Monday, April 2, 2012

Curriculum Review . . . Large Group/Small Group - kidz Connection!

Today is the first day of my 2012 Curriculum Reviews! All this week we will be taking a look at Large Group/Small Group curriculum resources and then on Friday April 13th I'll release my Large Group/Small Group Curriculum Side-by-Side Comparison Chart.  

So, let's begin with the Large Group/Small Group Curriculum Reviews! The first curriculum I'm reviewing is kidz Connection - It's All About the GROWTH. First thing I need to say about this curriculum is, I write it. Since I write it, while I certainly want to be un-biased in my review, it really isn't highly likely this will be the most un-biased review you will ever read! Having said this . . . please allow me to share with you some information about kidz Connection curriculum!

  • Publisher - David Freeman Publishing 
  • Website -
  • Price - $50 per quarter for Preschool/Early Elementary and $50 per quarter for Elementary . . . or free as I give it to any church if they can not afford it.
  • Type - Large Group/Small Group
  • Scope - Through the Bible, but based on a topic - each series of lessons work from Genesis to Revelation with the goal of providing children a complete view of what the entire Bible has to say on the topic/focus for each year.
  • Available for Preschool/Early Elementary and for Elementary age children.
Strengths -
  • Biblically Sound
  • Unified Scope and Sequence
  • Entirely reproducible - and you are welcome to make as many copies as you like for no additional cost.
  • Includes an optional Second Service lesson each week - use it for Children's Church, Mid-week, a longer Sunday School or for two weeks.
  • The optional second service involves children in personalizing the Psalms or Proverbs and then praying them back to God.
  • Children are intentionally engaged throughout the lesson by helping with the dramas - this allows the children to help teach the lessons.
  • Scope is built around a topic - Grace, Obedience, Talking with God and Walk of Faithfulness are currently available. Each quarter follows this topic through the Old and New Testaments so children are able to fully understand what God's Word has to say about it from cover to cover. Quarter one focuses on "Why" I need Grace, or to Obey or to Talk with God, etc. Quarter two focuses on people from the Bible who did or did not choose Grace, or to Obey, etc. Quarter three focuses on how my life changes when I choose Grace, or to talk with God, etc and the fourth quarter each year begins with one month of review for the entire family and two months spending time in the Gospels to see Who Jesus is and how He shows His great love for me!
  • Optional Second Service lessons involve children with science projects and other object lessons, engage children in personalizing and praying the Psalms back to God and end with the leaders praying Scripture for each child in a blessing.
  • Each week has activities for children to do during the week to live what they learn.
  • Each quarter has a "Put Feet to Their Faith" service project.
  • Parent flyers are included so they are able to continue the learning at home throughout the week.
Would like to see - 
  • Music to go with the lessons
  • Colorful graphics
  • Teacher Devotions
It is my desire to see children intentionally engaged in the teaching of the Bible lesson during large group time with the guidance of their Small Group Shepherds and Lead Teacher and then involved in real and meaningful conversations in small group time so they are able to remember and understand God's Word. I want them to be able to take what they learn out the doors of the church and live it in their everyday lives for genuinely changed lives. kidz Connection is written with the goal of providing the tools churches need to do exactly this.

Some of the churches using kidz Connection have reported their children love being able to participate in the teaching of the Bible lesson with the dramas and "can't wait to come back the next week to see what they will be doing"! I have had churches report they have children get saved each quarter and their parents love how all their children are learning the same lesson the same week! They said their teachers love the creativity and the way the kids are intentionally engaged throughout the class time. I have also had churches use it where they said their teachers thought there were too many things to do. I recommend downloading the sample lessons and trying them - you may find they are a great "fit" for your ministry!

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