In many churches, we’re seeing less children in Sunday school. Adapting to decreased attendance may mean reevaluating how children are grouped and going to a multigraded or one room curriculum. Publishers are responding to these changes and there are now a number of choices available.
The One Room Sunday School has been around for a long time; it comes from Cokesbury, the United Methodist publisher, and is considered part of their Deep Blue curriculum line. It is for ages 3-12 and the retail price per quarter is $76.99. Deep Blue also offers a Large Group/Small Group option for elementary age children which lists for $99.99 per quarter. Beginning Fall 2018, the theme for Deep Blue is “At Home with God” which emphasizes families today, families in the Bible, and what it means to be part of God’s family; the curriculum follows a three year cycle. The One Room Sunday School kit includes everything you need for lessons including a leader guide, reproducible kids’ book, resource pack, and a CD-ROM with music resources; the Deep Blue DVD can be purchased separately for $29.99. The Large Group/Small Group kit also includes everything necessary; it has the leader guide, student sheets, and other material available as PDFs on a CD. The DVD as well as music resources are also included in the kit.
Sparkhouse, the ecumenical branch of the ELCA publisher, is introducing two options for multigraded Sunday school classes starting this September. They are both for a classroom with children ages 5-12 and follow a two year cycle. Spark All Kids sells a quarterly leader guide for $24.99. Reproducible learner leaflets are not available; they must be purchased for each child at a cost of $5.99 per quarter. Many of the activities in the leader guide use the leaflets. A separate music CD for the year can be purchased for $19.99. Whirl All Kids is a video-based curriculum. The leader guide sells for $24.99 per quarter; the quarterly DVD is also $24.99. Learner leaflets sell for $6.99 per child per quarter. The Whirl music CD sells for $19.99.
Shine: Living in God’s Light is a Sunday school curriculum from the Mennonite Church and Church of the Brethren with an emphasis on spirituality and peacemaking. It is used by churches in a number of other denominations. Shine offer a multiage component for ages 5-12. For each quarter, you will need a teacher’s guide for $13.99, a resource pack for $24.99, and student leaflets for $9.99 per child. The songbook and music CD for the year sells for $19.99.
For Presbyterian (PCUSA) churches, the Growing in Grace and Gratitude curriculum offers a multiage component for ages 5-10. The Leader Material is available as a download for $50 per quarter or in print for $75 per quarter. One copy of the student Stories, Colors and More is included with the Leader Material; additional copies are $20.
If you’d like to use a multiage curriculum based on the lectionary, there are a few options. Feasting on the Word is an ecumenical curriculum from the PCUSA publisher which offers a multiage component for children in grades 1-6. The price for Feasting on the Word varies as it is available as a download or as a printed product; churches can purchase one quarter at a time or select a 9-month or 12-month subscription. The curriculum includes leader guides, reproducible resource sheets, and more. Full-color visuals are included in a printed color pack. A yearly music CD is available to purchase separately. Another lectionary-based curriculum which offers a multiage component is Living the Good News which is ecumenical and comes from the Episcopal publisher. It is downloadable and costs $139.99 per year for each age level. Seasons of the Spirit is another option for churches wishing to use a multigraded, lectionary-based curriculum. It comes from Woodlake Publishing, an ecumenical publisher based in Canada. Seasons of the Spirit offers worship resources as well as a curriculum for ages 3 through adult which includes a multiage component for ages 5-12. Student resource sheets are reproducible. Pricing is available for 1 quarter, 3 quarters, or all 4 quarters in three different formats: web, printed, or on a CD.
Samples of all curriculums mentioned are available on the publishers’ websites. As Sunday school attendance continues to diminish, we can expect to see more options available for one room or multigraded classes.