A Week of Other Learning

In my family, our church’s annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a much anticipated and outrageously enjoyed part of summer.  The kids don’t quite understand why my husband and I are dragging by Thursday and Friday;  for them, VBS is simply great summer fun.  But it is exhausting as the volunteers put everything they have into creating a great week for the children of the church and the surrounding community!  (I taught the preschool class, and my husband played “Dr. Drip” in the daily skit.)

VBS was a big part of my childhood as well, and now, as a homeschooling parent, I appreciate the opportunity for different kinds of learning, surrounded by other kids in the middle of the summer.  Although this isn’t a week of math or computer science, legitimate and sometimes amazing learning happens.  From a technical point of view, I absolutely count this as “real school” that makes it’s way into our portfolios (art, physical education, reading, and history are covered nicely), but from a heart-stance, I am thrilled with the exploration and genuine discovery that happens during this annual event.  I see spiritual growth and social development happening in abundance.  My children encounter kids they see weekly but also folks who usually would not cross their paths.

Finally, I appreciate the intergenerational aspect of VBS.  From the parents of their peers to the more senior members of our congregation, I love to see the organic opportunities for kids to create friendships across ages.  I’ve watched a particular bond growing between my oldest son and his male Sunday School teacher.  It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Vacation Bible School reminds me of the benefit of a radically (if temporary) different schedule from time to time.  Sure, we had really late bedtimes and quite a few missed baths during VBS week, but everyone flopped into bed happy, exhausted, and ready for more!  ~*~Erica

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