January 27, 2011

Quiet Times for Kids

Coming up to the new year, I was starting to get panicky about whether or not I was doing enough for Elizabeth regarding her schooling.  It's pretty irrational - she's developing and learning just fine - but these thoughts are a constant companion for the homeschooling mom.  Can I get a second on that motion?!

I had to keep telling myself something I heard Sally Clarkson say this summer and that you can find in this book: (I paraphrase)  If we're focused on nurturing and training their hearts, the academics will follow.  I had to keep reminding myself (over and over, in my moments of fear) that my primary concern must be loving training and instruction - not so much the details of different subjects.

To that end, I want to share a little idea with you, that I know I did not come up with on my own!  (Thanks, Lord.)

Since Elizabeth is reading and we got her a Bible in the fall (the NIrV - New International readers Version - with simpler vocabulary for the early reader) I thought maybe it was time for her to have her own little quiet time with God before beginning each school day.

We bought a little quiet time journal at Walmart and for each day I make a page like this:

Right now I'm giving her verses to read that talk about different fruit of the Spirit. So, for a couple of weeks she was looking up verses about love, now we're on to joy, and we'll continue through self-control.  Without planning to teach her how to write the date, find Bible verses, and practice writing, she's doing those things in addition to more exposure to Scripture and learning to pray on her own - my original hopes for this time.

And she LOVES it.  She likes feeling grown up - doing something mom does - having her own journal and Bible.  What a blessing it is to see her excited about her time with God - not feeling it an obligation like I did for so many years.  (Fuel for a future post!)

Now it's time for true confessions!  Would you believe that God is using this time to teach me a little more about being patient?!  I know, the opportunities are endless when you're a parent.

Sometimes it takes her FOREVER to find the verses she's to read that day.



I want to butt in and find it for her, hurrying along her time so we can get to the next thing!  (Sometimes I do set a timer for her just to help her stay on task, because my girl can get distracted easily.)  But it is so good for me to learn to let the girl take her time, maintaining her excitement about searching the Bible and her desire to write her own little prayers in her journal.  Seriously, how can you hurry someone in their quiet time?!  It stings every time I get impatient about it - which feels like every single day.  We're both learning!

Just this morning, I was looking forward to her reading through her prayers when she's my age!  Some of them are really sweet.

As a side note:  I'm trying to use her quiet time to read Brian a Bible story from the Beginner's Bible, so we're all doing the same thing.

What are some things you do to get your kids or family in the Word?  Do you know of any good Bible study guides or devotionals for kids?  Mine are young, so it's new territory for me.  Suggest away!


  1. I love this! I will definitely be tucking this one away for future use - can you do me a favor and label this one iwth your homeschool flag? that will help me find it in a few years when Frankie's ready for this :)

    For Brian: You could use the time to listen (and dance!) to some kids memory verses put to song, unless this would distract the quiet time. Sarah sent us a Seeds of Change CD for Christmas - it's great!

    Also, I'm amazed at how my little ones can memorize something if we say it every day, or almost every day. We recite the Lord's Prayer at night, and Dex knows all the words. This has inspired me to mix it up with the Confession!

  2. Sarah sent us one of those too! Brian sings with gusto; we keep it in the car and listen to it all the time. "Take heart, take heart" he sings loudly. But that is a great idea. I've just started this with him, we could def add in some singing time. Thanks!