Special Buddies was created to provide churches with a biblically-based Bible study curriculum that would be developmentally appropriate for children with special needs. Special Buddies works well in self-contained special education classrooms, but it also functions as an individualized teaching plan for kids who attend typically-graded classrooms. One feature that sets Special Buddies apart is that a new Bible story is presented every two weeks. The extra time gives kids a chance to enjoy sensory-based activities at their own pace.
Special Buddies partners with the Kindergarten Leader Pack and Enhanced CD. Leader Guide content will instruct when and how to use items from the leader pack as well as songs and printable resources from the CD; these can energize your teaching as you bring the Bible to life for kids.
The Leader Guide continues to present activities in a pick and choose format. Surround the telling of the Bible story with as many or as few additional activities as are appropriate for kids in your class. For week 2, tell the Bible story again, then repeat preferred activities or present new ones. One important change to note is the inclusion of the Special Focus session. This replaces the 5th Sunday session format and may be taught during any two weeks of your choosing during the quarter. These session topics often revolve around a seasonal theme. For example, the Special Focus session for Fall 2013 quarter is “Jesus Gave Thanks for Food,” and fits well with the Thanksgiving season.
The Kids Activity Pages are great! A gummed pad makes each page easy to tear off. Each Kids Activity Page has been designed for use specifically in the Special Buddies classroom and for sending home with kids for continued learning with family. The photo-realistic style helps kids zero in on the focus of the page. Still integral to the philosophy of these pages is simplicity; very little reading and writing is required.
And, to top it all off, Special Buddies users will have access to all the fun add-ons Bible Studies for Life has to offer, including weekly videos that help apply biblical concepts to real life and a family app to engage families in Bible learning together all week.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to hearing how all the new options work for you and how kids respond to God’s love when you approach Bible study in a way that suits them best
Joy Fisher is the Contract Content Editor of Bible Studies for Life Special Buddies. She is a wife of 17 years and the mom of three growing-fast children. Her 14-year-old son, Samuel, has Down syndrome. At church, Joy teaches preschoolers in missions, leads a Bible Drill group for older kids, and is currently enjoying providing educational support for a little fellow with special needs as he attends a typically-graded classroom on Sunday mornings.