Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thought for Thursday

Family Devotions
First of all, I'm looking for suggestions. One obvious benefit to homeschooling is that we can devote more time to teaching the girls about Jesus. I have the book Our 24 Family Ways, which looks really good, but way about Lucy's head for sure. It would be okay for Norah and because of the amount of scripture, we could definitely repeat it in years to come. I also just read about The Narrow Way. This also looks good, but some of the application questions seem a little advanced. I also wondered about God's Little Princess Devotional Bible. We have Playtime Devotions, but we have been through this book a couple of time and Norah is really to old for it. There are tons of family devotionals out there, but not a lot that are appropriate for 2 & 4 year olds.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for me to look into?

Also, I am trying to plan somewhat of a routine or schedule which I think will be beneficial to all of us, especially me. Obviously, we probably won't always follow the specific times, but the general routine will stay the same. Anyway, I am trying to decide when to fit in our family devotion time. We have tried to do it in the morning before Kevin goes to work, but Norah often sleeps until 8. The days we have to be out the door early, we often forget devotions and then they never get done. Should I wake her around 7:30 so we can do them before Kevin leaves or not? I have read several homeschool blogs about daily schedules and most of them fit their family devotions in after breakfast and chores (9ish). This leaves Kevin out and I don't know how I feel about it that.
What works for you?


heather said...

Funny, cuz I've been thinking more about family devotions lately as well. I think what I've settled on for us, for now, is striving for family devotions once a week. I just can't see it working out easily to have a regular time each and every day for it where we can all regularly be there. Especially as the kids get older. I think a weekly time together will suffice, as it seems to work out that Savannah and I have a special devotion time almost every day. I expect as Sawyer gets older either Ryan and I will have that more often with him too. Right now with him we mostly focus on learning Bible verses at his level and talking and praying together. I'm thinking as long as it's there in some form, and the kids are being set in the habit of having that time every day, even if it is more one on one or individual rather than the whole family, it's the habit that's important. We have good bonding prayerful bedtimes full of reflection and discussions and I think that counts too.
What we use for our weekly devotions, I have no idea. I've just been winging it so far...

Also, if you are set on a daily family time, I would go ahead and wake Norah up so you have that 15 min or so before Kevin leaves. I mean, if she were having to go to daycare or school, she'd be having to get up anyway... I don't think a wake up time of 7 or 7:30 would be too hard. She'd get used to it and it'd be nice to start the day out together like that.

I wouldn't stress about it having to be done every single day... unless you want to make it a definite priority and then you just need a specific set apart time for it each day. Otherwise, just have a regular together time when you can and don't feel guilty if you miss a morning or two. You guys take advantage of plenty of ways to pray and grow and be in the word together and be that example to your girls throughout your everyday life.

Erin said...


While I don't have a family of my own, I did teach 2's and 3's for a year. One of my favorite resources for that age is the "Pray and Play Bible for Young Children." Group actually does several things in this category and you can usually find them all on the same shelf at a Christian bookstore.

They're designed as Bible stories but have lots of other activities to go with them. Usually there's a craft, a song, a lesson of sorts, and some games to play that relate to the theme of the day. It isn't really designed as a family devotional, but I think it would work nicely there.

As for a time, I would take the first few minutes of the dinner hour and do it. Just before you put the food on their plates, stop and spend a little time in devotions together. Yes, the food might be just a tiny bit cooler, but this is one of the best times for families - time around the dinner table. It builds good habits that will carry them through into their teen years. If kids feel comfortable sharing at the table and expecting that dinner is more significant than just shoving food in their mouths, they will be more open and willing to share with you at the table when they're struggling with the pressures of their lives later.

I can find you other resources, too. Let me know if you need my help. emiller at vci dot net.

Blessings on you as you make an effort to do this together!

ErinL said...

Another idea is the Mailbox club through Child Evangelsim Fellowship. You can find out more at and then look under "ministries" for Mailbox Club. Basicall you get bible lessons in the mail at your child's level which you complete and mail back. They are then "graded" by a volunteer who prays for your child and writes back and encouraging note. After completing a set of lessons they usually get a book of some sort. It's so fun for kids to get mail and a great way to get bible lessons.

We just recently started doing our bible lessons in the morning with our homeschool but before that we always did devotions before bed. The great thing is that if it doesn't work you can always change it!