26 Oct 2014 by Jason Law CM –
Pastor Petra Ho has a distinctive ministry, not just to educate children from a young age, but also to bring in the Word of God through education. She has started two ministries; the Bible Phonics ministry (a Bible-based programme) and the Shuffle Champ ministry (a community-based programme). She recently shared about not just the Shuffle Champ, but also her Bible Phonics Ministry.
How It All Began
Pastor Petra shared that when her pastor first asked her to take care of a group of nursery-aged kids many years back, she never realised it would lead her to the development of the Bible Phonics program.
‘The kids had already finished Sunday School and were too young to participate in the next program. I thought I would just tell them some stories and do some crafts,’ she shared. ‘I committed the matter to the Lord and felt an impression to teach them how to read using phonics and bible stories.’
Heeding the call from the Lord, Pastor Petra went to bookshops to find materials but could not find any at that time. At that time, she initially decided it couldn’t be from God as she could not find the resources that she needed. However, the impression grew into a challenge to develop a simple reading program for this group of kids.
‘I told my pastor about what I felt led to do and how I wanted to teach the children to read bible stories and he gave me his full support. What began as a short-term project has now become my passion and ministry.’
Contents of the Bible Phonics Programme
From just a few lesson plans, the Bible Phonics program now consists of Bible Story Rhymes, Workbooks, English Readers, Teacher’s Manual, visuals, craft worksheets and teaching aids. There is also a CD where teachers can just churn out craft worksheets and a variety of teaching aids. The latest addition is the DVD which teaches kids the sounds of the alphabet, blending of sounds to form words as well as sight words and reading.
In fact, just by watching the DVD alone, children can learn to read by themselves. Pastor Petra explained that this was a necessary addition, as unlike a kindergarten, children only come to class once a week. The DVD provided the necessary reinforcement and revision. Teachers who were unsure of the phonetic sounds now need only to refer to the DVD. There is an additional bonus section in the last 2 DVDs which introduces Phonics Level 2. Upon finishing the program, children can proceed to Phonics Level 2 and learn the more difficult sounds. Together with this bonus track, the program covers the 44 sounds in phonics.
The Bible Phonics program can be used in Sunday Schools, children’s cell groups, community outreaches to teach English as well as kindergartens wanting a bible-based phonics program. ‘Someone once asked me which was stronger in this program, the bible side or the phonics side. To that I would say neither, as both are equally strong. Phonics is the skeleton, while bible stories is its flesh. In other words, phonics is the whole backbone of this program and it is surrounded with bible stories instead of secular ones,’ she explained.
Shuffle Champ And Spelling Competition
Besides her Bible Phonics ministry, Pastor Petra also has a ministry that aims to help children manipulate letters to form words: ‘The Lord helped me develop a set of alphabet blocks which could form more than 3,000 words. It was from this set of blocks that Shuffle Champ was developed.’
Shuffle Champ is a wordgame with its own reading program. (Refer to the link below to watch a demonstration on this wordgame). This set of 7 colour-coded blocks is a great tool for spelling. In fact, a few years ago, Penang Christian Center began to use these blocks for a Spelling Competition coupled with games and gospel. A total of 180 students participated.
This was followed by Subang Jaya Assembly which had a response of about 120 plus kids. They held another one this year and added an evangelistic movie for parents to watch while waiting for their kids.
The teachers at Sonshine Kids from Kajang Assembly came and observed and caught the vision. Recently, on 11th October, they had their own Spelling Competition with a total of 125 registered participants.
Having a Spelling Competition is a great way to reach out to our community and help improve the level of English. ‘What we have discovered through it all is that there is a great positive response from the community to such an event and it creates an impression of the church as an education centre,’ she shared.
Shuffle Champ can also be used as a two-player game, and here’s how:
Step 1: Serve 5 cards and open a card together.
Step 2: Form the word on the card, then spell and read the word aloud. Press the bell.
Step 3: The winner gets to tick the word formed. They then repeat the process with the next card. The winner with the most ticks wins the game.
For further enquiries on the Bible Phonics program or Spelling competition, kindly contact Ps Petra by email email@example.com or at 016-2718087. For a Demo on Shuffle Champ, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F58TGRxDc_s
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