As you can tell from the image, I have been terribly busy rewriting the Confirm not Conform program for a summer release. But I wanted to take a couple of minutes to explain some of the terrific ways these revisions are going to make Confirm not Conform an even better program!
Here are some of the ways we are revising Confirm not Conform for 2012:
Lessons have more room to breathe! You told us that there was too much information and too much to do in each lesson. We have added lessons to make it easier to complete activities without feeling rushed.
No/minimal homework You told us that just thewordhomework made it harder for students who are already overburdened and overscheduled. Most of the “homework” has now been incorporated into the lessons as part of the activities and discussion. Those lessons that do require outside classwork have been reduced to a handful.
Easier to group lessons by subject We have retitled lessons making it easier to group them according to subject matter. You don’t have to take lessons in order, but can pick the topics that matter most to your class.
Removing our assumptions about context Confirm not Conform was written for a suburban, middle-class parish and it shows. We have done our best to rewrite with the knowledge that not all parishes have the same context.
Expanded preparation for service project Information on the service project is presented earlier in the program and additional lesson time is given to help students determine what to do and how to do it.
Strategies for special needs youth Understanding the importance of including all who seek God or a deeper knowledge of God, we have worked to include more activities that are accessible to a wider range of learning styles. We offer additional suggestions and strategies for youth with special needs in our Getting Started guide and throughout the lessons.
- Additional information for the Vestry Vestry are often nonplussed by what Confirm not Conform asks of them. A brief handout allows you to make an informed presentation to the Vestry, explaining what is in it for them and for the parish.
In addition, we have been tweaking and adjusting content and format throughout the program, rewriting instructions to make them clearer, and providing questions to help program leaders reflect on what went well and what can be improved. We've removed some of the older cultural references (though we're leaving in The Matrix--how can that movie be as old as our confirmation students?!) and created more activities that put participants in control of the action.
We are also in discussions with Forward Movement on how we can make the formatting of all of this material easier for you to navigate. We are considering how to set up an interactive table of contents so that you can find "that activity where you talk about the Creed" quickly without scanning through every lesson. And we plan to put the supplementary material into one file so that it's easier for you to find the handout that you need.
We are very excited at the changes to Confirm not Conform. If you have used the program in the past, I think you will find the 2012 version a vast improvement over what was already a good program. And if you haven't experienced Confirm not Conform yet--well, I think you're in for a treat.