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TEACHING THE YOUNG CHILDREN

From the September 1930 issue of The Christian Science Journal


IN her Message to The Mother Church for 1900 Mrs. Eddy says (p.6): "A child can measurably understand Christian Science, for, through his simple faith and purity, he takes in its spiritual sense that puzzles the man. The child not only accepts Christian Science more readily than the adult, but he practises it." How often the truth of these words is made manifest in the experience of those whose privilege it is to teach the younger classes in the Christian Science Sunday School! Even to the teacher who is endeavoring to keep his thought open to the expectation of immediate results, the little child's quick acceptance and application of the truth are sometimes almost startling. No phase of the child's spiritual education is more important than these elementary, fundamental lessons, for upon the quality of the foundation depends in no small measure the trustworthiness of the superstructure; and the child's later success as a Christian Scientist will be appreciably affected by the thoroughness of this first teaching.

This phase of the Sunday school teaching requires great consecration and spiritual preparedness. The necessity for stating the truth in a form that is both simple and scientifically correct and logical, makes a demand on the teacher that can be met only by a prayerful and constant turning to the one Mind, the one Teacher. The child-thought is naturally logical, and demands evidence. This is one reason why children accept Christian Science so readily. It is surprising how quickly an illogical or careless statement regarding the truths of Christian Science is detected by these little ones!

But with all his care to be simple in his statements, the tactful teacher knows that he must avoid "talking down" to even the youngest of the pupils. Sometimes, perhaps, we handicap our work with these very tiny ones by thinking of them and talking to them as if they were indeed mental babies, thus, in our belief, limiting their intelligence and ability to grasp the truths presented to them.

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