Friday, October 7, 2011

Adventures With The Word Of God ~Daily Devotionals

I love this idea. I love this book!

How do you engage a rambunctious 1 year old in family scripture study? I knew I needed a fun activity to win her attention and LDS author, Rebecca Irvine's, book  Adventures with the Word of God was my manna from heaven.

This book is basically an interactive topical or theme study of the scriptures.  It contains 12 months of themes (with templates).  For instance, we just completed a study of Gordon B. Hinckley's  To Be  principles...using bumble bees of course:)  Taking Irvine's template, here's what we created on my family room wall:

On the hive I listed all the To Be's

Each bee has a scripture written on the back to correspond with a To Be principle   
(I laminated them to protect my investment... my time to cut and color all those bees!) 

This particular study is designed to cover 2 months rather the the usual 1 month (however after 6 weeks my little munchkin got bored and wanted to move on to another easy adjustment)

Potential Drawbacks?  This book works really well for us because we only have 1 child currently.  Each study theme is designed to read 1 scripture per day (thus my little munchkin gets to hang 1 bee on the wall each night).  This could be problematic for several reasons:
  • If you have more than 1 child, you may want each child read a scripture and hang a bee on the wall...thus the activity won't last an entire month as designated.
  • You may actually want to study more than 1 scripture verse for family devotional....1 scripture makes devotional short and sweet that's for sure.
An Easy Solution? Your only limit is your imagination.
  • Turn it into a 1 week study (i.e. in between your cover to cover read through of the scriptures) . 
    • The kids will love the interaction, the break of the routine
    • you will teach them how to study by topic which will be quite valuable when they need to find answers to specific life questions. 
    • For instance, this month's topic is Growing A Testimony
    It would be super easy to make this a 5 day study as each flower discusses a different aspect of a testimony.  Each flower has 6 petals, each referencing a scripture that  can be divided up among the family.
     Note: because last month we were adding bees to the wall and this month we are taking away petals from the wall, my little one was a little bit confused.  Remedy? She gets to take the petals down and drop them into a fancy jar...her confusion and consternation suddenly vanished:)
  • Have a meaningful discussion.  Let's face it, if you're only reading one verse, you will either have 30 second devotionals or you will necessarily foster discussion, contemplation, and application.
More Devotional Ideas?  Even if you don't buy this book, it only requires a little creativity to put together your own kid-friendly devotionals.  Some great resources include:

  1. LDS Gospel Art Kit - Each picture has several scriptures and a descriptive paragraph
  2. church magazine or religious articles
  3. Gospel Study by Topic from gives you related talks and scriptures on a topic
  4. LDS General Conference Talks (6 month study/memorize General Authorities/each person choose a favorite talk then use footnote scriptures and talk highlights in devotional)
  5. Church lesson manuals (most lessons have a list of related scriptures)
  6. Seminary Scripture Mastery (here's John Bushman's Daily Scripture Mastery Activity for The Old Testament)
  7. Articles of Faith study/memorization
  8. Do an online search - Homeschool websites, among others, usually have lots of creative ideas and because Gospel learning can be integrated into their curriculum, you are likely to find some great activity ideas.
The possibilities are limitless!  Currently, we spend a portion of family devotional singing a song to learn the names of the 1st Presidency and 12 Apostles using this tune (YouTube). 

This is nothing fancy but we sure have fun with it.  Our next step is to replace their names with photos.

Lots of fun!  I'm excited to create some family devotionals...and I promise I'll share.


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