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mamaheffalump
07-13-2005, 11:32 AM
Poppet, her daddy and I moved a little over two years ago. We had to leave our church family whom we had known and loved for 4 years. We have visited several churches within our new area, and the one the Lord has led me to has a very small, but very active congregation. Here is my question...... Poppet is usually the only child there, and loves sitting with the adults. Since I teach her Bible lessons at home, should I be feeling like she's missing out on the whole "Sunday school" experience? :D

HeidiPA
07-13-2005, 12:42 PM
Sunday School is a good thing.
But, sometimes I feel like churches go overboard to come up with things to occupy the kids while the parents have "church". I think it's great if Poppet is willing to sit in with the adults and actually enjoys it. I'm sure she's learning!
If you're teaching her Bible things at home, she should be just fine. As long as she's not complaining about missing out on the Sunday School experience, I wouldn't worry one bit about it.
It's hard to find a new church where you're all happy and feel like you fit in. If you've found one, enjoy!

Jackie
07-13-2005, 12:52 PM
I'm with Heidi!!! Sunday School is great for kids that have no church training at home, but there is just about NOTHING my kids get in Sunday School that they don't "already know". It reinforces my kids, not teaches them. I believe that children need to "learn" to listen to the sermons, and it sounds as if your little Poppet is well on her way to doing that. It is amazing how much she might be picking up without anyone being aware of it!

AWANAS, on the other hand, is absolutely essential to my kids. It presents the Bible in a very organized way, with memorization to back up the concepts. I would be very hard pressed to find a Bible curriculum that does as good a job.

Brooke
07-13-2005, 07:33 PM
"Church" should serve the primary purpose of fellowshipping, IMHO, since we are all to be instructing our children day and night. Not that the sermon isn't important, too, but if that was the most important thing, we could all pick a TV pastor and call it quits :wink: .

We are actually beginning to rethink our stance on Awana. For dd it is wonderful, but for ds, who prefers to not "compete" and be pressured to finish certain things at certain times, the Awana format isn't ideal. He prefers to learn and read with us, and he still memorizes scripture that way....so as long as the end result is the same, we are thinking of taking the road less traveled :o :lol: .

Brenda
07-13-2005, 07:46 PM
If she's able to sit and listen to the sermon and be with adults - hats off to you.

Sunday school (IMHO) is somethng that should expand on what is being taught at home and for the child who does not get that teaching at home, it's a great program for them. I don't think it's the be all that ends all.

I'm with Jackie on the AWANA ministry (who would have believed it :lol: That is the one program the boys will not miss during the year and an expansion of what they learn at home - although I also agree with Brooke - some children need more time to get the work done and I think they should work with it but I won't venture down that road right now. :wink:

Brenda

Jackie
07-13-2005, 08:00 PM
"We are actually beginning to rethink our stance on Awana. For dd it is wonderful, but for ds, who prefers to not "compete" and be pressured to finish certain things at certain times, the Awana format isn't ideal. He prefers to learn and read with us, and he still memorizes scripture that way....so as long as the end result is the same, we are thinking of taking the road less traveled :o :lol: .

Yes. One of the reasons we homeschool is because there's no one curriculum that is BEST for EVERY child, and that includes AWANAS. We look at individual kids, and conform the curriculum to meet the child, not the child to meet the curriculum!

Brooke
07-13-2005, 08:19 PM
It's not the curriculum that would need tweaked...he is an advanced reader and remembers the scripture the first time....it is the competitive nature of the Awana night and scripture memory that is the problem.....Awana would need to be, well....not Awana for him to thrive :wink: . :lol:

mamaheffalump
07-14-2005, 08:48 AM
Poppet can follow the sermon and behaves herself properly (most of the time :roll:). I guess the main thing for me to remember is that the Lord is there even if other kids aren't :D !

*Um..... what is AWANA ?*

CrystalB9
07-14-2005, 10:46 AM
AWANA is a Wednesday night program for children. (well Wed. for us) They have books for the children to work through, learning Bible verses and such things. All my chldren go and really enjoy it. I know there was a conversation here not too long ago where some felt AWANA was too competitive. I persoanlly havent felt that at my church. The children wear vests and earn patches for their vests. I use the AWANA book and program for our Bible at home.

To comment on Poppet sitting with your during the sermon I think that is a personal choice. I have been known to let one of my children sit with me from time to time. I dont encourage it only because our church has a childrens program with lots of kids. I feel like my child gets more out of being in their class then mine. Depending on which of my children is sitting out in "big" church with me, it can also be distracting - for me. Being in a different situation where there might not be any other children I would do the same thing you are doing.

Brenda
07-14-2005, 12:24 PM
AWANA... :D Oh my! It is a children's ministry that runs from ages 3 through to grade 12. It's goal is to reach boys and girls with the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him.

Cubbies is the pre-school group - they learned a condensed version of a verse, sing songs, play games, do crafts and have a lot of fun. They have two handbooks (Hopper and Jumper). they usually work together in the same book for the full year so that each child is together as opposed to working in two books with different children - it seems to be easier that way.

Sparks is the K-2 group (a wildly energetic group from my experience). They do similar things there except that they work on full version verses. They have three handbooks and for the really keen child, three workbooks that correlate with each of the handbooks (Skipper, Hiker Climber) - the books are levelled to the public school grade system (Skipper - Kindergarten Hiker, grade 1 and climber grade 2).

No matter what grade the child is in when they start in Sparks they start in the skipper book and work their way up (ie when our Andrew started in Sparks, he was in grade two - he had to start in the skipper book but because it was 'easier' material (geared for the child in K, he quickly progressed and finished all three books in one year).

Truth & Training is the grades 3-6 ministry. Same idea and before - four handbooks; one for each year. They start on book one and progress through them - these books do get a little harder as the child progresses.

JV (7- eight) and Varsity (9-12) are the youth ministry programs - I don't know a lot about them - we don't have those levels (YET) but I'm, working on it :wink:

I love the ministry (can you tell). I soend the better part of the September to May period working on AWANA stuff - that's another place where my heart is. If you go to http://www.awana.org you can find a wealth of information about the ministry and if you're interested you will be able to find a local church who offers the ministry and if you so choose - they'd welcome you with open arms.

Ok OK I've rambled enough. It's an awesome ministry - check it out!

Brenda

Brooke
07-14-2005, 02:30 PM
I should make it clear that I don't think there is anything wrong with competition. But my ds is just not competitive when it comes to scripture memory. I remember in Sparks he almost didn't finish one of his books and his teacher told me that it was becuase every time there was a new kid my son would rather help them than do his own sections...which I can't fault him for that! So, overall, ds just doesn't thrive in that environment and probably never will. He might choose to go anyway, not sure yet, but I doubt he will get his books done. :lol:

JenPooh
07-14-2005, 02:48 PM
Im gonna go out on a limb here, so forgive me ladies for sounding like I disagree, but I will always put my son in Sunday School until he is old enough to actually "learn" what is going on in church service and follow along with the pastor. I don't know how old Poppet is, but my Tanner is only 3. He learns about the Bible and teachings at home, but I believe he is way too young to understand what the pastor is trying to convey. Yes, I do believe that it teaches a valuable lesson to be respectful and sit nicely in church. I will agree with that. It's a good teaching tool to get them use to sitting and listening to the sermon and teaches them to respect Gods house. But my purpose for taking Tanner to church is to get him to learn about the Bible and be brought up in that environment, and I believe he will not benefit from the "cognitive" learning of the Bible from sitting with us in service. I think he benefits from all sides being in Sunday School with children his own age.

Jackie
07-14-2005, 02:52 PM
Brenda, where my girls go there is no AWANAS for the older kids, either. But I spoke with the Commander, and there ARE kids that chose to go on. The Commander will order the books for them, and then the kids are more or less on their own to learn the material. The Commander, I believe, will take the time to "listen to verses" and sign them off, and the few kids that do it are recognized at the same time as the other Clubbers are at the end of the year. You might want to check to see if your children can continue on this way. I'm planning on having Rachael continue after this year.

Rumpledoodles, the books also follow a particular sequence, so that's another reason why you start at the beginning, regardless of what grade you're in when you start.

Brooke, it's OK for you not to like the competitivness! Each kid learns differently, and if he memorizes best without the pressure of competition, then that's the way to go for him. Ours isn't TOO competitive, but I DO admit I was frustrated trying to get Faythe to finish book one by the end of her first year. Sigh.... So yes, I do get caught up in it, too!

Brooke
07-14-2005, 06:41 PM
I was driven by academic competition for over half my life--I know exactly what you mean by trying to "help them" get it done! But when ds sees the goal as "get it done" rather than hiding God's Word in his heart, something kinda clicked in my head :idea: ....things done quickly with the wrong motive won't be retained as well as if they have a greater purpose to the memorization, like meditation. I know our old church would make sure that the child understood what they were memorizing, but our new church doesn't talk at all during handbook time...it's just "say it and sign it". They even let the kids say each verse separately and practice the next one and as long as they say all of that section over the course of the night it will be passed. It really gives the wrong message, or at least a different message than what I want to give about memorizing God's Word.

Each church is different. I suppose a parent needs to evaluate their individual situation and discern for their family about Awana, or Sunday School, for that matter.

Jackie
07-14-2005, 08:06 PM
My Rachael is one to memorize quickly. For a while in Sparkies she was waiting until the last moment, and then trying to memorize in the car going over. One day, it didn't work!!! The guy listened a bit, and then told her to work on them again next week! I was thrilled when I heard that, and actually thanked him for not letting her sneak past!

We also had a "special needs" kid who really couldn't memorize very well, but worked hard on his verses anyway. The guy who listened to him say his verses would ask him questions, and pass him because there was retention of the meaning, not because he had it word-perfect. Maybe it didn't keep the "letter of the law", but it DID keep the "spirit of the law", which is so much more important!

mamaheffalump
07-15-2005, 08:47 AM
Thanks for enlightening me :D. I had no clue :lol: ! We do not have that in our church. Is it related to a specific denomination by chance?

Brooke
07-15-2005, 08:56 AM
I think it has Baptist roots, but don't quote me on that.

JenPooh
07-15-2005, 09:14 AM
Each church is different. I suppose a parent needs to evaluate their individual situation and discern for their family about Awana, or Sunday School, for that matter.

Good point Brooke. I wouldn't be sending Tanner into Sunday School if I didn't like their programing and people. That makes all the difference. I think it also depends on the child as well (of course). My son doesn't quite know the meaning of whispering or quite in church yet. It would just be annoying to everyone around him to keep him with us. If he sat better and was more quite, I would consider it when he is older, but still not at his young age. For my husband and I, it's more a distraction from our learning than anything else.

We have AWANA too. They go all out for it and the kids have so much fun. We go to a Bible Church, so we don't have a denomination, per say, but I am unsure to if it stemmed from one.

Brenda
07-15-2005, 09:34 AM
Is it related to a specific denomination by chance?

It doesn't go specifically with one denomination or another but I do think there are a lot fo Baptist churches using it - I think I read some where they even use it in Anglican, Catholic, United Lutheran churches - just to name a few (but don't quote me on that). It is advertised as being non-denominational...
Brenda

Jackie
07-15-2005, 11:11 AM
AWANAS is officially Baptist, and until fairly recently ONLY Baptist churches could have the program. I know, because the church I was attending at the time wanted to start a program, and was told that we couldn't. Since then, there have been non-Baptist churches running the program. Keep in mind, though, that IS written from a Baptist point of view...if you have trouble with Baptist doctrine in any area, you will want to preview what it says and be willing to back up YOUR views scripturally, at least with your children. We did do that in one particular area with our daughter. DH said it wasn't so much what it SAID, as what it DIDN'T say in that area!

Anonymous
07-15-2005, 01:49 PM
It is not used in Catholic churches.

JenPooh
07-15-2005, 03:25 PM
AWANAS is officially Baptist, and until fairly recently ONLY Baptist churches could have the program. I know, because the church I was attending at the time wanted to start a program, and was told that we couldn't. Since then, there have been non-Baptist churches running the program. Keep in mind, though, that IS written from a Baptist point of view...if you have trouble with Baptist doctrine in any area, you will want to preview what it says and be willing to back up YOUR views scripturally, at least with your children. We did do that in one particular area with our daughter. DH said it wasn't so much what it SAID, as what it DIDN'T say in that area!

I've never been to a non-denominational church that did not have an AWANA program. I remember it when I was even a little girl. Maybe it just depends on where you live as well. I take your word on the Baptist origin, as I have no clue about that. I do know though that our local non-denom. churches have been doing AWANA for a long time. I would say at least 15 years or more.

Brooke
07-15-2005, 06:58 PM
When our previous non-denominational church signed up with Awana the church had to sign a statement of faith to participate. Essentially, it teaches "Baptist" doctrine, which in part we had a problem with....and like Jackie, it wasn't what was presented, we just felt that there could've been other verses added so it didn't give a certain impression.

Jackie
07-15-2005, 09:26 PM
Then maybe the church we went to didn't refused to sign a "statement of faith". We were part of a non-denominational Charismatic church, and speaking in tongues in a Baptist church is usually a strict no-no!

Brooke
07-15-2005, 11:10 PM
Hubby is ready to join the church we have been attending--the church he grew up in--and it is a denomination that I know I will have to adhere to their entire doctrine to join....but I can't in good faith agree to all of it because I don't believe everything they do....I wish they could be content to let people agree to disagree...it bothers me when a denomination thinks they know everything and have it all right :( .....this might be another thread I start....

mamaheffalump
07-16-2005, 08:32 AM
A child of God is a child of God no matter what name is over the door :D . For some strange reason, a lot of people forget that a church is supposed to be God's house, not theirs :wink:.

JenPooh
07-17-2005, 02:40 PM
That is a wonderful point! Does anyone know if Bible churches and Baptist churches are somewhat alike. We attend a Bible church and speaking in tounges is also a no-no. If you do, you get escorted out. You wont get banned and can return, but they think that speaking in tounges has "passed" (if that makes sense).

Brooke, can you still attend the church and just not become a member while your husband becomes one? I don't know what the purpose of that would be, but then maybe you wouldn't feel pressured into believing everything they do. What denomination is it?

Jackie
07-17-2005, 07:43 PM
When Rachael was "filled with the Holy Spirit", DH sat down with her and told her straight out that it would NOT be a good idea to use tongues at Grandm'as Baptist Church. This included at AWANAS! He also explained that yes, they WERE CHRISTIANS JUST LIKE WE WERE, they just didn't accept that part of Christianity. We have told her that there is a time and place for praying in tongues, and we need to be sensitive to where NOT to do it.

mamaheffalump
07-17-2005, 07:51 PM
Though not given the gift of interpretation myself, someone speaking or praying in tongues has always sounded like a beautiful song being sung straight from the soul. :D.

Brooke
07-17-2005, 11:47 PM
I recently had a conversation with Jackie about some of this (thanks again!). I believe that joining a church should be all or nothing between spouses. I can't see one of us joining and not the other. JMO I still need to do some praying and checking into "requirements" of membership.

I hesistate to mention the denomination, just cuz there have been vain disputings on this board in years past over them and I don't want to breed contention, knowingly or otherwise. So, suffice it to say that I just go by scripture and I still have questions about some things and if hubby really wants to be a member I hope they let me be one and still have some things I am honest enough to say I don't know. (And I know my hubby would never join if they told me I couldn't...and we would look at it as a sign to move on) I love the people there and I know that is where we are supposed to plant ourselves. I'm sure that it will work out fine cuz both hubby and I want to be in God's will more than any particular church.

Tongues happen to be one of those areas that I disagree with our new church...I don't believe any of the spiritual gifts are dead, and although I have never attended a church who actively pursues that gift, I do know that I have felt my spirit commune with the Holy Spirit and no words could come out of my mouth...well, nothing English anyway!--but my soul cried out just the same. That was more euphoric than even giving birth. Nothing could describe it, but I assume that is what it would feel like to speak in a spiritual tongue. Not to mention there are modern day examples all the time of missionaries who have never spoken a particular language and all of a sudden they are able to speak it. That, to me, is a no-brainer. :wink: