Fancy Wrapping; But What’s Inside?
Over my years of teaching, I have seen curriculum packages with brightly colored, attractive packaging on the outside, but the lessons inside are boring and disappointing. In contrast, I saw curriculum books and packages that were plain on the outside have fun, exciting ideas on the inside. You can never be sure about the curriculum until you see it for yourself. I learned this lesson the hard way.
I used a curriculum package designed for students who were one grade level above those in my class. This curriculum contained several interesting object lessons, games, and many craft activities for the students. After finishing this curriculum, I wanted to order the next set of the same company’s material for my class. I thought it would be better to order for the correct grade level and assumed the preschooler curriculum would be similar to the primary one I previously used. I had our Pastor’s wife order in the three packages to complete the year.
When the new curriculum sections came in, I realized I had made a dreadful mistake. I didn’t order in sample lessons of the material because I assumed it would be like the previous one. What a disappointment it was when I unpacked the materials and realized the preschooler materials where all black and white lesson outlines, without the colorful pages and variety of fun activities in the primary package. There were no ideas for room decoration, no object lessons, no craft activities and no other activities except for one coloring page for each lesson (27 weeks of lessons). This package was nothing like the one I’d used before, except it had the fancy cover on the outside of the ring binder.
I was extremely disappointed because our church spent quite a bit of money for those materials. I approached our Pastor’s wife who had ordered it, and she would not let me try to return the materials. Therefore, I was stuck using that boring stuff for the rest of the year. The students quickly tired of the coloring pages–about two weeks after I began using the material. I was allowed to create crafts and other activities to add to the lessons in the new materials. However, this took a lot of time and work.
In conclusion, I encourage anyone who is looking to purchase curriculum for Sunday school or any other purpose to make sure you see samples of the exact materials you want to purchase. This will avoid being disappointed because you assumed one curriculum package would be similar to another, and because you get stuck using curriculum with fancy wrapping on the outside, but next to nothing on the inside.