Parenting Links

Blogs

10 Lessons on Parenting Little Ones | Tim Challies
Tim has shepherded three children past ten years old and shares the lessons he has learned.

Helping the Young Engage The Sermon | Joe Thorn
Here’s an excellent handout for encouraging children to profit from a sermon.

American Girls and Their Social Media Lives | TGC
You probably don’t want to know this, but you should. After 200 interviews with teen girls around the country, this book summarizes the relationship between their social media use and their sexuality.

Why You Should Teach Your Children to be Christian | Desiring God
Jason makes the case for directional instruction rather than just letting children choose their own path.

What Does God Say About Being a Father, So I Don’t Mess Up | Dan Naulty
Ex-Yankees pitcher Dan Naulty wants to learn about fatherhood from a perfect God not any imperfect earthly father.

Help, My Kid Is Developing Brain Cavities | Redeemed Reader
What to do when our children want to read about Star Wars and Lego rather than Dickens and Bronte?

Books

If you are struggling to get your boys to read, can I recommend Douglas Bond’s books. Our boys have read and re-read them many times. You can see a list of them here. The ones our boys have enjoyed most are:

Duncan’s War

King’s Arrow

Rebel’s Keep

For your non-Kindle book buying, please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.

Video

Sick Children Travel The World Thanks to Virtual Reality
We hear so much negativity about technology, it’s welcome to see it redeemed and used for such worthy aims.


Parenting Links

Here are a few articles and resources to help you raise your children for the Lord. If you have any articles, books, resources that you think other parents would benefit from, please leave links in the comments below and I’ll add them to the blog.

Blogs

Why I Want More Than Happiness For My Kids
Some challenging questions from Christina Fox:

The question we have to ask ourselves is, What is our ultimate goal for our children and what are we doing on a daily basis to pursue that goal? And second to that is, What are we teaching our children about pursuing that goal? They say that what you spend your time and money on reveals what is most important to you. Based on how we spend our time and money, are we teaching our children that the pursuit of happiness is their ultimate goal in life?

How Not To Teach Your Kids the Bible
John Wells gives us four things to avoid and five things to embrace when teaching our children Bible stories. Then he closes with five practical tips.

Who Says You Can’t Memorize?! Fun Ways to Learn Bible Verses
This is the only Bible memory book written for kids. Easy instructions and delightful illustrations make each technique a snap to learn. Are you a kid at heart? You will love this book too.

Reading as Parenting
Rebecca argues that “reading to our children is a fundamental aspect of parenting little people, though we rarely talk about it in the context of raising children.”

Books

Who Says You Can’t Memorize?! Fun Ways to Learn Bible Verses $11.95. You won’t agree with everything in this book but you’ll pick up many helpful tips for helping your kids to memorize.

Tiny Bear’s Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones $13.09 (Kindle $1.99). By the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.

How Can I Help? God’s Calling For Kids $10.99.
Gene Veith is well known for his excellent book on Christian vocation, God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. Now his daughter has taken the ideas of that book and put them into a form that children can understand. Yes, this is a book on callings for children!

Bible Explorer: God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation by Carine Mackenzie $14.99.

Video

The Bible Project: Ruth


Parenting Links

Here are some resources to help you raise your children for the Lord. If you have any articles, books, resources that you think other parents would benefit from, please leave links in the comments below and I’ll add them to the blog.

Blogs

The Six Risks of Reading Old Books
“I’m concerned with what I’m seeing amongst my fellow conservative Christians: a heavy leaning on old books for so many school-related booklists. The fact is, if we submerge ourselves in old books, we run some serious risks.”

The Importance of Catechizing our Children
A podcast with Jonathan Masters.

Five Ways Children Will Change the World
“You know, early on in our marriage we talked about how we might change the world by writing a book or getting on the cover of Time, but now we’re realizing our best shot at changing the world is through raising the kids God has given us.”

Let the Children Come to Jesus
Free online magazine devoted to ministering the Gospel to our children.

Having in mind the importance of teaching our children the core doctrines of the faith, this issue of Credo Magazine brings together some outstanding contributors to teach both parents and those in ministry alike how to better approach children so that they know God in a saving way. Perhaps the words of Jesus should hang as a banner over this issue of the magazine: “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14).

Books

Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Only $1.99 on Kindle.

Loving My Children: Embracing Biblical Motherhood by Katie Faris.

The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton. Similar to The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden by Kevin DeYoung.


Parenting Links

Here are a few articles to help you raise your children for the Lord. If you have any articles, books, resources that you think other parents would benefit from, please leave links in the comments below and I’ll add them to the blog.

Teaching Bible Study To Children | Knowable Word
Here’s a great resource with a selection of articles on how to teach children at different stages, from 2-years-old to 12-years-old. Also some posts on helping kids profit from family devotions and from their own personal devotions.

Reading the Challenging PG-13 Bible Passages to Children | PJ Media
Here’s a suggestion for how to read potentially awkward or embarrassing passages to children without censoring the Bible.

Raising Courageous Gospel Kids | Prince on Preaching
Todd Martin on how to use the biblical narratives to raise kids with spiritual courage.

“The culture we live in here in North America is becoming less friendly to Christianity, yet Christ’s promises are unshaken. If trends continue, we can only expect an increasing hostility to the Christian message as our children grow. By Christ’s own words, we can expect them to suffer in ways for following Jesus. Don’t shelter them from the cross, but encourage them to follow Jesus. By God’s grace, and through the work of the Spirit, as they learn to trust God to keep his good news promises, may our children display in the world the God-glorifying virtue of courage.”

Children in Worship | Barry York
Barry makes a Presbyterian case for keeping children in worship services. I’d like to add a paragraph just to underline what I know Barry believes – that covenant children also need to be born again.

Read Scripture in a Whole New Visual Way | Church Relevance
This is a new app that combines Bible reading and animated videos to help explain the books, stories, and themes woven throughout Scripture.

And here are a couple of family devotionals that friends have recently recommended to me.

Jesus the Hero Family Devotional by David Prince.

Why Easter? by Barbara Reaoch.


Parenting Links

Here are a few articles to help you teach your children how to pray and to read the Bible.

22 Ideas to Help Your Children Love and Study the Bible
For the last few years, Michelle Brock has been gathering ideas for nurturing her children’s interest and skill in reading the Bible. You can also download this as a pdf.

The Blessing of Teaching the Children | Christward Collective
Pastor Nick Batzig shares four blessings he’s received from teaching 7-12 year-olds in his congregation.

Teaching the Prophets to Children: Seven Reasons Why We Don’t | Proclamation Trust
Children are rarely taught the prophets. Adrian Reynolds explains why not and why we should rectify this.

Teaching Our Children to Pray | Tim Challies
Tim answers the following question:

It’s good to teach our children to pray, we all know that. But what about having them pray aloud in public or family settings? Should we allow or encourage this? What’s the place for the mealtime prayers of kids who aren’t (or probably aren’t) yet showing clear evidence of conversion?

Wonderfully Made: God’s story of life from conception to birth

New book from Christian Focus that teaches children about the wonder and miracle of each child’s birth.


Q&A About Kids Bible Reading Plans

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Thanks for your enthusiastic response to the Kids Bible Reading Plans. Here are answers to some of the questions I’ve received about the plans.

1. What age group are they for?

I’ve used them with 7 to 14 year-olds. But I know others have used them with younger ages too. As long as the kids can write, they can use them. Although some of the questions are easy for teens, the point of the questions is not really to challenge the intellect but to get the kids to pause and think about what they are reading. Also, it helps parents keep the kids accountable when they can see if they’ve written out their answers.

2. What Bible version do you use?

The plans can be used with any Bible version. The Bible is not quoted in the plans and the questions have been written so that kids can answer them whatever version they are using. Some days, they have to write out Bible verses from their readings, but again they can just use the Bible version of their choice.

3. How long does it take?

My kids, and others I know who used them, found that it takes about 5 minutes a day.

4. Should I start with Genesis or Matthew?

You can start with either. My kids used the Old Testament plan in the morning and the New Testament plan in the evening before they went to bed. Others I know have alternated, finishing an Old Testament book and then moving on to a New Testament book.

5. What are the Prayer Points for?

At the top of each week’s page, there are some spaces for children to write in specific things to pray about that week. I hope this will help them to think about their prayers more and vary them more. It also enables them to write any matters from prayer that arise from their Bible reading.

6. Will they be available for bulk purchase for Christian bookshops, churches, and schools?

At the moment the books are only available via Amazon because I am using the self-publishing print-on-demand arm of Amazon, Createspace. That allows me to make them available without having to order thousands of copies from printers – although it also means that the price is higher than I’d like at this point. But, in the New Year, I hope to have stock available so that bulk purchases can be made at significant discounts. Keep tuned and I’ll let you know when that becomes available.

7. Do you have a website?

It’s coming very soon at KidsBibleReading.com. There will be a blog there with regular articles on how to help your kids profit from reading the Bible.

8. Will there be a Kindle version?

No, because these are workbooks that the children write in.

9. Does it include Bible memorization?

Every other day, the kids have to write out a selected Bible verse from the readings. In many cases, these verses are suitable for memorization. So, memorization is not required, but it can easily be accommodated.

10. What do parents have to do?

You can do a lot or nothing – it all depends on what you want out of it. What we do is use 10-15 minutes on a Sunday to review the previous week. We get the kids together, with their books, and I go through the questions asking them in turn to read their answers from the books. I try to use opportunities to expand upon the material and to apply it to their hearts and lives. I also give opportunities for them to ask any extra questions they have. It’s often a blessed time of family fellowship around the Word.

11. What do you do about the Genesis passages like Lot offering his daughters to the men of Sodom, or the rape of Dinah?

There are a handful of Old Testament passages like these which the plans simply skip over. It’s not that they are any less inspired or any less Bible. But we wanted to leave it to parents’ discretion when and how to introduce these passages to their children.

12. Is there a daily devotional?

No. It is pure Bible!

13. Will you have more than Genesis and Matthew plans?

Looks like it. As the initial response has far exceeded my expectations, I will be proceeding with Exodus and Mark within the next few months, in plenty of time for those who want to work through the series. As long as the demand is there, we’ll just keep going with Old and New Testament in tandem.

Any other questions, just leave them below and I’ll answer them as soon as I can. Amazon link here.


To Every Mom and Dad

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To Mom and Dad,

Like every Christian parent, I want my children to read the Bible. However, although I’ve found numerous Bible reading plans for adults, I couldn’t find what I wanted for my kids.

Some plans were way too ambitious and time-consuming; others just had random verses from here, there, and everywhere. Some had too much interactivity; others had too little. Some had one verse of Bible and one page of commentary!

I wanted my children to have a Bible reading plan that would be simple, systematic, interactive, do-able, and full of Bible. So…I wrote one myself. And when I shared the handouts on social media a couple of years ago, I was taken aback by how many families used and appreciated them. Many asked for a book version, and I’m delighted to say that the first five volumes are now available on Amazon.

Each book has about 100 days of Bible reading, each day has a brief question, and each week has an area for prayer points. Here are some sample pages from Genesis and from Matthew to help you judge whether this would be suitable for your children. They work with every version of the Bible, and I’ve used them successfully with with ages 7-14.

It shouldn’t require more than five minutes a day, but, over a few years, your children will read and interact with much of the Bible. And they will end up not only with a memorable collection of Bible workbooks, but also a blessed habit of daily, systematic, interactive, and prayerful Bible reading.

I hope you will also talk to your children about the books. Why not have a weekly discussion about the readings and answers, and use the opportunity to not only keep them accountable but to develop another holy habit, that of freely discussing the Word of God with one another.

The focus of the first five volumes is on covering the biblical narratives, although we do skip a few stories here and there that may be especially difficult for younger children. They can be read and studied when the children are older and better able to profit from them.

May God bless these plans so that it may be said of all our children: “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

Thank you to my assistant, Sarah Perez, for all her work on these books. Big thanks, as usual, to Cameron Morgan for his work on the covers, and thanks to Esther Engelsma for proofing.