What Do You Do with Old Curriculum?

August 24, 2012

Administration, Curriculum

When was the last time you delved deep into the shelves of your resource room? (Insert scary music here)

I did a clean out of ours a few months ago and I found some gems! I found a curriculum book from 1948!

Some churches have a lot of old curriculum cluttering up the shelves and some churches don’t. Some churches have a rotation for the curriculum they use and don’t have leftovers. Other churches change up their curriculum more frequently and end with lots of boxes and binders kicking about.

What do you do with the old curriculum in your resource room?

Step One – Evaluate it

Don’t throw away something just because it’s old. On the other hand, I’m a big proponent of frequent clear outs. Don’t keep something just because you think you might use it. Take the time to evaluate what you find. Is this curriculum that you can add to your rotation schedule? Can you use it during a mid-week club? Is this curriculum accurate, Biblical, practical, and relevant? Are there parts of the curriculum that you can use? Sit down with what you find and look through it carefully. When you have, go to step 2.

Step Two – Do Something With it

Don’t put anything back into the resource room without making a decision about it first. Here are 4 options:

1. Throw it out
It’s okay! Take a deep breath and find a garbage can! I sometimes have a hard time with throwing away curriculum, but sometimes it is the only option. The book of lessons I found from 1948 could have gone to a children’s ministry museum, but since I don’t know of one, the garbage was the next best option.

If curriculum is just too outdated or inaccurate, the best option is to throw it out. I had to throw out some curriculum that wasn’t really old, but the lessons were just wrong. Bible stories were at times inaccurate and I knew that I would never teach it to my kids and I wouldn’t want it taught to other kids either.

2. Add it to the rotation

You may just find a gem! Some great curriculum that has gotten shoved to the back or fallen behind the shelves. If you like it and it passes evaluation, then work it into the curriculum rotation. Maybe it will work for Sunday School; maybe it’s perfect for mid-week clubs; maybe it is just what you were looking for for children’s church.  Either way, pat yourself on the back and dive back it!

3. Take it apart and make use of the bits

Sometimes you may not want to reuse the curriculum as a whole. Maybe the resource pictures are great and you can add them to your picture file or there are some great classroom activity ideas. Take what you will use and get rid of the rest.

4. Do a curriculum swap with a neighboring church

Finally, consider doing a curriculum swap with another church in your neighborhood or denomination. Maybe you find some great curriculum that you just can’t make use of. Contact a neighboring church and find out if they are willing to do a swap. This is a great way to build relationships with the children’s ministry volunteers from other churches and to freshen up your curriculum and resource room.


So, what are you doing this weekend? Grab some children’s ministry volunteers and dive into your resource room! You never know what you’re going to find!

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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

View all posts by Janelle

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