While I was at the Children Desiring God conference, I ran into my friend Deepak Reju. He serves as an associate pastor for family and counseling ministries at an influential church in Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill Baptist Church. The church has recently put their self-written Praise Factory curriculum online for free. When I got back to town, I received a note from Bill and Courtney Bell informing me that they'd found the site and some helpful things there. Bill and Courtney used the curriculum when leading the children's ministry at a previous church. Later, I saw a brief review of the curriculum at Ministry-to-Children.com. Well, I knew it had to be good, but this week is the first that I've been able to take a look at the site myself. Here is the run down. The Praise Factory Curriculum is designed to teach systematic theology to children. It provides a complete scope and sequence for 2 year-olds through fifth grade divided into three age divisions. For each division, complete lesson plans, musical scores, mp3 sound tracks, and parent resources are provided. Here is the run down:
...is a one year, 12-unit children's systematic theology for ages 2-3. It focusses on twelve key biblical truths/stories. Each is taught as a monthly unit over a four or five week period, allowing the children to master the concept and the story. Action rhymes, songs, games, and crafts reinforce and add variety to the repeated core lesson.
...is a 3-year children's systematic theology for ages 3-5. It presents 52 key biblical truths that expand the children's understanding of the 12 big questions and answer used in Teach, Take, and Tell. There are 3 weeks of curriculum for each biblical truth. A Bible story, reflective of the truth is presented along with the concept each of the three weeks. This allows the children to master the concept and the story. Action rhymes, songs, games, and crafts reinforce and add variety to this basic core lesson.
... is a 6-year multi-age systematic theology curriculum for K-5th grade students. It covers 104 key biblical truths called "Big Ideas" divided into 16 units, common to systematic theology. The "Big Ideas" expand the students understanding of the "12 Big Questions and Answers" introduced in the two pre-school curricula and add four new big questions. Within each 3-week Big Idea, there is an Old Testament, New Testament, and Church History/Missions story presented. Each week's lesson contains 8 activiites to reinforce the lesson theme.
At the present time, we don't have plans to begin using this curriculum at Sojourn, but it looks like a great resource for Wednesday classes in the future. It also looks like a great place to look for planning a multi-year family worship study or for the church with a tight children's ministry budget.