Providence Kids exists to partner with parents in sharing the goal of discipleship between church and home. While our vision is to equip parents as the primary disciple-makers of their kids, we also realize and understand that there are some things that the church is better suited and equipped to do. And while our vision for the discipleship of the next generation certainly extends far beyond what happens in our kids spaces on Sunday morning’s, it’s no secret that what happens on Sunday morning’s in our preschool classes and elementary life groups is a huge foundational piece of how we share the goal of discipleship with parents.

In fact, I’d argue that the majority of our energy and efforts towards disciple-making of kids between birth and 5th grade is spent outside of our Sunday morning contexts, and not inside of it. We’ve detailed some of the reasons for that previously, but the biggest factor is time and opportunity. This is the fourth part of our family discipleship pathway which is the lens through all of our discipleship efforts for kids and students at Providence. If you’d love to learn more about our vision for family discipleship at Providence and how we practically unpack our family discipleship pathway as a guidepost for parenting, then we’d invite you to join us for our upcoming gospel-shaped parenting seminar. We’ve also previously highlighted that our elementary life groups are intended to be a supplement to corporate worship, and not a substitute for corporate worship.

So what exactly then do kids learn about and study when they attend Providence Kids on a Sunday morning?

We have created a graduated scope and sequence that we are slowly unraveling that allows kids at different ages and different grades to grow and learn as they progress through our kids and student ministries. Does this mean that if you have multiple kids, chances are they are each learning something different on a Sunday morning? Yes, it does! And while we absolutely hope that you follow-up with your kids about what they learn in a preschool class or in their elementary life group, we also don’t intend for that lesson to be the primary avenue for you to lead in disciple-making efforts within the home. We have resources like our Simple Daily Routine to help you centralize and unite your family together around reading, praying, and singing together as a family.

For kids in Providence Kids, here is what kids learn at each age group interval:

Two-Year-Old Preschool Class

Our two-year-olds work through a quarterly catechism curriculum. We have taken 13 of the big picture stories of the Bible that span the metanarrative of Scripture and engage our two-year-olds with them 4 times a year believing that repetition breeds retention. Our two-year-olds are also introduced to our Providence Kids Catechism. Each week focuses on two or three of the questions and we work through all 25 questions each quarter. Our kids catechism is one of the resources we have to help the church and home partner together and our hope is that all of our preschoolers at Providence know the catechism by heart before they move up to our elementary life groups.

All Other Preschool Classes

Our three-year-old, four-year-old, and Pre-K classes all do the same thing each year. So that means that what a three-year-old does then they will repeat that same thing the following year. Again, the hope and goal are that in our preschool classes we are building a strong spiritual foundation of big ideas, emphasizing key biblical truth, and an understanding of the big picture of the Bible and how Jesus is the hero and the center of the whole thing.

Towards that end, these preschool classes walk through 52 of the major stories of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. We shrink it down to 13 for two-year-olds, but then expand it to 52 for all other preschoolers. At this age, we don’t believe it is necessary to know every single detail and story in the Bible, but want kids to begin seeing how the Bible is one big story that is telling the story of redemption and God’s saving and rescuing work through Jesus throughout it. We start in Genesis 1 on our first week together and end in Revelation on our last week together. Kids then get to cycle back through all 52 stories again the following year.

Kindergarten and 1st Grade

This year both kindergarten and 1st Graders have been looking at the story of redemption. We believe these are pivotal years to expose kids to the reality that they are helpless sinners and deserving of God’s eternal wrath. And the only remedy and hope is the free gift of salvation through Jesus the Savior! Major topics covered are the fall of man, God’s promise from the beginning of creation for providing salvation, Jesus’ continual invitation to draw people to himself, and how it is in Christ alone that our hope is found!

2nd-5th Grade

The curriculum that we use for our older elementary kids walks expositionally through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation over the course of four years. It is from this four-year curriculum that we have broken down our 13 two-year-old bible stories and our 52 older preschool bible stories. The first year looks at Old Testament law, the second year looks at Old Testament prophets and writings, the third year looks at the Gospels, and the fourth year looks at the Epistles and Revelation. Eventually, each grade level will be going through these one year at a time so that over the course of these four years, an elementary-age kid will have covered the entire Bible between 2nd and 5th grade.

We have just launched this cycle this school year, so all of our 2nd-5th graders are studying the first year of this curriculum and have been and will be in the first 5 books of the Old Testament. 2nd grade will stay with Old Testament law next school year and 3rd-5th grade will move on Old Testament prophets and writings.

Currently, kids are in the exodus account of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and God’s provision in the midst of the wilderness despite their continual foolish and hard-hearted ways. We are discovering over and over again God’s faithful, covenantal keeping love, and just how far he goes to forgive and extend grace and mercy. Providence kids are seeing that God’s love is never stopping, never giving up, that it’s an unbreaking, always, and forever love even in the midst of our sinfulness.