Friday, June 30, 2006

The Joys of Vacation Bible School

My children just completed a week of Vacation Bible School, and this particular VBS brought back incredibly strong memories of my own VBS years.

I never really thought about it before, but most of the programs that churches do now are programs that are purchased as a whole, just like a boxed homeschool curriculum. The program that our church used this year was "Arctic Edge." I wasn't really impressed with it the first time I heard the songs, but they grew on me, and I ended up really liking the program as a whole. Unfortunately though, our church was one of many in the area who used that particular program. I do understand why most churches choose the boxed route. It's definitely easier, especially when considering how many children come to ours!

The one we just finished, however, was a program that the church had organized on its own. They determined everything, from the stories to the crafts to the songs. And it was SO MUCH FUN! Sass wasn't comfortable being left completely on her own, so Skeeter and I just stayed at the church, somewhere in the background, to make her feel a little more at ease. As a result, we really participated (and helped) in the VBS experience too.

The program was based on The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, which my children absolutely love. We've read the book, listened to the book as a dramatic audio, and seen the film. They LOVE it. So, of course, the children loved the program. The decorations weren't elaborate, but what they did have was very impressive, a huge castle facade that must have taken them hours and hours. It was relatively small too, probably only about 35 children or so, which is a far cry from the 150 or so who come to ours.

But what I loved most was the parents program. Most of the programs that our children have done are nothing more than a song and then awards presentation. This was a real program. The children sang and danced, and I loved watching every moment of it. And my children thoroughly enjoyed performing. The church gave each child a professionally made CD with the songs, and we all sang them all the way home AND during our nighttime clean-up.

I've already started a thank you note to the minister to let him know how much we appreciated all of their hard work, and I'm pretty certain that Sass and Spyder will be there next year!

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