Well, I've taken a pretty scary step.
Today was the start of a 12 week sunday school 'class' I am doing (with the help of my dd, ddil, and dear friend Janell)....but there is no curriculum...and so we are 'inventing the wheel'.
I've been helping out in the children's church. And when I helped up in the upper grades, 3rd thru 6th grade, I could not help but notice that the older children simply were not engaged. Not 'into' the music, the video lessons, the crafts.
So, I started thinking ... dangerous, I know.
When I homeschooled my kids @this age...we did art journals. And sometimes the drawing of an object could lead to some pretty good discussions.
soooo....we started a sketch journal oriented class...in the hopes that it would engage the kids a bit more and prepare them for the jr high/ high school group. We are treating it more like a Bible study discussion group than a Sunday school lesson.
and we are learning right along with them.
So, last week was our 'launch'. We made a mother's day craft...kinda like this one, only smaller...
we asked them if they knew the 10 Commandments (as our trivia challenge) with the child who knew the most receiving a Baskin Robbins gift card....and then spent the rest of the time getting to know them, asking them questions about the things they like. Candy was big on that list - ha!
Today, we joined the adult worship, had our own table and then went outside. It was cool, our youth Pastor talked about worship and how God can be like a child who just wants you to pause and look at 'what He made'...but how we can get so wrapped up in our lives...our response is.."yeah, yeah"
It tied so perfectly to my first lesson...I wanted them to look at the ordinary in a different way. So, I told them like Pastor Dusty said, let's try to look at things in a different way, instead of feeling 'yeah, yeah' .
So we set up sheets under a tree...and instead of pointing at the tree and telling them 'draw it'...I had them get underneath to get a different view of the tree...what do YOU see? do you see a pattern of branches, the symmatry of leaves, the light coming thru the leaves, texture of the bark? then take a few moments to sketch that.
The kids were hesitant, "I feel a rock" and other complaints......but they did get into it. Now, only a couple of kids drew branches...tree like images...but that is okay...I told them it is their 'art' and they can draw any way they want. (I will save their drawings and in August we will use my cinch to make books for them to take home)
While drawing we talked about how trees also reflect seasons and how they are in the 'spring' of their lives...so many possibilities...and how the little choices they make daily will help define who they are in their teen and adult years. and their relationships they are developing with their parents...gave them the example of how I used to tell my kids at that age, "if you make it a habit to lie to me now, how am I going to believe you when you are a teen and want to borrow the car".... We talked a li'l about how they are probably going to be in the position to make a choice about whether or not to have a facebook page. And my 'trouble' with that, that at this age, they would have to lie to start one. But that I am not out to judge their decision...but to remind them that they have their own relationship with God...and need to listen to the Holy Spirit about this type of choice. Janell asked the great question, "How do you know the Holy Spirit is talking to you"...so we talked about that inner voice.
We also went over the 1st Commandment...I told them that we will review the commandments and at the end of the 12 week period, I hope they make me poor buying all of them BR gift cards. (I better start saving). I have a secret hope for August, but I won't reveal it. ha!!!! I also found a corresponding NT verse talking about there being only one God. Cuz we often hear the argument that the 10 Commandments are just so 'old testament' and not applicable today.
Then we had our new 'trivia challenge'...I asked them to write down the Golden Rule. No one knew it, but one child came close with "Love your neighbor as yourself"...so he was able to choose a candy bar from my collection.
Overall, it seemed to go well, we were very relaxed...2 of the boys stayed and helped me clean up...the wind was blowing and the sheets were difficult to manage...THEN...they carried my 2 bags full of supplies into the church for me...YES, 2 California boys acting like Texas boys and being gentlemanly....ha!!
I told them to bring their beach towels next week, we'll be outside again.