Seeking Advice...

Posted by  | Wednesday, June 25, 2008  at 9:48 AM  
Hey ladies. This week's topic is discipleship and I'm so thankful to Stacey for her excellent post. As I sat down to write my 2 cents for the week, I realized that I don't really know what to say. I have a 22 month old and a 3 month old and I have been asking around a lot lately for advice on how to teach them in meaningful and age-appropriate ways. One godly family I know in Wake Forest has four boys and by the age of 3 the third one could recite the entire book of Colossians (I think it was Colossians). The point is, I don't know how to get to that point. The mom told me to just do a little each day. She said their father just starts in the beginning of a book and they practice it while playing games and talking, etc. She said they started with popular hymns and then worked into books of the Bible.

If any of you have great ideas on getting started with teaching, please, PLEASE leave a comment here. (Especially you blog-stalker who read but don't usually comment!!).

Thanks so much!


Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

Wow, a whole book by 3? That is awesome!

I'm looking forward to advice about this topic for my 21 month old and Baby Badura #2, due 12/1.

I bought a book of ABC verses, but haven't started using it yet. It has a verse for each letter of the alphabet, says from 3 years to 7, but I may start trying it soon (Carli will be 21 months old this Friday!) and I would like to establish some kind of routine with scripture memory before Baby Badura #2 arrives (due 12/1). Check out our blog and leave comments!

About that book- My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt ~$15 You can see excerpts here-

Knowing God's Word helps anyone of any age know Him better. With this colorful book Susan Hunt has developed a fun way to help kids learn His truths. Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding Bible verse, and each verse is accompanied by a story to illustrate the scriptural passage. Ages 3-7.

Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. --Psalm 119:11

Knowing the Bible can help you know God better. Here is a colorful, story-filled way for even the youngest child to take God's Word to heart--and learn the alphabet too!

Presented in an easy-to-use story format that applies individual Bible verses to real-life situations, this illustrated book for 3- to 7-year-olds is perfect for reading to your children or grandchildren, and great for use in churches, Christian schools, Bible clubs, or home schools. It can also be easily adapted for family devotions with young children.

The ABCs are building blocks to your child's formal education. And these verses are the building blocks of the soul--the building blocks that can lead to eternal life.

People who looked at My ABC Bible Verses also looked at:
• The Toddler's ABC Bible Storybook - Carolyn Larsen, Caron Turk (Illustrator)
• Big Truths for Little Kids - Susan Hunt, Richie Hunt, Nancy Munger (Illustrator)
• The Big Picture Story Bible - David R. Helm, Gail Schoonmaker (Illustrator)
• Biblical Womanhood in the Home - Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Editor)
• Your Home a Place of Grace - Susan Hunt

Keith said...

Let me just say: THANK YOU POH-ers! I love this blog! It is incredibly encouraging and helpful. Keep up the thoughtful work.

Before now (my kids are about 3 and 6 mo), I never considered what an effort would be required to teach them the truths of scripture. I have stumbled on a couple of great resources. One is by Shirley Dobson and Gloria Gaither, the Let's Make a Memory series. These 4 books are full of fun and serious ideas about making the Bible a natural part of family life. Some of the ideas can be used for creative devotion times. The other books are from Doorposts publishers, which must be a homeschooling company, by Pam Forster. They are called For Instruction in Righteousness (which goes through a list of sins and gives loads of scriptural references and ideas for teaching and applying them), Plants Grown Up (for raising boys) and Polished Cornerstones (for raising girls). The latter two can be used for young children up through teens, with hands-on projects for developing them into biblical men and women. These are huge, spiral bound, expensive books that no one in their right mind would get rid of, but somehow you can find a very few used copies if you look hard enough.

When I looked at these books, I was at first discouraged by how indepth they are (especially the Doorposts books). I am beginning to understand that something as weighty as my children's souls, lifestyles, and attitude toward God is worthy of limitless effort and work- it's not something that will just happen because I have a Bible on the table. It is worth both formal and informal teaching sessions. It must be backed by enthusiasm and example. I am so thankful to have these amazing helpers on this end of the task.

Shannon said...

I'm certainly not an expert - my kids are 2 and 9 mo. All I know is we're learning to do things on purpose. For instance, when our friends are sick, we tell Maggie, "let's pray for so-in-so.." She is used to reciting her prayer at the dinner table, so she general says, "okay, dee Jesus, dank du..." and the rest is jibberish. But we guide her through a short, simple prayer, which she repeats and says, "amen."

We also have her put her hand on Lilly at night and pray for her.

Today, she has a bug-bite that she's been complaining about throughout the day, so we've prayed about that a few times. I'm hoping she'll pick up on the idea that we can pray about anything, anytime.

She just started singing portions of "Jesus loves me," which I've been singing to her since she was born. Her Sunday School "teacher" (in the nursery) also sings Jesus Loves Me every week, so repetition and consistency is paying off.

She also has started carrying her little Bible around the house. She knows it's her "Bible" and I think she's put together that she sings about it. We read the 23rd Psalm to her from the Bible quite often, especially since she's been having bad dreams lately, and ever since then, she's fallen in love with her little Bible.

I really think our children will pick up the habits WE ourselves portray. So I know I certainly have a lot to work on myself along the way!

adensmom said...

My son, Aden, will be six next month, and I have to say that the best scripture teaching tool for him has been AWANA's. Memorizing an entire book of the Bible by age 3 is very impressive, but reallly, do you think that three year old know's what the book means, or did they just learn alot of words to recite?? I definately would not let that be my "goal" or think you have to live up to those standards!!! With that being said, my son memorized the entire 13th chapter of 1 Correnthians. But let me tell you how we went about it. I used his AWANA book each night, to teach him verses. We would learn about three or four short verses a week (sometimes more and sometimes less, depending on how long they were and what version of the Bible was being used, King James is more difficult for a child to memorize). We would memorize the verse, talk about what it meant, and then look it up in the Bible, just to show him that it was not just words in his AWANA book, but actually from the Word of God. We trucked through the Handbook and the Workbook in no time at all, occasionally going back just to "practice" old verses again. By April we were done, and AWANA's wasn't set to end until May, and he wouldn't be getting a new work book until August! So I decided to take on something a little more challenging, hence, the "love chapter". I first brushed up on the chapter, and made sure I could say it properly, then just took it one verse at a time with him, once again, explaining it as I went along. We had in depth conversations about what each verse meant and I feel very confident that he has a good understanding of the verse and what it means to really love each other. We have done a few more passages since then like the 23rd Psalm, and in Epheians the Armor of God. Another thing that has been helpful for him is the Boys Bible he has. It is not a "childern's Bible" but more like a youth Bible. The one thing it has is a picture in each book, you know, one of those full page colorful picutres!!! I remember those from the day.. hahaha.. Anyway, he will find a story he wants to read based on the picture, and I will in turn start at the begining of the Book, and make our way through it. This has been very interesting for both of us, as I have learned details, that I either never knew or have simply forgotten! By the way, we started with Job... Try explaining that one to a five year old!!!

Erica W said...

We started, although haven't been as faithful with it as I wish, but we put scripture to music. I basically pick a verse based on the current need and make it into a song. I am not musically inclined, so don't stress about it. It is a really simple tune - and you can use a tune from another song if you want.
Our first one was "i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" as my oldest was going through a "i can't do it" stage. Then we learned about not 'do not fear' as my 2nd was afraid of dinosaurs getting her! (My kids are 3, 2, & 7mo).
I think it is important to make the Scripture apply to what you are teaching them or working with them on. Making everything come together.
You can also draw pictures to help them remember. If you are learning about sharing, I would draw two stick figures (that's all I can draw) with curly hair and have one giving something to the other. Just a visual of what sharing looks like (as they forget daily!)
The biggest thing that someone mentioned that we have found to work for us is to stop and pray. When my girls are fighting, we will stop everything, make them hold hands with us and pray about it. If anything, it stops the fight. We talk about how it makes the heart feel. I tell them that when the fight (just one example) it makes Jesus' heart sad and mommy's heart sad.

Oh - and about the bad dreams - that is tough. My 3 year old has gone through that off and on for some time now. The most effective thing when she would wake up crying was to just pray with her. We would go in and tell her that Jesus was there with her and she wasn't alone, then we would just start praying. More often than not, she would fall asleep while we are praying. It truly calms her soul.

The Arab Musicians said...

I have a few thoughts to add. First, to adensmom, I would say that whether that little boy understands every word that he has memorized or not, it is a very, very good thing to have those words hidden in his heart. What a foundation to have as he grows and begins to understand more!

Here are a few ideas/resources that have been helpful for me and my kids (ages 2 and 4--mostly for the 4-year-old):

~Steve Green's "Hide Em In Your Heart" CDs or DVDs. These songs are taken straight from scripture and are aimed at kids. My kids have most of the songs memorized. I just wish they had made more of them! We listen to the CDs in the car a lot. I love hearing them belting out those songs! I also made a CD of just the slow songs to play while they go to sleep at night.

~Scripture flash cards. My daughter and I started this when she was 3. We made "flash cards" with the verse on one side and a picture to remind her of it on the other side (she helped draw or color the pictures). So, for example, we wrote "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" on one side, and drew a Bible and a light on the other side. Then of course you have to review the flash cards (this is where I'm not as consistent as I want to be). Now she's always telling me that we need to make cards for new verses she hears.

~She has also memorized some longer passages, using a children's version of the Bible. We use her Read with Me Bible at night, and they've got some nice translations of several psalms.

The other thought I would add is that, like Stacey said, so much of what we teach our children is "as we go." We are often teaching them more in the times when we aren't thinking about teaching at all, so if we are not modeling a love for God's Word in our own lives, we can't expect our children to have one, either.

The Watczaks said...

I love your blog, but I've never posted before, and truly, I'm with you, more seeking advice than being in position to give any. My son is 18 mo and I have another on the way.
So I've been wanting to start getting some verses into our everyday life, and I love the suggestions here. Thanks, everyone!
I actually just wanted to offer some encouragement. Does anyone else remember Psalty the Singing Songbook tapes from when we were kids (it's ok, you can laugh, it was the 80's, after all)? Well, there was this song about hiding God's Word in your heart and it had a verse for each letter of the alphabet. My brothers and I loved those tapes. So last year, when my brother graduated from college, he was struggling with direction and said he felt the pull of the Spirit and wasn't sure what to do. I laughed and burst out "Q!" He laughed and we both remembered "Quench not the Spirit. I Thessalonians 5:19". It had been over 20 years since we'd listened to those tapes, but God used them to hide His Word in our hearts. Yeah, that 3 year old who memorized a whole book may not understand all of it now, but maybe 20 years from now it will come back to his mind and God will use it in powerful ways!
Praise God that He'll bless our efforts, even if they're cheesy or imperfect.

O'Behave said...

What great ideas!! I have a 3 year old, I year old and a 8 weeks old, so I'm kinda new to all this too. I feel like it is so hard, and I agree with Stacy that it is as we go, which is tough at times, since my flesh can get the better of me. But this is something we started doing with our boys at night. We read through the Big Picture Story Bible(and when we are done we start over and read it again), and every night we read a different story and then Jason, I and the boys act it out if we can, if we can't we use props, little people, or whatever we can find. Like, the other night we were reading about Jerico and so we built a town out of blocks and marched around it for 6 days and on the 7th we marched and shouted and tooted ort tumpets and the walls came down. And the boys love it! I think it is great putting something visual and interactive so they can grasp what God did or is trying to say in scripture. But like I said, I'm no pro, but we are trying to live out our relationshiop with Jesus to our kids. Thanks ofr all the book suggestions, I'll totally be looking into many of them.

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