What’s In The Package? Evaluating and Choosing the Right Curriculum
Several years ago I was on the Weight Watchers diet. During the weekly meetings the leaders would share tips and encouragement to help us tackle the challenging task of losing weight.
During one of the weekly meetings I remember the leader sharing with us the value of reading food labels. On each package of food there is a label with nutritional value. We were encouraged to look at the amount of fiber, fat, and calories per serving in order to help determine the point value for the food item.
If you are familiar with the weight watchers program the diet is based upon a point system. The food that you eat is given a certain number of points based on the fiber, fat, and calorie content. The amount of points you are allowed to eat daily is calculated according to your current weight, age, and height. When selecting packaged food one important factor I learned was to always read the label. If the food had too many points I would ask myself, “is it worth eating?”
Evaluating and choosing the right curriculum for your children’s ministry can be a difficult and timely task. Selecting the right package that has the spiritual nutritional value you need for your children’s ministry is of the upmost importance.
When you are ready to start the process, the first step is to determine the needs of your ministry. Think through and answer these questions before you start your curriculum evaluation process.
What is the doctrinal position of your church?
What is your philosophy of education?
What are your goals for the different age groups?
Do you have special needs children you need to consider?
What should your emphasis be?
Once you have answered these questions, then it is time to begin the process of selecting a qualified children’s ministry curriculum evaluation team. Keep the team between 5 and 6 members. Select a suitable day and time that best accommodates your team and give them a schedule.
Once the team is together and you have your first curriculum to evaluate, here are additional questions you might want to use to guide in the selection process.
1. Is the biblical content based on the Word of God?
2. Are the lessons appropriate for each age group and is the Scripture introduced?
3. Are the lessons separated into thematic units and design?
4. Are the concepts, methods, and materials age appropriate?
5. Are different methods being used each week for learner development?
6. Are the lessons child-directed?
7. Are the activities engaging with emphasis on the involvement of the learner?
8. Does the lesson stay focused on a single lesson theme?
9. Is the session schedule age appropriate to meet the physical needs and the attention span of the age group?
10. Is the material easy to use and attractive?
11. Are their appropriate and a variety of teaching resources to enhance the lesson?
12. Is there extra activities?
13. Are the activities interesting and fun for the kids?
14. Does the curriculum point out the teaching aims?
15. Is the curriculum culturally sensitive to your children?
16. Are life situations expressed that would encourage application?
17. Is there a parent newsletter, activity sheet, etc. For extended Bible study through the week?
What is in your curriculum package? Does it have the spiritual nutritional value you are looking for to feed the children in your ministry? The responsibility and selection is yours…make the right choice and provide healthy spiritual food.
But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16.