Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about Radiant Hearts. Feel free to use the comment section to ask other questions you may have.
Q1: What makes Radiant Hearts different from other resources ?
A1: There are a lot of virtues materials out there, children’s prayer books, and CDs of songs for prayers and quotations. What Radiant Hearts does is incorporate each of these individual types of resources to be a complete, easy-to-use program. Whether your family wants to focus on the memorization of prayers or hosting a weekly Devotional in your home, Radiant Hearts is a free resource (which you can pick and choose from the parts that work for you). Plus it’s all online and accessible any time, from any where.
Q2: Why is this program free?
A2: Radiant Hearts is a work of love, created by mothers to be used in their own home with their own young children. While it has taken a lot of work to put together and is certainly worth putting a price on, we want it to be available for other families to use without needing to pay. However, we do accept donations if you are moved to support us and we will also be selling supplementary resources in the future to help fund our expenses.
Q3:How can the Radiant Hearts program help a family establish a routine of learning new prayers and quotations?
A3: Having a goal of learning a new prayer and new quotation each month can be a motivator to get together for prayers each day. Whether it’s in the morning, evening, or both, spending a few moments even just singing the prayer and quotation once or twice a day will get you on the track to having regular family prayers together. Young children may not be able to sit for a full 15 minutes and read their own prayers in a perfectly quiet atmosphere yet, but they can participate in creating some joyful spiritual music and everyone in the family will begin to appreciate the united atmosphere that is fostered through praying together as a family. After a few months of settling into the routine of having family prayers and seeing the results, you will be motivated to continue.
Q4: What age of child is Radiant Hearts for?
A4: Radiant Hearts was created with children ages 0 to 4 years old in mind. Obviously the involvement of a child will depend on their age, so if you would like to see some sample uses of the program for various ages please see the section entitled “Radiant Hearts in Action” of the Introduction to the program (which you can download from the Radiant Hearts main page).
Q5: What will my child learn by participating in the Radiant Hearts program?
A5: Each Baha’i month, your family will have access to a lesson with a prayer and quotation, plus 19 activities centered around learning a spiritual quality (such as friendliness, patience, courage, etc). Your participation in the program will depend on the age of your child when you begin, but as you continue the Radiant Hearts program (it can be used year after year, changing the elements you use as your child grows) your child will become more familiar with the tunes and words of the prayers and quotations. Therefore by the end of one or two years of participating in the program they could potentially have 19 prayers and 19 quotations memorized, all before they are 5 years old. They will also become familiar with the concept of 19 spiritual qualities, and likely know what it means to practice that spiritual quality in every day life.
Q6: We already learn prayers and talk about virtues in our home already. How can Radiant Hearts support us?
A6: You definitely don’t need any certain materials to be successful with spiritual education in your home. However, for some people, it’s helpful to know there are specific selections to focus on memorizing and 19 related activities each month from which they can choose. It will allow you to keep track of what you are doing, not to mention having the related materials all in one place. Saying this, however, we also recognize Radiant Hearts may not be for everyone. Pick and choose which parts work for you, if any.
Q7: Is doing the Radiant Hearts program a lot of work?
A7: Anything can be a lot of work, depending on how you do it. Deciding to suddenly start the full program – singing the prayer and quotation in the morning and evening, and doing one activity each day of the month – would definitely be a lot to add into your family’s routine in one go. However if you start out small (just singing the prayer or quotation once each day) and incorporate more aspects of the program little by little over several months, it will not seem so difficult.
Plus your family may decide that you would like to do parts of the program and not use other parts, and that is totally fine. No one has to “do it all” – just do whatever serves your purpose. If you decide to simply memorize a quotation each month, just sing the quotation each morning and don’t worry about the rest.
There are some Planning Worksheets on the Radiant Hearts main page to get you started with deciding what’s right for you at this time and how to go about it.
Q8: Is the Radiant Hearts program to be used for Baha’i Preschool Classes?
A8: Although Radiant Hearts was not created as Baha’i Preschool Class material, the usual elements of a Baha’i Children’s Class (prayer, quotation, story, song, activity) are all included in the program. Therefore, because there is not a specifically recommended curriculum to use for teaching Baha’i classes to children under five years old, a Baha’i Preschool Class can easily be planned using the Radiant Hearts materials. To read a bit more about how these materials can be used for acts of service for your friends and their families, check out this page.
Q9: What makes Radiant Hearts different from other Baha’i Preschool Class materials?
A9: Baha’i Preschool Classes are taught usually once a week (or at least on a regular basis) for a set amount of time. Radiant Hearts has been designed to be used within the home environment every single day. Focusing on a specific spiritual quality for the entire month will allow you to delve into it much more and also help your child get a grip about what it really means in practical life. Most importantly, the Radiant Hearts lessons can help families memorize Baha’i prayers and quotations by singing them every day together. Then, if a family desires, they can incorporate the Radiant Heart activities in their routine or just do them on an informal basis (there are 19 activities in each lesson, so families can do one each day of the Baha’i month if they wish). Read through the Introduction available on the Radiant Hearts main page for more information.
Q10: How can I encourage my children to sit through the prayers and learn them?
A10: Making prayers child-friendly by incorporating lots of music and even movements can be very inviting to little ones. Each Radiant Hearts lesson has a prayer and a quotation of Baha’u’llah put to music, and singing these for morning and evening prayers each day of the Baha’i month means a child will hear the same prayer and quotation 38 times. You will be surprised if your child is four, three, and even two years old, how much they will pick up on and memorize just from the repetition.
Keeping prayer time short (singing one prayer and one quotation for very little ones) and teaching children to sit still for that short period will build up their “reverence muscles” so they can sit still and practice peacefulness for increasingly longer periods, as they mature.
Q11: Is Radiant Hearts free?
A11: Radiant Hearts is completely free but donations are accepted via PayPal if friends wish to support the development of the materials. The program is one resource offered by Enable Me To Grow, which is a website aimed at supporting Baha’i mothers with young children. Find the donation link on the Radiant Hearts main page.
Q12: Can I see photographs of Radiant Hearts in action?
A12: Each Online Lesson has about five photographs of Radiant Hearts activities. There is also a public gallery where families are encouraged to upload their own photographs, to share how they have added their own spin on the activities with other Radiant Hearts users. You can find the list of available lessons on the Radiant Hearts main page.
Q13: What do parents get out of the program?
A13: Having a routine for sharing prayers and quotations with the family can be a very empowering way to start and end the day. Furthermore, focusing on developing a spiritual quality each month will put many life circumstances into perspective and also give you tools to address various tests with your child. Find out what other parents are saying about the program at our Testimonials page.
Q14: Where can I get more information?
A14: Links to all Radiant Hearts materials, Online Lessons, and related posts can be found on the Radiant Hearts main page.
Feel free to ask more questions by adding a comment below.