I was on Twitter, I know it’s renamed but I don’t care, and I was talking about how I’m always on the lookout for new children’s Bible studies and devotionals. So many don’t focus much on the Bible Study portion and instead focus on telling a story that makes you feel good with a sprinkling of Bible. Then I was talking with Miss Cara Reads on there and she mentioned a series called At Papa’s Knee Children’s Devotional and offered to send me a copy, so now I have a cool new devotional series to recommend starting with Around Home Children’s Devotional.
(I received the Around Home children’s devotional for free, but these are my opinions, and there are affiliate links in here)
At Papa’s Knee Children’s Devotional series
This is a fairly simple series, it actually reminds me a bit of a book I had as a child, In Grandma’s Attic, with short stories told by a grandparent as they just enjoy each other’s company. As my daughter would say, “It’s so wholesome.”
The difference between those books and this series, these are picture books and these are made to be read by parents (or grandparents) cuddling with their kids together.
Also, these are specifically to teach your child how to grow in their faith. When I started out to write about these I was going to write about the series as a whole, but as I read each story in the first book I realized that would be a disservice to the series, and would take away from one of my goals, I want posts to be specific, so if you as a parent are looking for a specific type of study for a specific topic it is not as helpful to share the entire series.
What age are these books for?
I would use these with my pre-reading kids or kids who are not quite ready to study the Bible independently. These are short stories, with a scenario and where the child learns from the events in the home.
After there are discussion questions, a few Bible verses, then a live-it-out portion with questions to think about for what you should do now, and finally a short model of prayer.
About third or fourth grade, I would say your child should be able to move past this series, but it’s perfect for the preschool to second grade age range to work through (I think some four-year-olds or a four-year-old with an older sibling could focus for this).
But the sweet spot really will be that first/second-grade range.
What makes these children’s devotionals different?
Part of our conversation on Twitter was me bemoaning how many children’s devotionals are geared for people in public school. My kids would read the scenarios and have no relation to them because they didn’t deal with that.
These have homeschooled kids, and kids living on a homestead farm. I haven’t read the entire series yet, I was so excited by the first book I decided to write this first, but I’m betting the other family (Papa has two kids, so two different families) is in public school. So we get two different viewpoints.
Even if they’re not, it’s so unusual to have a homeschool family featured, that I really don’t care.
They also have different family sizes, it’s not the stereotypical two-kid families. The Mercy and Peter Meade family has four kids, with one child being adopted from another country. The Paul and Anna Meade family has seven kids and lives on the farm with Papa and Nana Meade.
With such large families we have many different age ranges to interact with, though the stories are dealing with the younger kids in the 4-8 year-old ranges.
How to use these devotionals
Like I said earlier, these are perfect to read with your kids as bedtime stories all cuddled up in bed. I could picture alternating between these and reading through storybook Bibles.
Alternatively, if you are homeschooling and have a Bible time in your lesson plans, that would be a great way to read through these.
They each take about 10 to 15 minutes to do. Reading the story is maybe five minutes, and the discussion afterward will only be about 5-10 minutes between reading the three verses included with each lesson, and how long kids take to talk about it.
Around Home Children’s Devotional is the perfect starting place
As you might expect from a book titled Around Home, it focuses on issues that might come up with your family around the home.
It deals with how to respond to accidentally breaking things, how to be thankful, obedience, why we have family devotions, how to forgive, and worrying.
Each devotional has a short scenario your kids will be familiar with. A child dropping a dish and breaking it, worrying about a school project (in this case more homework from a co-op, see that homeschool reference, and learning lines for a play), a trick a sibling played, thanking a parent. This story is followed up by a lesson from Pap who happens to be there at the time.
This lesson is sometimes a story from the Bible, and sometimes it is a story from church history. Maybe it’s a missionary or a theologian who is in a similar scenario.
Do you know how rare it is for children’s devotionals to include church history? I love that this one includes church history.
After the story, we get the questions I referred to earlier.
Topics covered in Around Home children’s devotional
- God’s promises
- repentance and forgiveness
- growing in Christ
- prayer (several situations for this)
- envy and being content
All in all, I’m really excited about this series, and I wish I’d read it earlier. Because it is definitely a series I’m going to be recommending to my friends.
Looking for more Bible studies?
Like I said, I think this is a great starting point of a Bible study for early elementary, it’s a devotional that provides immediate application, but I also have suggestions of Bible studies for older kids, so here you go:
- Growing Up Wild Missions curriclum– learn about the importance of missions (ironically another homeschool family)
- Lydia Bible study– aimed for upper elementary and a good first study the Bible on my own
- How to walk like Jesus (gospel study)– this is once you’re solidly reading and want to learn how to study the Bible on your own
- How to Study the Bible for Kids– an ebook that teaches your kids step by step different Bible study methods
- Bible study for creative people– this is great for high school and adults, I’ve done several of these studies