Here at the church that I serve, when the school year ends in mid-June, so does our church program year. We celebrate our many Sunday school teachers and volunteers and take a week or two off from children’s ministry programming. Once summer is in full swing, we have a wonderful summer Sunday school that we offer. It is a one-room schoolhouse approach that is flexible with family vacations and comings and goings. We have the children from preschool through elementary grades combined all together with an adult teacher and youth helpers. It has been a lovely way for the kids to come together in the summer in a different church community that mixes ages. They love it and we usually see most of our Sunday school kids attend at least a few times throughout the summer. It also gives us a chance to try out different curricula, crafts, and activities.
Our summertime one-room schoolhouse was started about 20 years ago by a veteran Sunday school teacher. This Sunday school teacher is one of those rare and wonderful members of the congregation who shares her talents by faithfully teaching the youngest children and welcoming new families with open arms, a warm and sparkling smile, and the steadiness of a seasoned teacher. In fact, we have often heard from families over the years that they joined our church precisely because this volunteer made them feel so cared for by the way she tended and taught their children. It was entirely her nature that made the one-room schoolhouse model take off in the summertime. All the kids love to be with her. They enjoy how she tells Bible stories and helps them to make crafts. Most of all, she has a gift in the way she invites older children to work with the younger ones in the class. Her faith in them inspires them to be good teachers and caregivers to the other children.
The one-room schoolhouse offers a different way to create community in the summer. The kids love to really get to know each other, outside of their own grades, and to be helpful to each other too. Over the past two decades it has become a time that kids look forward to.
At Sparkhouse, the one-room model of Sunday school is called All Kids. You can view our All Kids Sunday school options on our website.