What’s your favorite Bible story? Do you remember the first time you heard it or what you thought about it?
If you grew up in church your answer might be very different from someone who came to faith as an adult.
If you come back (or do a first read of) some classic stories in the Bible – stories that most people know about, like Noah building the Ark or Adam and Eve in Creation or Jesus’ birth in a manger – reading these stories as an adult can be like seeing them all over if you read a version written for a child’s eyes. This was my impression when I reviewed 100 Bible Stories for Children, published by Tyndale Kids. I loved how this collection kept the integrity of the Bible by keeping the stories in the order that they appear to us today, in a “grown-up” Bible. I also liked how they also included stories that I hadn’t heard in a long time, like Elisha replacing Elijah, Jacob stealing a blessing, and the story of angry King Saul. And I loved how it took pieces out of stories that could raise an adult’s eyebrows – like how Esther becomes Queen because her future husband gets furious at his wife for humiliating him in public after a week-long drunken feast – and it takes these same stories and doesn’t omit the truth, but explains things in a kid-friendly way. (King X got tired of his wife. Really sounds simple, doesn’t it?)
I highly recommend this book for any parent, Sunday School teacher, or anyone who wants to teach young kids about the Bible. I can easily see young kids being fascinated by these stories and the pictures that go along with them. And I can see a book like this becoming part of a parent-child storytime routine… where Mom or Dad gets to tell a story again or even learn it for the first time.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.
Are you interested in homeschooling or incorporating theatre into what you already have going on with your homeschooling family?
If so, check out Living Education, a magazine published by the folks at Oak Meadow. Based in Vermont, Oak Meadow provides independent learning and homeschool options for families interested in something besides traditional public school education. Living Education is a free publication that you can sign up for, and the current issue can be found here. You can check out my article, “Homeschool Theatre: Why It Matters” on pages 24 and 25.
How much time do you have to spend with your child? You have Just 18 Summers, which is the essential message of this book by Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox. The novel weaves the lives of four families together. Each family is very different in their personality and the challenges they’re facing.
What the members of each adult member of the group – and what Gutteridge and Cox clearly want you to realize – is that it’s important to make the most of the time you have to influence, teach, love and enjoy your child. The four families in Just 18 Summers are at different phases of this journey, with children at different ages. This influences their thoughts as do their different priorities in life.
For the most part, the book was realistic, although some of the dialogue with the youngest character, Ava, seemed a bit unrealistic. She’s a young child and is portrayed as a bit mature for her age. There were some moments in the book when the spiritual element of the book seemed forced – as if, just to make sure there was no mistake, it was squeezed in so it comes across as unnatural in places. However, on the whole Just 18 Summers is a very enjoyable read that could cause anyone to re-evaluate their perspective on what’s important in life.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This is my honest opinion about this book.
Summer is rapidly approaching. If you have kids and you’re wondering how in the world you’ll keep them occupied this summer, check out these ideas.