Every congregation has its own approach to structuring religious education. You can implement this program with any model your congregation uses. As leader, you know best how to shape the program to fit your congregation's religious education model, the culture of your congregation, the children in the group, and the time and space allocated for each session.
Some activities call for a letter or email in advance. Well before the first session, make sure that families' contact information has been collected, so you can send this information and be in touch as needed.
Within the sessions, you will find suggestions for adaptation. Feel free to add your own. Choose what you believe is best for your space, time, and group. Remember, you are the best guide for these young learners.
The regular sessions may be used at any time of the year. The order for the sessions and activities is designed to help participants with diverse backgrounds and learning styles deepen their learning in community. The sessions in Unit 5, We Celebrate Holidays should be inserted when appropriate in your yearly calendar.
Be aware of time and the flow of the session and the program, so you can respond to a "teachable moment" or change your plan to suit where the group is. For example, if children seem reluctant to share in a discussion together, you might expand the games or the artistic or musical expression activities at first, and gradually increase time for sharing insights as the sessions proceed. Choose activities to meet children's need for challenge, physical activity, and enjoyable moments to build a sense of community and draw children in.
Many congregations like to take and share photos throughout the program. These can be used to create a photo display, either hard copy or online, and can be shared with the wider congregation and/or with families in the Chalice Children program. You can also create a physical or virtual "scrapbook" as a memento at the end of the program. Put it together yourself or use a photo book-making site such as Shutterfly. Consider recruiting volunteer photographers during the activity time or the Faith in Action sessions.