Childrens Church Curriculum Introduction

Summary of the Curriculum


I’ve got ADHD and I needed to be able to print my lesson, study it in the car on the way to church, and get to work teaching as soon as I arrived at class, almost 2 minutes late. If you’re anything like me, I think you’re going to love this curriculum, and you’ll find it at front and center!

Full Version of the Introduction


As a young children’s church teacher, I struggled financially, and I also struggled with symptoms of ADHD. This combination of circumstances meant that I couldn’t always afford to print the full-color items that were required for some of the “free curriculum” options available online. Printing full-color pages in black and white looked awful, and most of the time I simply wished they’d design something for a black and white printer. (Is that so hard?)

Sometimes I’d find amazing options, all in black and white, with great messages and amazing coloring pages. But they listed pre-class activities that included items like a box of cornstarch with food coloring, yarn and scotch tape, balloons and twine, which they assumed everyone had easy access to. I didn’t have easy access to any of it. I didn’t have reliable transportation, extra money, and enough time to do it — not all at the same time, anyway.

Some might have original songs on a CD that I needed to find a device on which to play them, and they always, always assumed that the teacher had access to all manner of brass fasteners,rubber bands, and staples, among other “ordinary craft supplies.” I wasn’t particularly crafty, and being disorganized meant that when I did have brass fasteners, I never remembered where I had put them. And then there were those other free printables online that assumed that all teachers were single young people with a wealth of free time.

Often, the teacher would be required to do some prep in advance, making precise cuts and measurements, printing some pages on card stock but others on blue paper, etc, etc. It was a LOT. And honestly, studying the class materials on the way to church that morning was the best that I could do.

Well, you see, I didn’t have it at home, and I was often reading the lesson materials for the first time on my drive to church while the kids shouted in the seats behind my husband and me. So, it wasn’t possible for me to purchase a red apple for the before-class illustration. I wouldn’t be able to ensure that I brought an 11” long piece of string for the funny little trick during class (not if I couldn’t find that missing chipped ruler we used to keep in the top drawer), and I certainly wouldn’t be able to create cute request letters with class wish lists and then follow up with parents to ensure that they brought the items I might need. No way!

Purchased Children’s Church curriculum sets are sometimes way more comprehensive, and sometimes they come with everything you need, but they have not been useful for me because they’re for churches that have a budget for that type of thing. The low budget options are often designed for people who are way more organized and focused than I am, and people who are consistently resourceful. I’m fun, I’m a great talker, and the kids love me. But I can’t be myself and make these classes fun if I’m also trying to transform myself into an ultra-productive person, as well. I’ve tried. There’s only one true version of me, and Martha Stewart is not it. I’m grateful that Ms. Stewart exists, to provide a glimpse into a world I’d never see otherwise, but she’s never going to be me, and I’ll never be her.

What was my resolution to this? I studied the Bible nonstop, learning every single Bible story that was generally taught in church. I knew the stories up and down, backwards, and forwards. I printed out my own coloring pages that I found on the internet, and I told the coordinator to keep the curriculum that the church was using for the next week. I’d do my own. And I did. It was fun, but there were “off” days when I just wasn’t my usual self, and those days I’d struggle to maintain control of the classroom.

I really needed a comprehensive one-and-done curriculum, so I kept searching for it. But I got busy. Became a college student, then a teacher. Then, other things happened. Life got hard.

AN EPIPHANY THAT TOOK A WHILE: (Stick with me, this next section veers off for a moment, but it has a point.) When I began homeschooling my own children, I found myself struggling to work with different types of educational curriculum. I needed a reading program that was one-step, but everything had flash cards, recordings, and separate, thin books. This was too much for me to keep track of. I spent a lot of time researching and I found some great ideas. So many free curriculum choices online were incredible, and some really low cost comprehensive ones, but they often came on several discs and we were supposed to have an innate knowledge of how to keep it all in order. Well, none of their materials included a fresh apple or the elusive 11 inch piece of string in the PDF file, either. I searched for it.

Wait! Was there anything simpler? Finally, I discovered a website called Timberdoodle, where at that time, they only posted items that they were actively using, and it was only stuff that they found helpful. Their suggestion of “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” was amazing! It was one book, a one-and-done! I was in heaven. Within a few months, each of my children was reading, and after that, I had another one-and-done, the A Beka “Handbook for Reading”. I never bought any other reading curriculum, and they learned to read! It was perfect for this loving, adventurous ADHD mom. DID I MENTION THAT IT TOOK A WHILE TO GET TO ACTUALLY DESIGNING MY OWN CURRICULUM?

My daughter, who was in second grade when I began homeschooling her, is a college graduate and a working mom. So yeah, I let this epiphany simmer for several — ahem — decades. But eventually, I realized that the same thing that “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” had done for phonics instruction was what I want to do here for children’s church materials! My goal was to provide a one-and-done curriculum option that you can click to download and print out. On those papers will be all the items that you’ll need to get each lesson taught. I promise to request nothing else but what you have printed out, not even a stapler or glue sticks (but you’ll have to provide crayons, because those would gunk up the printer.). I’ll leave room for you to create an enhanced curriculum where you can do all that fancy stuff if you don’t have ADHD and/or you have more financial resources than I have, but none of those items will be required from me.

Sure, if you want to, buy an apple or dress your hubby up as a centurion. You can customize it any way you want! In fact, I brought a live chick to class once while I was teaching about Jesus wanting to gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks beneath her wings, but it was because we happened to have a chicken, a clean towel, and a storage box with a loose lid all within easy reach that morning. It was a spontaneous “God thing”, not a predetermined, carefully organized decision.

Just know this: You don’t have to do any of that extra stuff for this curriculum. You can print out the class and just head to church in peace. Isn’t that easy? I hope at least the planning will be. Please join me for what promises to be a really awesome adventure in learning the Bible. Download your curriculum by going to and you’ll find it front and center on the page, because I like things easy. You’re going to like it, because one thing I’m good at is doing children’s church.

PS…THEY’RE GOING TO LOVE YOU! I’m making the drudge work easy for you so that you can bring a fresh attitude to your class every day. So please arrive ready to work hard and learn a lot. If you don’t learn something along with the kids, you’re not doing it right.

The kids are God’s curriculum for you. While you’re there interacting with those kids, study the hearts of your children well. They’re forgiving, interested in random details, and they find delight in the most simple things. I guarantee that their freshness, their joy, and their enthusiasm will give you life lessons that nothing else can do for you!

Children’s church is hard work even when the curriculum is easy, so I’m not promising that this curriculum will make anything simple. But when you commit to children’s ministry, it’s going to be one of the most powerful, impactful things you’ll ever do. When it’s hard, remember this promise from scripture: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:31-40

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