Fun and Parental Involvement
By Marcia Campbell, Susquehanna Valley Bible Quiz Leage
We ended our year with an auction and a Parents vs the Quizzers best out of three quizzes. The kids had a blast. Quizzers earned money throughout the year – a penny for every verse they memorized which a quizzing mom kept track – and used it at the end-of-the-year auction. A quizzing dad was the auctioneer and the kids enjoyed bidding on Twizzlers, Cheez-Its, markers and flashlights. The auction was after the parents took on the kids quizzing on two chapters of Acts. The kids won – as usual – but the parents only lost by one question. (That’s the closest it has ever been.)
Afterwards a mom came up and said, “You need to take this on the road. This is what every quiz program should be like: fun with parental involvement.”
After 19 years of being involved in quizzing, I couldn’t agree more. The quiz programs I have seen that are the most successful, keep the kids the longest, and have the greatest impact are those that have those two ingredients: fun and parental involvement.
Fun is the easy part. Here’s a few suggestions:
Incentives for memorizing can be fun. For example: “If everyone memorizes one chapter of Acts, we’ll have a pizza party.” Food is a great motivator with youth. Money is too. I once offered $50 to anyone who memorized Hebrews Chapters 1-10. Four out of 20 kids took me up
on that challenge. That incentive might seem a bit extreme to some and I’ll admit the incentive took a bite out of my pocketbook, but four kids – who are now adults – know Hebrews 1-10 very well.
Games. Our quizzers always enjoy a jeopardy-type game using column headings labeled “FTVs”, “Situation”, “Reference”, “Regular Questions” and “Unique Words” with corresponding money values from 10¢ to 50¢. A Trivial Pursuit game can also be adapted and used as a Bible quizzing tool, as well as many other board games.
Once in a while a game practice breaks up the routine and adds a bit of fun to the mix. We try to do a game night once a year – usually when we see the kids start to drag a bit in studying (around January).
Tournaments – especially overnight ones – build a lot of memories and motivation to study. WBQA runs quite a few throughout the year. As coaches tournaments take time and energy to plan the details – transportation, lodging, and logistics. But I still run into quizzers years later who mention a special time at some tournament and then adds “…and Hebrews is still my favorite book.”
Fun and learning go hand in hand.
Bible quiz practice is not all fun and games. My kids will tell you I run a tight ship, but there needs to be a balance of fun in the mix.
Fun is easy; parental involvement is sometimes the hard part. Right now I am blessed with a huge amount of support and initiative from my quizzing parents. Part of being a coach is continually stressing to parents and church leadership that it is vital that the Word of God gets into our children’s minds so that God through His Holy Spirit can use it to direct them and speak to them. To me this is imperative for the health of the church and for the spiritual health of our young people. This is the drum I beat to every parent and church leader. This vision must be caught by parents and church leadership.
Parents need to be invited to participate. They can listen to memorized verses and keep records, coordinate the snack, help plan a game or year-end activity, or help with coordinating tournament participation. Invite them into the creative process so that they can use their gifts to help the whole Bible quiz program.
We as Bible quiz leaders need to learn to delegate. If it is hard for you to let go control and delegate, you need to get over it and get your parents involved. It will lighten your load and your mind and allow you to have more fun – and then your quizzers will have more fun.
Fun and parental involvement. How are you as a Bible quiz coach/leader integrating these two into your program? Do you have any suggestions for the rest of us to use?
Join in the conversation! Visit the WBQA blog post from June 19, 2015, to share your ideas, here.