Reading “My ABC Bible Verses” in your Homeschool

Every morning I desire quiet time with God. Starting my day with a devotional or just some Bible reading and prayer really starts me on the right track. The habit of daily Bible reading is super important to me and I can feel the difference in my life when that habit falls by the wayside.

abcverses

Now, it hasn’t always been easy for me. And that is why I desire to instill this habit in my children now while they are young and eager to learn. They can’t read by themselves so I can’t put it on their checklist and expect them to have quiet time with God. However, I can carve out a time in the morning when I read a memory verse and devotion to them (and later, when they have learned to read, I can ask them to read their own devotion).

During this morning “Bible time” I have chosen to read My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. We had bought this as a Christmas gift because it included a little story to illustrate each memory verse and we thought this would be a great way to start memorizing verses in our home. The verse is at the top with a little explanation of it’s meaning. Sometimes there are “big” words that are defined or a little background information to help little ones understand the verse better. Then the story is presented. The stories revolve around siblings Missy and Bill. Each story demonstrates how the memory verse can be applied in real life, everyday situations. At the end of the story is a box with questions to help your child think a little deeper about what she just read and with a prayer.

Here is an example of how we use My ABC Bible Verses as our devotional:

I read “Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14.” Then I read the explanation about what it means to whine and argue and what it sounds like when someone is complaining. Sometimes I get more questions from Elle and sometimes she gives me an example showing me that she understands what she is hearing. We go on to the story about Missy complaining about taking out the trash because she is in the middle of putting together her favorite puzzle. The story continues with her mom sitting down at the table with Missy to explain this verse. She is compassionate and understanding. Missy listens to her mother by praying and being thankful that she has the ability to take out the trash and is excited to help. The story ends at bedtime with Missy telling her mother how glad she is that “He lets us know how He wants us to live and gives us the Holy Spirit to help us do the right things.” Then we recap with the questions: “What does complaining and disputing mean?” We repeat the verse three times (well, I repeat it, Elle listens but she’ll fill in the blank for me if she is confident that she knows the verse). Then we review the previous verses. Elle is doing really well at remembering a lot of them now. Last we pray. For this story we “ask God for grace to have a thankful heart.”

My ABC Bible Verses is a great way to help little ones with memory verses. I love that there is a story to teach the verse. It really helps to drive home the importance and relevance of scripture. My little ones are eager to listen every morning and they ask for the devotional. We typically start with this and then do our morning routine, but sometimes we’ll read after we are dressed and before we start our school day. It just depends if the kids are up at the same time or not.

This book is best, I think, for toddlers (because it’s never too early) up to about first or second grade. I would imagine that at about second and third grade kids would be happy to read this on their own, especially if it was something mom and dad read to them when they were smaller. I’m not sure if this would be good as a new book for a third grader and older because it’s “ABC’s” and although the stories are completely relevant it may be perceived as a book for “babies.”

Even though we use this as a morning devotional, it certainly can be read any time of day. Some parents find that this would be great as a bedtime story book. I only read one letter per day because I want the verse to have time to sink in. I also want my kids to be excited to read scripture and if I allow multiple stories I’m afraid they won’t be craving “just one more story”.

I intend to reread this over the course of the next few months and then begin another devotional book for kids. Then I will probably bring My ABC Bible Verses back out again, because I see the value in these stories and memory verses. And the kids really like the stories, too.

My hope is that investing time now with the kids to create a quiet devotional time will naturally encourage them to continue their own quiet time in the future. I believe it will be much easier for me to expect that they read their Bible by themselves when we have already established this special time together. They will also understand that mom has her own Bible time in the morning. In the future I envision this as their time to talk to God and they can read whatever scripture they feel led to read. Of course, mom is here to help guide them and if needed provide additional materials to inspire and aid their understanding of what they are reading.

Do you have a Bible devotional time? What resources do you use to help with understanding and memorizing scripture?

Sharing at The Homeschool Mother’s Journal and A Little R & R

A Little R & R Wednesdays - a linky party

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Advertisements

Friday’s Top Five Finds from the Library (4/17)

Okay, so today is not Friday but I really wanted to share my finds from the Library this week. One find in particular has pulled at my heart strings. The state has proposed to eliminate funding our libraries and in the long run I just can’t see that being a good thing. You can read more about saving our libraries in a previous post.

library finds 417

You Can’t Take a Balloon into The National Gallery by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser – A wordless picture book about the travels of a balloon around Washington D.C. Wordless picture books are great because as the parent you can make up a story and expand upon your child’s vocabulary. Also, when children “read” a wordless book they are using their imagination and thinking more about how the story unfolds. This particular book is awesome if you want to talk about Washington D.C., if you are planning a trip there, or are learning about different famous artworks.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes – If your child has ever questioned or disliked her name, this is the book to read. We first “read” this story in the Scholastic DVD stories. It is a sweet and special story.

The House Takes a Vacation by Jacqueline Davies – The kids thought this was a funny book and if they were older they would have thought it was even more funny. There were countless puns and homonyms. So if you are teaching these particular literary devices then this book will illustrate them very well for you.

There was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea by Jennifer Ward – Very fun. Kids laughed. Great use of repetition and rhyme.

Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola – The classic tale of the “Grandma witch” who warns Big Anthony to never touch the pasta pot. Well, we all know what happens when we don’t pay attention and when we don’t listen. Big trouble – and consequences. Kids always seem to be enchanted with this story.

National Library Week! Celebrate! Reasons to Love your Library!

ALA_NLW2015_375x474

Don’t you just love your library? I know I do. Just type “library” in my search box. I love that I can take my kids to not only pick out books to read and take home, but for them to socialize with the other library loving kids. I love that my children get to listen to a story teller, be entertained by a musician, see a magician, create a craft, hear a story, and learn to love books!

Reasons to love your library:

  1. Books!
  2. Community
  3. Story time
  4. Special events
  5. Movie showings for a night out with the family
  6. Book signings
  7. Meet the author
  8. Literacy programs
  9. Free place to play when it’s too cold to go outside
  10. Cool place to go when it’s too hot outside
  11. Newspapers
  12. Magazines
  13. Internet service
  14. DVD’s to check out
  15. Place to read
  16. Place to meet friends
  17. Place for a meeting (business, nonprofit, community organization)
  18. Buy books at rock bottom prices (see what we scored at our last Friends of the Library sale)
  19. They put books on hold for you so you don’t have to drag your kids out of the children’s department to find them
  20. They bring books from other libraries for you
  21. They help you find hard to find resources
  22. Museum passes for discount prices, or free!
  23. Job & Resume help
  24. Downloadable books
  25. Friendly people who love the library

Here are some real life stories of people who love their library and how it’s made a difference in their lives.

Go to your local library this week and say thank you to your library workers! Celebrate this week and share what the library helped you create. There are Unlimited Possibilities @ the Library!

And don’t forget, many of our libraries are in trouble and need your support. Sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

What is your favorite reason to love your library?

Shared at the Homeschool Mother’s Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Help Save Connecticut Libraries

Connecticut Libraries are in trouble. The proposed budget has cut all funding to the libraries.

Which means:

  • No funding to keep many library services and programs running
  • Connecticard, the program that allows patrons to borrow materials from any public library in the state, will be eliminated.
  • Interlibrary loan will no longer be available
  • there will be no basic support for public libraries because state grants will be eliminated
  • No group discounts- which saves libraries thousands of dollars each year
  • Connecticut Education Network will be eliminated
  • technology expenses like internet services are likely to no longer exist
  • purchasing new materials will be difficult
  • programming available at libraries will discontinue
  • funding for staffing will be nonexistent
  • library cuts will cost taxpayers
  • literacy programs will go away
  • some libraries will close their doors as a result of these cuts
  • once these statutes (funding the libraries) are eliminated they will be near impossible to restore = no library

How can YOU help?

I realize many of you may not be residents of CT and think “why should I care?” Well, libraries are so much more than just books. And Connecticut is not the only state in trouble (California, New Jersey, Wisconsin are just a few I have found). Check out this interactive map to find out what’s happening with your state’s libraries.

You can facebook, tweet, and talk to people you know

You can write your state representatives and the governor (take a look at this sample letter if you need help composing your letter)

You can sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries

More reasons to save our libraries:

The role of libraries in communities are shifting. “Academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.”

The E’s of Libraries help to promote: Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Empowerment, and Engagement for Everyone, Everywhere.

What Libraries Do

Some of my personal reasons to save our libraries:

We go to the library at least once a week. We check out books. All. The. Time. We find books of interest and books to help us learn more about a topic from other libraries and rely on the inter-library loan program. We socialize with other kids and moms who are visiting the library.

Our community uses the library as a safe haven, a neutral ground. We have a lot of homeless people who retreat to stay warm in winter and cool in the summer AND they use internet services to aide in finding a job or finding a home. We have a family member who currently is without a home and the library has been a huge resource for him.

Needless to say our libraries facilitate reading and literacy which in turn helps to educate the people in our communities. We NEED libraries!

More Resources:

I Love Libraries

American Library Association

Keeping Public Libraries Public

VTDigger.org

Campaign for America’s Libraries

Let’s keep the conversation going, tell me in the comments why you want your library saved.