Child Devotions

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TariOronar

Puritan Board Freshman
In our homeschool, we have "circle time". We begin singing a hymn and a psalm, bible memory work, catechism, and then we start going into general homeschool group work. I used to also do a devotional with them from the Children Desiring God books. This year, my husband started reading Ligonier's Tabletalk to them at night, so I dropped the morning devotional.
My eldest, who's 10 has been asking to do "bible study" in the morning again. However, she's under the impression that the Children Desiring God books are for little kids and she's really too big for them. That's partially because she has an extremely high reading level, and the simpler language feels over simplified to her.
Does any one know of a devotional that appropriate for older elementary, but doesn't "talk down" to the reader?
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I’m doing the math (no pun intended) and it seems elementary level studies are not what she needs. You said ‘extremely high’ reading level at age 10. That makes me think 12-13+. That would be junior high level stuff at least or high school level at a slower pace. Paging @Jack K :)
 

TariOronar

Puritan Board Freshman
Yeah, that's kinda where I'm stuck. She easily has a high school reading/comprehension level, but emotionally, she's still 10. Though you're probably right and I'm just looking in the wrong place :)
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have a 10 year old daughter as well and my wife and I have also encountered that stage where she's grown out of the study material that is often marketed/recommended for her age group.

I decided to just go chapter by chapter through an actual study bible with her. We take turns reading the scriptures out loud and review the study notes together. This has been a good transition and has helped to get her to directly engage the scriptures more. Additionally, her and I read through the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (in Modern English) that Founders Ministries publishes together and we spend time looking up all the cited proof texts and discussing each section.

That's neat that your husband reads through Ligonier's Tabletalk with your children. I use that for my personal devotional time in the morning before work, but have not considered incorporating it more broadly with the rest of my family.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
If the Children Desiring God books feel too young, your next step up might be the children's Bible commentary series from Nancy Ganz. Most "Bible devotionals" for kids don't actually discuss Bible texts, but this series is all about discussing the text. The content is solid, and it doesn't talk down.

But when I read your story, it sounds like your family already reads about the Bible via Tabletalk. However, I didn't see you mention reading through the Bible itself, directly. If you don't already do that, I think you might want to consider making Bible time straight Bible reading, perhaps followed by an opportunity to discuss what was read if someone has something to say/ask. Straight-up Bible reading is immensely beneficial for kids. You don't need a guide, and I can't think of a tween-oriented one I'd recommend anyway. Maybe keep a good study Bible handy in case you have a question. Otherwise, just read through the Bible.
 

Kinghezy

Puritan Board Sophomore
However, I didn't see you mention reading through the Bible itself, directly. If you don't already do that, I think you might want to consider making Bible time straight Bible reading, perhaps followed by an opportunity to discuss what was read if someone has something to say/ask. Straight-up Bible reading is immenseYou don't need a guide, and I can't think of a tween-oriented one I'd recommend anyway. Maybe keep a good study Bible handy in case you have a question. Otherwise, just read through the Bible.

That is what we are doing. I typically will read a passage and Matthew Henry the day before (to help with some insight), and then read the passage during supper. Our daughter is 7 (with 4 and 1 year old brothers). What's nice about this approach is what we read likely won't change much, but I expect that the questions will. We have alternated books in the bible, and are currently in a trek through 1 Samuel up through 2 Kings (you may be able to tell where we are at based on when I post quotes from Matthew Henry -- currently just finished Solomon's reign).

I like it, because it forces me to slow down and read passages slower than I normally would. And I like reinforcing the preeminence of scripture. Sometimes what I have to say is not very much, but at least I ensured we have read scripture together.

That is great that you get to have scripture, hymn, and psalm during the school day.
 

Jo_Was

Puritan Board Freshman
So I have been teaching Sunday School with middle school girls for the past few months, and what I have mostly done thus far has been going through the Westminster Confession of Faith and breaking it down while also looking at the scripture proofs and longer passages of scripture that coincide with the confession's topic. But I, too, would like to introduce commentaries as a resource (though I have occasionally used bits and broken them down in a lesson), but perhaps one more approachable in language for that age group is of want. I think it would be a helpful stepping stone for them to be able to explore commentaries on their own, at a higher level one day, as helpful guides alongside reading whole books of the Bible. I think a combination of reading through a book together (try to choose an approachable one for her abilities), and having alongside it a commentary for reference could be a help. I've found that occasionally referring to Matthew Henry, John Calvin, and John Gill (in bite sized portions) has been fruitful with the middle school girls. So perhaps even just finding a more approachable commentary in general could be of use! I also feel like Michael Horton's The Christian Faith is much more approachable of a modern reformed commentary, and while that obviously still gets far too technical for a 10 year old in some areas, I wonder if perhaps his shorter, but similar, "Pilgrim Theology" is a more approachable bit. Again, I know they're rather high level, but I do think in some areas, some of these more approachable than we give them (and young readers) credit for. But, again, if going from this approach, I'd recommend it being an accessory to going through a book primarily...to kind of ease in how to use it, and understanding, etc.
 

TariOronar

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you. We do listen the an audio bible (for my "read though the bible in a year") during breakfast, but it never occurred to me to read an discuss a portion together (though now that it's been mentioned, it seems kinda obvious). We have both Calvin and Henry commentary sets on hand, though I think I've looked at them more than into them. Thank you for all the suggestions! I really appreciate it.
 
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