Last Saturday, I spoke at the local Children's Ministry conference in Southern California on the topic of "Ministering to the Public School Child in Your Church". You may find some the following ideas helpful at your church:
Get Advice from a Public School Teacher
Ask a public elementary school teacher in your church to serve as a consultant to your children's ministry. A teacher can help you with ideas for how topics in the public school curriculum can connect with spiritual truths that can be taught in Sunday school.
You can make links to any academic topic because God is relevant to any topic. For instance, imagine a first grader learning the value of money (penny, nickel, dime, etc.) in public school and learning what Jesus said about money in Sunday school the following week. Talk about relevance!
Use Your State Academic Standards
I recommend that you visit the website for your state's department of education. Find the posting of its academic standards. Look at the grade level for which you teach Sunday school and think creatively about any subjects that tie in to your Sunday school program. Teachers in your congregation may love the idea of helping you make the connections.
You don't need to revamp your entire program. Maybe just drop in a school-related supplementary lesson now and then.
Making the Connections for Students
You can look for direct links. For example, 4th grade lessons in California include learning about the history of CA missions. You can tie this to lessons on evangelism, Paul's missionary journeys, etc. As another example, when students learn about George Washington Carver, you can teach about his Christian faith in Sunday school.
Your Sunday school lessons will COME ALIVE for students as you connect your lessons to what they are learning in school.
Let me know your thoughts on this idea. Post a comment.