Activities

We have a fall semester (September through December), a spring semester (January through May) and a summer term (June through August). We offer organized lessons during the fall and spring semesters, with a more flexible structure during the summer to accommodate irregular attendance due to vacations, etc. Our basic plan includes six major themes (one each semester): Quaker History, Quaker Practice, Quaker Testimonies, the life of Jesus and other Christian traditions, Discovering Worship and the Hebrew Scriptures and other faith traditions. While our general plan would have the children advancing in age groups approximately every three years (pre-school, lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school and high school), there is enough flexibility in the themes to accommodate repeated cycles using different curriculum and resources to deepen and broaden understanding.

The methods devised to carry out this plan may vary from year to year, but may include some of the following approaches:

Faith & Play

Derived from Jerome Berryman's Godly Play, Faith & Play is a Quaker-based Montessori-like approach based on storytelling, "wondering" and other open-ended activities designed to encourage children to develop a language for discussing and questioning matters of faith. Children gather in a circle, sing a song and participate in a story, then share a feast, and work on an art response (silent worship) related to the story. These activities mirror many adult Quaker meeting activities - singing meeting, forums, queries, "eating meetings" and silent worship.

Interactive Story

Less formally structured than Godly Play, interactive storytelling uses many of the same elements to encourage children to think about and discuss matters of faith. This may involve walks and games to help the children form a community.

Projects

Children work together on various projects - sewing, cooking, or other crafts - often to prepare materials for upcoming events.

We consider all of these activities to be a form of worship for the children, and we endeavor to lead the children in a manner consistent with Quaker values and testimonies such as the testimonies of peace, simplicity, integrity, equality, and community. The specific activities can vary greatly from week to week and teacher to teacher