Most young kids may answer, “Jesus!” enthusiastically when you ask what Easter is about. But the truth is, it seems to be all about the candy and toys. As homeschoolers, we have the time to counteract the cultural message to share our faith with our children at Easter. Here are six powerful ways to do that.
#1 Attend a passion play.
Most of you have children who aren’t ready to view the Passion of the Christ. Truthfully, I don’t think I was ready to see it! I was unable to eat or sleep after viewing the violent depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion. But many churches and some theaters present the true story of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross in a way that children can appreciate. My dear homeschooling friend became a Christian after seeing a church’s passion play. Don’t underestimate the power of these presentations. This year my daughter is participating in our church’s play. I’m hopeful it will give her an even deeper appreciation of Easter.
#2 Study the Scriptures.
No matter what Bible curriculum you’re using or where you are in Scripture, it’s a good idea to spend some extra time in the Gospels in preparation for Easter. Or use a Lenten devotional as a family in the evenings. My church has a mid-week service during Lent that has us studying the events that led up to Good Friday. No matter how many times your children have heard them, God can give them a fresh perspective on Jesus’ love.
#3 Use resurrection eggs.
Whether you make your own set or buy one, resurrection eggs are a tangible way of teaching the important truths about Easter. Each egg contains a symbol and Scripture. You can open a new one every day or hide them all and review them to tell the whole story.
#4 Watch Christ in the Passover.
Read Exodus 12 to review the Passover instituted for the Israelites, then watch this video to see the amazing parallels between Jesus and this sacred meal.
Even though our feet aren’t dirty like the disciples’ were, kids still cringe over doing this task. We did this for co-op and I don’t think any of us will forget this lesson in Christ’s humility and His example for us all.
#6 Make Resurrection cookies.
You’ll have one last chance to tell the story and to get kids involved in the telling of it with this delicious recipe. Eating these cookies on Easter morning can become a wonderful tradition and celebration.
Easter is a very important celebration for my family. But sometimes, busyness gets in the way of preparing for it. If you’d like to have an organized Easter this year, join us in completing this week’s tasks.
#1 Plan Easter events
Our church has two important Easter events besides our midweek and Easter services. We volunteer for one of them and invite friends and neighbors to both. Today is the day to put special Easter events on your calendar and issue invitations to those who don’t normally attend church.
Today is also the day to plan family Easter celebrations. Determine the place and menu. If you’re hosting Easter, aren’t you glad you started the Spring Cleaning challenge last week? My husband’s family has an Easter brunch every year and everyone brings different cut-up fruits for a fruit salad. Love it! Here’s the link to the Amish Breakfast Casserole I frequently make.
#2 Plan spiritually
It’s easy to get caught up in all the extras that surround Easter, and forget what it’s all about. In past years, we have done Easter unit studies, read Easter devotions, watched videos about Easter, and made Easter treats (like resurrection cookies) that go along with Scripture. Last year, we were blessed by the video Christ in the Passover. Be sure to check out this list of great Easter learning links at Cynce’s Place.
#3 Plan outfits
I’ll admit it. I’m one of those kind-of corny moms who dresses her kids alike for Easter. Every year I say I will quit, but I can’t! I love the family photos I get at church (even if I have a hard time keeping other people out of the photo!). I really will quit this year in honor of my 17-year-old son who has been such a good sport all these years. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to plan outfits. It’s no fun to realize the day before Easter that your kids have outgrown or worn out their nice dress clothes. The sizes you need are sure to be gone! And you don’t need the stress of trying to decide what to wear yourself at the last minute. Plan outfits today and you’ll be so glad you did next month. My favorite place to shop for Easter outfits is Kohls.
#4 Plan gifts and crafts
You’ve seen all the great Easter ideas on Pinterest, but if you don’t plan for them this week, come the day before Easter, you’ll be standing in line at Wal-Mart buying the egg dyeing kit, overpaying for a lame Easter basket, and trust me–you will not be in the Easter spirit! Ask the kids what traditions and crafts are most important to them. Pick up supplies today and plan time to do them. Doing these things with friends can be even more fun and provides an extra measure of accountability.
For Easter gifts, I usually give my kids things I bought on sale during Black Friday. My Christmas gift list for kids is still appropriate here, but I love to give them gifts for outdoor fun: hula hoops, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, squirt guns, scooters, sports equipment, and outdoor games. I’m not opposed to a little chocolate either!
What Easter traditions do you want to be sure and plan for this week?