Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Our mission statement is for our children to grow up to remain faithful and active members of our Parish and our Church, to get married there, to regularly attend Liturgy and often receive the Qurbon into adulthood, to baptize their own subsequent children there and in the end, to come full circle and bury their reposed relatives and friends in the Church. We want our kids to know they have a place in the Church that is uniquely their own.
This is spot on what I'd like to have as the primary focus of our class. I don't know how or if we'll achieve this. I hope that, given time and experience, we'll be able to do something that will reach this and prevent our children from leaving the Church in college. If anyone has ideas and curriculum regarding this, I would be very interested. God bless all Church school teachers!
I recommend an honest approach. Kids in particular, appreciate a flaws and all approach to Christianity. When we give them an idealized or ideological approach, they smell the hypocrisy and inaccuracy and much like many of the other myths, fables, fantasies and stories of their childhood, Christianity falls into the wayside. However, when we tell the kids the truth, that life is full of fear, pain, and confusion, and that we adults are not perfect, and that Christianity does not expect any of us to be perfect, rather Jesus Christ came precisely because of these imperfections, then they begin to look for Him tangibly in their own very real lives.
The problem sometimes is we as adults try to hard to paint a rosy picture of life to kids, and when they see we were not being exactly honest with them, they begin to question everything else we told them. That is why I always speak the real to my students, and teach them the same gritty, at times painful Christianity that most of us adults are familiar with. We tell adults that Jesus Christ will heal their wounds, calm their fears, and cleanse their sins, we should water down this focus for kids. Sometimes I think we lose focus that kids lives are real too, we sometimes overlook the very real struggles kids face on a day to day basis, and as such forget what needs they have that only Jesus Christ can fulfill. Some of this is intentional ignorance (ie, if I don't acknowledge the problems in my kids' lives they don't exist), some of this is gross idealization (ie, if I just believe my kids' lives are prefect then they must be) and some of this is accidental (ie, our own grownup lives are very busy, sometimes we miss a lot of what is going on in kids' lives).
Above all else, we must put this on God, and ourselves pray for His Holy Spirit to go before us and do His works Himself