Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Devotion Resources For Toddlers And Preschoolers

An integral part of holding family devotions is reading from the Bible. Obviously, anything with a lot of words and more than a few pages will present a challenge for most little ones. There is a way to train up a young child for listening to readings from the Bible as part of the family circle, and I certainly encourage that kind of instruction. However, I recognize that few families operate under that level of teaching. Most parents function within the parameter of what-can-I-do-right-now-that’ll-work-so-I-can-get-this-devotional-thing-off-the-ground mindset.

There are several good children’s story Bibles on the market. However, I would suggest looking for one that provides a unified representation of the Bible rather than a disjointed collection of short stories. We’re looking for a way to build Bible reading in toddlers and preschoolers, and not just entertain them with cool stories.

One impressive resource I've found is The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm. This is not a light book; there’s over 400 pages in it. But the book provides a very good overview of the Bible from Old Testament to New, telling the story of God and His Son Jesus in language designed for little ones to understand. There are only a few sentences per page and the illustrations will give you plenty to talk about as you engage your child in the text and its meaning.

Broken into 26 chapters based on a chronological telling of the Bible, you could easily read a chapter a day (the extensive illustrations cover a lot of pages) to your toddler or preschooler. You can approach this in one of two ways, which might be dictated by your child’s response. You can work your way through in about a month, going chapter by chapter, or you can take one chapter and go back to it repeatedly until your child seems satisfied with what he’s learned and is ready to move on.

I know with my own children, they loved mastering one story at a time. This, of course, resulted in reading the same thing over and over (and over and over and…). This actually could go on for weeks, but what I recognized was their inherent need to totally and completely internalize the story. Over this course of time I would move along a continuum of teaching - first explaining what we just read, then asking questions to prompt their memory, and finally requiring them to summarize in their own words. By the time they tired of hearing the same story and were ready to move on to the next one, they could tell it themselves forwards and backwards.

The Big Picture Story Bible has that kind of usefulness and engaging text. Had it been around when my children were younger, it would have had its pages falling out of it from constant use. Check it out for yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this book! I don't know if you saw my review on CCBR; here's a link:
We read one chapter a day with our kids. It's wonderful for getting the "big picture" across rather than just a collection of separate stories.