Summer Scheduling in the Workshop Rotation Model
Like traditional Sunday Schools, some Workshop Rotation-style Sunday Schools take a break for all or part of the summer. Other continue teaching throughout the summer months, but often in a modified format due to lower attendance and reduced availability of teachers.
Here are some very common summer Sunday School adaptations and considerations for those using the Workshop Rotation Model:
Instead of running three workshops simultaneously in the Rotation style, you might only run one or two broadly-graded workshops during these low attendance times of the year --picking your workshops and lessons accordingly for broad appeal.
Instead of teaching "major" Bible stories during the summer, many Rotation Sunday Schools schedule "second tier"* Bible stories like "Paul and Silas in Jail."
Instead of spending four weeks on Paul and Silas in Jail, you might only spend two weeks on this story during the summer.
Instead of using a Drama or Game Workshop that needs 4 or 5 students, you might choose a Cooking Workshop that can be done with 1 or 2 kids, or use a laptop to play some of the free Bible software for kids at Rotation.org.
Sometimes it's fun to pick a "wet" story like "Jonah and the Whale" that you can do outside and use to attract kids to your summer classes.
Depending on your schedule, you might use certain Sundays for "outings" or special events to give rooms a rest (or use the off-time to redecorate).
Summer is also a good time to revisit previously taught lessons with "game show quizzes," and replaying some of the games found in the software that you've previously taught with. Reinforcing fun is great for long-term retention.
Some Workshop-style Sunday Schools introduce new workshops or variations on their workshops, such as the innovative "Camp Bible Wahoo!" themed spaces that were only possible because other groups weren't using the rooms during the summer.
Be sure to check out Summer Ministry Ideas: Sunday school, VBS, musicals, camps, special events in the park for more ideas on how to adapt your Sunday school in summer to meet your community's needs for that season.
*"Second Tier" refers to the prioritization of Bible stories that Rotation Modelers must undertake because they are spending multiple weeks on each story. Second tier stories are not "less important," rather, we're simply recognizing that we can't teach them all if we want any breadth. A first tier story would something like the Parable of the Good Samaritan or the Exodus, whereas a second-tier story might be Gideon or the Man with the Withered Hand. You decide! ...and you can see many lists of "top tier" and second-tier story suggestions in our "creating a scope and sequence" article here.