2ND GRADE: FAMILY DEVOTIONALS
Why this is important:
At this age most children are ready to move from story time to devotional time. They are ready to start reading God’s word and learning more details about it.
What to do:
Establish a time for your family to gather and devote time to studying God’s Word together. Pick a date and time and communicate it to everyone in the family. Establishing a routine is again critical to making this process a success. Your children need to see that you view this time as important.
Decide what resources you need for this time of devotion to be valuable to all family members. Keep the devotionals relatively short (i.e., 15 minutes or less), basic, and age-appropriate. Find what works for your family!
Finding time to plan can be difficult. You may choose to do the Faith @ Home activity in the weekly Faith City Newsletter. Pinterest is filled with activities and ideas for faith focused family evenings. Or use a book that already has the devotions created for you.
Decide how often you will have family devotions and stick to the schedule. Display the commitment to putting God first. You will also encounter many competing interests, like sports practice and games, work demands, distractions from cell phones and screens. Show your family how important this is by making it a priority.
Changing the scenery can really make this experience more memorable. Try doing a devotional on a blanket in your backyard, or at night under the stars, under the Christmas Tree, or at the beach. There are many devotional ideas to connect to your child's particular interests.
3RD GRADE: SERVE
Why this is important:
When we follow the model of Jesus, we live a life of service and love to others. We are to live our lives as living sacrifices, and when we serve, we give of ourselves. Service need not be a project, but more a way of living.
What to do:
Talk about how Jesus served others. What types of people did he serve? Who can we serve? How can we serve? If we begin to enter any situation and ask "What needs to be done?", we begin serving right here and now where God has us. Pray to God asking him to show your family opportunities to serve and to give your family the courage and wisdom to take the steps to serve. How can your child serve in his/ her home? School? Church? Community? Brainstorm ideas together. You may be surprised at the ideas your child comes up with! Don't assume that you know how bes to serve someone. Many times it is most beneficial to ask, "How can I serve you?" instead of assuming we know the needs of others.
Serving others does not always mean physical needs. We need to serve others by meeting their emotional needs too. Is there a shut in or someone who is sick who you can visit with or send cards to?
What to expect:
You can expect to feel a little out of your comfort zone on some of these projects. That is okay; it will be a great growing opportunity for you too! Your child will love doing things for others if you explain why you are doing these acts of service.
Sometimes, figuring out what to do can be tricky. Ask around to see what the needs are. Even if it is something simple, it will be remembered and will have an impact on your child.
MAKE THE MOST:
Make the most of the time you already spend together by creating some routines in your daily life. Build your child up each morning by waking them up with kind and encouraging words. Make the most of the time you spend in the car. (Perhaps you want to make this a no screen zone). As you drive around town, talk to your child, share stories, ask questions, listen. Make family meal times sacred time. It can be hard to get everyone together to eat. It's a lot less about the food and a lot more about connecting, establishing values, and communicating character and love. Plan one-on-one time with your child. Taking a walk together may be a wonderful way to connect. Prioritize your bedtime routine. The conversations you have at bedtime are an incredible opportunity to connect to your child's heart. Regardless of how old your child is, praying with and blessing your child each night is something that will continue to bless your child for the rest of their life.
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