3 Must-Dos When Switching Curriculum

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SwitchLast week we talked about
various reasons for choosing a published
curriculum
. But what if you’re already using published
curriculum and the itch to switch arises? Here are some things to
keep in mind when looking to switch curriculum.

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1. Is it necessary? Is it
time for a switch? In some cases, it might be best to stay with
what you have. Is only one leader or volunteer complaining? Perhaps
they can serve best in a different way, or if they have a valid
comment, you can let your curriculum provider know about the issue.
Are the kids still enjoying making new discoveries? Sometimes it
can feel a little old hat to leaders who have spent many years with
the same curriculum, but the kids are what matters most.

On the other hand, you might have volunteers
or leaders who want to stay and avoid switching because they’re
used to the material. Again, remember, this is all about the kids.
Are your kids experiencing God in fresh ways? If not, it might be
time for a switch, even if it means a change of pace.

No matter what, remember to turn to God in
prayer when considering curriculum.

sunday school

Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
Check 'em out and see why so many children's ministries around the world are having success with Group's products!

2. Evaluate the options. Not
all curriculum lines are the same, even when it’s from the same
publisher. Do research on the different publishers and their lines.
For example, you can find out all about Group Sunday school lines
here. This video describes Group’s R.E.A.L. learning
philosophy that runs through all our lines, but you’ll also find
out what makes each one different. Buzz is the instant Sunday
school with no preparation needed. Living Inside Out uses a large
group/small group format. Our LIVE curriculum is the digital answer
for those looking to stay connected. We have a team standing by
waiting to help you pick which one is best for your church, but you
can also take this quick quiz to help you discover which
Group curriculum line is best for you.

As you start to study the different publishers
and their lines, and ask for samples, have the Curriculator handy. This amazingly easy
tool will take the guesswork out of curriculum evaluation.

3.  Hang on tight! Once
you decide on a curriculum, have it approved by a leadership team,
explain to the volunteers why you’re making the change, and
announce it to families…then comes to fun part-actually using it.
There will be hiccups. You and your team are discovering how this
new curriculum works. For example, if you switch to Group for the
first time, you’ll probably be taken aback by what R.E.A.L.
learning sounds like (spoiler alert: it’s less teacher talk and
more deep discussions with kids, along with some laughs). The good
news is that with Group, you’ll have our team behind you ready to
answer questions and guide you on how to make the most out of the
curriculum.

Each church is different, but we found that
most of the major bumps were smoothed out by the fourth week, and
that churches started to see kids excitedly bringing friends and
really applying God’s Word. Don’t give up on a curriculum right
away. Give it a chance for kids and volunteers to grow into. Also,
give the curriculum a chance as is, meaning don’t change anything.
I can speak from experience that, at least with Group, everything
is in the lesson for a reason. Don’t skip any steps or make changes
at first. We see this happen a lot with volunteers who are new.
They do a game, but skip the debriefing questions that follow, and
the kids miss having a discovery on how the game connects to the
Bible point.

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If you’d like more information about Group’s
Sunday school curriculum, check out
Chris’ blog on the four things that we consider critical when we
write curriculum here at Group
.

Have you made a switch recently? What things
were you looking for in a new curriculum? How did you volunteers
take to the change? Share with us your story using the comment
section below!

Share.

About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.

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