Homework and Sunday School Classes for Kids and Teens: Could It Change Everything?

Homework and Sunday School Classes for Kids and Teens: Could It Change Everything? - Teach One Reach One

 

You may be wondering whatever possessed me to even consider the idea of giving kids and teens homework for Sunday School classes. Perhaps your students are barely engaged during class time. The idea of them even considering doing anything extra outside of class makes you want to roll your eyes! Yet, handled properly, a few homework assignments from you might increase student understanding and even involvement.

If you are willing to try it in your class, there are some important things to remember. If you really want students to participate, learn and become more engaged with their faith, make sure your assignments are given with these important principles in mind:

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Asking More Effective Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Asking More Effective Questions in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneHave you thought very much about the questions you ask when you are teaching your Bible class? Perhaps you are using purchased curriculum and ask whatever questions they supply. Maybe you ask questions you believe your students will find interesting. You might even ask questions just to see if they were paying attention.

Questions can serve a critical function in your lesson. Carefully chosen and worded, they can not only be used to make sure students understand the facts of the lesson, but move them into higher levels of processing the information.

If you have attended one of our seminars or workshops, you may remember a discussion on translating Bloom’s taxonomy for Bible classes. (Here’s a link to a handout on the topic., if you are unfamiliar with Bloom’s taxonomy and how to use it in a Bible class.) Asking specific types of questions can move your students from one of the lower levels of understanding to a higher level.

So what types of questions can you ask to help move your students to higher levels of understanding of God’s Words?

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Top Tips for Increasing Learning When Using Purchased Bible Curricula for Children

Top Tips for Increasing Learning When Using Purchased Bible Curricula for Children - Teach One Reach OneWhen I give seminars on increasing meaningful, life-changing learning in Bible classes for children, I am usually asked to address a sensitive topic. Most churches and ministries have purchased some sort of prepared Bible curricula for their teachers to use in their Bible classes. Yet, the teachers often find the curricula frustrating and at times practically useless for real, meaningful learning to occur.

The reasons most are unhappy with any curricula they can purchase for children’s Bible classes are varied, but one fact is important to remember. Although, I feel certain most authors and publishers have the best of intentions, they face certain economic realities. Many churches still have an environment which encourages their teachers to make little or no preparation for their classes. They want everything “in the box” so they don’t have to put in one second more in preparation time than absolutely necessary. The publishers have to meet the demands of their average client in order to make a profit on the product.

Just because your church or ministry gives you prepared or “boxed” curricula does not mean you shouldn’t do what you can to enhance student learning. Ultimately, your students will learn as much as they can from what you give them. If you give them little Bible or make it boring – they will learn very little. If you can make it meaningful, hands-on. experiential and memorable – they will learn a lot and remember your class and what they learned for years to come.

If you have prepared curricula, but know your students won’t learn as much from it as they could, making several tweaks can dramatically increase what they learn and how well it is retained. Here are some of the top tweaks you can make to improve your prepared curricula:

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Free Training Resources for Volunteers Teaching Bible Classes to Kids and Teens

Free Training Resources for Volunteers Teaching Bible Classes to Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneOften churches, ministries and mission fields do little, if any, volunteer training. Many believe it is difficult enough to recruit volunteers and if you require extra time from them for training, they will leave. Yet, what many leaders don’t realize is they could often have more volunteers and more effective ministries if they provided regular volunteer training.

Our philosophy at Teach One Reach One is that reaching our kids and teens for God (and their parents) is the most important work any Christian can do. We make it a priority to provide as many high quality, free resources to you as we possibly can. We add new resources regularly, so if you can’t find what you need or want on the list below, contact us and we will do what we can to help you.

If you take a look around our website, you can find the following free resources both for training and your ministry:

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Learning Objectives in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Learning Objectives in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Parenting Like HannahHow do you prepare for teaching your Bible class? Do you read your teacher’s manual? Do you look up the scriptures in the Bible and read them? Do you gather materials for the activities? Do you spend time thinking and praying about the learning objectives for that lesson?

I would guess you were answering each question “yes” until we reached the last question about learning objectives. You may have a fuzzy idea of what they are or have never heard the term before. You may even be a professional educator, but never really thought about learning objectives in the Bible class you teach at church or in some other ministry.

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