Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tips for a Great Year of Sunday School

It's that time of year is our opening Teachers' Meeting for Religious School, and our Kindergarteners and First Graders have their Orientation. Here are my tips for making a successful year of Religious School....

Breakfast. So many of our students come in without eating a solid breakfast. Please view this like any other educational experience. It works so much better on fuel.

Show up! Attendance and timely attendance matter to the classroom environment and to your student's experience.

Be positive. Encourage your student to see this experience as good. This means that you need to be excited about what is going to happen, and interested in what did happen afterwards. It also means a pep talk (for yourself and your child!) in the car on the way over.

Place value. Just like attending regular school, on which you likely place great value, remind your student of the importance of what they are doing. This also might mean...don't schedule birthday parties, family outings, etc, to coincide with Religious School. Don't say "oh, it's just Sunday School"...think of the message you are sending to your child.

Volunteer. Even if it's only an occasional Sunday morning, this demonstrates to your child that you think this is important for them and for you.

Pay attention. Read the materials sent by our school. Know the dates and events that are happening. You probably know what's going on in regular school -- this is just a supplement to that, and is jsut as important (if not more!)

Talk Jewish. Further your own Jewish education by reading a book, watching a movie or tv program, attending a class or lecture. Tell your student all about it.

As we say each year...if we have 30 Sundays at 2.5 hours each, that is 75 hours of Sunday School each year (how's my math?). Figure you'll be absent for 2 weeks this year, we're down to 70. Add in snack time, walk time, other times not spent "learning" and it's even less...then think about how many hours each week our students spend in regular school. And add up their whole Jewish education (30 Sundays a year, 2.5 hours a Sunday)...and I think you'll see that it comes out to less than one year of regular school. Not a lot of time for us to educate your children Jewishly. The rest is up to you...

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