Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Sunday School Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart

I've been reviewing Traditional, Non-Traditional, Bridge and Special Needs Sunday School Curriculum so today I'm releasing my 2012 Traditional, Bridge, Non-Traditional and Special Needs Sunday School Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart. I set this chart up with a side-by-side format to help you identify those tools you believe will best equip your volunteers as they share God's Word with the children in your ministry. There are specific things I look for and have identified as essential "tools" for a curriculum so I will take a moment to explain them in this Key to My Comparison Charts -

  1. Biblically Sound – of course this is absolutely essential and is non-negotiable.
  2. Engages children – curriculum is a tool to help us teach the Bible. If we are going to teach effectively, we must engage children, not just “teach at” them.
  3. Encourages Small Group relationships – most faith decisions are made in the context of relationships
  4.  Live it application projects – each week there should be options for children to choose from to help them take what they learned out the doors of the church and live it in their life during the week.
  5. Service projects – in the book Parenting Beyond Your Capacity they quoted from the book, Inside Out Families and said, "Community service was significantly more closely related to the faith development of teens than attending worship services. Service appears to be more powerful than Sunday school, Bible study, or participation in worship in the faith development of teenagers." I believe this is true for children as well. We need to be intentional about involving the children in our ministries in quarterly service projects so they can live out their faith.
  6. Memory verses with application – more than just learning a new verse each week, memory verses should remain the same for a month so children have time to understand and live what they are memorizing.
  7. Options – allow churches to make curriculum "fit" their own unique setting.
  8.  Involves children in teaching – we remember so much more of what we teach others so effective curriculum provides opportunities for children to be involved with the teaching of the lesson in directed and specific ways.
  9. Easy to use.
  10.  Focus on prayer – more than providing opportunities for children to pray, curriculum needs to help children learn how to pray and involve them in genuine prayer.
  11. Optional second lesson – curriculum should provide an additional lesson churches may combine for a longer service, use as a Children’s church or for their Mid-week lesson to provide consistent, intentional, focused and reinforced teaching opportunities.
  12.  Family Flyers – resources for families to continue the learning at home.
  13.  Unified scope – all ages of children learn the same lessons the same week - this supports families and helps parents make connections during the week between what their children learned and their everyday lives.
  14.  Teacher devotions – to encourage and challenge the volunteers.
  15.  Focus on understanding – more than just teaching the facts, we want children to understand what they mean.
  16.  Focus on living God’s Word – we want real life change for our kids.
  17. Reproducible – this provides a cost savings for churches - but, should not be just another way to make churches pay more by having to pay for the number of students in their ministries.
  18. Students use the Bible - we want children to have the opportunity to open their Bibles and see for themselves what God's Word says as this will can help them be comfortable opening their Bible on their own at home.
  19. Music resources - specific music resources which helps reinforce the lessons being taught.
  20. Type of Scope - Through the Bible, Chronological or Topical - your vision/purpose will help you determine which type of scope best "fits" your ministry.
  21. Length of Scope - how many years does it take to complete the scope and sequence?
  22. Bible Translation - which Bible translations are used in this curriculum.
  23. Cost - what does it cost to use this curriculum.
I didn't include whether a curriculum had colorful graphics or not because while they are a nice feature if a curriculum has them, I don't believe they should be a deciding factor when selecting curriculum. I tried to focus on the content of a curriculum in both my reviews and in this side-by-side comparison chart as the content is the thing which truly matters. I hope you find this chart and the reviews helpful as you look for your best curriculum "fit"! We all know the economy has most certainly made budget issues more challenging for many churches, so the rest of this week I'll release my Best Buys Curriculum Reviews and Chart with attention given to content and cost!

1 comment:

  1. We are looking for a curriculum for our church and are tossed between Faithweaver and Orange. Do you have any reviews on Orange