Submitted by Holy Apostles in Bowling Green, KY
The Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission church school program seeks to provide a unique educational setting and to use technology to empower church school teachers and parents to cooperatively educate our children in a new and growing parish. The parish is considering forgoing a typical Sunday morning church school structure for a once a month Sunday afternoon setting in order to provide long periods of uninterrupted learning which will be enriched through the at home use of family activities and online discussion boards.
In order to implement this project, a minimum of five Sunday school teachers will need to be trained to facilitate our current student needs. This allows for at least one Sunday school teacher per grade cluster with a trained substitute, if needed. In addition, at least one person will be needed to lead the games, songs, snack, and prayer time. Two yearly workshops for the Sunday school teacher will involve one in teaching methods and the other in discussion board posting. There will be one initial meeting for parents about the implementation of the project as well as an invitation to join the meeting about using discussion boards. Additional trainings and meetings will be planned as needed.
Timeline for Implementation:
The church school may occur once a month on Sunday afternoon from 1 - 4pm. This would take the place of a Sunday morning church school program that was occurring before Liturgy each week. This format allows the children to attend Orthros with the adults and the adults to volunteer to be a part of the children's church school. Each month the children would attend a variety of activities in both large and small group (age appropriate) settings. Teachers would present four lessons during this time replacing the four lessons that previously occurred each week each month. The schedule would be:
The teachers will develop a church school page on its website to inform parents of church school lessons and provide activities to be done at home that extend and reinforce the learning in the church school classroom. In order to do this, church school teachers will be yearly trained on delivering the curriculum and how to post information on discussion boards. Certified teachers will provide training in educational methods while the webmaster will create the church school page and train church school teachers and parents in using the discussion boards. This initial training will occur in two sessions by May 1, 2011.
On the church website, teachers will provide three items: an overview of the lessons taught from the curriculum that month, a family activity, and additional resources. The information about what was taught during the lessons will be provided to keep parents informed about what their children are learning. It can also serve as a way for parents to teach their children if they happened to miss church school. Second, a monthly activity will be posted for the entire family to do, and the family will be asked to comment on the discussion board about their experience and what they learned from the activity. This allows Sunday school teachers, parents, and students to communicate even when great distances often separate the families of small parishes. Activities can be added more frequently as the program grows. Updates and activities will be posted regularly by August 1, 2011. Third, additional educational resources will also be available on the website for parents to aid them in educating their children.
Last updated by Jennifer Hock Feb 28, 2011.