Since we have used various curriculum thoughout the years in combination with writing our own material – I thought I’d post reviews of some of the materials. The first one we’re currently using for our Wednesday night programming. If you’ve used the curriculum I’d love for you to post your thoughts to help others out there trying to make decisions.
Curriculum Name: Living Inside Out
Company: Group Publishing
Genre: Sunday School material (we’re using for Wed. night program)
Format: Whole group/small group
Time length: 1 hour
It includes countdown videos, worship, various methods of presenting the main story, and a variety of activities to choose from for whole group time. The small group material provides an activity for age-divided groups, take home pages, and memory verse activities.
We use this material ith making modifications that work for our programming. I run all the presentation through Media Shout and toss in music videos at the beginning while kids are coming in. The theme song “Living Inside Out” is catchy and kids like it. Other songs depend. Some are typical Group VBS songs from their VBS materials. Some are older hymns sung by kids, and then some are original to the material. My interest in them varies.
They offer like 5 activities to focus on the point of the unit. Each unit is themed and runs for 4-5 weeks. The activities vary on amount of supplies and prep. One targets the main story through drama, video, or interactive telling. The other activities are games, object lessons, etc. The quality of the story presentation and activities is one of the strengths of Group publishing. They are relevantm hands-on, and do a good job of reinforcing the concept being taught.
The small group activities are easy to manage, pretty good quality, and work well with a 15-20 min. time frame. We do not use the memory work section because it requires materials purchased from Group and with the number of kids we have it is not cost effective to use. The kids branch out during small group time and spend it discussing their lives and troubles with their leaders.
The material is developed for preschool – 5th grade and honestly, I feel they do a good job of targeting 2nd & 3rd graders. It’s somewhat over the heads of the preschoolers and a bit redundant for older elem.
Overall, it’s been decent curriculum - the kids love it, they bring their friends, and are learning. The concepts and stories tend to be redundant. The quality of worship could be improved as well. The themes are fun and easy to theme out for.
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