Children’s Bibles serve a useful purpose in our homes. From the time our firstborn was four months old (in other words, when we emerged from our sleep-deprived fog enough to realize it was possible to start an intentional bedtime routine), we have read Bible stories with our children before bedtime. We started with an illustrated beginner’s Bible, moving up to Bibles with more of the stories and more details as our kids get older. Now we go back and forth between the Bible and storybook Bibles (as we have a wider range of ages in our family).
Homeschooling takes a ton of work, but there are resources out there to help! Christa Petzold shares her favorite books for teaching the faith while homeschooling.
When we read with children, we know how to correct their mistakes, but sometimes we don’t know how to help them pronounce, understand, and retain new words. Here are some tips for teachers, parents, grandparents, and anyone else who works with children on how to teach hard Bible words.
“Mommy, I can’t sleep. Can I come and snuggle in your bed?” Anyone experiencing this question these days? Are your children experiencing bad dreams? eating disorders? emotional outbursts? lack of attention to homework or even play? negative thoughts? nail biting, hair pulling, repeatedly running to the bathroom? School has not even begun again yet, but signs and symptoms of anxiety in children may be insidiously creeping into your child’s life and the life of your family.
There is no question that we love our children and want to do everything we can to protect them in this uncertain, anxious time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural for us, as parents and grandparents, to default to protection mode. Older and wiser, yet also facing anxiety in these uncertain times, we may try to protect our children by attempting to solve their problems and distresses for them, reduce or avoid the worries that trigger anxiety in them, or even try to organize and engineer their lives to block worry.
Our new normal will not feel normal. In many states across the country, local governments are rolling out reopening plans. This all coincides with school letting out for “summer”, which feels different than it ever has before. After months of being at home completing a half year’s coursework through remote learning during a pandemic . . . what happens now?
One thing that helps us to remain grounded as worries abound is this: This is not God’s first pandemic! We follow behind the One who goes before us, and He is our ever-present help in time of need.
My friend’s son is having a hard time with this unique time of isolation. He’s frustrated, angry, sad, and scared. He misses his friends, his school, his Sunday School teachers, and going to the park. Every day in the morning, at meals, and before bed, his mother encourages him to pray for the emotions he is having and for the struggles going on in his little mind. Children are called to participate in the kingdom of God. They are not excluded from Jesus and His ministry.
In the beginning was . . . routine. In the first verses of Genesis 1, routine is immediately evident. God designed His majestic creation with order. Before there was even a sun in the heavens, there was evening and there was morning. There was a routine.
I grew up with one Bible in my household. It was a children’s storybook Bible. Featuring over a hundred stories from the Old and New Testaments, it was my only look at the Word of God. It had pictures that had been illustrated by children around the world paired with a short paragraph of text that summarized the story of each specific passage. That version of the Bible was my only way to God’s Word.
Being a teacher involves patience, dedication, passion, lots of hours, and above all, love for your students. In these times of uncertainty when so many don’t know when they will be returning to school, how schools may look in the future, or if students are hearing the loving words of Jesus that they desperately need, be certain Jesus is with us as our guide.
You may have asked yourself: Where do I begin when setting up a classroom library and how should I include books for Jesus time? Setting up a classroom library can be very costly and overwhelming. It’s important to think about each child’s possible interests and have a variety of books available for them. As a Lutheran educator, I find it especially important to have a large selection of books centered on Christ in our classroom library to help encourage students to gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and what He did for us.