Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Practical Ways to Cultivate Spirituality in a Child: Part 3

Devotional Ideas for 8 and 9 year olds

(Part 1 and Part 2)

I stumbled upon a real gem when I discovered The One Year Bible for Kids by Tyndale House. My three oldest children used this book during their third year of school, around the age of eight or nine, and all of them consider this to be one of their favorite devotional sources. Now, I can't vouch for the latest versions that are available today, but the 1997 version with the red cover is the the one I am referring to. I often see it in used book stores. It is a modern rendering of the Scriptures so we don't use it for memorization (it loses some of the beauty and richness of the language) but if you are looking for an excellent personal resource that a child can use and understand on her own, then this one is a winner.

There are 365 readings, one for each day of the year. It begins in Genesis and finishes in Revelation, skipping the difficult passages so that a young reader can read through the entire Bible and get a good grasp of the flow of events. At the end of each reading, there is a small paragraph of explanation and then a verse of Scripture the further expresses the main idea. My child copies the verse into her prayer journal daily. I recall that one of my daughters preferred to copy her favorite line from the passage she read that day. Another wanted to write a simple little narration. All those choices were fine with me because I want to give them as much choice as possible so as not to quench their enthusiasm. The important thing is that they give some sort of feedback. And it shouldn't be oral because this is supposed to be a quiet, personal time-- not another teaching session from Mom or Dad. On Saturdays and Sundays Dear Daughter just reads the passage without writing anything down. I like to give this book to an eight year old as a Christmas gift so that she can begin reading it in January. This is where the book begins as well.

I mentioned in a previous post that Sundays are reserved for special books that are only allowed to be read on Sunday afternoons. These often involve heroic biographies of people of faith throughout history or character building tales. I usually give each child a book that is to be spread out over about 12 weeks and read at a leisurely pace. These are not read alouds but personal readers. My third grader reads Hero Tales Vol 1 by Dave and Neta Jackson, Choice Stories for Children selected by Earnest Lloyd and How the Bible Came to Us by Meryl Doney. I also recommend Polite Moments, Volume 2 by Maldaner. These resources last us an entire year.

one step at a time...

1 comment:

  1. My kids are presently reading the 'One year Bible for Kids Challenge Edition.'
    It's great! They look at the date on the calendar, and then they read!