Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Curriculum Review - Non-Traditional - HeartShaper from Standard Publishing!

HeartShaper is a Non-Traditional Sunday School curriculum from Standard Publishing with a strong focus on "helping you shape young hearts to bring them closer to God!" Allow me to share with you some information about HeartShaper!
  • Publisher - Standard Publishing  
  • Website -
  • Price - $8 per teacher, $16.49 per class, $4.25 per child and $18.49 for take home papers for five children
  • Scope - Through the Bible
  • Available for Preschool - Preteen
Strengths -
  • Biblically Sound
  • Strong focus on teaching children what God's Word says
  • Most lessons focus on helping children identify a way they could live what they learn
  • Preteens had service project ideas
  • Lots of options for each lesson to engage children in the lesson from start to finish.
  • Younger children had optional second service
  • Family flyers to continue to conversations at home
  • Teacher Devotions
Would like to see - 
  • Some weeks/age levels did a better job than others at focusing the kids on specific things they could do to live what they learned - I'd like to see a stronger focus on this with several "Live it" options each week for all ages. 
  • "Put Feet to Their Faith" project to involve all children in serving others each quarter
  • Optional second service for older children
  • Unified Scope and Sequence
HeartShaper is written with the goal of engaging children so they are able to learn and live God's Word for changed lives. If you are looking for a Non-Traditional curriculum with a focus on, "introducing children to God, His Son, His Word, and His Church through meaningful Sunday school lessons which include active participation in Bible stories and Bible study, multisensory learning, Bible skill-building activities, and focused life application"; this curriculum is well worth taking a look at to see if it may be a good "fit" for your ministry! Standard Publishing says, "HeartShaper® children’s Sunday school curriculum provides fun, focused Bible lessons perfect for classroom-based learning. Heartshaping can continue for a lifetime when you guide kids to read, study, pray, and live out God’s Word themselves.

Bonnie Deroski uses HeartShaper in her ministry - she had this to say about it -

We are using Prek/K for our 3 year olds thru 1st grade class, and Middle Elementary for the 2nd-5th Grade class.
  • What were you looking for in curriculum?
We were looking for a curriculum which was age appropriate, mostly.  We have a class which runs from 3 year olds to 1st grade and we needed something which would appeal and be accessible to this age range.  We wanted something which was strong in bible content, but also had materials about life application.  One of the issues was also cost, and we found Heartshaper to be cost effective.
  • Why did you choose the curriculum you chose?
Our younger class had used Heartshaper in the past and were very happy with it.  I had several people look at various choices and it was unanimous.  Our younger class was also very excited about the music cd.
  • What are you most happy about with the curriculum you chose?
For the younger class, the teachers are very happy with the colorful teaching tools and the hands on activities this curriculum provides. For the older kids, I find the timeline a great tool in helping the kids see how the stories link together, especially when they’ve missed class. I love the posters of the memory verses for the older kids.
  • What do your volunteers like the most about the curriculum you chose?
They find the lesson plans very easy to follow.  Also there are few materials to gather.  They also find the Special Needs newsletter to be helpful and encouraging.  I love how the bible story is printed on the worksheet for the older kids.
  • What do your kids like the most about the curriculum you chose?
The older kids love the colorful worksheets and dive right in.
  • Does the curriculum you chose engage the children in your ministry?
Yes, I think it does.
  • Have you received any feedback from parents?
Not yet.
  • What would you have liked to see in the curriculum you chose - what would you like to see the publishers add to this curriculum?
I find the middle elementary downloadable parent’s pages to be dry – they consist of a list of verses to look up.  I’d like to see something more interesting for this age group with possible family activities or more of a devotional.  The downloadable pages for the PreK/K are great.  We could not afford to purchase the take home pages the publisher sells.
I also would love to see both age groups studying the same bible passage.  This is very helpful for parents with children of differing ages to be able to do a family discussion about ‘what you learned in Sunday School.’
  • Are children able to understand, remember and live God's Word from using this curriculum? Do you see changed lives?
I see the kids in the older class are starting to connect the dots in the bible stories they know to the chronology of the bible. 

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