Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,The fruit of the womb is a reward. ~Psalm 127:3
Some of you intentionally sought out Christian-based education for your child, while others found it a welcome addition to the Montessori method. However you came to COLCMS we welcome you and are pleased to have you as part of our spiritual community. The staff of COLCMS strives to demonstrate the Christian principles of community service, kindness, gratitude, and respect for others. A blessing is said before lunch in both Toddler and Primary classrooms. Primary children work with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd materials and meet for a short, informal chapel service regularly. Together, we sing songs and talk about stories from the bible, God’s love and how we can reflect God’s love through our actions. Attending chapel and/or CGS is not a requirement of the program.
Cross of Life Christian Montessori School is one of the only Montessori schools in the state of Georgia to integrate Catechesis of The Good Shepherd into it's Montessori teachings. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an "atrium," a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith. You may be wondering how these materials help the religious life of children. If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly again and again. He or she may think deeply about the words and perhaps speak to God in a thankful or hopeful prayer. A little child, too young to read, needs another way. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it - placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children often copy parables from the Bible, place written prayers in order from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is the result of a long period of careful observation of children by Sofia Cavalletti and her Montessori collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, in Rome. It began quite by accident, without warning or planning, the way God so often comes into our lives. In 1954 Sofia was a Hebrew and Scripture scholar, comfortable in her role in the academic world, when a mother asked her to give some religious instruction to her son. At first Sofia refused, saying she knew nothing about children. But the mother persisted and eventually Sofia consented. That experience with a 7 year-old changed her whole life. She saw in that child, and in numerous other children since, a way of being in the presence of God that is both unique to the child and a gift to the adult who stops long enough to notice. Sofia Cavalletti said "If we want to help the child draw nearer to God, we should with patience and courage seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child will be our teacher if we know how to observe."
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a sensorially rich experience for children from the ages of 3 to 12 years that gives children the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through the Christian tradition. Click here to learn more about Catechesis of The Good Shepherd.
*Participation in Chapel and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is not required as part of our educational program. **(The above information is quoted from cgsusa.org)