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Kidologist
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Karl D. Bastian

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Posted: 27 July 2009 at 3:22pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist


As you may have heard via my blog announcement, tweets, or Facebook updates, it's been hard to contain my excitement about the opportunity to write an entirely new children's church curriculum for DiscipleLand called DiscipleTown.

Got questions? Feel free to ask here and I'll answer the best I can as the info is available.

UPDATE: This first unit, How to Worship God, is the first of 24 units. The next, How to Use My Bible, will be released in September, in time to teach in October. The anticipated titles after that are:
  • How to Grow Spiritual Fruit
  • How to Make Good Friends
  • How to Follow God's Plan
  • How to Make Good Choices
For an overview of all 24 "How to" topics, see the Core Curriculum Map linked in the discussion below.
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Posted: 29 July 2009 at 12:50pm | IP Logged Quote Kidjoni

This sounds great, I am looking forward to seeing it...and a module on worship will be so appropriate for the start of the new year.

Will you have a video component or will everything need to be done live?

I love the bells and whistles/packaging of Elevate...but really miss the hands on teaching time...with everything else, it seems too much to add on a separate teaching time...but I do appreciate the flexibility



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Karl D. Bastian

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Posted: 29 July 2009 at 3:06pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Kidjoni wrote:
Will you have a video component or will everything need to be done live?

Yes, there is a video component - it is a 3-4 minute feature called Object Talks. You can see a sample on YouTube here: Object Talk: Magnify.

But this curriculum is by design, teacher-driven, not video/screen driven. It is designed to have a teacher up in front of the kids teaching and relating to the children. I love Elevate and think there is a time and place for it, but I think DiscipleTown will be a nice break from it, and could be easily used between Elevate units. I know a few churches using this first unit in September to start out on Worship, and then using Elevate again.

I love that DiscipleTown compliments all the great curriculums out there by meeting a need I don't see addressed by any of them directly - it is focused on teaching Disciple Skills, so it will fit a need and can be a part of an overall strategy, it doesn't have to be an either or situation. I hope many will give it a shot, I think they will be surprised at all that it contains and how fun a teacher-driven strategy can be.... for the TEACHER as well as for the kids! And DiscipleTown has made it easier to do by saving all the hours I used to spend making the PowerPoint, etc.
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Posted: 29 July 2009 at 7:07pm | IP Logged Quote Kidjoni

That sounds great, so that we can still have a chance to teach without having to totally tweak the convenience of having a curriculum.  I'm also excited to be focusing on a specific disciple skill--such as worship. 

Elevate is great in many ways, but I'm not sure that building specific skills is one of them.  It sounds like this could be my more meaty introduction to the less "meaty" materials...depending on what what topics you decide to do. 

Do you have a list of the modules you'll be doing...scope and sequence?  How many will be produced? Timing?  You know, all the stuff I need to know to plan for next year



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Posted: 30 July 2009 at 8:46am | IP Logged Quote PastorTMcKeever

Great question Joni on the scope. I could not find it on the site either yet.

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Posted: 30 July 2009 at 10:09am | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Kidjoni wrote:
Do you have a list of the modules you'll be doing...scope and sequence?  How many will be produced?

Over on DiscipleLand.com if you go to the Core Curriculum Map and download the PDF, go to Page Two, you will see the Disciple Skills listed. I will be writing a four week children's church curriculum for ALL 24 Disciple Skills. (with an optional 5th week review lesson) The next series is How to Use My Bible. They will be coming out about every other month. Sometimes sooner.

This will all be on the DiscipleTown.com area of their website soon. I've been allowed to sneak release this information here.
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Posted: 02 August 2009 at 10:40am | IP Logged Quote momofkings

Is this something that will be broken down by age like DiscipleLand or can we combine grades 1-6 (like I have to do in my chuch)?
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Posted: 02 August 2009 at 2:37pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

momofkings wrote:
Is this something that will be broken down by age like DiscipleLand or can we combine grades 1-6 (like I have to do in my church)?

That's exactly what DiscipleTown is - children's church curriculum for grades 1 thru 6 all together, just like you and most churches have!

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Posted: 02 August 2009 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote dreamer

Hi Karl,

Will each of the lessons be geared toward the kids actually using the Bible; getting it in their hands and learning their way around it so as to become independent one day?  So many curriculums do not include this. 

Looking forward to the release and further information.  Thanks for all of your hard work and committment to children!

Anne

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Posted: 03 August 2009 at 2:16pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

dreamer wrote:
Will each of the lessons be geared toward the kids actually using the Bible; getting it in their hands and learning their way around it so as to become independent one day?

Yes! Absolutely, making the Bible front and central in children's church is a passion of mine, and you will see it is an integral part of DiscipleTown. In fact, the next series will be titles, How to Use My Bible, and will train kids how to look up verses (no more using the table of contents!) and other helpful skills. Every series will have them using their Bibles, looking up verses and referencing the Bible often and equipping parents to actually open and use the Bible in the home too. The Bible will be the CORNER STONE of this curriculum, rather than just something that is a passing reference. Check it out, if you share my passion for the Scriptures and training children to use it, I think you are going to be delighted!
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Posted: 03 August 2009 at 2:27pm | IP Logged Quote momofkings

When will this curriculum be available to look at and purchase?
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Posted: 03 August 2009 at 4:56pm | IP Logged Quote momofkings

Another question...How often will new units be coming out? Will it be fast enough that if I pre-order now, start in November, that there will always be another unit to start when we are finished?
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Posted: 03 August 2009 at 5:00pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

momofkings wrote:
When will this curriculum be available to look at and purchase?

It is available now for purchase, but that is a pre-order. Later this week, a sample lesson will be available. All the lessons are done, they are in final editing to remove the author's typos. (What??!? ME? Typos?!) However, there is quite a bit of info about the curriculum over at DiscipleTown.com
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Posted: 03 August 2009 at 5:10pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

momofkings wrote:
Another question...How often will new units be coming out? Will it be fast enough that if I pre-order now, start in November, that there will always be another unit to start when we are finished?

If you teach How to Worship God in November, yes, the next series How to Use My Bible will be ready long before December and then another or two before January. So you will be in good shape. The goal is at least one unit every other month, but it could be faster. We shall see!
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Posted: 04 August 2009 at 2:54pm | IP Logged Quote JosterS

               Hey, Karl,

I had dinner with you at CPC in San Diego! So I feel like I know ya!  I met you through Barney!

Love DiscipleTown curriculum, but am afraid to order in case I'm left looking for something to do while waiting on the new release.  If we start our discipleship groups in October....do you think we'll be good to go?  It's too good to pass up!  Exactly what my elders are looking for!  Let me know your thoughts!

Sharla from Kansas

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Posted: 04 August 2009 at 8:36pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

JosterS wrote:
Hey, Karl, I had dinner with you at CPC in San Diego! So I feel like I know ya! .... Love DiscipleTown curriculum, but am afraid to order in case I'm left looking for something to do while waiting on the new release.  If we start our discipleship groups in October....do you think we'll be good to go?  It's too good to pass up!  Exactly what my elders are looking for!  Let me know your thoughts!

Sharla from Kansas


Hello, Sharla - I remember - and welcome to your first post on Kidology, hopefully the first of many! If you start DiscipleTown in October, I can tell you for sure there will be another ready by September (How to Use My Bible) so you'll be set for November, and then I'm pretty sure you'd be set for December with the next one too by then. However, there isn't a "Christmas unit" per se, as these will all be Disciple Skills (you can find all 24 skills linked above in this thread) so you could for Christmas either do the Wise Kids Still Seek series available on this site (free for members) or purchase the Stars of Christmas series (written by my friend Dan Huffman, and board member of Kidology!) and the start the next DiscipleTown unit in January!

DiscipleTown units are, by design, modular and 'stand alone' so that they can fit inbetween whatever you already use to focus on these critical Disciple Skills. I love many of the awesome kids church curriculums already out there (and available on Kidology.org) and I can see it complimenting them very nicely. So even if there comes a time when you've done every DiscipleTown available, I don't think it's the end of the world - but our intention is to keep them rolling out fairly consistently. The first one is always the most complicated as the 'template' is being designed, but once the formula and format and initial design has been laid out, the pressure will be on me the writer to crank 'em out, and on the DiscipleLand, amongst other projects to produce them. We do not have a firm production schedule yet - but the plan right now is at least one every other month, but it looks like it could be faster.

Bottom line - you should be fine - but it's designed to be flexible and part of your overall strategy - not your end-all curriculum to teach everything, it is focused on Disciple Skills and we know that you will still look to other curriculums for other focuses too.

I look forward to your feedback. A sample lesson is now available on our DiscipleTown information page. Thanks for dropping in and saying HI!
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Posted: 04 August 2009 at 11:20pm | IP Logged Quote Kidjoni

Ohhh, I like it!

The sample lesson that is.

It'll make a great break from what I'm using, I really like the ideas to the teaching time and the creative games/puppets/activities that all tie in. 

Now I'm debating, just the older kids or all the kids...hmmm...

 



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Posted: 05 August 2009 at 8:00am | IP Logged Quote Becky54

Hey Sir Karl,
I've never had a curriculum bring me to tears, but this one has. I watch kids leave kids church and in a few years are gone from the church. My first thought is always, have we had any impact on those kid's lives or had enough impact that they will find their way back or want to? The Lord has been dealing with us to get back to basics. THE LORD, HE IS ONE. Period. Thank you so much for writing this. The next series on How to use my Bible looks amazing as well. This series will be a wonderful starting point for us to turn the mother ship around to what is the one true essential treasure...Jesus.
Now for a technical question. I haven't been able to burn anything to DVD to show in church. I have an iMac and a Dell at home where I do most everything. (Our computer at church isn't online, it's old and barely runs) Can you help on how to burn to DVD the videos that will be in the lessons? Thank you again!
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Posted: 05 August 2009 at 8:06am | IP Logged Quote dreamer

WOO HOO!  Great job Karl!
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Posted: 05 August 2009 at 2:08pm | IP Logged Quote MSteiner

Working with Karl to launch DiscipleTown has been a blast! Our product development team has gone "above and beyond" to put together a resource that will help kids develop essential sanctification skills. We're already excited about upcoming topics. You won't be disappointed!

Mark Steiner, publisher
DiscipleLand
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Posted: 05 August 2009 at 5:29pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Becky54 wrote:
Now for a technical question..... Can you help on how to burn to DVD the videos that will be in the lessons? Thank you again!

Thank you for your encouraging words above! As for burning the videos to DVD, we will have some assistance for that available in time for September. Good idea!

UP-DATE: I have commissioned an EXPERT at both Mac and PC to write an online and print article explaining how to make DVDs from these files for us that will be available in plenty of time!
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Posted: 06 August 2009 at 6:51am | IP Logged Quote PastorTMcKeever

As always, when you Karl get involved in the creation of anything, it hits the mark every time. Great Job!
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Posted: 06 August 2009 at 9:37am | IP Logged Quote dreamer

Becky54 wrote:
Now for a technical question. I haven't been able to burn anything to DVD to show in church. I have an iMac and a Dell at home where I do most everything. (Our computer at church isn't online, it's old and barely runs) Can you help on how to burn to DVD the videos that will be in the lessons? Thank you again!

Hi Becky,

Not sure if this helps or not, but I use these programs which were downloaded from the lifechurch.tv site when I tried out one of their sets of curriculum.

Browser-Mozilla Firefox

Media player for DVD-VLC media player

DVD Burner-Imgburn

Downloader-Free download manager

I found these through the lifechurch.tv help section where you download their curriculum.  Don't have a clue as to how to post a link to their site, sorry! They have a tremendous amount of information on this type of thing. God Bless!

Anne

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Posted: 06 August 2009 at 1:59pm | IP Logged Quote Becky54

Thanks Anne,
Weird, I was just looking through LifeChurch, in fact I'm downloading something right now! Last night I tried to burn on a DVD some things, but i could only burn one segment per disc. I would have had to use 28 DVD's for about 1 hr of stuff (on my Dell), unacceptable! Going to try on my MAC again, with what I'm downloading right now. Your timing is PERFECT! I'm going to go to their help section right now. Thanks you!
Blessings, Becky
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Posted: 06 August 2009 at 2:04pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

Becky54 wrote:
Thanks Anne,
Weird, I was just looking through LifeChurch, in fact I'm downloading something right now! Last night I tried to burn on a DVD some things, but i could only burn one segment per disc. I would have had to use 28 DVD's for about 1 hr of stuff (on my Dell), unacceptable! Going to try on my MAC again, with what I'm downloading right now. Your timing is PERFECT! I'm going to go to their help section right now. Thanks you!
Blessings, Becky

My guess is that will be more work than its worth, if you have a Mac, it will be EASY to put all four Object Talks on ONE DVD with a fun menu to play in Kids Church - so just wait until we have instructions ready, you will just put the videos in iTunes, and use iDVD to make a DVD, its really a piece of cake!
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Posted: 06 August 2009 at 2:31pm | IP Logged Quote Becky54

Thank you Karl...I will be patient...I'm all about pieces of cake...
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Posted: 10 August 2009 at 3:23pm | IP Logged Quote starwood

 Karl, the sample lesson looks very good.  We have all kids together for a time and then split boys in one room, girls in another.  the bible skills activities would fit well I think. Can we see a sample table talker piece? As you know, parents are easily intimidated with family devotions ideas....and are not so accepting of change as kids are.  thanks.  Mary Ellen
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Posted: 10 August 2009 at 3:51pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

starwood wrote:
Can we see a sample table talker piece? As you know, parents are easily intimidated with family devotions ideas....and are not so accepting of change as kids are.  thanks.  Mary Ellen

I'm working on permission to post a sampler here! But let me tell you, you are gonna like it! It was designed after LOTS of feedback and research with parents at my church who DO NOT like the term "family devotions" since that simply led to feelings of guilt. They said, 'keep it short,' and 'make it fun,' and be 'be realistic' and 'connect it to meals.' So that is just what we did. Instead of expecting parents to have daily devotions with their kids, we ask them to simply take THREE opportunities during the week to connect with their kids at a meal for a fun time. The Table Topper sits on the table like one of those you see at a restaurant teasing you are dessert or monthly specials. But instead, it is an invitation for families to engage in some meaningful fun around Scripture.


The topics are:
  • Let's Play
  • Let's Talk
  • Let's Read
  • Let's Think
  • Let's Do
And each provides something fun to do or discuss or act upon as a family. We used these in our church every summer for our Family Sunday School and families LOVED them and begged me to make them all year around and I simply couldn't pull it off while running an entire children's ministry. But now, with DiscipleLand's help, I can make this a part of every DiscipleTown unit!


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Posted: 10 August 2009 at 4:04pm | IP Logged Quote Kidologist

You will be excited to hear that I got a FREE SAMPLE of the DiscipleTown Table Talker - one of these goes home with the children for EVERY LESSON - and they are a wonderful tool to get families talking and interacting about is being learned at church.

Download Here: DT_Worship_TableTalker_sample.pdf.

Also, included in every lesson with DiscipleTown, is an e-mail template you can copy/paste to e-mail parents about what their children's learned, questions they can use to get their kids talking about the lesson, what is coming next week, and a gentle reminder to use the Table Talker during the week. Just the kind of e-mail you'd like to send, but the week gets away from you. So we've made it easy for you! Just copy and paste and make a few personal edits to personalize it and hit send!

DiscipleTown makes YOU LOOK GOOD!
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Posted: 10 August 2009 at 4:10pm | IP Logged Quote Surge-Matt

That's top shelf stuff man... Great job!

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