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