Wednesday, May 14, 2008

AWANA Clubs as a Bible Curriculum - Part III

This week I have been going over some reasons our family is re-evaluating our involvement in AWANA Clubs. I need to say again, that we do see positive aspects of AWANA, we are just trying to decide if we can use our time more wisely.

A third problem area is that AWANA is an outreach ministry. Wait, didn’t I already list this as a positive? It is. But I need to ask myself, do my children need an outreach ministry? I hope the Church will come alongside and help me with the task of discipling my children, but God gave the job to us as parents.

In my church, the emphasis is on outreach through AWANAs. We have a bus ministry that brings kids to AWANA Clubs who do not have Christian parents to disciple them. I think this is a great way to reach them, and it does bring in entire families from time to time. The negative side is that some of these children are not well-socialized. There’s that “S” word that we homeschoolers love, and these kids are definitely a good example of what “socialization” really means in a negative sense. We have had a couple of incidents where our six-year-old son was bullied, right there in the church fellowship hall! This is a major reason why my husband and I either need to be there helping with AWANA and watching our own, or none of us need to be there.

The fourth problem area is (and this may be just a local problem at our club) that the “fun” part of AWANA Clubs seems to be more important to the leaders than the Scripture memory portion. The last two years, my daughter has been disappointed that she did not achieve her goal of finishing her book. She did work hard at memorizing her verses, but time after time she was told that they didn’t have enough time to listen to her verses. It was time to go to “Game Time.” I knew there was at least one boy her age who acheived great things in the club, so I asked my daughter how this could be, since they have no time. She said that he had to be very aggressive and beg for someone to listen to him. He also would try to be first in line so that he could do all his verses. The other kids would have to wait while he did his ten or more verses a week, and often there was no time for anyone else to be heard after he was done. My daughter is the opposite nature, and there are times she needs to assert herself, but I cannot encourage her behave badly. (I’m not sure the club leaders should encourage it either.) I did ask her teacher if anything could be done. I wondered if there was a chance that she could stay a few minutes and be late to the game, but that was not possible.

Tomorrow I will address what our involvement as parents has been up to this point.
(Reposted from my HomeschoolBlogger page 6/13/08)

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if additional parental involvement could include this listening time. Kids could be otherwise occupied at "game time" yet still have the opportunity to recite.

    I'm in your hubby's boat. I love my kids, but reining in other peoples is not for me. I'd love to be useful, but I need to be behind the scenes and not directly engaged with the kids.