I’ve decided to take a little different approach to reading the Bible with J. We were reading his entire toddler Bible through, one story each day. When we finished, we read through his second children’s Bible. This was fine and he enjoyed it, but I knew we could do better.
I decided instead to focus on one story for an undetermined amount of time (until we’ve exhausted it; until he knows the story and is showing that he understands certain lessons from it,…)
We’ve been focusing on the story of Joseph in the Bible for the past month or so (we did take a little break while on vacation). I read the stories from both The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers multiple times throughout those weeks. I love both of these children’s Bibles for different reasons. In the case of Joseph, the rhyming Bible does an excellent job of putting the story on J’s level. Focusing on one story for so long really helps me to start recognizing opportunities throughout the day to reinforce the lessons from the Bible story. I keep reinforcing it for weeks. J is doing so well with this. He now knows who Joseph was, what happened to him, and can tell you a few of the lessons he’s learned from the story.
Here are the lessons we’re learning from Joseph…
- How to respond when we get a gift from someone (like Joseph received his coat from his dad)
- How to respond when others get a gift and we don’t (like Joseph’s brothers… or rather NOT like Joseph’s brothers)
- How to respond when others aren’t kind (like when Joseph’s coat is destroyed and he’s sent away)
- How to take care of our belongings.. and other people’s belongings (NOT like Joseph’s brothers handled the coat)
- We can trust God no matter our circumstances
- We should work hard and do our very best (like Joseph did in Egypt)
- We can keep a happy heart even when circumstances aren’t going well
- If we do something wrong we should ask for forgiveness (like the brothers did in Egypt)
- How we should respond if someone apologizes to us
You’ll notice this list is still lacking. I am trying to pinpoint the lessons that apply to J, at his age and developmental age. I’m trying to give him the milk before he chomps down on the meat to reference a bit of scripture! If I hadn’t been focusing on one story for so long, I wouldn’t missed TONS of teaching opportunities. At this age, they love repetition anyway. He has no problem reading the same story over and over. He even requests Joseph a lot on his own. I’m learning that it was really me that wanted to move faster through the Bible, not J. So for his sake, slower it is!
(By the way, this serves as a good lesson for me too. How many times do I move onto the next scripture in my own quiet time before really grasping and practicing what I read in the previous one!!)
We did make a few crafts when we first started Joseph. We made Joseph’s coat by gluing fabric (and construction paper) squares on a picture I drew and then we did a second craft with dot markers.