Archive | Uncategorized RSS for this section

It’s been a while…

childrens class Masterton west

For all you wonderful children and children’s class teachers out there – you’ll have noticed, that it’s been very quiet from this corner 🙂 Our children’s classes have changed, moved and morphed over the last half year and I haven’t kept this blog up to date.

The Children’s Class at Ko Te Aroha ‘Te Whakakotahitanga o te Rāwhiti’ is still happening, in a slightly different format – Monday afternoons 3-4.30pm, currently for 3 to 5 year olds. This class is taught by Raewyn, based on the Hidden Gems and Ruhi Curriculum and you’ll find updates on their facebook page.

Then there is another class which started last term (yay!), now held at 11 Pownall Street, on Sunday mornings – 10.30 to noon. Taught by Lily and ably assisted by Aisha. Children in this class range from 5 to 9 year-olds, and they are working their way through Grade 1 of the Ruhi Curriculum.

I hope to add some insights and class reports soon…children’s classes are on term break at the moment, starting again in 2 weeks. In the meantime, I hope the existing material on this blog is still useful to you 🙂

With lots of smiles and love!


Lesson 17 : Service – working hard for the benefit of others

Today’s lesson was about service – and how we need to work hard and make an effort every day for the benefit of humanity. Taking ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the perfect Example, we see how there is no time to be idle (or bored!).

Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. – Bahá’u’lláh

We read a beautiful story in the context of ‘selfless service’ –

There was a man in Haifa who disliked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whenever he saw the Master, he crossed the street to avoid Him. Finally, one day he approached ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and said, ‘So You are called the Servant of God.’ ‘Yes,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘that is my name.’ ‘Well,’ said the man proudly, ‘I am Moses.’ Very well, Moses,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘meet Me at this corner at seven o‘clock in the morning tomorrow and we will go and serve the people like the great Moses did.’ The man agreed and when they met the next morning, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took him on His routine of serving the unfortunates, helping the poor and needy, consulting with people and giving counsel. At six o‘clock that evening when they returned to the spot where they had started, he was extremely weary. ‘Remember, Moses,’ said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá before they parted, ‘I‘ll meet you here tomorrow morning at seven o‘clock.’ Again they met the following morning and again ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took the man through His regular work. Returning at six o‘clock that evening the man was very tired. Sternly, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told him, ‘Remember, Moses, tomorrow morning I‘ll meet you here.’ They met the third morning and again ‘Abdu’l-Bahá took him through His regular work day. When they returned that evening, the man was exhausted. As they parted, the man said, ‘‘Abdu’l-Bahá, tomorrow morning I will no longer be Moses.’




As a craft we made some lovely little bird-feeders – reminding ourselves, that we can extend our service to include the animal kingdom too 🙂 Cut out from egg-cartons, decorated and attached with some string, they hand in the trees, full of breadcrumbs for the birds to feed on!

We skipped the drama for this lesson, as we spent more time practicing our prayer for this set. Writing it out on in parts on little pieces of paper, we distributed them around the room – walking from piece to piece we recited line to line – until the children new the whole prayer off by heart without using the words – WELL DONE!!!! 🙂

Lesson 16 : Service

Lesson 16 is the first one in Set 6 – all lessons in this set are about Service. And this first one focuses on ‘serving God by serving His loved ones’…

We started to brainstorm some ideas of what sort of service we could do, as a group/class: baking & sharing the food, reading stories to the younger children class, gardening around Ko te Aroha, and cleaning up the neighbourhood streets – were just a few of the ideas. We decided to start with the neighbourhood cleanup right away – see below – the wonderful children picking up rubbish in the streets!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also made a start with learning the new prayer for this set of lessons – it is this one:

We decided to write the prayer up on a big hand shape – lets hope it will make memorising easier 🙂

Next week we’ll continue with our lesson on service (as we didn’t quite get to finish) – more service projects are planned too, we’ll do some baking, read stories for the younger children and if the weather is nice, make a start with the gardening too. That will also conclude the classes for this term – so hope to see you all there!

“That one indeed is a man who. today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race.” – Bahá’u’lláh


Happy summer!

Today was our last class for the school year. Congratulations to all of you who received a lovely certificate for participating throughout the last two terms – well done!
We finished off with a World Unity Craft – a paper globe, coloured in and cut out to make up a 3-d globe, with the quote “The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”. The children then also coloured in a people-paper-chain, to emphasise, that although we all look different, we’re all one big family! A great thought and decoration to take along for the holiday season – no?

We wish everyone a happy and safe summer holiday – we’ll restart classes in the new school term, on Sunday 12 Feb – see you then!


What a beautiful, colourful and community-supported start to our class today! Thank you everyone for joining us, we love having visitors! Have a look at the clip of our ‘Poi’ song. Everyone is starting to get the hang of it…

Today’s lesson was all about humility. Learning how to be humble and looking at examples around us to explain what it means to be humble – or show humility. We discussed what our body postures would look like, when we are showing humility, or how we would act after winning or loosing a competition. How offering prayers to God is a humble act, or how the branches of a tree – that is full of fruit (=achievements) – bend low and humbly towards the ground.

We used some excerpts of The Virtues Guide, to help us understand when we’re being successful at showing humility, or when we still need to practice being humble.

“O Son of Man! Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee.”

After learning our quote for the day, we finished off our lesson with a craft activity: the children created colourful collages of trees and gardens!

Be truthful and sincere…

Today was our last class of this school term. The holidays are starting next week and we’ll have a little break, starting again on Sunday 30 October. To mark the special first day of the new term, we’re inviting all the families to come along and share a morning tea, 10am at Ko Te Aroha.

Lily taught us how to make flax flowers which we then added to our invitations for the families. She taught us about the Maori tikanga around flax, from offering a karakia before cutting it, and selecting the outer leaves of the plant, as the innermost and its two flanking ones, are considered the children and parents, and need to be preserved for the plant to keep growing strong. We then learnt how to trim and soften it, before starting to create some beautiful flowers.

Today’s lesson was about sincerity and being truthful – reflecting on the outside, what’s inside our hearts. Being truthful and sincere. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that: “We should at all times manifest our truthfulness and sincerity…” Sincerity inspires us to be truthful and faithful in our dealings with others. It is through our sincerity that other can see the purity of our hearts and place their trust in us.

Well – we all sincerely look forward to seeing you again in the new term, and welcome you to join of for the start of term morning tea on Sunday 30 October, 10 am – at Ko Te Aroha! Ka kite!

Sunday 7th August – Welcome & Enrollment day

Our new children’s classes are starting tomorrow – 10am to noon, every Sunday during school term, at Ko Te Aroha children’s centre (33 Johnstone St, Masterton). All welcome – so come along and find out more, and have some morning tea with us 🙂 !

The classes will be held in 3 age groups: 3-5 year olds (teacher is Raewyn McKenna), 6-8 year olds (teacher is Lily-Ann Arahanga) and 9-11 year olds (teacher is Leyla Neilsen).

We’ll be using the new sets of lessons from the Ruhi institute (Grade 1, 2 and 3 – prepublication, June 2011) – and I hope to post something new on this blog every now and then. Grade 1 lessons have been extended, so will try and share the ‘new bits’ with you as we go through them.

Hope to see you all soon,
Leyla 🙂

Grade 2 – lesson 3: Patience

We started our class today, by singing the prayer ‘O God educate these children…‘. Then the children all said a prayer from their lovely decorated prayer books (see lesson 8).

Today’s lesson theme was: PATIENCE. One of the most valuable virtues an individual can possess. Without patience we can achieve little in this life. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá once said about the developing of spiritual qualities, that it was to be done ‘little by little, day by day’. Continuous effort and lots of patience 🙂 To help us remember this, we memorised the quote by Bahá’u’lláh:

He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience.

We focused a good portion of today’s lesson on memorising. To help us better memorise the various quotes and prayers in each lesson, I’ve put together a ‘memorisation booklet’ (based on an idea by Atusa Nemat). Each time the children give the memorisation a try, they get a sticker – once they can say the whole quote/prayer by heart, they get to colour in the ‘memorised’ smiley face…

You can download the booklet here, as a simple 20 pager, or get the imposed version here (this one you can simply print double sided and then staple, for a proper little booklet). The children will take these booklets home with them so they can keep practicing, and we’ll review previous quotes next time and start learning the new ones in each lesson.

The story for today, was about Shaykh Hasan, who is sent to Karbilá by the Báb, where He promises him, that he will see with his own eyes ‘the beauteous countenance of the promised Husayn’ (Bahá’u’lláh). For the full story see Children’s Classes Grade 2, p32.

For drama – we used a few more exercises that help us to learn, to control our bodies, and develop the skills to participate in creative drama. See p33 of Children’s Classes Grade 2 for the exercise instructions – they are great fun!

The improvisation scene (for the children to act out) was set as follows:

  • Patience and Impatience each have a small plot of land. One year, they both decide to plant and harvest corn on their land. They gather up the seeds and equipment. How does Patience plant and harvest his crop? How does Impatience do it?
The outcome? As Impatience kept digging up the seeds to see if they had grown already, his crop was tiny in the end, most of the seeds never made it grow into a full plant. Patience’s crop was bountiful and he managed to sell a lot of his harvest on the local market…

We finished off with a song from Stefan Brown – Patience, from his CD ‘The Angelic Way‘. And if you don’t have his CD, try one of the songs from the Ruhi website here….

…quick reminder – no class this Sunday ;)

Just a quick reminder, that there won’t be any children’s class this Sunday. We’re back on the week after, Sunday 5 June and look forward to seeing you all then! Take care and stay warm 🙂

…the amazing pinata Florence and Robin made for our last 'Ayyam-i-Ha celebration at Mt Holdsworth

%d bloggers like this: