By Ken Hindman
One of the critical responsibilities you have as a leader of preschool and children’s ministry is choosing great curriculum. You need to choose a curriculum that fits your discipleship and spiritual education needs for the kids at your church. For the past 30 years, I have witnessed a flood of curriculum resources targeted to kids. Let’s face it, the resources provided for kids is big business. This provides you with many options to consider, but is having these options always the best? Here are a few things to consider as you select curriculum for preschool and children’s ministry:
- Biblically Based
- Please read through the curriculum and make sure all items that are provided to support a teaching session are biblically based. Does it point the leader and the learner to the Bible? If not, you do not want that curriculum.
- Transformational Teaching
- Make sure the curriculum you choose points kids to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This transformation occurs only when a child moves from being an unsaved sinner to being saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.
- By now, you must know a two-year-old learns differently than a 2nd grader. Make sure the curriculum offers a wide variety of teaching options for younger, middle, and older preschoolers and younger, middle, and older kids.
- Interactive Learning
- Does the curriculum support the use of multiply modalities? If not, it is not going to be a good option for kids. Kids must move in order to learn. When kids are encouraged to use their senses to learn, the knowledge gained is retained at a greater rate and for much longer. I encourage you to make sure your curriculum choice allows kids to be kids. For the most part, kids do not like to sit in chairs all the time while attending your class.
- Teacher Training Support
- How do you train your teachers, leaders, and volunteers? The best curriculum choices will provide teaching training resources. Remember, a classroom is only as good as the teacher. Teachers are better when they are trained, equipped, and encouraged.
- Are kids learning how to apply the Bible to their life? I think it is important the curriculum teaches kids to be able to apply what they are learning to their everyday life.
- Maybe you have an unlimited budget, but I do not. I must make sure the curriculum I choose is a wise purchase. Am I getting the best value for my money? If I pay for a company’s curriculum and it is provided in an online format, it might not be the best option if I am spending tons of money every week to print out the products for each individual classroom.
- Curriculum Evaluation
- I would encourage you to walk through a curriculum evaluation process every 5-6 years. Products, price, and values, the needs of your church, ministry, and kids change. Take some time and do a thorough evaluation of the curriculum you currently use.
Joshua 1:9 states the following, “As for me and my house, I am going to choose to serve the Lord.” For myself, and the ministry I lead, the curriculum of choice is Bible Studies for Life produced by Lifeway. We use this curriculum because it meets all of the requirements I have mentioned. Plus, it provides colorful take home pages for kids, online support, curriculum resources for Babies, Ones and Twos, curriculum in Spanish, and curriculum for all ages of special needs learners.
Ken Hindman serves as the Children’s Pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee. He has served in preschool and children’s ministry for twenty-six years. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama with a BS degree in Childhood Education. Ken and his wife, Kristina, live in Arlington, Tennessee with their two sons, Mack (20) and David (18). He was named Staff Member of the Year in 2003 by the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Ken is the creator of Marketplace, a hands-on biblical learning experience for kids. Ken has designed a variety of programs for preschoolers, children, and families such as Resurrection Journey, Kid$ense, Creation Station, TeamKid Camp, Fall Fun Fest, and Journey to Bethlehem.