Home Theater: the Idea of Education and Spiritual Development of Children

Read to me!
Reading aloud used to be a widespread cultural tradition. Nowadays, people often stop reading to their children and together with them as soon as their children learn to read. It’s a mistake. Psychologists recommend reading books aloud to your kids until they turn 14 to ensure their holistic emotional development. Reading together is especially beneficial. Plays are the best way to bond family members together and to share feelings.
James Jebusa Shannon, “Jungle Tales”, 1895
Enter home theater!
Theater is a very meaningful pastime. Rehearsing a play is great for esthetic education and for deep immersion into the world of literature, music, fine arts, and dance.
Play is one of the basic and the most vital activities for children aged 1-12. Play isn’t just fun. It’s an entire cosmos. The idea behind a home theater is teaching by playing. Home theater teaches children to feel their feelings, to interact with each other, to be creative, and to behave in a group setting. Well-chosen plays can help your children to become better Christians.
“The Owner of Flower Garden”, scene from “The Snow Queen”
Home theater spurs the development of children’s creativity. Children are fond of participating in rehearsals, suggesting changes to the script or inventing and enacting their own scenes. They master their native language, learn to use logical thinking skills, and enjoy the beautiful and diverse world of arts and letters.
Little Secret and Big Miracle
One precious secret of home theater is the long process of preparing for the performance. Yes, you’ve heard me correctly! Making colorful scenery and sophisticated costumes with your own hands and choosing props—that’s what makes home theater so unique. Why hurry? Home theater is the place where you can enjoy spending time together. While you write the script, draw, glue, and rehearse this or that episode, you get more and more united with your kids!
“The Prince Is Sick!” scene from “The Traveler’s Tale”
Amazing Powers of Theater
Performing, making scenery, writing and discussing the script is one thing. The fact that well-chosen plays can be immensely advantageous for the mental well-being of your child is another. When your child plays the part of a negative character, she can spot the same negative traits in her own character and learn to overcome them and acquire positive traits instead. More importantly, you can teach it to your child without having to lecture her, just by playing together.
It is common knowledge that there are numerous methods of therapy based on play and theatrical performances with the chief principle being “laugh with the child, not at the child.” That is why you should write or choose plays and fairy tales where you can laugh together and ridicule laziness, fear, shyness and sheepishness (which isn’t to be mistaken for modesty), cowardice, etc.
Here is a brief beginners’ manual: just begin. 🙂
Undoubtedly, home theater enhances speech development, teaches dialog skills and improves the child’s ability to share her impressions, which is especially instrumental in the contemporary world of online interactions where we have a shortage of ways to express our feelings verbally (and therefore to think clearly, because speech is inextricably bound with thinking).
“Butterflies”, a scene from “Ladybird”
Perhaps, most importantly, a well-chosen repertoire will inspire your children to love the wonderful, the great, and the authentic without lengthy talks and sermons.
Home theater creates an atmosphere of joy, warmth, and love. Try and organize a fun event at home!
By Michael Mironenko,
a Bachelor of Theology;
the director of the Sunday School at the Church
in honor of St. Prince Vladimir in Minsk;
a father of two children
The Catalog of Good Deeds, 2018
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