There is a lot of curriculum out there.
Children’s ministry, homeschooling, parenting, abstinence education, etc. And not only are publishing companies swelled with curriculum, do-it-yourself-ers with the power of a blog and a social media presence can make curriculum easily and cheaply available.
How do you find good curriculum?
How do you then go about choosing the right and appropriate curriculum?
Well, a while ago, I wrote about Curriculum?! Where Do I Start? This article encourages anyone with a Bible to start there. But what if you need a little more?
The best place to start is peruse the Internet where the curriculum is.
To help with this, I’m going to start highlighting and posting about lots of curriculum that is available (I’ve already highlighted Elevate, Orange, High Voltage, Kidmo, What’s in the Bible?, Gospel Story for Kids, The Gospel Project, and LifeChurch.tv‘s freely available ministry curriculum and resources). Most of the posts will be about curriculum that is available from publishing companies, but there are a few homemade curriculum out there that is incredibly rich and viable.
Secondly, most publishing companies offer free samples for you to check out.
For example, I’m interested in the approach Tru (from David C. Cook) uses in their Bible story-telling. You may or may not know that I’m passionate about chronological, Bible story-telling and from the outside looking in, it seems that Tru‘s curriculum might be a useful resource in my church’s effort at greater Bible literacy. I’ve looked at Tru’s samples before, but because I want to see a more comprehensive movement through Scripture, I have found the samples to be insufficient. Tru just recently began offering a whole quarter for free for those who want to take a look at more of their resources. I jumped at the bit. Because we take a break from our normal chronological story-telling in the summer at my church, we are going to step into the world of Tru and see how we like it.
Third, ask a lot of questions.
I have found that these companies love following up with people who peruse their samples. And they are actually really great to talk to. The Internet allows lots of anonymity for people just looking and it can be annoying when you have to give your email address and contact information in order to see the samples. But in my experience, I have intentionally engaged with these customer service reps and they are extremely helpful with more information as well as completely understanding if you decide to go another route. Also, ask if you can talk with someone who is actively using the curriculum to get their honest feedback on what works and doesn’t work for them.
So looking online, downloading samples, and talking with reps and folks using the curriculum all helps to guide you to discover a great curriculum and perfect fit for your church or organization.