And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “These are the children God has graciously given your servant”. Genesis 33:5
Gathering In God’s House
Church School begins each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day and runs through the second Sunday in June. Children and youth are welcome to participate in the program at any point throughout the year. Church School provides care, education and opportunities for all ages, birth to adults.
Children under age 3
There is child care provided in the nursery each week for children under age 3. This is a time of play and interaction with other babies and toddlers. There is not a curriculum, but the goal is for children to feel loved and cared for as well as build trust and familiarity with the care providers and the church in general.
Prekindergarten and Kindergarten
These children attend class in the Garden of Eden “ room. This is their first introduction to a more structured program and their more formal introduction to the stories in the Bible. Each week there is a time for welcoming, attendance, offering, a Bible story, an activity or craft related to the story, and play. Currently a curriculum called “Stepping Stones” published by Cornerstones in used. It provides an introduction to God, Jesus, the Bible, and church. Children are brought to and picked up in their classroom and do not generally participate in the 9:15 worship time or the rotation.
First through Eighth Grade
Children in elementary school through middle school begin each week at 9:15 in Covenant Hall with a worship time and then are dismissed to participate in the workshop rotation. This approach to Church School has been used for the past 15 years and is an effective way of reaching more children with different learning styles. Each week the lessons are taught through a variety of workshops such as art, computers, cooking, puppetry, drama, games, movement, or mapping skills. Within a 4 week time children are exposed to the same Bible story and lesson four different ways, thus addressing different ways of learning. The Cornerstones Curriculum is specifically designed for the workshop rotation model.
9:15 Worship Time
Each week of church school begins with a worship time at 9:15. This is an important part of our education program. During this time the children learn about a variety of topics related to the worship in the sanctuary. They learn about the order of worship and the seasons and colors of the church year. They practice reading responsively and learn about prayer.
We also explain the importance of stewardship and giving to others, and that giving is not just about money. We also collect an offering each week. Children are encouraged to give something every Sunday. The amount does not matter. We do record children who give offering each week, so if your child would like to be acknowledged at the end of the year, please use an envelope with their first and last names on it. There are offering envelopes available for the children.
Please plan to have your children in Covenant Hall by 9:15, beginning September 14, so they do not miss out on this part of their Christian education. All children in first grade and older will return to Covenant Hall at the end of their workshops to complete the full church school experience each Sunday. They will be dismissed to coffee hour or picked up by a parent from Covenant Hall. There is no worship time on Family Sundays, which occur about every 5 weeks. Please see schedule for specific dates.
The workshop rotation Model has been used in this church for the past 15 years for children in grades one through eight. There are eight learning styles addressed with the model. It provides variety and versatility for both the student and the teacher in addition to being a more effective way of teaching and retaining stories and life lessons from the Bible. If you would like more information about the model or the curriculum we use please go to www.rotation.org and wwwcstones.com.
Devon Murphy, Director of Christian Education