My daughter is now officially in the older kids class in children’s church.
Through some different phases of changes in age divisions over the years… this is actually the first time she’s been technically moved up in the 5 years here…. because the 4-5 class got merged with the k-1 class before she was done, and then when they split the younger kids back off she was already in first grade, which then got changed into a k-3rd grade room.
So now she’s into the 4th and 5th room.
Which I didn’t really expect to be a big deal. The classes combine for worship anyway… and the teachers I’ve seen so far are all ones she’s had at various times before in the younger kids room.
And so… when she complained of a tummy ache the week after the transition, I didn’t think anything about it. The next week when we missed again because she’d refused to go to sleep and so was tired and battling over getting up and getting dressed to the point that the battle wasn’t worth it, I wrote it off as not being used to being back to school yet.
It wasn’t until the next week, when I made her go by force anyway, that I figured out the connection… when I picked her up from the big kids room, as the teacher told her she could make up the two lessons she was behind in this binder/workbook they are working out of, and handed me a full page sheet printed on both sides with verses she has to memorize in NIV to be able to get to go to a pizza party…. and on the way out the door grumbled about “This is just like school”.
School, where we’ve been having battles with not having the focus to get things done and have had constant struggles over getting her to finish her homework. Even with things much more suited to a kid with ADHD than memorizing good sized passages of things.
I’m kind of torn on how to approach this.
I’m sure the workbook probably isn’t as bad as she’s feeling like it is…. I mean, this is still a children’s program even if it looks more like a textbook than like the worksheets they sometimes did in the other room.
And she may warm up to it more.
But… honestly… looking at this sheet of paper… knowing I’m going to be confronted with the frantic “I have to know this or I don’t get to go to the pizza party” frenzy… and knowing how much of a major battle this is going to be, especially when we haven’t even gotten the schoolwork battles under control yet….
I’m a bit tempted to offer to buy the kid her own pizza on the condition that we skip this project altogether.
Though, I think rewarding her for NOT memorizing scripture is probably a really bad example to be setting… so that’s probably not the best move either. If we didn’t already have the battles and issues right now over school I might have just come up with an alternate project like reading over the verses twice a day or something… but right now… I’m not even that brave.
And while both the workbook and the memorization seem like a huge headache looming on my horizon, I don’t really want to complain at the children’s director about it… because I know that it probably is right about on the right level of being challenging but possible for the majority of the other kids… and a nice project to give them a positive goal and reward.
And I don’t want to seem like I’m just writing my kid off as not capable or not wanting her challenged or expecting rewards without making her earn them. It’s not that she can’t do it…. it’s more that the extended time and effort involved in her accomplishing it at this point in time is more than we’re really able to devote to it right now with the school challenges already on her plate.
Which sounds almost as bad to say that we don’t have time for memorizing scripture as it does to consider bribing her to not participate.
I’ve wondered if I can ask that she be moved back down to the younger room… on the logic that absorbing more at a lower level is worth more than absorbing little at a higher level, about the same logic I used in keeping her using the children’s language bible longer instead of moving her up to new living translation even when I knew she was capable of reading it.
But… that’s got to be awkward to be “held back” in sunday school, and not be with kids at her age level.
Plus… I kind of feel like I’m creating a double standard… as it’s the opposite policy as I’ve taken in her school classes. Because real life isn’t going to be willing to give her extra allowances just because she has trouble with focusing on tasks and completing them, so I don’t want them used more than critically needed in school to start expecting to get away with meeting lowered expectations and treated as “special”.
But I don’t particularly want to spend two years fighting to get her to go every sunday either. Or dealing with upset feelings over not getting prizes for accomplishments.