I think I am more excited than she is. Sparks, is the best of the AWANA groups. Cubbies is fun but the kids don't really get a whole lot of it. I loved Chums and Guards but now that they have been clumped together into one big TnT (Truth in Training) group, I am not as impressed. AWANA as a whole has dumbed itself down so much it is saddening. When they re-wrote the curriculum for TnT they made it so much easier, with cheesy cartoon drawings that look they are straight from today's low-quality cartoons.
The good ol' gray, button-up uniforms have been put to rest and replaced by green t-shirts. Way to keep it classy AWANA. Lance Latham would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what it has become.
I was annoyed when I found out that they had changed the Sparks materials too. Now Sparky is not a campfire firefly as in the Skipper, Hiker and Climber books. I haven't found out what he does yet (pilot?) but by listening to the cd that comes with the book, I have been able to deduce that he is not very smart and has an annoying voice.
Claire is just starting out in her
She earned it the first night after finishing her
Claire is pretty good at memorizing - especially when you put the words to song. (she learned the books of the Old and New Testament already!) But you can't really put short verses to song so I found another method to help her memorize. Way back in the summer I started teaching her John 3:16 (because I knew it was the Sparky key verse), it was much longer than the verses she was used to in Cubbies so she was overwhelmed by it and yes, there were tears - as there are with anything that requires a little effort on her part.
Since she can't read the words and visualize them I made her a paper that had pictures in place of key words in the verse. She learned it so quickly that even I was impressed. When she got her Sparks book I drew little illustrations to help her understand what the verse was about and help her remember the order of them. It helped IMMENSELY and in no time she had her Sparks code down perfectly.
I had way too much fun making this sheet for her so I decided to do it for all the verses in her book.
I also laminated them and made them each individual cards so that Joy and Paige can use them in the future and I won't have to spend hours searching through clip art online again.
Every week I just put the verses she needs to learn on her loop, spend some time going over the verses (word perfect) and explaining what the pictures mean and why. Then we practice them a few minutes each day, she can also work on them herself.
Usually by the 3rd day she knows them perfectly and spends the rest of the week practicing and reviewing old verses. Tonight she will get her first red and green jewels, or "diamonds" as she calls them.