result of our prayers — to go out and live them!
I recommend, for your first time through, that you go over the lessons in the order that they appear in the book, but they can also be used in any order you wish. Of course, some lessons may not be used at all if you feel they are not age-appropriate.
You may notice that there are not an equal number of lessons given to each line of the Lord’s Prayer. The lessons sprang from the ideas that came to me through my research, or were dependent upon the amount of relevant citations available. There was no intent to give more importance to one line over another.
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer” Copyright 2005)
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