Spiritual Foundation

A whole child is a combination of body, mind, emotions and spirit.

While each of us approaches spiritual development in ways that reflect our own values and beliefs, there is much we share. To communicate these commonalities, the Spiritual Foundation and Strength Action Team developed a list of Qualities that represent how spirit is expressed in our everyday lives. The first quality on the list is a Sense of Wonder, which carries through all the activities we recommend.

A Sense of Wonder

The sense of wonder is an integral part of a child’s spirit. Yet in our modern technological world, this sense is easily diminished. In the book The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson tells us, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder…, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

It is our hope children will continue to be surprised by joy as they experience the sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and unknown, and the satisfaction of feeling comforted, connected and confident.

Read Aloud

Reading plays a vital role in a child’s spiritual development. Reading aloud with your child can accomplish far more than just entertaining him. It can nurture your child’s spirit in a special way because it:

  • shows them you care
  • awakens their imagination
  • opens windows to the world
  • expands their sense of wonder
  • helps them master a skill that will serve them well throughout his lifetime

These are the possibilities. Whether or not they become realities depends on what you do and how you do it. The time to start reading aloud to your baby is before the child is born, or as soon as you read this.

Special Places

Spiritual awakening can be enhanced for a child when curiosity, imagination and creativity are nurtured by touching reality. Visiting a Special Place can open a child’s mind and heart to the often hidden, but always present, Spirit.

The most important factor is neither the site nor the activity, but rather it is what you and the child experience there. The child’s experience is determined by two types of interactions occurring simultaneously; the interaction between you and the child and the child’s interaction with the features of the site.

The following four questions can assist you in maintaining a spiritual focus.

  • What is there about this site (or activity) that provides an opportunity to experience a sense of wonder?
  • How does this experience emphasize “being and cherishing?”
  • How does the experience encourage connectedness and relationship?
  • How will this experience make a difference in the child’s spiritual development?

The Arts offer children avenues

of exploration and expression that enable them to discover and relate to the real and the imaginary. We offer you suggestions for exploring the visual arts, music and movement and drama in ways that nurture and expand a child’s awareness of Spirit. Although the content of this website is divided into separate topics, it is intended to flow together to enhance the development of the whole child. This is illustrated in the way we have integrated reading and music throughout the explanations and activities. We view our efforts as a beginning. You can help us by providing feedback. What do you find useful? What are your needs? How can we help? We welcome your Comments.

Whole Child is not another program, but a philosophy that uses strategic planning, performance measurement and broad-based community engagement to build communities where everyone works together to make sure children thrive.