As a Sunday School teacher, I am always looking for fresh ideas to keep my lessons interesting. As a mother, I am on the lookout for interesting and creative ways to pass on my faith to my children, and to initiate spiritual discussions. When given the opportunity to review two different sets of lessons from Christianity Cove, I signed up right away!
We were given the opportunity to review Daily Dilemmas: 26 True-To-Life Devotions for Kids and Bible Science Experiments through The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Daily Dilemmas is a 60 page downloadable e-book that covers moral topics that children ages 6-12 might face on a daily basis. There are 26 real life scenarios given, and they are very relatable for children! These can be used as teaching moments when parents notice a struggle in a certain area (thanks to the handy topic index that is included) or they can be used as daily devotions, preparing for a situation before it arises in the child's life!
A quote from the author, Mary-Kate Warner:
Each devotion is set up this way:Devotions are the single most effective way
to prepare children to respond honorably in
life's defining moments.
- The story is presented for the parent or teacher to read to the children. The stories are interesting, and will present a problem (moral dilemma or 'sticky situation') that the children in the story are facing.
- Scriptures to read that help the student decide what the children in the story should do.
- Possible solutions for the teacher/parent to read, to help guide the students in their thought process. Students first listen to the Scriptures, then think about the possible solutions in light of those verses. They can then be guided into choosing the best solution to the dilemma presented.
- Reflections for the teacher include some key ideas that the teacher can emphasize while guiding the discussion.
How we used these lessons: I read them to the girls, shared the Scripture, gave them the four options, and then listened to their responses. Though there were none that addressed any current crises personally, I truly believe it is prudent to prepare children for trouble spots that they will face eventually in their lives. Sometimes we would take one or two of them and use them for dinner table discussions!
What I really like: I love that these devotions only take a few minutes. I am a big believer that devotions should be enjoyed by children. It is not a time to correct all the wrongs, but a time of sincere family fellowship around God's Word. In just a short time, you can really teach a lesson that will "stick". I also like that there is no preparation time involved. You can pick up this devotional book at any time, read a devotion (or more) and have a complete lesson without a lot of prep work, because everything you need is laid out right there.
A unique idea: Since this book has 26 lessons, it would be easy to go through it once a month with younger children.
My wish list: If there was one thing I could change about these lessons, I would have them use King James verses in the lessons so we wouldn't have to look them up separately and I could just read them to the girls from the lesson page.
Want to read a sample lesson? If you click this link, it will take you to a sample lesson that covers the topics of stealing and peer pressure.
Interested in purchasing? If you visit the Christianity Cove website, you can purchase the e-book for $29. You will receive the download right away after purchase, and you can then print it out at home if you wish, or use it on your browser. (Personally, I like printing out the lessons and keeping them in a 3 ring binder). The company offers a 60 day money back guarantee.
Bible Science Experiments
It is not just boys that like cool science experiments, although I think that using science experiments as object lessons is a GREAT way to arrest a young boy's attention and get them to slow down long enough to observe, think about what they are seeing, and listen to their parent or teacher show them how it applies to God's Word!
This downloadable e-book is 55 pages long and contains 25 simple experiments, each with a short supply list, an applicable Scripture verse, and instructions to complete the experiment. There are also discussion questions (and simple explanations) about the science aspect, as well as the spiritual application (understanding God). The experiments are broken down into five categories, containing five experiments each:
How we used these lessons: I not only was able to try out some of these lessons with the girls, but I also took one into my Senior High Sunday School class. The lessons were well received by all.
What I really like: Again, I loved the simplicity of the lessons. Nearly all the materials are common, everyday household items which are more than likely already in your house like they were mine. No putting off the experiments while waiting for shopping day to roll around! Also, the scientific explanations are simple enough that children can easily understand, but deep enough to still be interesting and 'neat' to a teen. (Although the lessons are recommended for the 6-12 age group, I thought they could very easily adapt to a younger or older class).
If I could change: Again, it would be that the lessons used King James for the verses included.
To purchase: At the time of this review, the Bible Science Experiments e-book can be purchased from Christianity Cove for $25. (regular price is $39.95). Soon after paying, you will receive the e-book to download to your computer, where you can print the lessons or use them on your browser.
Some fun pictures of Kelly and I discussing the lesson "Using Bubbles to See Colors". We got to blow some bubbles, then examine them closely. We saw how they differ. The discussion that followed explained that people are unique individuals, just like the bubbles are. Even though we each are different, God loves all of us the same, and salvation is freely available to each one of us, no matter what we have done. We had a lot of fun spending time together blowing bubbles, and I believe the time spent opened up the door for the discussion afterwards, giving me the opportunity to "pass down" some of my faith to Kelly in a fun way that she could understand clearly.
Christianity Cove has a long list of Sunday School lessons that can easily be adapted to a class or homeschool setting, and can also be adjusted for age and understanding levels. I highly recommend visiting some of the reviews of other Crew members to see what is available and how you can use it!
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