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Does your yR child know who Jesus is?

(64 Posts)
Twiceover Fri 22-Nov-13 13:00:22

Just got a letter from school telling me DDs are off to church to make a Christingle soon. 'Lovely', I thought. 'What is a Christingle???' Duly googled and found A Christingle is made up of:
an orange representing the world;
a red ribbon around it representing the blood of Christ;
dried fruits skewered on cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons; and
a lit candle pushed into the centre of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world.

Looks fun. And then it occurred to me that as we're not a religious family, they possibly have no idea who Jesus is so it might be a bit puzzling (although I'm sure they will explain it). They are singing carols in school at the moment and I imagine they will do the Christmas story too so it will soon be covered.

Just wondering really, if your YR would have any concept of who Jesus was? We've talked about religion and belief at home in a very general way but not got into details. They did do a nativity play at nursery last year but I don't know if they understood it at all.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 22-Nov-13 13:02:55

my dd looked at an advent calender and said "look! It is the babyccino!"

oh the mortification blush

tricot39 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:03:35

ds would have no idea

Weegiemum Fri 22-Nov-13 13:04:50

My dc all would have at that age but then they've gone to church all their lives.

Ds did get a bit mixed up age 4 as to why Rudolph wasn't in the stable, though .....

TheRaniOfYawn Fri 22-Nov-13 13:07:14

We go to church but when I asked DS (4 but starts reception next September) he said, "I know who she is, but she's not in my class. What number house does she live at?"blush blush

Periwinkle007 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:07:31

I wasn't brought up going to church, and I went to a non denominational school but I remember making Christingles in reception. I would have assumed any child who celebrates Christmas, even if from a non religious family, would know who Jesus was. at a very basic level obviously.

do you not celebrate Christmas as a family?

PrincessScrumpy Fri 22-Nov-13 13:07:40

How do you explain Christmas without explaining about Jesus? I'm not saying you have to celebrate it or believe it I'm just thinking that if you are in this country it's kind of hard to miss so I would have thought most 4 year olds would have some idea - dd1 and all her friend's certainly know and they are now 5. Just the basic Christmas is Jesus' birthday and people celebrate because they believe he was the son of God, who Christians believe made the world.

tweetytwat Fri 22-Nov-13 13:07:44

grin Humphrey

DD (nearly 7) was trying to draw 'Christmas pictures' and started stropping that she couldn't draw a turkey and sprouts and it's all rubbish . I said (And I really don't know why, I'm atheist!) Well if you want to draw something Christmassy how about drawing Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus?

She said 'Who are Mary and Joseph anyway!' with a <harrumph>

I am no longer worried that their rather churchy school is having a major influence grin

Periwinkle007 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:08:27

I agree that Rudolph should be in the stable too Weegiemum! I think most 4 year olds would get it all a bit mixed up.

PrincessScrumpy Fri 22-Nov-13 13:09:44

dd at 3 thought Noah's ark was all about how God was cross with the naughty people but Noah was good and he likes animals so he treated them to a cruise... so I'm not saying a 4yo would know all the details but I imagine school will be doing the Christmas story if you haven't.

BrianTheMole Fri 22-Nov-13 13:10:14

Yes mine did.

nancy75 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:10:50

When dd was in reception the vicar from the local church came to a school assembly. Dd was very excited to tell me about the man in the dress that had been for a visit! She probably had a vague idea that baby jesus was something to do with Christmas.

nancy75 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:12:28

Obviously we are not religious - my explanation of Christmas to dd had father Christmas as the main character i'm afraid

Twiceover Fri 22-Nov-13 13:18:47

grin at babyccino and she's not in my class.

We do celebrate Christmas but DDs' focus is all on Rudolph, Santa, presents and seeing family! All the xmas books we have are about santa. I don't think they've ever asked why it is Christmas, they're just happy it is.

BornToFolk Fri 22-Nov-13 13:20:44

DS would. I'm an atheist but he knows about "baby Jesus" from the Nativity story. He started doing nativity plays in nursery from about age 2.
He had a bit more explicit RE in Reception (i.e. along the lines of "Christians believe in Jesus etc") which prompted a few questions at home about Jesus and about what we believe so I was able to talk a bit more about who Christians believe Jesus to be (as I understand it anyway!)

Anyway, I would have thought it would be very hard to grow up in the UK today, attending a mainstream school, withouth knowing at least the basics?

TallyGrenshall Fri 22-Nov-13 13:22:27

DS knows, and 'treated' me to about 2 hours of songs and stories about Jesus on Sunday morning so I can safely assume he was paying attention when his class visited the church last week grin

Periwinkle007 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:23:18

I always liked the story of baby Jesus, as I say we never went to Church and I wasn't brought up believing in God but I still liked the Christmas story. Shepherd, Wise Men, Angels, Stars, Donkeys, Mary, Joseph, Jesus etc. It is all Christmas.

Mind my sister doesn't want anything to do with the original Christmas story for her child so I suppose everyone chooses what they want from it but I just find it quite surprising to celebrate it but only the commercial side of it if that makes sense.

Twiceover Fri 22-Nov-13 13:37:18

I'm quite happy for them to learn about the Christmas story at school - I think they'll really enjoy it. And no doubt we'll talk about it at home this year and draw pictures etc (DT2's will probably feature quite a lot of rabbits in the stable - she is obsessed smile). But as yet, I think they're probably quite clueless - I'll have to ask them later when they get home.

PastSellByDate Fri 22-Nov-13 13:39:08

Hi Twiceover:

I think HumphreyCobbler's babychino comment sums it up.

In year R baby Jesus is just the cute baby in the manger for the Christmas play.

Let's be honest - Jesus/ virgin birth/ man & god duality/ etc... is quite complicated. I believe there have even been synods debating whether he owned his clothes or not in the early Church.

So why learn about Jesus & Christianity if not religious?

We also aren't that religious at all as a family - but we think that knowing bible stories is critical to understanding/ decoding major works of art and literary allusions.

I think the way to view this Twiceover is that Christingle is a lovely church service with lighted candles, a few sweets & nuts pushed into a beautifully fragrant orange and is a bit magical as festivals go. She'll like it. Maybe in later life she will decide to have a faith/ maybe not - but all in all as new experiences go it won't hurt.


Periwinkle007 Fri 22-Nov-13 13:39:50

rabbits are perfectly valid stable dwellers too, along with reindeer, penguins and any other favourite animal at the time.

I suppose I was always brought up with traditional advent calenders too (my mum didn't like the chocolate ones because we used to open them before breakfast so she only let us have traditional ones) with the Christmas scene on them.

LittleMissGreen Fri 22-Nov-13 13:48:28

Yes my reception aged DS knows about Jesus - but he goes to Sunday School.

I would imagine the school will be teaching about Jesus (at least as a baby) at this time of year. The DSs go to a Christian school, but they also celebrate other faiths celebrations there (there are Hindus, Muslims etc attending). I would be a bit hmm if they did the celebrating without having at least some idea why! Although they may not remember for long (at reception age)

homeworkmakesmemad Fri 22-Nov-13 14:04:24

My 2 older DCs (now 8 & 6) would have known at that age, and my DTs (now 3) already have a basic understanding of who Jesus is. (both as a baby in the manger and as a adult) BUT - we are Christians and they have been in the Church their whole lives and we read the Bible, talk about our faith and openly pray every day at home.

When both my older 2 were in nursery and P1 their teachers remarked on their good knowledge of the Christmas story (and of the Easter story) and the way in which they were able to retell it themselves. (albeit with some discrepancies I'm sure!) I have spoken to some of the teachers about it and they have told me it is very unusual at that age (in their experience) for children to really know the story of Christmas and often children won't have even really heard of Jesus before they tell the story in class in preparation for their nativity plays.

I don't think your DC would be unusual in not knowing who Jesus is at that age, but I would be surprised (and slightly worried!) if they got through the Christmas season at school with nativities etc and still not know! (although from what my DCs teachers have said they might well have forgotten all about it by next year again as it's not mentioned again after Dec!) I hope your DC enjoys the Christingle service - we love a good Christingle!

notwoo Fri 22-Nov-13 14:11:16

My dd (now 4) named one of her dolls 'Jesus' when she was under 2! Quite embarrassing grin

So yes, she knows who he is although she struggles with the man/god concept (don't we all?!) and doesn't really understand that he grew up.

SpookedMackerel Fri 22-Nov-13 14:15:55

Dd is 2, she was saying this morning "I want my pink Jesus!" (We are Christians and go to church, but only occasionally.)

Was a bit confused, but we have a Playmobil Nativity set so I fished about in the box and found the baby (white clad) figure.

"No Mummy, not Baby Jesus, my PINK JESUS!"

Even more confused, found a pink playmobil baby, NOO MUMMY, found the Christmas books in the cupboard, wrong again.

Finally asked helplessly, what does he look like? Dd, practically rolling her eyes at my stupidity said "They're look like my trousers, Mummy." Turns out she meant her pink jeans, but presumably got a bit confused over the ending and was calling them "jeansers" as a sort of jeans-trousers hybrid grin.

BlinkQuenelle Fri 22-Nov-13 14:25:07

DS doesn't know about Jesus. They're rehearsing the nativity in his Reception class at the moment though so he'll be learning all about the Christmas story.

When we went to the circus recently he told everyone we had been to church. He keeps getting the words mixed up.

And he thinks churches are castles.

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