Help! My Curriculum Isn't Working!

Ever had a class that didn’t seem to get much out of your lessons?

Then you’ll be able to understand Jack Fortner’s dilemma. Jack had taught Sunday School for many years, but was finding it difficult to keep the attention of his current class. He and his class of about 16 boys were trying to study the Book of Revelation, but many of his students didn’t know even the basics of Christianity.

Desperate to energize his class, Jack found what he considered a somewhat unlikely solution: Welcome to Holsom, a Christian comic books series.

By his own admission, Jack wasn’t sure that a comic could be “quite holy enough” for Sunday School. But he quickly discovered that Welcome to Holsom not only captivated his kids’ attention—it also presented solid biblical principals with characters his students could relate to.

Combining the extensive online lessons with his own teaching instincts, Jack found Holsom to be the perfect curriculum for his group of preteen boys!

Here’s more from Jack:

How do you prepare the Welcome to Holsom lessons?
First I lay out a lesson plan. I choose how much of the comic to cover each week. I practice reading it with animation. Sometimes I add characters that I know will connect with the kids. I make note of questions to ask to see if they are paying attention. I connect the story with things that are going on in my students’ lives.

How do you personalize the lessons for your students?
We spend the first ten minutes of class time just talking. I listen while they’re talking to each other. I ask them if they have things they want to talk to me about or talk to God about. Kids at this age won’t tell you exactly what’s bothering them when it’s personal stuff. The comic lets the characters reflect the feelings for the students without it being personal. Through Welcome to Holsom, I am able to address real issues in kids’ lives. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how to adapt the lesson to include things the boys are facing.

Every kid in my class gets their own comic book. I write their name on it, but I keep them from week to week. Nobody turns the pages until Jack turns the pages. That way we can discover the story together. Then when we’re done, I send the comic home with them. I’ve got one boy who won’t let his be opened because it’s a “collector’s edition.” He reads along with someone else.

You're retired. Why are you still teaching?
I wasn’t always the pleasant person you see now. I was like some of the characters in Welcome to Holsom and definitely like some of the boys that are presently in my class. But I had this junior boys teacher, Elmer Walden. I’d throw spit wads, tear up the papers, and even jumped out the window once. I was a stinker, but Elmer just kept on. Of course I never told him, but I loved that man. I admired him. He never gave me anything, but I knew he loved me and wanted me to do better.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of boys that I’ve been able to minister to because of Elmer Walden. He touched my heart so much. I’m too old on the outside, but I know what an impact Sunday School teachers can have if they have something to teach that the kids can relate to. That’s why I’ve taught this age group so long. I love my students just like Elmer loved me.

To learn more about Welcome to Holsom, visit www.welcometoholsom.com.

To order Welcome to Holsom, click here.

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