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21st Century Christian - The Clear Leader in Relational Curriculum  

The Clear Leader in
Relational Curriculum

  What is relational curriculum?

What is the Relational Compass?

Aren’t all curriculums relational?

Why is relational curriculum an important concept?

What other curriculum models are available besides relational?

What are the strengths of the relational curriculum model?

What specific published curriculums follow the relational model?

How can I take a look at your relational curriculum?

What are others saying about relational curriculum?

What is relational curriculum? Back to Top

Relational Curriculum is Bible school materials that are designed for use in smaller groups of closely-graded students. There is typically one teacher (and sometimes an assistant) who works with the same group of students for the entire school year. Teachers and students are able to develop a deep relationship through this weekly encounter.

What is the Relational Compass? Back to Top

Many people view teaching as simply the transfer of information from teacher to student. However, more recent studies have revealed that learning happens Relational Curriculum Compassfrom a number of different directions. Teaching takes place between the teacher and the student, but that is only one of the directions. Students also learn from one another. Sometimes they are able to grasp concepts better when their peer group expresses them. A third direction leaves room for God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Word to guide a student’s heart into truth and conviction. Finally, relational teaching recognizes the power of the family to reinforce the Bible in the home setting. These four compass points combine to create an environment for maximum learning.

Aren’t all curriculums relational? Back to Top

Yes, to a certain degree. All curriculum models provide an opportunity for teachers to interact with students. Many models also make it possible for students to build solid friendships with fellow students. But most models fail to tap into all four learning directions successfully and intentionally.

Why is relational curriculum an important concept? Back to Top

Parents have less time for quality conversation and relationships with their childrenMore than ever, students are feeling isolated and alone. Children attend larger schools than previous generations. There is typically less neighborhood interaction these days to help children have significant friendships. Parents have less time for quality conversation and relationships with their children. Our mobile society has separated many children from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Today’s children tend to watch television, listen to i-pods, or play video games in isolation. They eat meals on the run or in front of a television. This generation of children is starving for meaningful relationships. We believe Bible school curriculum should serve as a catalyst to improve this situation.

What other curriculum models are available besides relational? Back to Top

There are 3 major models being used by the majority of churches today – relational, rotation, and large group/small group.

Rotation typically takes 1st through 5th graders and rotates them through a series of teachers for several weeks. The students may get the same teacher once every five or six weeks. This model makes a deep connection to a teacher very difficult.

Large group/small group brings a large group of students together for half the class time and then divides them up into smaller groups at the end. The large group section of each lesson offers a very limited opportunity for personal interaction with the teacher/leader.

What are the strengths of the relational curriculum model? Back to Top

  1. Children feel an ownership of their classroom space.What are the strengths of the relational curriculum model?
  2. Materials are usually linked together better from grade to grade than in other teaching models.
  3. Materials are generally more thoroughly prepared to make them easy-to-teach.
  4. There is a good balance between Bible content and real-life application.
  5. Teachers are able to build strong relationships with their students over the course of the year.
  6. Students stay together in a smaller group and build close friendships that often last a lifetime.
  7. Teachers can be encouraged by the spiritual growth of their students over the course of the year together.
  8. Smaller, relational classes offer a safer environment for students to ask questions.
  9. Students are typically very close to one another in terms of spiritual development, making the teaching process easier.
  10. Smaller, relational classes facilitate the development of leadership skills.

What specific published curriculums follow the relational model? Back to Top

Immerse in His WordImmerse in His Word and LifeLINKS to God are the two best-selling and most-trusted relational curriculums in churches of Christ. Both are constantly upgradedLifeLINKS to God and improved to stay current with the latest in Christian education.

How can I take a look at your relational curriculum? Back to Top

You can download a free lesson sample from the teacher’s manual of any age level by clicking on “Curriculum” on the left menu of our home page and then either Immerse in His Word or LifeLINKS to God. These samples are randomly selected and are not from the current week. If you are interested in more information, you can request FREE printed samples of all of the pieces related to that age group (resource pack, teacher’s guide, student book, craft book, and take-home papers). Simply call 1-800-251-2477 and ask for curriculum samples.

What are others saying about relational curriculum? Back to Top

"The Christ who lives in the heart of the individual member of the congregation is formed in the heart of the new convert. A personal relationship is essential to the process. Where a personal relationship is used as a vehicle to present the gospel, a person is more likely to convert to Christ and stay faithful."
— Flavil Yeakley

"Here's an easy way to measure how likely a [children's Bible school] program is to be meaningful and life-changing:  Ask if the "Four R's" are present in the program. If you see that a program is Relevant, Radical, Reflective, and Relational, you have a great program. Of the four common characteristics, relational is the most important. Jesus' ministry is a great example of the importance of relationships."
— RaNae Street

"But because kids are learning in the context of a room full of friends instead of as separate individuals in a lecture hall, the learning is deeper, richer, and shared. In a relational classroom, everyone participates."
— Thom and Joni Shultz

 

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