Life can be hectic. As moms we have many hats to wear; chauffeur, cook, laundress, maid, teacher, counselor, disciplinarian, and more! Sometimes it can seem impossible to find the time to teach our children the things that we truly want them to learn, the most important things, due to the busyness of our lives. However, I have found that the best learning comes when we are simply living life together. One of my children asks a question like, “Mommy, what do sharks eat?” Which will spark a flurry of activity looking for any books we may have about sharks, searching the internet to see what we can find about their eating habits, role-playing with our toy sharks from the ‘sea creatures’ bin, and possibly even planning a field trip to an aquarium so that we can actually watch sharks in action as they feed.
It is the same with the topic of Bible in our home. As we live life we talk about God, His creation, what His Word says, and whether our actions are matching up in obedience to the scriptures.
5 Ways We Are Fitting God’s Word Into Life with Our Toddlers and Preschoolers
Read bible story books Our shelves are full of many books since we are a homeschooling family. A portion of those books is made up of bibles and bible story books for our little girls. Often, I will walk through our living room, only to see a stack 2-feet-high of all of the bible story books we own in a child-sized chair, evidence that one of my little girls has been poring over their pages, marveling at the people she sees from long ago. We often sit down together to read those stories and talk about the people, deciding how the lessons they learned apply to our lives today. My littles girls are still very young. Our discussions are only minutes long at a time. But I believe that talking about God and His Word now is an integral part of our relationship and how it will develop in relation to being able to discuss God in the years to come.
Memorize scripture Sometimes we work on memorizing bible verses here at home that I have decided I would like my children to learn. More often, my daughters bring home little papers from church each week that tell us what they learned and include their memory verse. I sometimes incorporate these lessons and verses in our home throughout the week. I will read the verse out loud, ask questions about what they learned in their class at church, and then as situations arise that relate, I will bring the conversation with my girls back around to the verse or lesson from that week.
Observe His creation Most of our family enjoys the outdoors. When spring arrives each year we begin to spend as much time outside as possible. We are invigorated by the signs of new life, the fresh air, and the warmth that surrounds us during this time each year. As spring turns into summer, we begin to see vegetables growing in our garden, butterflies alighting in the trees, the sun setting over the mountains behind our home; all indicators of the Creator and His majestic presence in our world. There is no denying His existence, especially for a child. Psalm 19:1 tells us
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Conversation about our surroundings naturally lead to the beauty of creation and the wonder of our Maker.
Talk about and demonstrate an attitude of thankfulness The bible tells us to give thanks.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 …..give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Any time attitudes around here need it, I bring our attention to the fact that God tells us to be thankful. And I will point out the many things, big and small, for which we should be thankful. However, there is nothing I have found to be more effective than pointing out what God’s word says, and then living it myself. Our children see that. I do not do this perfectly, but I try and I admit when I make mistakes. Then, I move forward with the confidence that in Jesus all things are possible, and I am thankful.
Cultivate a joyful heart It is so easy for me to begin to count all of the ways that I have been wronged, or to dwell on the small injustices in life or the petty irritants of day. I think many of us are more quick to see the negative than the positive. Yet, God speaks to this, too, in His word.
Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Cultivating a heart of joy, first in ourselves, overflows onto our children. I can see in my family where some of my kids have taken on my bad habit of negativity, and others more easily possess joyful hearts. I realize that this is in part due to personality differences, but I also think that, for our family, it is a result of where mama was in her own joyfulness during the crucial growing up years of some versus where mama’s heart is now during those years for the younger set of kids. Cultivating a joyful heart in myself is something that I must be diligent about. Since I can tend toward the negative and melancholy due to my personality, I am more aware of my need to take measures to put the right things into my mind. I must constantly renew my thinking with God’s truths, so that the overflow of the joy of the Lord in me is poured out onto my children and is filling them up.
Is there something you do to fit God into your every day with your toddlers and preschoolers that is not on my list? I’m thankful for any tips you can share with me!
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Wendy is a preschool teacher turned homeschool mama when her eldest daughter began to struggle with reading. Taking this homeschool journey was not a part of ‘the plan’ but has been rife with unexpected twists and turns, difficult days, blessings, and celebration. Wendy desires to encourage women in their roles as wives, mothers, and home educators. She says, “If I can homeschool then anyone can!” Be sure to connect with Wendy at her blog, WendyWoerner, as well as on her Facebook page.