Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sunday School Carpenters

The Art workshop for the "Jesus as a Child" workshop in WorkshopCycles is a carpentry project. The project as it was originally conceived didn't have much carpentry involved. However, I had A Great Idea. I decided our children should make wooden prayer benches, and found free directions (that seem to no longer exist). Here is another site with directions on how to make the prayer benches.

As the time drew near, adults were beginning to get nervous about combining children and power tools, and about the ability of the children to get this project done in the alotted time. However, since Charlie has helped Shawn with carpentry projects since he was 2, and since Shawn was leading the workshop, I was confident things would be fine.

We pre-cut and routed the wood, so the first things the children did were to put the legs in the grooves and sand the pieces:

Next, Sly helped the children used a drill press to drill pilot holes for the 4 screws that hold the legs on:

Some children also tried using hand tools to make the pilot holes:

They then screwed in the 4 screws and their benches were complete:

The workshop went wonderfully!! I was able to be around for it, and the students were very engaged in the project. It was a delight to see.

I had intended for the children to leave the benches here at the church, as a donation of their time and talent to the worship in this place. However, I forgot to make that clear to my husband. So the children took their benches home. Today, I heard that one student is now having her dolls pray.

What could be better!?!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rally Day

This is the first year we've done a Rally Day at church. After the service, we invited everyone downstairs to see our classrooms and interact with our curriculum. I didn't get any good photos of people visiting our Godly Play room, although they did. But here are some shots from our new Workshop Rotation room.

We're a small church and only have one multi-purpose room that we use for Workshop Rotation, so different areas have different feels.

This is the area which is also used for other groups during the week. It's a good "lounge" area and we have displayed our printed WorkshopCycles curriculum here for folks to examine:

(I have no idea why this is underlined...)
Next, we have the entrance to our Tent. Today, it is set up for a Computer Rotation. However, we use this space for many different things. It is a great place to read the story at the beginning of each Workshop. It is also a good place for drama, movement, and games.

As you can see, the students were very excited about showing us the Computer games they have been using.

All in all, a good day.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Multiple Intelligence Self-Test

Sunday is Rally Day at our parish. It's the first time we've done a Rally Day in who knows how long. We're doing it specifically to introduce the congregation to Workshop Rotation Model Sunday School, which we began 3 weeks ago. Workshop Rotation Model is based on the idea that people learn in a number of different way, called Multiple Intelligences.
I took this quick self-test and found out that my learning styles are as follows:
1) Intrapersonal
2) Interpersonal
3) Kinesthetic
4) Naturalistic
5) Musical
6) Linguistic
7) Logical
8) Visual/Spacial

Maybe one of the reason I am so excited about Workshop Rotation is because there are 5 modes I learn better in than Linguistic (the one traditional Sunday Schools use most).

What are your top learning styles? How about your children's?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Any Regrets?

When my husband and I had been married a few years, we took a group of youth on a mission trip. Near the end of the trip we went white water rafting and there was an accident. Half of our raft got thrown out in a Class IV rapids. The guide and I were able to get back in almost immediately. But a teen and Shawn were out longer. I watched Shawn tumbling and tumbling down the rapids in front of us, clearly not getting all the breath he needed. And the girl was stuck under the raft. All of us in the raft were holding on, feeling under the water for the girl. After what seemed like an eternity, the guide felt her paddle, pulled on it and got her back in the raft. About 100 yards down river, we caught up to my well-battered husband. I was the one that took hold of his life vest. I wasn't strong enough to pull him in alone. With the help of 2 others, we hoisted him in and he fell on me: bluish-white, bloody, and breathing ragged. But breathing! And no bones sticking out. Everyone was safe, thank God.

During the time that Shawn was tumbling in the river and I was watching helplessly, I had an amazing realization: There was nothing I regretted about our life together. There was nothing unsaid that needed to be said. There were no choices I would have made differently. If he were to die, I wouldn't grieve any choices I made.

Since that day, I have striven to keep this up. Regularly I will review my life and consider those I love and imagine one of us has died. Is there anything I would regret? If so, I try to shift my life so that I can always say at any moment, "there is nothing I regret."