LifeWay publishers has recently initiated a new curriculum set called Special BuddiesIt is designed for children in the first through sixth grade.  The lessons are Biblical and teach the Christian principles that every person needs to know and understand.  Yet, there are several things that set this curriculum apart.

First, it is unique.  As far as I know, there is NO other Biblically based curriculum that is specifically designed for children with special needs. 

Second, it is beautiful.  The Bible story pictures are realistic.  This helps the child with cognitive disabilities realize that the personalities in the Bible were real people.  Too often they can be portrayed as no more than cartoon characters.  The games are simple and fun.

Third, the format is interesting for several reasons.

  1. Each lesson is intended to use for two weeks.  Repetition is the key to all learning.  However, children with cognitive disabilities cannot be expected to learn without this key educational element. 
  2. The books are turned so that the top and bottom of the page is 11 inches and the width of the page is 8 1/2 inches.  This may seem like a small thing.  However, it allows for more pictures in the text.
  3. Each page can be taken from the book to be used week-by-week.  This will allow the children to have a take-home paper each week.  Parents can reinforce the lesson taught during the week.  One question my younger Christian parents has been, “Do you have anything that we can use during the week to help teach the lesson.” 
  4. The concepts are simple enough for the children to understand.  “I can ask God” was one concept presented.  Even I can understand that.

If you have gotten the idea that I’m enthusiastic about this new curriculum, you are right.  Once again, LifeWay has set aside what may be profitable and this publisher has met a need within the disability community.  If you are teaching children, you should order a set of this curriculum to view and review.  You won’t be disappointed.

For years, The Special Gathering has used the Southern Baptist Curriculum published by their publishing arm, LIFEWAY.  In their current curriculum, they have announced that they are now publishing a special series for children.  It is called Bible Teaching for Kids Special Buddies. 

This is a great addition to the resource materials for special needs Bible teachers.  Asking the question, “Are their needs being met?”  LifeWay designed this specific material for children who are in first to sixth grades. 

LifeWay believes that versatility is the key to successfully using this curriculum.  They say

One of the most exciting features about Special Buddies  is that it works well in all kinds of situations with children of varying developmental levels.  Try it out with:

  • a self-contained classroom of school-age children with special needs.
  • an individual child who receives one-on-one care at church while parents attend Bible study.
  • a child with special needs who attends a typical Sunday school setting but responds well to modified lessons and individualized attention.

Check out their website and see if this is something you can use with your ministry.