First Day School in a Box 2

This is an idea packet assembled for families and small meetings who seek to educate children in Quaker faith and practice. Originally published in 1986, this is a treasure trove, worthy of adaptation and revision given that most Quaker meetings still face these challenges.

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0. Table of Contents and Introduction

1. Starters, First Day School in a Box: Ideas for starting a First Day School even with sporadic attendance, broadly mixed ages and no real classroom.  These short term projects can also be used as a series of a more established First Day School, once a month break from the regular curriculum or intergenerational activities.

2. Beyond the Box: When a core group of children gather each First Day, this section presents choices about schedule, organization, grouping and theology. The handouts will help RE programs learn from others who have navigated similar situations.

3. Curriculum Ideas: Many long and short term curriculum ideas for broadly mixed age groups.

4. Monthly Variety: Activities meetings may decide to do on a monthly basis either in place of First Day School or at some other time such as a family retreat or evening youth group.

5. Especially for Teachers: Collection of articles to help teachers relate to their students, plan lessons and get a feel for where their piece fits into the overall picture. These articles can be used as a basis for disucssion during teacher training sessions.

6. At Home: Whether there is a thriving First Day School or not, building a spiritual foundation in teh home is most important. This chapter is a must for everyone. .

7. Historical Perspective: Traces the origins of what we now call religious education. A glimpse of our past really helps put the present into perspective.

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform. 

Steering Circle

We share leadership as part of our collaborative mission, making decisions using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process, sitting in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth. Read more…

Working Circles

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Our work  takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Read more…

The Resource Library

Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

Children's Education

Adult Education


African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC


Find renewal, companionship, and help for nitty gritty issues in Quaker religious education, all the while opening spaces for Spirit to work and listening together for God’s way forward.

QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

Conversation Circles

Online conferences for Quaker religious educators to share about their work. Conversations are scheduled for two sessions per topic to encourage international participation.  Join the conversation…

Other Events

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Religious education events of interest to Quakers from all parts of the world. Please let us know about upcoming online or in-person events happening in your area. See the list of upcoming events…

Love at the Heart

Spiritual Practices


Active Caring

Quaker Family Culture

Finding the Light

Faith at Home

Home is the heart of faith formation for all families. This is especially true for Friends. As an experiential religion, Quakerism is best learned through living in loving community. Indeed, the vast majority of faith formation for our young Friends happens at home in the busy swirl of daily life.

Become a Member

Submit Resources

Get Announcements


Attend an Event

Contact Us

Get Involved

QREC depends on all of us sharing our gifts and skills as religious educators. Here are some of the ways you can get involved…