If our numbers are particularly low due to a holiday weekend or if we can only staff 2 of 3 rotations, we will combine the kids. We've found that putting the Pre-K-K class with the 4-6 works nicely. The older students seem to enjoy mentoring the little ones.
Jaymie has it right. We make the children feel special even if there is only one. It is very easy to get frustrated after having put all of the preparation into a lesson and it takes improvising to make it meaningful but it can work. I always feel really sad when a great workshop has been missed by many.
That is the way we've been feeling lately! Sad when such great workshops are missed by so many kids. We've had some great stuff and not many kids were able to benefit. We've been quite discouraged since our numbers have been down a lot since before Christmas. Any suggestions on how to reach out to the kids and/or parents? I have sent postcards to the kids (several have told me how much they appreciate that!) and I have mailed notes to parents as well.
We have tried workshops with only one child, but usually combine with another workshop that they may have missed.
Thanks everyone~the support and exchange of info and ideas is great!
I like third graders grouped UP with 4th and 5th, because 3rd graders can read.
Grouping 3rd graders with 1st graders can be a drag, especially at the beginning of the school year when those 1st graders are mighty young. It's really a problem with the computer lab, for example, where mouse + reading skills are important. In Art or Cooking it isn't such a big deal.
In our small church, however, our GROUPINGS vary from year to year.
For example, we are seriously contemplating moving our Wed Night 4th and 5th graders UP TOGETHER into their own brand new 5th-6th Grade Fellowship Group on Wed Night next season. Why? ...because we only have two regular 4th graders and BOTH of them are mature for their age, and they are friends with all the 5th graders (of which we have about 10!) And oddly enough, our 3rd grade group is 'young' right now.
This means we'll also probably offer a 5th-6th grade Sunday School class next year. Currently our break is BETWEEN 5th and 6th.
Joanne... has your weather been bad like ours has this past January? What do you think the reasons for the downturn is?
I'm disappointed too when we have something extra special but get less than special attd. Goes with the territory unfortunately. Let's remember that when you and I get a streak of good attd and think it's because we're so good!
Neil, We're in southeastern PA and yes, our weather has been something. I think the good Lord is just reminding us what a real winter is! Now that we have some snow, I don't mind the cold too much.
I love this website and am so thankful for all the support and encouragement we can get here!
I completely understand your frustration at low attendance.
We have mild winters (except for that incessant rain!)but many of our congregants are skiers. Come January, they are usually gone on the weekends. So far, though, we've noticed our attendance holding... I'm holding my breath.
But, as one of our pastors has said, even if only 1 person shows up on Sunday morning, he'll preach to them. If only 1 kid shows up for CE, we'll teach. Maybe that's the one individual who needs ministering that particular day.
Good luck to you, and I agree with your comment about these boards!
We have to remember to stay encouraged and focus on helping these children learn about God and his love. What a better way if it is one-on-one!
Although we have small groups (8-10 per workshop usually) we do have 2 shepherds for each group, and even with games and other workshops, adding 2 shepherds to the mix makes things do-able.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Joanne Ryder:
Wyn said that you will do a workshop even if only one child shows up. How do you manage that? I can understand if it is with computers or art, but what do you do if it is a games or drama workshop? I'm curious, I'd LOVE to make that work somehow. Especially at this time of year we risk lower numbers due to the weather~~ We're in PA and getting a real winter this year [/QUOTE
Thanks for all you input.
On the 6th grade in church-do you mean they're too young to be in worship? Hardly. Children learn to worship by participating and observing the adults. (Read: No separate children's church) If your children in 6th and under are not in worship now, how can they be expected to know what's going on or to continue in worship as they grow? Just when you expect them to be in worship, they'll avoid it because it's too unfamiliar, compounded with the whole questioning thing that adolescents do.
Our church welcomes those in first grade and up in worship. All our children and youth participate regularly in choir, handbells, etc. As they prepare for worship, we also teach them about the different parts. We have a fairly 'high' and 'traditional' liturgy for a PCUSA congregation-BUT that is a GOOD thing when you want to help your younger members follow and understand. Less traditional forms of worship are also attractive, especially when the kids have a part in planning (ours do from time to time). The point is KIDS NEED TO BE IN WORSHIP!