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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Train Up Your Child


We are constantly on the look out for tools to help us parent our toddler son. He is my highly-verbal, ultra-smart, very inquisitive boy who always has a million questions about everything. When he was just shy of two, we would be driving in the car and he would demand that I "talk about" whatever we saw... "mommy, talk about trees...talk about grass... talk about cranes... talk about gas stations." He just wanted to know the facts, the scientific truth about the things he was experiencing and learning about. While his desire to know everything has not changed, his questions have gotten much more complex. At nearly 3 years old, he now wants to know about how a space shuttle launches and how it gets to the moon. Tonight he asked me "How did God talk to Noah? Did Noah hear God with he ears?"

When I was offered the chance to get advanced copies of two new books for kids by Tyndale House Publishers, I was pumped. We always love new books, and anything that helps me teach my little sponge is gladly accepted. To say we love these new books is a huge understatement. We adore them... and I would love to share them with you.

When I heard the title of the first book, I was immediately sold! Questions from Little Hearts... sounds perfect for us. And it is. The book is divided into four sections: What is God Like? What is Prayer? What about Heaven? and Are Angels Real? I have written before about my son and I's conversations about Heaven. He knows there are people there that he loves- his brother who died before he was born, my grandmother - and he has very real questions about what it is like there. I love that this book poses the questions that a toddler would really ask and then gives the answers in a way that keeps their attention and satisfies their curiosity.

"Is heaven a place that is near or that's far? can I get to heaven by boat or by car?
How will I find it? Who'll show me the way? Does heaven have nighttime? And what about day? ...
Though heaven's a place that you can't see from here, It says in the Bible that heaven is near. You don't have to know how to fly or to swim. The way is with Jesus, believing in him."

At the end of each section, the author lists the scripture references for the answers they suggest. My son loves it. We read at least one section a day and he often asks for the one he wants. "Mommy, let's read about prayer today." And we always read the scriptures at the end and he has started asking me to show him where to find "those words" in the Bible. So we pull out the Bible and flip to a couple of the verses and read them there too. It is precious, teachable moments like these that make me feel like maybe I am capable of training my child the way God has called me to. I highly recommend this book for anyone whose little one has questions, lots of questions, like mine. It is easy to read and has sparked many really great conversations with me and my curious toddler.

When I was pregnant, we received many Bibles geared toward babies and toddlers as gifts. We have one that we have read cover to cover many times (not in one sitting) that tells all the great stories and has been a good tool for introducing him to the Bible. But several months ago, Hubby commented that we needed to find a Bible for our toddler that was the "next step up." Still meant for kids, but one where the words read a little more like Scripture and a little less like a board book. Kenneth Taylor's Classic Bible Storybook is just that. This Bible has less pictures, more text. But my favorite thing about it is the 4-5 questions it lists at the end of each story. Tonight we read story 5 (we skip around)- "Noah is Safe in a Boat." The questions at the end of the story really help reinforce what we just read (How long did it rain? Why did God send the Flood?) and sparks even deeper questions (like how did Noah hear God talking to him?). I also love that because it is a little more like a regular Bible, it includes stories that most children's Bibles leave out. We are studying Elijah and Elisha in the Bible study we go to and I love that we can open "his Bible" and read about these prophets (stories 51-54) that he is learning about. It makes it seem more like we are reading the Bible, if that make sense. He even asks to bring "his Bible" to church and that warms my heart.

It is a daunting task, at least for me, to feel responsible for my child's spiritual up-bringing. I don't want to miss this stage of his life where he is soaking in his world and starting to form his world-view. I am trying to build things into our days that help me teach him about God and prayer and the Bible, etc... We are working on memory verses, talking about spiritual things, and reading books that help guide our conversations and our lives. And these two books have become a big part of that. I can't recommend either one enough. These are books we will read for many years and will hopefully become cherished parts of our boys' early spiritual development.

Want to share these books with your little ones? Tyndale Kids is giving away a copy of each of these books to Dupage Mamas readers to help us celebrate our launch as the new voice of moms in Dupage County. Just leave a comment here telling us who you would love to have these books for. We will draw two winners, one for each book. Please leave your e-mail or blog address so we have a way to get in contact with you if you win. Want a second entry, blog about Dupage Mamas and this giveaway. Or tell your friends through Facebook or e-mail and let us know you did. We'll enter you a second time. Contest is open until April 28th and the winner will be announced here after that.


And don't forget to enter our current giveaways:
Women's Massage Gift Certificate
Barefoot Books
Homemade Gourmet
Ring Sling Baby Carrier

9 comments:

Just Me April 21, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

book? my kids love books

Lisa Blyth Gertz April 21, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

These sound great! Thanks for writing about them. I've got three kids of my own and many nephews/nieces who would love these books. What age range would you say the Bible storybook is best for?

Lisa Blyth Gertz April 21, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

I gave a link on FB for you! =)

girlfriendcelebrations April 22, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

I would love to win a copy of one of the books! My 4 year old cowboy is always asking questions about God. He would love it.

Tina
www.GirlfriendCelebrations.com

RCann April 22, 2009 at 11:28 PM  

My two year old sits with the Bible flipping the pages calling out, "Eve, where are you?" LOL! Every once and awhile when we say our bedtime prayers, she wants to pray for Esau. It sure is funny what they pull out and remember. I love how the little mind works. :)

Kristee B April 23, 2009 at 7:44 AM  

We have a devotional from Tyndale kids about animals. Maddie loves it! She always asks when I forget to read her "Jesus book" its really sweet. We've yet to get her a more advances bible though, so I would love to check this new one out!

melanie April 23, 2009 at 1:12 PM  

we are always looking for appropriate bible story books that we can use with our 2-yr-old, 4-yr-old and 6-yr-old. it would be great to have another choice available.

melanie(dot)myatt(at)gmail(dot)com

Leslie,  April 25, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

I have been reading to my little guy since he was just a couple of weeks old, and he tries to hold the books on his own now at 5 months. We read to him from an old Bible bedtime story book I got years ago, but Dad and I both end up laughing at the interpretations that come through in some of the stories sometimes... it would be great to have one of these Tyndale books!

Alyssa,  April 25, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

I just left a comment on the babyloveslings section, but this looks awesome also. If I happen to win, you can let Jana know and she'll tell me. This blog looks like it could be quite useful for fun ideas for my child. You are both quite creative.

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