Older kids are bored and younger kids are plain confused. Leaders are having difficulties teaching and relating curriculum to a classroom with many ages. Kids aren’t getting involved and paying attention to lessons.
Do any of these issues sound familiar?
If they do, it’s probably due to the challenges of raising a multiage Sunday school classroom. If they don’t, then keep on keeping on, you natural leader! Regardless of whether navigating a multiage Sunday school is coming easily or—as it does for most of us—it’s presenting a lot of challenges, you can and will do great things in your multiage Sunday school ministry!
These three tips will help you get started and enhance your impact on your multiage ministry:
Make participation a requirement
Getting kids excited about Sunday school activities makes a great impact on the classroom environment. In a multiage class, excitement catches! Younger students naturally follow the lead of their engaged and excited older peers.
Like any Sunday school classroom, a multiage classroom comes with several different personality types. Kids who are vocal can easily overpower the conversation. Quiet kids can get missed. When it’s time to pair kids up for activities, it’s important to not only pair up an older kid with a younger kid, but to make sure different personality types will complement each other up as well.
See technology as your friend
Kids use technology to play, communicate, and learn—and that isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead of shying away, it’s time to lean into this trending current. Especially in today’s classroom! How can you bring technology into a one room Sunday school while keeping the focus on God’s story? By using videos!
Animated videos engage kids just like Saturday morning cartoons but teach theology and important lessons from the Bible. The Whirl characters that are brought to life in animated videos in Whirl All Kids, for example, make Scripture relevant for kids of all ages.
They act out what it means to wrestle with the questions and challenges of living faith out. Simply put: Kids are teaching kids.
Implement the buddy system
Most would agree that the greatest challenge facing children’s leaders in a one room Sunday school is engaging the older kids. Older kids feeling bored and not challenged are common problems that can lead to classroom disruption. How can you stop the thread of this common theme? The answer lies in a tried a true method: the “buddy system.”
The buddy system is not a new tool by any means. But Sunday school leaders often leave it in the dust. Allowing older kids to take younger kids under their wing and own responsibility makes them feel important and valued. So why don't Sunday school leaders use the buddy system more often? With so much on their plate already, leaders often don’t want to try coming up with new ways each week to incorporate “buddy system” activities.
The solution and key ingredient to successfully implementing this strategy is using a curriculum, like Spark All Kids or Whirl All Kids, that feature a built-in “buddy system.” In turn, set up lessons and activities in a way that ensures older kids get the appreciation they need, and younger kids are spiritually fed by their older peers.
Addressing multiage Sunday school classroom challenges can feel like a high mountain to climb. From engaging all kids to incorporating entertaining, Bible-based technology, there are credible solutions to these issues. Whirl All Kidsand Spark All Kidsare specifically designed for one room Sunday school classrooms. They’re relatable and relevant to kids, require everyone’s participation, and include fantastic animated videos to reach all kids in one classroom.