Monday, December 28, 2015

Establishing Devotional Routines with Kids

Are you looking for some new routines to study God's Word in the new year? Maybe you are hoping to establish the same routines for your children and preteens.

A new year is a great time to start a new devotion book.

Here is a portion of my post on the Christian Children's Authors blog from last January on that very topic.

Kids of this age might not say that they thrive on routine, but they do. And tweens who have a routine devotional time are much more likely to chillax as they learn the promises of the Bible.Psalm 1_2
For example, the child who understands that there is a set time to complete school work, expects it to be so. He or she might not verbally welcome doing school work, but knowing that there is a designated time to get it done is calming in a way.
What about learning God's Word? Again, if there is a routine, the tween will automatically expect it. Having a ready mind set goes a long way on the path to achievement.
Here are four considerations that parents can use to create and maintain a devotional routine to help tweens  chillax in God's Word.
  • Time - Let's face it. We are all creatures of habit. If an activity has a regular time in our lives, it is likely to get done. Otherwise, well meant intentions can go by the wayside. Help tweens establish a regular time for their devotions.
  • Place - When a devotional time happens in a regular place, there can be fewer distractions. For example, perhaps the tween devotion takes place every evening in a quiet place in his room (perhaps with an adult). It is much more likely to be productive than if it is in the family room in the midst of video games and conversation.
  • Material - It is important to have a devotion book to use with the tween's Bible. Choose a Bible translation that fits the tween's reading ability and a devotional book that engages him. There are devotions of many different formats available.
  • Participants - A time of devotions can be alone or with a family member. With a child who is old enough to read independently, it is a great idea to incorporate some individual time and an additional time of reading, discussion, and praying with an adult family member.
I hope you will join us on the Christian Children's Authors blog for more posts about all things reading with Christian kids.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Ideas for Christmas Week

Last evening, my husband asked me if we still needed to purchase any gifts. This morning, I hear the humm of cars headed to the mall. Maybe you still have a few gifts to purchase. (Friends, remember to Buy Local!) Maybe you are ready to relax with your family and celebrate Christmas. I hope that this week includes time to slow down with your family and to share a good book.

Here is a compilation of my fave posts about Christmas reading with children and teens.

Many blessings from our home to yours as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.


Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Pick Books for Young Children

Books are popular gifts to children.
Maybe your family follows the practice of Four Simple Gifts:

  1. Something They Want
  2. Something They Need
  3. Something to Wear
  4. Something to Read
Maybe your family is enjoying the 25 Books for Christmas tradition.
Perhaps your family just values the practice of reading to young children.
No matter the reason for your book gift-giving, it can be tricky to choose just the right book for a child.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a book for a young child.

  • Are the words at the child's level?
  • Are the illustrations fun and colorful?
  • Do the words and the pictures go together?
  • Is it a topic of interest to the child?
  • Is the book playful and engaging?

Several months ago, I also posted a series about Great Book for Christian Kids. It has some guidelines for picking books for preteens and teens as well.

I pray that your family will have some quiet time this Christmas season. I pray that you will take time to sit together and enjoy the greatest story of all, the story of the birth of our Savior.


Monday, December 07, 2015

Three Kinds of Gift Books for Children

Do you have a few things left to get for Christmas? Me, too!

I've been looking over my family's wish lists. And something stood out about books. It won't be a surprise to you.

Kids enjoy different book formats.

Here are three formats that are great considerations as you finish up your Christmas shopping.

  1. Traditional, Print Books - Traditional books can be wrapped and tucked inside a stocking or placed under the tree. They can be held and enjoyed again and again as the child or teen turns the pages and takes in the illustrations. Traditional, print books can be shared between parent (or grandparent) and the young reader. These books can be stowed away for future generations to enjoy. We can probably all agree on the benefits of books that we can hold and share with others... But some young readers are changing... And screens are more and more important in their young lives.
  2. Ebooks - One reader on my Christmas list ONLY reads ebooks. Ebooks offer the convenience of being transported easily from place to place. One device can hold an entire library and can be tucked inside the child's book bag, ready to board the plane to Grandma's or keep one entertained in the back seat of a car.
  3. Audio Books - Audio books offer their own set of perks. They are convenient and can be enjoyed individually or shared with a group. I posted about the draw of audio books for some kids who struggle with reading, but readers of all abilities enjoy listening to books.
What about the kids and teens on your Christmas list? What kinds of books will keep them "turning the pages"?



A Note from Carol:

I have the amazing opportunity to write books for children and preteens. My preteen devotionals are for kids ages 8 - 12, written in the popular doodle format. Kids read a short devotion and then write or doodle (draw) how the Bible text applies to their own lives. The books make great stocking stuffers and gifts for Sunday School groups. You can check them out by clicking on one of the pictures at the right. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Choosing Books for the Trip to Grandma's House

Screens for kids. I am a fan.

And not so much.

Certainly today's kids are part of a technological generation. Most adults joke that if they are stuck with a computer or phone question, they should ask a child to help.

In the next few weeks, lots of families will pack their bags to visit grandparents and other relatives. Here's to hoping that books, not screens, will be the biggest consideration for what goes into children's travel bags.

Books about Travel

Kids love to travel - for the most part, anyway. Traveling is an adventure that includes new places, new people, and new experiences. Is it the child's first time on a plane, include a book about air travel. Does Grandma live in a different geographic region? Include books about that area. They will teach new information and will serve as a natural answer to the never ending question Are we there yet?

Books about Christmas

Everyone is excited about the approaching celebration of Jesus' birth and the many Christmas traditions. Why not include a book or two about the holiday? Reading about the Christmas story is a wonderful way to teach about the blessed event and to help kids corral their excitement as they focus on the pictures and text.

Books about Special Interests

Christmas vacation is a time away from traditional learning, but kids never stop wanting to learn about things that interest them. Include a new book about a high-interest topic. Here are some things to consider when choosing high-interest books.

Books to Share with Grandma

Grandparents never tire of sharing books with their grands. Perhaps they are books that Grandma will read aloud to little ones. Perhaps they are books that beginning readers will proudly read to her. Maybe the books will be books that preteens can read and discuss with Grandma. 

At the beginning of a new year, many people start a new devotional. Choosing one that a grandparent can begin with a young child or preteen is a wonderful way for grandparents to share their faith with another generation. I am privileged to be the author of two devotionals for preteens. Dare U 2 Open This Book is for boys ages 8 - 12. Just Sayin' is for girls ages 8 -12. You can read more about them by clicking on the pictures to the right.

What kind of books will your kiddos pack this year?