A small little fact about me that you may not know is that I was raised Catholic. In my family, being Catholic was just something you were born into, just as we were Americans. It was something that was a part of us from the very beginning, no decisions or questions allowed. We simply were.
I was baptised, confirmed, and had my first communion decked out in the whitest, laciest dress you ever saw, paired with a purse that held my little rosary beads of course. I honestly didn’t understand much of it and just knew that God loved me, Jesus died for me, and that was all well enough for me.
Growing up, we never went to church. We weren’t even Christmas Catholics. We were Catholics simply by birth remember? My mom would occasionally take us to the random Baptist church VBS here and there over the years, but again I never really paid much attention. I believed Jesus died for me, God was my father in Heaven, and anything else was just white noise in my opinion. It wasn’t until high school, when I met my husband actually, that I began to question things.
He started asking questions that I had never bothered to think about. Like why do we believe this or why do we do that? He began challenging my views which forced me to re-examine my beliefs. I began studying the Bible, I began asking questions and forming my own thoughts. I joined a Baptist church and was baptised. Though, if I’m being honest, I don’t consider myself strictly “Baptist”. I’m just a Christian…as simple as that.
I developed my own beliefs and views that are unshakable now because I had searched my heart and the word of God to find the answers. My faith went from being a flimsy knee-jerk response to a rock-solid, unwavering constant that helped righten the course of my life.
I’m a firm believer that children should be exposed to other religions, other beliefs and ideals. Only when you search your own heart and do your own research can you find the thing that steadies you, that belief that shapes your life, an unwavering faith.
So my goal with my kids is always and foremost to share the love of Jesus and God. To teach them the readings of the Bible and to tell them all about what their father and I believe. I always try to ask questions that cause them to search their own hearts for the answers.
Easter, for us, has always been a glossy version of the true story of our Saviour. When our girls were smaller we gave them the bones of the story but didn’t really go into detail. We watched THIS adorable Youtube video but I don’t think they really got it. This year I feel like my oldest can handle more and I wanted to begin to have a more in-depth discussion about the reason for Easter.
So I decided we would take the Holy week off of homeschool and really work on some discussions and participate in some challenges that would help us tackle this subject. I thought I would outline them here now and then give more details about what we did and the discussions we had as the week goes on.
Sunday 4/14/2019 – This will kick off our week. We are going to talk about Palm Sunday and read Matthew 21:1-11 and talk about the significance of riding in on the donkey. We will make a handprint palm craft from Oh Amanda and the challenge will be to write and list some character traits Jesus had that made him different from other worldly leaders.
Monday 4/15/2019 – We will read Mathew 21:12-17 and talk about the sanctity of the church and how much Jesus loved and how he treated children. We will make cross suncatchers and put them up in our windows. Our challenge will be to each invite a friend to church for Easter Sunday.
Tuesday 4/16/2019- We’ll read Mathew 21:18-22 and talk about having faith in prayer. We’ll have a family prayer time and then our challenge will be to call someone and ask them how we can pray for them. Our craft will be to make a prayer chain with those prayer needs.
Wednesday 4/17/2019- We will begin by reading Mathew 26:1-16 and discuss the events taking place. Our craft will be to make watercolor cross cards and our challenge will be to hand them out to someone we don’t know.
Thursday 4/18/2019 – We’ll read Mathew 26: 14-23, John 13:1-17 and John 16:25-33 with a discussion about each. Our challenge will be to wash each other’s feet. The craft will be a handprint craft called “servant hands, humble heart.”
Friday 4/19/2019 – We’ll read John 18:1-12, John 19:1-18, John 19:28-30 and then Luke 23:50-56 and discuss the events. Our craft will be to assemble and color a Printable Easter Booklet. Our challenge will be to read that booklet to a family member.
Saturday 4/20/2019 – We’ll talk about what it means that Christ died on the cross and how he laid in the tomb in death. We’ll have that discussion and read John 17:1-5. Our craft will be to create a picture explaining the Jelly Bean Prayer and our challenge will be to leave printable prayers and some jellybeans for our mail carrier.
Sunday 4/21/2019 – We will read John 20:1-8, Luke 24:44-53, 2 Corinthians 5:7-11 and lastly 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 and discuss. We’ll make Resurrection Rolls for our “craft” and our challenge will be to give a summary of the holy week and events leading up to Easter Sunday in front of the family with an illustration.
Like I said, this is a very bare-bones outline of my plans. On Sunday I’ll post what questions I asked, what discussions we had, how our challenge went, and also a few pictures of our little craft. Then the same for Monday, and so on until the week has ended.
My goal is to do these early enough so that if anyone would like to follow along you’ll get to see what questions we asked and how our craft turned out in enough time to do your own study for that day. I’d love to see what discussions you and your little ones can come up with.
No matter if you’re Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, or anything in between I would love to hear about your Easter plans. Different beliefs and ideas are what make the world go round. Please do not feel like I’m pushing my personal way of belief on you or think that I believe you’re wrong if you are Catholic, that just wasn’t a denomination that made sense to me personally. If it works for you like my beliefs work for me then that’s all that matters.
In fact, the only thing that truly matters is that you know God loves you. No matter your beliefs, your race, who you love, your age, your social status or anything else in between…God loves you. Everything else is just white noise. It helps you sleep at night but the actual sleep is what makes the difference. I hope that makes sense. It does to me, but I’m a bit odd sometimes.
I hope at the end of this week my oldest little one will have a better understanding of this holiday and what it truly means for us. Like I said before, I would love it if you followed along, PLEASE feel free to share your crafts and ideas and tag me in them on Facebook or Instagram.
So, until the next time,
Quotes/Images credit to CountryLiving.Com