First Day Schools
Quakerism: a view from the back benches
Copyright 1966 The Back Benches
First Day Schools?
Religious education of the young in these new small meetings opens up possibilities for experience not presently available in the keep-the-kids busy view we hold now. At present many adults and children alike consider the Sunday School “the enemy.” To teach children may be an anomaly for the Society, for truth is not transmitted but experienced. Canned lessons should be abolished, and in lieu of First-Day School, perhaps Quakers could provide settings for withdrawal next to every meeting for worship, to which adults and children could retire for reading, service projects, and in the case of the quite young, guided play. Children would learn more through participation with adults in action on our testimonies, which gives them a sense of belonging far greater than going to First-Day school. Perhaps after such participation, children would be able to center down in meeting for worship also, feeling a true center. Older young people, if they felt vitality in the thought of the adults, would be interested in the discussion and study group which might follow meeting for worship.
(to be continued)