You Asked … We Listened (Improvements to Kids Studies!)

land-1024x1017 I think that my team has great ideas. I love hearing their creative thoughts about improving Bible Study for kids. I also love hearing their activity ideas and ways to improve resources. Because our team members use the products we produce, we actually know what works and what doesn’t.

All of these ideas are great, but do you know whose ideas I love the most? Yours. Since the introduction of Bible Studies for Life: Kids, we’ve learned a few things that can help make your teaching experience better. Because of that, we’ve been doing some remodeling on a few things in our resources and I want you to be the first to know. Now, let me put a small caveat here. We work far ahead. FAR AHEAD, so these changes will mostly be seen in Spring 2014. This just means Winter will be largely the same as fall, with a few exceptions.

So, are you ready?

 

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1. Dates: We’ve heard from customers who were confused about the lack of dates. In our Kids graded resources the dates currently listed on page 96. However, starting in the Spring the suggested dates will be listed on the Table of Contents. If you are like my church, these dates won’t be applicable, because we use a different teaching schedule, so just disregard the dates if this applies to you.

2. How-To: We’ve tried to make the how-to page more understandable and less bulky. Hopefully, leaders can look at this infographic and quickly understand how to navigate through the session.

3. Gospel Plan: In the past, we have always listed the “ABCs of Becoming a Christian,” but haven’t offered a lot of guidance on how to talk with a child who is interested in accepting Christ. This new page will help you know how to talk to a child about making Jesus his Savior!

4. Bible Stories on Activity Pages: I know that many of you have voiced concern over the Bible Story being absent from the activity pages. We scrunched and crunched and moved things around and are happy to say that the Bible stories will now appear on the Kids Activity Pages. If you are wanting the written out story now, you can download them here.

5. Aligned Concepts with Devotionals: You are probably thinking “It’s always been that way.” right? Well, it has, but it is even more closely aligned than ever before. In fact, you can now even order bundles of devotionals and kids activity pages. Here is a link to ordering information.

6. Brighter, More Distinguishable Covers: The covers for the current Bible Studies for Life are beautiful, but similar. It can be hard to see, what age group. We have improved the covers with a more kid-friendly look, and more clearly different covers. PLEASE NOTE THIS CHANGE WILL BE FOR SUMMER 2014 (don’t worry, we’ll remind you!).

7. Daily Bible Readings. Some have asked for the list of daily Bible readings. Currently, that tool is available here on the blog. Here is the link.

I hope that you are pleased with these improvements. Spread the word. Thanks for joining the journey of helping kids know how to apply the Bible to their lives.

Comments

  1. I can’t find any reference to the accronim on each week’s Leader page for “LOBL.” What do they mean?

    • Hey Ginger – LOBL stands for Levels of Biblical Learning. You can find more out at http://www.lifeway.com/n/special-emphasis/levels-of-biblical-learning

      • Hey Ginger,

        Also, if you look at the top of your unit calendar overview, it shows what the overall Level of Biblical Learning is for the entire unit.

    • Randy Jones says:

      Sorry, one more thing.
      It would be very helpful if the packets (that have all the posters and pictures in them) could have a contents sheets added like they used to have. This would make it much easier to get out the items you need for a particular lesson. As it is, you have to look through the lesson to see which numbered items you need. It was much better the old way where you had a cover page in the packet that listed all items and the lesson that they applied to.

      • Hi Randy,

        The contents sheet is on the back of the cover. That is what we have always had I think. Unless I’m thinking of something else. Is that what you are looking for?

  2. Randy Jones says:

    I’m sorry to criticize. I have tried to get into the new curriculum. But I must say, last week’s lesson was very difficult for me. It was Unit 1, Session 6. This is what prompted me to write this comment.
    I teach 5th & 6th graders. We use the preteen (old “BTX”) curriculum under this new Bible Studies for Life/LOBL format.
    First, our scripture was on the Last Supper. Yet the lesson was on how to deal with difficult circumstances. My wife said the senior adult lesson had nothing to do with the Last Supper. It was very difficult for me to tie the scripture to the point of the lesson, which, by the way, seemed only to be a “side note” to the focus, which was the Last Supper. Honestly, I felt as though we were using a “leftover” or “recycled” lesson that someone had attempted to adapt to the new format. Surely there is a scripture that would actually go along with the focus of the lesson and be somewhat similar to what the adults study. When it does not, this makes the intended home discussion difficult.
    Also, it makes no sense to me why you do not date the lessons. You say it is so they can be used anytime. But if all age groups are supposed to have the “same lesson”, it seems to me that they must be coordinated by date. I have found the need to write the dates in the Table of Contents so that I can know which lesson goes with which Sunday. I personally would prefer that you still identify lessons by date.
    One last comment – on the back of the Activity Page that the student takes home. I don’t remember what it is called, but the Life Verse, focus verse, or whatever that is identified in the upper right-hand corner, goes with the youth lesson, not our lesson. Why can’t our activity page list OUR verse?

    • Hi Randy,

      Thanks for the feedback. The reason that we chose that lesson for dealing with difficult circumstances is because Jesus described to the disciples that things would be happening to them because they have chosen to follow Him. He encouraged them through this supper. I hope this helps explain why we chose the session we did. Also, we were studying passages about Jesus, so that is why we didn’t choose a different story to explain it.

      I understand your concern about the lack of dates and aligning with the other age groups. The church could stay together by making sure the unit and session titles align, however, starting in the Spring the Table of Contents will have suggested dates. If you need the suggested dates now, they are on page 96 of your leader guide for preteens.

      Thanks for your feedback about the One Conversation Pages. The Scripture listed at the top is to give parents an idea of what the adults studied in the event that their Sunday School class doesn’t use Bible Studies for Life. The page is designed not really for the kids, but for parents to use to help talk to their kids about the study. We are making improvements to that page as well so that they will include the Bible story starting in the Spring.

      Thanks again for your feedback.

  3. I am pleased with the changes you will be making to the new curriculum. I previously expressed my concern to church staff over some of these, so I am glad to see the changes. One thing I didn’t see referenced is the split layout. I understand that you repeat the lesson in the instructor guide to accommodate churches that use one for the first hour and the other for the second hour, but it is confusing. You might consider having the two together, just marked “A” and “B” versions with banding graphics on the page edges of the “B” version for easy denotation. In its current form, it is hard to find where you are suppose to be in the lesson book.

    A second comment I have is over the Blues Clues style video. This is an excellent addition. It is one of the best supplements to the curriculum you have ever done. Kudos. However, like the commenter above, I often find the topic not well tied to the Bible story. I will definitely look closer to better understand how it ties in, but you might consider modifying the lesson plan so the connection is crystal clear to all of us.

    Thanks again for the updates you are making.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for your positive comments. We are working on the split format. I assumed that you mean the Bonus Teaching Hour? We are changing that for the Summer quarter. I’m so glad that you like our video. We will work on making the topic more tied to the Bible story.

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