Aslan at Home
March 22nd this year was a very different sort of day. It was the first time in living memory that church buildings were closed!
The previous Sunday we bumped arms to say hello and awkwardly avoided contact with each other, aware of the new social distancing rules. Hand washing became vitally important and, as leaders of Aslan, we had come prepared with wrapped snacks and disposable cups for our special needs group … and huge questions about what the future held.
On Monday the 23rd, the government introduced ‘Lockdown’ and it was clear that our Aslan group would not be able to meet for a while. We had been meeting three times a month since 2013 and I knew it was important for contact to continue. Soon the Internet was buzzing with live streaming, zoom sessions, worship services on YouTube; and everywhere people were responding with creative ways to continue to meet up, albeit virtually.
But what of our group? What was appropriate for us? I was soon personally involved in zoom sessions with others (including my Pilates group!), but I realised it had its challenges and knew that the different levels of understanding of those in the Aslan group I run would be a barrier to doing something that would suit all. I therefore decided to adapt the material I would have used in our group, making it more ‘user-friendly’ for parents to share with their children and each week I emailed out a new session. At the same time I saved it on this website and created the new section ‘Aslan at Home’.
Each session is similar in layout: the first 2 pages of each download are the section followed online – the story, links to videos, questions to think about and a prayer. After that there are activities for the different levels.
HOW TO USE THE RESOURCE
Make sure you have access to the internet via a laptop, tablet or phone.
- Choose the session you would like to use
- Decide on the appropriate level (see below) Note these are Aslan levels and not National Curriculum
- Print off the activities for the chosen level
- Gather together any other resources (listed after the prayer)
- Start following the online section, clicking on the videos as you go
- Complete the activities
Level 1: Mostly picture-matching type activities for non-readers with little or no writing skills.
Level 2: Developing readers and writers who need support to complete the activities.
Level 3: Fluent readers and writers. May need some help with spelling and forming sentences, but able to do most of the activities independently.
Level 4: Capable of reading and writing fluently, looking up Bible verses, and working independently.
As I write this, I am aware that it could be a while before church groups like Aslan can run again, so I will be continuing to produce these resources in this format.
My primary aim has been to provide this material during the time when churches are closed or restrictions to gatherings are in place, but I can see that it can also be used in a more flexible way even when we are back meeting up together.
There are times when Sunday mornings don’t suit everyone because of other commitments and a variety of other reasons. Knowing this is available online will be a way of catching up with Sundays that are missed. Also, this 1:1 approach could be very useful for churches that have very few children with special needs attending.
I really hope you enjoy these sessions and that you and your child grow in the knowledge of God’s love and his desire to connect with you and bless you.
I would love to hear from you if you have any feedback. Either email me using the contact form or leave a comment here.