Parent Enrichment Resources

The following forms are available to download and print as PDF files. 

Getting Ready for Kindergarten     Kindergarten Readiness      What Children Learn At Home

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Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions

rolandSmallHandprints, Inc. is dedicated to the mission of helping parents provide the strongest and bestfoundation during their child’s early years. One of the questions that is often asked at Handprints is “Why is early education so important to the development of a child?”A few months ago, I wrote an article entitled “Turning Your Children into Spiritual Champions” highlighting the book written by George Barna. I believe this book best answers this question and explains the partnership of parents with early education centers such as Handprints.“What do children need?” is the main question asked in the book. In essence, everything they need emanates from their worldview. Our greatest challenge is to help them develop a biblical worldview. In shaping their worldview, we must assist them in interpreting and responding to reality which is consistent with God’s ways as illustrated in the Bible. Children need help to identify four basic principles--all beginning with the letter P.

PURPOSE

The first principle to help children identify in their lives is purpose. In his research, George Barna found that almost half of all adults say they are still seeking meaning and purpose in life. Among teenagers, 2 out of 3 young people are still seeking that sense of direction. Meaning and purpose in life are gained by developing spiritual understanding. It is achieved by knowing God so intimately that one can discern His calling upon their life. While it is not expected that a 3 or 4 year old could comprehend this, building for this eventual outcome begins in the early years of a child’s life. Combined with the research that finds by the age of nine, most of the moral and spiritual foundations of a child are in place, a purposeful approach to early education can be extremely beneficial.

PERSPECTIVE

The second principle to help children identify in their lives is how to have perspective of the world or how to make sense of it. From their earliest moments from the womb, their brains are working overtime trying to analyze all the information that is pouring in and demanding interpretation and response. As children grow they develop mental categories that make such analysis and interpretations more efficient. Before they reach junior high, they have developed a full worldview. That life lens enables them to quickly size up a situation and respond in ways that are consistent with what they believe is appropriate.

PROVISION

Fostering spiritual transformation demands that we do our best to eliminate some of the emotional and behavioral obstacles to growth. If children are consumed by fears and worries regarding safety and capacity, little growth can occur. The key here is emotional security. Various studies have shown that until children feel loved, accepted, affirmed, and engaged, there is limited hope of seeing significant progress in their development. The family is the most important player in this drama. Conversation, activity and values that promote emotional security set the stage for spiritual development.

PERFORMANCE

Our ultimate goal is to build a spiritual foundation that serves as the basis of a child’s human development. Helping our children to develop spiritually is a journey of faith not a destination we can expect to reach by some predictable or designated point in time. When Paul wrote that we must fight the good fight of faith, he may well have had the raising of spiritual children in mind, knowing it is harder to stand fast for what is right and true than to settle for what is easy and popular. Be encouraged! We know that by persevering and using every ounce of strength we have it will be well worth it, because the spiritual development of our children is of utmost importance to God!

Parents have a much greater level of influence on a child who is two or three years old than do television and movies according to Barna’s study. But the opposite is true by the time the child is 16 years old. Handprints Inc. is privileged to partner with parents during the most impressionable years of their child’s development in order to provide that good, strong foundation for future life success.

May God richly bless you,

Roland F. DeRenzo, Ed. D.
President