Children spend more time at home than they do at church: this convicting truth fuels family ministry initiatives across the country. From providing parents with materials to use throughout the week to producing events that moms, dads, and kids attend together, churches continue to place emphasis on the hours that impact a child outside of the one (-ish) spent attending a children's ministry program.

Another block of significant time, though, deserves more attention. A typical elementary student spends 35 hours a week at school (unless homeschooled, of course). Second only to home, children spend more time at school or in school activities than anywhere else. For that reason, churches can learn plenty by paying close attention to public education trends; these three seems like a good starting point.

1. Pre-kindergarten school readiness.

Educators, government officials, even business leaders in a growing number of communities actively promote the need for young children to possess academic ...

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