If you’re just jumping into the Shaping Little Hearts Series, you can read the first post HERE.
First, let me begin by saying I’ve never been one of those moms that knows what to do in all situations. You know the ones that instinctively know how to put a baby on a schedule, perfectly potty train in a weekend, and make enough freezer meals in one day to last a month. It’s just not me. I pretty much feel like I’m stumbling through motherhood, trying to do the best I can, and relying heavily on the Holy Spirit to give me guidance and direction as I try to lead my children to Christ.
That’s why I’m so incredibly thankful for others’ brilliant minds that have created resources I can use to help lead my family into a deeper relationship with Jesus and resources I can use to help support me as a parent as I try to shepherd my children according to Biblical standards.
I”ll start with my favorite resource first:
Scripture Talk is what we use to memorize Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). The DVD contains ten Bible passages for you and your kids to learn using hand motions to help you remember each verse. We recently memorized the first passage (Psalm 1:1-6). Each passage follows this format:
- Introduction of the whole passage from the kids (who are adorable!)
- A fun, engaging mini lesson from one of the teachers explaining the Scripture passage (the teachers are young and energetic, I think Kate, who created Scripture Talk, was 17 when they filmed the dvd).
- Verse by Verse practice (The verse is stated again, then there are two chances to practice it again with hand motions taught by one of the teachers)
- The last section of each passage is practicing the passage in its entirety.
I have always wanted to have more Bible verses memorized that I actually do. I can usually remember enough of familiar Bible verses to look them up on the internet, but I don’t have very many that I know word-for-word by heart.
The key for me personally is adding those hand motions and I think it’s been key for my kids as well.
We have used this DVD for months because I wanted to take my time through each passage and really give myself and the kids plenty of practice with each one before moving onto the next.
I don’t force either of my kids participate in the DVD unless they want to because I always get a little push back from one child who used to love doing it and now wants to see how much power he has to control his activities. Every day when I say, “Ok, I’m gonna go do Scripture Talk in the living room,” this child always says he doesn’t want to do it. So, I just reply, “I know, I said I’m going to go do it. You can join in if you like or just keep playing.” Lydia follows me happily into the living room and tries to do the hand motions and say the words with me. Somehow, despite not wanting to do it, Finn always wanders into the living room with his toys and either just plays and listens. Or he stops whatever he was doing before and watches Lydia and I practice. Both kids can repeat the verses we’ve learned so far once you get them started with the first set of hand motions, so my reluctant participant has learned them anyway.
The Bible in My Heart
The next resource we use is actually a coloring book from Rod and Staff Publishers. Each page starts with a verse that begins with a specific letter of the alphabet. I simply read the verse, read the little story (which is always about a Biblical character trait), and then I’ll ask the questions at the end. It’s always very informal and I usually tie this resource into our Bible time. Right now, I’m using the Rod and Staff Bible Stories to Read as our Bible reader. I’ll talk more about using the actual Bible with small children in next week’s post, but for our Bible time for school right now I’m using the Bible reader and this coloring book. It’s short for those little attention spans, but very meaningful.
Little Jewel Books
The Little Jewel books are another great resource from Rod and Staff publishers (I adore them if you can’t tell). All the stories are very wholesome and entertaining, yet filled with great character lessons and reminders that God is always with us and we can turn to Him with any problem. For me personally, I am sometimes very quick to try to solve a problem without praying about it first or seeking Biblical wisdom, so these sweet little books both provide a reminder for me and lesson for the kids about trusting God.
The Child’s Training Bible
This resource is more for me than the kids at the moment, but it’s basically a really easy way to have a few Scriptures on hand for various issues or struggles you might have as a parent or your child might struggle with. For instance, if you’re child is afraid at night, all the verses on fear are highlighted in blue and tabbed in blue so you can find them quickly. You would then just read the verses to your child and talk about why they don’t have to fear anything. Or if you’re like me, I like to have it on hand for myself to know how to deal with certain behaviors my kids are exhibiting so that I know how to help them. Or in many cases, help myself overcome the same negative behavior like complaining or anger.
The kit only comes with the tabbing cards and detailed explanation for how to tab your Child’s Training Bible. You can purchase whatever Bible you like (in your preferred translation) but I would recommend you use a 9×13 Bible like they suggest so that the tab directory fits perfectly into the front of the Bible. You will also need to purchase some tabs and matching highlighters, but if you’re obsessed with office supplies like me, you may already have that stuff lying around the house.
So those are our current favorite things to use for shaping the little hearts for Christ at our house. If you have some favorites you’ve used with your family, feel free to share them below.
Join me again next week for more in the Shaping Little Hearts series.
The Shaping Little Hearts series first appeared on the Little Paper Crown blog.
For more ideas on Biblical resources for your kids, visit the Little Paper Crown Youtube Channel.