What if I told you that what you do on Sunday mornings can make an impact in a kid’s future? During the month of October the Crossing Kids team wants to equip you do just that. According to Reggie Joiner and Kristen Ivy, “A phase is a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future.” Throughout each phase we want to identify what makes a child tick, so today we are going to focus on students in the 2nd/3rd grade phase. Did you know that students in the 2nd/3rd grade phase have an average of 572 weeks left until High School Graduation? That’s 572 weeks that we have to engage them and make an impact.
Before we can start to engage kids on Sunday mornings, it might be best to simply identify some things that make kids in the 2nd/3rd grade phase special. The reThink Group describes this phase like this, “the phase when everything is an adventure, nothing is impossible, and your enthusiastic kid thinks anything sounds like fun!”
- They start to become funny
- They are quick and eager learners
- They are creative
- They ask great questions
- They wonder about the world around them
By the time kids are in 2nd and 3rd grade, the excitement of school starts to lessen, the amount of homework increases, and the pressures to be the best start to form… so here are some ways to engage these young learners on Sunday mornings.
- Get excited: Kids in this phase get excited when they see their leaders do the same. Show your enthusiasm for a game or activity and they will be more likely to join.
- Give them space: 2nd/3rd graders are becoming more independent. Ask them if they want to teach a group of kids a game they are playing, or have one of them tell the others about what the lesson topic was the week before.
- Let them explore: The best way to engage kids at this age is to let them be involved in hands on learning, to explore the world around them. Let them look up the Bible verses you plan to read use, or give them the chance to ask questions that they have about the current lesson topic.
- Encourage them to be deeper thinkers: 2nd/3rd graders really begin to think deeper, and this is one of the things that Sherrill, one of our workshop teachers loves. Something that amazes Sherrill about this phase is, “how their belief can apply to their world and behaviors – keeping promises, obeying parents, praying, dealing with siblings and friends.”
- Help them feel loved: One of our 3rd grade team leaders has learned “that a lot of times a hug or a pat on the back goes a lot further than reprimanding them during class.”
I had the opportunity to teach 2nd grade for two years, and 3rd grade for three. Working with kids in this phase was a joy, and it’s amazing how much I learned from them. I can only hope the same is true for those of you who work with kids in this phase. Thank you for making an impact on this group of young learners. It’s just a phase…so don’t miss it!