Side Benefits of a Church’s Children’s Program

Obviously this isn’t the main purpose of church, but it can be such a great supplement to homeschooling!  The children get a lot of fun and age-appropriate biblical teaching, of course, but other than that, they get so many other great opportunities!

One of the main homeschooling myths is that homeschooled children don’t have opportunities to develop social skills.  That’s a whole different post, but in terms of this particular post, I will state that church is a wonderful opportunity for children to make friends, practice sorting through conflicts with peers, respecting authority other than Mom and Dad, and learn group behaviors such as standing in line and following teacher directions in a group context.  Between Sunday morning church, Wednesday evening church activities, my Thursday morning women’s Bible study, and my regular MOPS meetings, Drama Queen and Mr. BANG have up to four opportunities a week to spend time developing social skills with a core group of children.  (And love it every time!)

Another great opportunity is making fun crafts and artwork.  I must admit, I’m not a craft person.  As they get older and are able to do crafts more independently, we’ll definitely incorporate that type of thing into our homeschool curriculum more.  At this point, though, I mainly let them do open-ended artwork with a variety of materials:  paint, colored pencils, finger paint, crayons, collage, etc.

The projects Drama Queen did this weekend at church were really neat, and would be easy to do at home.  (Which I don’t have to do because she had the opportunity to do them at church! 🙂 )  The first is a picture of Jesus walking on the water, approaching the disciples stuck out on the sea in a big storm.  The cool thing, though, is that Jesus is made into a popsicle stick puppet, which the child can move back and forth through the waves.  What an awesome idea!

The second project she did was make a rainstorm, including lightening.  She said it was from the Noah’s Ark story.  Isn’t it so cute?!

I love that these art projects help the kids be able to retell the Bible stories more easily, but I also just love that they get to have fun experiences with artwork!

My favorite “side benefit” of the children’s program at my church, however, is the children’s choir.  When Drama Queen started children’s choir this fall, she was very hesitant about it.  When I picked her up afterward, though, she was positively giddy!  She kept asking, “Do I get to go to choir again?!  Did you sign me up for choir?!”  She loves it!  So at first, I was simply pleased that she was having a positive experience with learning some music skills.  Then I saw one of the older children’s choirs perform in church.  I was BLOWN AWAY!!  These children were precise in their pronunciations, had perfect mouth formations, and were very crisp in their cut-offs.  I loved watching their director – she wasn’t just moving her arms up and down and mouthing the words, she was directing!  It was without doubt the best church children’s choir I’ve ever seen.  In my mind, it compared to the auditioned children’s choir my baby brother was in as a child – and that was a choir which performed in Carnegie Hall!

I was prepared to pay for my children to be in some type of class where they can get some solid music instruction.  Now I’m thrilled to learn that they’ll get such a fabulous musical experience for FREE at church!!

What about you?  If you’re part of a church, do you feel like your children experience great “side benefits” in terms of instruction you might not feel equipped to give them on your own?  If you’re not part of a church, do you have another type of community organization that provides similar “side benefits” for free?

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8 thoughts on “Side Benefits of a Church’s Children’s Program

  1. I’m definitely with you on the social time and art projects!!! Our new church doesn’t seem to do too many art projects at this point, but my kids get all the things you mentioned above at our co-op. 🙂

    • I love what I know about your co-op. I don’t know of anything like that here, but the local homeschool moms support group is meeting at my house on Tuesday, so I’m planning to ask about that.

  2. I love to do art projects with the kids (paint, color, make stuff, etc.), but they are not too interested in them yet. They do get lots of art projects at church, even the 2 yr old does some art project each Sunday during SS that pertains to his lesson. I am part of a local mom’s group of preschool aged children and most of our meet-ups revolve around some type of craft as well. Plus, we go to the local library every Tuesday for reading hour, which is followed by a craft related to the stories of the day.

    My 4yr old started preschool choir at church this fall as well. He was very apprehensive at first, and probably still does not participate fully, but he always tells me how much fun it was when he leaves.

    • Yes, Drama Queen’s normal MO is to sit back and watch, and not participate, at first. She prefers to study and take it all in. Then when she’s ready, she jumps in full force!

  3. Is it weird that I’ve never heard of a church that had a children’s choir? Our kids sing a few songs for the Christmas and Easter program, but there’s not a specific children’s choir.
    Our church doesn’t do crafts, aside from a coloring sheet related to the lesson, but my kids love their classes. We do crafts at the local library and sometimes at home. I don’t think our children’s church provides instruction that I can’t do myself at home, but I do like them being exposed to other godly authority figures and knowing that they are worshiping with their peers and being taught some really great principles from the Bible as I’m in church being challenged by the adult sermon!

    • No, I don’t think that’s weird. My experience is that the old, large, traditional churches have them. Three of the churches I’ve been a member of fit that description, and they’ve had children’s choirs. The other two churches I’ve been a member of have not fit that description, and they’ve not had children’s choirs. Actually, I can narrow it down to, if the church had an adult choir, they also had children’s choirs.

      Yesterday I read an article that referred to research stating that children who grew up in Sunday School were MORE likely to leave the faith as they got older! There’s a lot to ponder there. http://www.christianpost.com/news/39433/

      • Good article. I think if all that children are taught is the Bible story itself, it can seem like a “story” rather than a true thing that happened in the past. Kids need to be taught biblical principles through the stories, not just told the stories, in my opinion.
        Our pastor has recommended using the Truth in Science stuff (http://www.truth-in-science.com/about.html) at home to go along with what your kids are being taught in school about evolution, etc. I’m planning to do this next year (it starts at third grade). From what I understand, it not only teaches creation, but addresses the questions that come up from the evolution teaching, etc. Regardless of where a child is schooled, they will probably face these questions eventually as they get older, so I think it’s valuable info.

  4. Agreed, Pascha. And even more important to being taught biblical principles through the stories is seeing their parents LIVING OUT biblical principles. It makes sense that if children are being taught one thing in church but seeing something different in their parents, their most important influence, it’s going to cause a lot of confusion and they will do a lot of questioning and likely deciding they don’t want to be part of what caused that confusion in them.

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