Spiritual Health: Tips for Choosing a Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible Schools can be a great way to let your child have fun experiences while learning about their Christian faith during the summer. It can also be a way for parents to have a few hours’ break during the day! Depending on where you live, you may have several choices, so here are some things to consider before you sign up.
1) What is the fee? Many VBS weeks are donation-supported, while others have a cost that may include a shirt or CD of music. Generally churches try to keep their fees to a minimum, and if you want your child to go but just can’t affort it, ask – most churches are willing to absorb the fee for low-income families.
2) What is the schedule? Some churches go all day, some have evening options, but most are for a few hours in the morning. If you can’t get your child to a daytime VBS, check around with other churches for evening times.
3) What is the topic? There are several major publishers that are used by churches of all denominations. If you choose to send your child to multiple VBS sessions, you may want to find ones that have different themes so your child doesn’t hear the exact same lessons. Generally, VBS weeks are not heavy on doctrinal specifics, so for the most part you can feel comfortable sending your child to other churches’ VBS weeks. When I grew up, I attended several VBS weeks each year: hosted by two different Lutheran denominations and a non-denominational church.
4) What is the teacher-helper:child ratio? You want there to be enough parental supervision for safety, and also to ensure that the teacher doesn’t have to spend so much time on crowd control that there’s no time for the message.
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