Use the Internet to Connect with Kids

by Karl Bastian Discipling Resources, Family, Online Resources, Parenting

Kids are on the Internet. Whether we like it or not, the Internet today is not something kids are fascinated with, it is simply a part of their life. It’s not “new” to them, it is just their world. Being online is normal for them. In fact, if you aren’t online, they may almost wonder what’s wrong with you. While we can decry the dangers of the Internet (as we should!) and provide advice on use and filters (and we should!) one of the best ways to address the problem is not to only fight it, but redeem it.

The Internet provides incredible opportunity to connect with kids during the week and in the home. And DiscipleLand has jumped on this opportunity and added a FREE service for DiscipleLand teachers to connect with their students and for parents to invest computer time into more spiritual beneficial activities.

It’s called DISCIPLEZONE.com

It’s a place for kids to continue learning after church, for parents to connect with their child’s teacher and for teacher’s to have a way to greet their kids during the week an extend the learning process.

And it’s all free!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY IT?

Go to DiscipleZone.com (link opens in a separate window) and click on the KIDS button. Next you will see a fun control panel. This is where kids enter the key code found on the student take-home paper (highlighted by their teacher). It’s a simple code–the first dial is the curriculum level, 1-6. (enter 2 for example) Next is the quarter letter, A = Fall; B = Winter; C = Spring; D = Summer. (go ahead, enter B) The last dial is the lesson number. (for an example, choose any number.)

You will then be asked if you have a Class Code. Here is a trial code you can use: Enter TRTRT

You’ll be greeted by a screen with a Bible passage or story and a collection of buttons the kids can choose from.

Here is an overview of the elements offered to kids in DiscipleZone.

Every element of DiscipleZone contributes to the discipleship process:

DiscipleSkill The printed Disciple Guides offer 24 “how-to” skills for victorious Christian living . To see an overview of the DiscipleSkill development plan, click here
KeyVerse
Children memorize Bible verses that capture the heart of each lesson. Find the KeyVerse on the printed Disciple Guides for each lesson.
XploreMore For each Bible lesson, kids and parents enjoy additional pictures, background information discussion questions, and family activities. Encourage parents to read the text together, discuss the questions, and commit to doing the suggested activities as a family.
WorldWatch
Children meet a new people group each quarter, expanding their focus to regions around the globe! WorldWatch also offers missionary biographies and missions education segments to be taught by teachers or parents. To see an overview of WorldWatch missions education, click here.
SwordWork
DiscipleLand’s Bible Reading Plan. Kids and parents read through a specific part of the Bible each week, based on their grade level. To see the complete reading plan, click here.
HymnNotes
Children encounter classic hymns that have inspired Christians for centuries. For a complete list of hymns studied, click here.
DCP Live These engaging stories, starring Dee, Cy, Paul, and Chip, reinforce each Bible lesson and will help your kids apply God’s Word to their lives. To learn more about Dee, Cy, and Paul, click here.

LEAVE A NOTE FOR YOUR STUDENTS!

One of the cool features is the ability to leave a note for the kids. Be sure to click on the Yellow Note for a note from ME to YOU! (You’ll never know the message until you check!)

There are so many creative applications to this note feature beyond just a nice greeting to the kids. Use it to:

  • Ask a review question that if they bring the answer on a slip of paper, you’ll have a treat for them!
  • Provide a “code word” of the week that if they know it, they get to volunteer in class for games etc.
  • Let them know about class events and activities.
  • Announce who has a birthday this week!
  • Tell them to wear a certain color shirt to church on Sunday!
  • Ask them to bring props that will go with your lesson.
  • BE CREATIVE!

There is enough content for each week for parents and kids to spend 10-15 minutes exploring the topic they learned about in church a little further, as well as learning about missions and some historical hymns, complete with music playing.

DiscipleZone.com equips parents and teachers to use the Internet to build upon the learning that took place at church.

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DiscipleBlog.com Featured on Christine Yount Podcast

by Karl Bastian Discipleship, Online Resources

If you follow this blog, you may have caught the post What Happened To The Bible. It fueled a healthy discussion over on Kidology.org. Then, Christine Yount, editor-in-chief at Children’s Ministry Magazine featured it on her blog.

Then, I was honored when Christine asked if she could interview me for her podcast on the subject. You can listen to the podcast here.

Christine Yount is a leading voice in children’s ministry and someone you need to keep in your virtual circle of advisors. I’m excited to see her blogging and podcasting now. I’ve been listening to her for as long as I can remember and her longevity in children’s ministry leadership is a true mark of someone who is dedicated to a mission, not to a business or just trying to being heard. When Christine Yount speaks, I listen. (That doesn’t mean I always agree – but it does mean she forces me to think and constantly be evaluating. And I love that!)

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