When I gave my oldest daughter her first full children’s Bible and let her loose on reading it independently, I forgot about the R-rated sections of the Old Testament. While much of the Bible is great for kids, I just wasn’t quite ready to explain or address some of the more graphic murder and incest scenes with runny-nosed 1st grader who still occasionally wet the bed.
But I also had trouble finding a children’s devotional that gave her any significant chunks of Scripture for her to read for herself. Most of the devotional books I bought (or was gifted) had great lessons – that were based on one tiny Bible verse. No stories, no plotlines, no meaty sections of the Word of God for her to dive into and get excited about. She didn’t usually even have to open up her Bible at all to complete the devotional. And while I didn’t mind the lessons in the devotionals, what I really wanted most was for her to learn to read – and learn to love – God’s Word for herself.
Well, we stumbled through lots of devotionals and books of the Bible and short reading plans, and now she is actually reading (and I think, loving) the Word for herself. But by the time my next kids got to the point of being able to read independently, I was ready to go on the hunt again for a great Bible reading plan for them. Specifically, I wanted:
- A plan that focused more on exciting stories than on “sermonettes” or abstract ideas. Personally, I love Paul’s letters – they are some of my favorite books of the Bible. But when I try to read them with my younger kids, I can tell that a lot of the ideas fly right over their heads.
- A plan that covered a variety of books of the Bible, without trying to cover all of the books of the Bible. More of a survey/fly-over approach than a whole-Bible-in-a-year approach.
- A plan with do-able chunks of Scripture. Not too long that it feels boring or overwhelming, but also not so short that it doesn’t even feel worth their while to find the passage.
- A plan that didn’t shy away from the exciting adventures in the Bible, but did avoid the sketchier (and harder-to-explain) parts.
Long story short… I didn’t ever quite find what I was looking for. But I did find some great ideas/suggestions on good books of the Bible for kids to start with, and a few warnings on which parts to avoid! So I decided to just put it all together into a 12-month plan. Each month has 24 readings (leaving a few days out to account for busy schedules!), with generally no more than about 20-30 verses per day. I tried to break the readings down into natural chunks, where the storyline has a natural pause or break anyway. And most of the readings (besides some Psalms, of course!) follow epic stories – like the creation of the world, the Exodus, Jesus’ birth and life, or the beginnings of the church following Jesus’ death.
This is nothing fancy – just a simple, easy-to-follow reading schedule for each month, with a checkbox for each completed day. But it has been just exactly what my son has needed to get him into the Word on his own… and bonus, he’s having enough fun reading, that he wants to tell me about what he’s reading, too!
You have put on paper exactly what I have been searching for! I am blessed by your gift of writing♡ thank you!
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Oh Angela, I’m so glad!! Thanks so much for your encouraging words – they mean a lot.