Posted by  | Friday, September 17, 2010  at 4:16 PM  

Last week, Will started his second year of AWANA Cubbies. Our church hosts the club for 3 year olds to 5th graders. (The AWANA program actually starts at age 2 - Puggles - but our church does not start until 3.) I wanted to highlight AWANA during our week on being intentional with the Bible. AWANA has definitely helped our family do that with Will!

The AWANA club for preschoolers (Cubbies) is built on two premises, according to their website. They are:

-Young children can and should receive spiritual training.
-Home is the primary place for spiritual training.

The curriculum is designed in a way so that the lesson and verse is first introduced by the parents at home. We work with Will each week to memorize his verse and read the lesson related to the verse. When he goes to Cubbies each week, they have large group time - singing songs, games, stories etc. They do a craft or activity related to the verse. They also have time to recite their verse for their leader. Each week they either earn a sticker or a patch for their vest.

One thing that I'd like to add about the verses is that (for Cubbies) they are essentially summarized and shortened versions of the full verse. The idea is that the verse is more age appropriate. For example: John 3:16 is memorized as

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son..."

While I completely understand the motivation behind this, I'm not sure its 100% necessary. I don't think its wrong - please don't think I'm saying that! I just don't know how necessary it is. At least one time last year as a 3 year old, Will had a hard time learning the Cubbies version of a verse that he'd already learned the full version of at home! Three year olds are fully capable of memorizing the "full version" of many verses.

Also, as 3 year olds they are not "required" to learn the reference, but are as four year olds. The bottom line is that they are still learning to learn scripture (and a lot of it!). I would imagine that the AWANA curriculum builds on this and they do learn the full version in the older grades?

Will has done an awesome job and learned 30 verses for Cubbies! While he can't simply recite them, he does remember them easily once reminded! He loves Cubbies and is blessed with great leaders and some sweet friends.

Will and his great teachers, Chris and Roxie. Yes, he looks like their son in this picture. :)


A + J said...

I've been leading/directing 3-6 grade since we began the program 2 years ago and was really excited that my 3 year old could start this year. Having the material to work with has been wonderful for us and enabled me to be more intentional about what I teach him. I highly recommend the program for any kids 3 years-6th grade!


Katie said...

I am fortunate that our church has the Puggle program (for 2 year olds) that they allow leader's kids to attend. My daughter started this year and so far, she LOVES it! They don't actually learn verses, however, they have a main goal like all of the other clubs. Puggles' main objective, (from what I understand, the website I'm sure has more info) is for the children to learn that God loves them and that he made them. This seems to be laying a great foundation for her when she begins Cubbies in the future. I am a big AWANA fan. My husband and I were both brought up in it and still remember most of our verses from it.

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