For Parents To Teach To Their Children
Our Art Gallery
The Holy Family-Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus
“The Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, and Fleeing to Egypt”
Our Readings–“The Visit of the Shepherds”
Source: USCCB.org Luke, Chapter 2:15-20
“When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.”
“The Flight to Egypt” Matthew, Chapter 2:13-15
“When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.’
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod had died, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt and said,
‘Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
for those who sought the child’s life are dead.’
He rose, took the child and his mother,
and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea
in place of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go back there.
And because he had been warned in a dream,
he departed for the region of Galilee.
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,
so that what had been spoken through the prophets
might be fulfilled,
He shall be called a Nazorean.”
A Discussion With Young Children–
“Who Is The Holy Family?”
I remember presenting this question to my kindergarten/first grade class at the end of the school year 2015-2016. The answer was deafening–mouths were dropped open, I heard crickets chirping, but apparently no one had a clue. We had been singing “Good Morning Jesus” every Sunday. It’s a lovely song that names the members of the Holy Family- Jesus, Mary and Joseph- and the class knew it by heart. My first thought when none of the children responded, was, “Yikes!” Then I consulted my friend Donna, who had taught kindergarten in public schools for more than thirty years. Donna said, “The students may have wondered, “Which Mary?” Does Ms. Connie mean my Grandma Mary, or my neighbor, Mary?” etc. In other words, life at six can be complex! Donna also suggested, that I teach, re-teach, and repeat each remaining class session. So I did.
The material the children are learning is abstract and far from their reality. As adults, we need to re-teach and repeat in many different ways. The song “Good Morning, Jesus” is excellent because it is physical, includes counting and marching, has very simple choreography, and names the Holy Family members clearly. Storytelling, art projects, “Play-Doh” for modeling the family, and simple writing all help get the concept across. Donna once told me that a kindergarten-age child has a nine-minute attention span. Then the adult needs to do something to refocus the students. This includes getting up, moving closer to the children, asking them to sing and march, etc. I have been doing public speaking for more than eight years for parent groups. I can see their faces and eyes. When the eyes begin to glaze over, I know it’s time to wrap it up. With kids, we have to keep them moving, involved, and repeating the material we are teaching them.
Who is the Holy Family?–“JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH!”
Music and Song–“Good Morning, Jesus”
Our Art Project–The Holy Family Through Drawing and Painting
Invite your child to draw the Holy Family as they see it. Use whatever art supplies you have at home. If you are using watercolors, it is best to use watercolor or Mix Media paper that won’t break or tear. The goal of this art project is to reinforce for your child, the strength, faith, love and endurance of the Holy Family. Encourage your child or children to have fun and to not be self-critical. This project is for joy and fun.
Note* The Kwik Stix drawing below was my effort at replicating a painting, “Holy Family Nativity” by artist https://www.heidimalott.com/Heidi Malott, from Pinterest, for children to try. Connie Goldin