photo from letchildrenplay.com
I can remember as far back as first grade when the principal would lead our class in the Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom system. When we were finished our teacher would pray. Being raised in a Christian home, it never felt weird or awkward for a teacher to pray. I am not exactly sure when prayer was replaced by a moment of silence, or when we stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance before the school day began, but, over the course of my East Tennessee public education experience, all of those things were eliminated. Some were eliminated because of new laws, while other things just phased out as I passed from grade to grade.
Whatever the reasoning for removing the prayer, the pledge and the pause to each day from public schools, we want our children to learn, understand, and respect the many aspects of our freedoms. One way we can do this is to begin each school day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance and spending a few moments in prayer together .
Since this is one of the most controversial topics in public schools, we count it an honor to both pray and say the Pledge of Allegiance in our home.
This is how we do it:
I have a purple mat (I got this at Fred’s for $1 on clearance.) designated for all 3 kids to stand on together (FYI: when they get bigger, I won’t make them stand on the purple mat together).
We place our hand over our hearts. The leader of the day has usually been decided by this time and he/she begins our pledge by saying:
I pledge allegiance
Then in unison we all say: To the flag
Of the United States of America
And To the Republic for which it stands
One nation, Under God, Indivisible
With liberty and Justice for all!
Next, everyone moves to his or her own mat for prayer time.
These mats are actually woven-placemats from WorldMarket! They were like $3.99 each on sale and worth the investment! I looked for smaller mats for children and could not find anything funky enough for my taste. Also, we are always on a budget for homeschool décor! Here is a link to something similar from Pier One.
During this prayer time I assign each kid something or someone to pray for. This is also the time when they pray specifically for God to help them focus and pay attention in school and that they would do their very best.
All 3 of our kids pray out loud asking God to help them focus as well as intercede for the requests I have assigned.
Finally, I pray.
I pray a short, short prayer, by this time they are ready to be moving again. While I do think it is extremely important that I show them HOW to pray by praying, I kep this prayer short and sweet! Our kids need to hear us pray and pour out our hearts before God, but they are usually not in the mood to sit still very long at this time in our day.
Tomorrow I will be sharing more on our morning routine. I hope you are enjoying these posts!