At some point while browsing a Christian bookstore, I picked up a devotional book for MS called Gotta Have God! for boys ages 6-9. I liked the format: topical, a Bible verse, short story, questions (with lines for answers), and a prayer and it seemed sound theologically. I was lackadaisical about reminding him to do them and the book kind of just sat there.
This school year, when I was deciding what we'd do for Bible, I decided we were just going to concentrate on getting the kids into the habit of daily Bible reading and devotional time. Just that. I thought maybe if I made it a part of my lesson plans and made it the only thing we were doing for Bible, we'd actually accomplish it.
Now, realize that we have an 8yo. We'd wanted to do this since he was 4. Or younger. I wish we had. At some point along the way, we at least made the ruling that the kids watched only "quiet time" videos when they first get up (they usually watch a video or two if they're up before the others' and breakfast isn't ready yet or on weekend mornings if ML and I are sleeping in), which meant that they watched Story Keepers or Veggie Tales or Praise Baby, so they were getting that input and had the understanding that there was something different and special about what you do first thing in the morning. We were taking baby steps.
The other day, I happened to look back at some notes I'd written when I was preparing lesson plans for this school year, and I remembered my goal for Bible for this year: concentrate on daily devotionals. Praise the Lord! It's happened! We've finally gotten there! A minor miracle and something I'm very grateful to the Lord for. He's been faithful to take us step-by-step to the point where the kids are either getting up and doing it on their own (MS), bugging us to do it with them (MA) or some combination of the above (JW). (Z will get his own book when we can actually understand what he'd be dictating to us. :-P)
As to what they're doing, we've stuck with the Gotta Have God! series and it's sister series for girls God and Me! (get it? "sister" series? rimshot, please). We've only come across one day's lesson that we didn't like the focus of (sorry, can't remember what it was), and that was out of the three books the kids are working through. Pretty good odds.
At this point, here's what the kids are doing:
- MS just finished Gotta Have God! Ages 6-9. He's started working through The One Year Book of Devotions for Boys, which was something we had on hand, and I have also been pleased with. He'll do that for this calendar year, and then pick up with Gotta Have God! Ages 6-9 Vol. 2. Once he's done with that, we'll get him the first and second ones for 10-12 year olds, potentially alternating with The One Year Book of Devotions for Boys, Vol. 2.
- JW is working through Gotta Have God! Ages 2-5 still (he's 6), because we got it for him late. He'll start on the 6-9 one as soon as he finishes this one.
- MA is doing God and Me! Ages 2-5 and will do volume 2 when she gets done and then move on to the older versions.
For those with kids that wouldn't be in those particular books but are still interested in the series, here are the other links:
- Girls: God and Me! Ages 6-9 Volume 1 and Volume 2, Ages 10-12 Volume 1 and Volume 2. The company also puts out a series of "Christian Girls' Guides" that look interesting, although I have not looked at them personally (and I haven't looked at any of the 10-12 year old books for either gender, either, so keep that in mind). There's one for friendship, the Bible, money, being your best, and your mom.
- Boys: Gotta Have God! Ages 2-5 Vol. 2