Summer Ruche

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Parable of the Sower, week 3

This week we changed things up in class a bit. Since our youngest class member typically sleeps through class, and the toddler wanders around, I tried to engage the lesson by acting out what the parable is.

Each of the older three children was a type of soil, as was I with the baby, the toddler was the "seed" that we passed around between us, and the preschooler was the sunshine and the birds. It was really cute to see how everyone creatively expressed the types of soil and what was happening. In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much we changed roles and did it again. And then again.

Unlike the first two weeks, we now have our printer out of the box at home and we have internet, so I was able to print off some colouring and activity sheets. Our host home has crayons and markers, so that end was covered.

Here is what I used. A great maze from, a color page from them as well, and a colouring sheet of the sower found here. (The toddler is very into colouring right now, so I made sure to have two sheets.)

We finished by doing a word code-breaker puzzle on the white board. Not everyone did everything, but I had enough materials to have at least one sheet that was interesting to each child (except the baby, of course) to fill the time.

Next week, new parable.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Take Two

So after last week, I decided to cover the parables of Jesus from Matthew's gospel in the time with the children. Since they stay with the adults for the beginning part of the service until the message, it's not too long of a time, and going through the parables will cover several weeks.

Additionally, parables are very accessible to even the very youngest children because they are object lessons. The truths behind them may be profound and beyond their years, but since Jesus saw it fit to explain God's kingdom through parables, I think I should, too.

Our time together was prayer, simple review questions and then we opened the Bible and read the parable together. Many children don't really read the Bible, and the Bible says it's good to give attention to reading, so I figured this would be a good idea to engage everyone. There are three readers in the group and they all have the same Bible version, so we split up the reading into three parts.

After the first section where Jesus gives the reason for teaching in parables we discussed this casually so we could lay a foundation for our future lessons.

Next we covered the parable itself. Since last week we just read it from a storybook and didn't delve into the meaning, we spent some time tossing around what might be going on in the parable itself. And like any good pop quiz in school, we got to check our answers with the teacher's guide, which in our case is the third section of the reading.

After the reading time we headed over to the white board and each of the four oldest children had a section to depict the parable visually. The first grader wasn't into drawing at that moment, but he loves video games, so we sat and brainstormed about what kind of game we could design about the parable. It was really cool to see and hear how the ideas flowed out of each child, and it let me know how much they have internalized.

So that's what we did this week. Next week, I think I will cover it one more time, since the parable of the sower is so key to understanding many of the other kingdom parables.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winging It

This week was a rude awakening of sorts for me. We met for a first worship service and I was a bit forgetful that I would be watching over the children. It didn't really occur to me to prepare because we don't have anything out of boxes or our own place yet. Nevertheless, I headed downstairs with all six children, aged 2 months to 11 1/2 years. Good thing we have access to the Spirit of God. I prayed for inspiration.

A book from our suitcase that I'd kept out for reading until our books were unpacked and shelved in their new home saved the day (pictured here).

We prayed. Then I got out the book. We read The Seeds That Grew To Be One Hundred. Then we read it again. It is the poetic telling of the parable of the sower and the seed from Matthew's gospel.

One child had the idea that we have regular Bible time lessons (why didn't I think of that?). We chatted a bit about this and that, and then the time was up.

I have purposed to be more prepared next week, even though we will have just moved in to our new place.