As a special education teacher, I’m often asked, “How do I get my child to read?” My answer is always the same, “Read with your children. Read to them and let them read to you.”
A soul that drinks in books and has an extensive lexicon is surely something we dream about as parents!
But don’t we really want something so much more for our kiddos?
We want our children to draw up to the living word daily and be the salt of the earth; especially after they leave the protection of our homes. Now, we as parents, the people in charge of the upbringing of God’s new generation of disciples, have to ask ourselves—how are we going to do it?
The simplest answer I have come up with is we have to read the Bible with our children and let them read it to us. If this is something you haven’t started doing with your children, I challenge you to start it today. It’s incredible how young they can pick up pieces of Bible stories.
Also, children learn best their parents, so we should model reading the Bible. A child who has seen this done countless times will most likely find it easier, as an adult, to dive into their own Bible.
I have compiled a list of some things I’ve done with my own girls to ensure that God’s word is on their hearts. While reading, remember what Moses said the Hebrews,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
- up a time that you can consistently be engaged with your children. Moses gave plenty of examples in Deuteronomy 6:7.
- Read your Bible to them.
- Read children’s Bibles to them. We have two. My favorite one to read to the girls is Read and Share Bedtime Bible: more than 200 Bible stories and 50 devotionals.
- But, my youngest daughter’s favorite children’s Bible is The Big Book of Bible Stories for Toddlers. It’s a large board book that can handle children’s destructible fingers and it comes with an app. The app allows the characters on the page to pop-up when looking through your phone, but my favorite part is that it reads the page to the listener. There are other books by this brand that works with the same app.
- Read children’s books with Christian themes. Oh, there are sooo many to choose from!
- Because I Love you by Max Lucado
- You Are Special by Max Lucado
- Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado
- The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan It’s a novel but you could probably find the adapted version.
- Read other books and find hidden Christian themes. (To do this you need to preview the book)
- Check out https://www.seedsfamilyworship.com/.They have created catchy repetitive music that will chisel the word of God on your children’s hearts. You can find them on YouTube and they have free printable scripture cards!
- Learn the books of the Bible by song (I use Seeds of Faith)
- By saying the books of the Bible as you push your children on the swing
- Learn a memory verse.
- You can do what Moses says in verses 8 and 9 of Deuteronomy chapter 6. Actually, write them on your children’s hands. Write them on your doorpost and your gates.
- Learn them in sign language. Use youtube to help out or make up your own motions
- Use other media outlets. We own a maybe a handful of Christian DVDs for our girls, but I use Right Now Media for viewing devotionals, Christian movies, and tv shows. We like…
- Friends and Heroes
- Veggie Tales
- Joseph: King of Dreams by Dreamworks
- The Prince of Egypt by Dreamworks
- Take them to Sunday School, Wednesday Bible Class, and church.
I’m sure if you think about you could probably add more to this list and I’d love to see what you do with your children. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we can cook up another blog with your ideas. Remember it’s okay to mix it up! And, it’s not about doing these things with a pharisee’s heart, but with the heart of Christ.