"My kids loved hearing what the little kids on the CD had to say."
If you've wanted to employ a Bible class for your preschool-aged and/or elementary-aged children, but haven't been able to find anything that is practical or easy enough to implement, I know your frustration.
Either the lessons are too long (or drab), not age appropriate, or just too silly and abstract to really qualify as Bible lessons. If you've asked yourself, "Why can't anyone come up with a program that works?" The answer is, "SOMEONE HAS!"
I'm really excited about what DateTrak Technologies has put together (and I'm including a graphic because it's too cute to accurately describe). The KIDZ PAK is a phenomenally fun way to introduce a Bible program for young students. For starters, the box that it comes in is so bright and cheery that little ones are instantly intrigued. My three-year-old couldn't keep his hands off the bright red box and kept asking me, "That's mine? All the stuff in there is for me?" He was all grins. And it's no wonder. Each KIDZ PAK comes with a bright, cheery "Gotta Have God" shirt, a devotional book (which includes activities), a devotional audio CD series, and a parent/teacher guide.
What's nice about this compilation is that you can use different pieces at your convenience. We started with the audio CD. This CD has been arranged extremely well. An adult tells an animated story dealing with character issues, and at the end of each story, the storyteller asks children questions, connects the character issues of the story to biblical concepts, and then asks the kids to give examples in their own words.
This is very interactive and my kids loved hearing what the little kids on the CD had to say. For instance, the first short story on the CD we listened to was about bad habits. First, the title of the story is announced and then a child reads a Bible verse (this one was Col 3:2 "Set your mind on things above"). Then an adult told a colorful story about a little girl who would not stop biting her nails - even when they were cracking and bleeding. A solution was offered, showing how the little girl overcame the bad habit. At the end of the story, the adult asked the child on the CD some questions about the story (comprehension and remembering details) and then asked about examples of people in the Bible who had bad habits (this child picked Jonah as an example as a person who had a bad habit of not obeying God). And then the adult and little kid pray together about strengthening their character in that specific area.
I really like this format. The stories are short - about three minutes each-and are entertaining. The entire CD is about 70 minutes long. It wasn't just my three-year-old who wanted to be a part of these lessons. My seven-year-old, eight-year-old and nine-year-old really enjoyed listening to the stories, answering the questions and praying at the end of each story along with the child on the CD. Afterwards, they all wanted to recount their favorite stories and the lessons that were given. The only possible drawback that I found with the CD series was that in one of the stories the word stupid was "acted out" in a character story about respect (stupid is a bad word at our house). The whole point of the story was about how calling things stupid is not respectful, so in context I found it acceptable.
The devotional books are also put together perfectly - they are arranged in a very simple and easy-to-use format. It's actually the same format used on the CD, but at the end of the story, question time, and prayer, there is a fun activity page for the child to do. For preschoolers, this is fantastic. The pages are simple and they introduce simple concepts and foundational learning basics (identifying pictures in context, coloring, comparing, counting, simple projects, mazes, and more). The Fun Devotions for Boys -- Gotta Have God book is 237 pages. The lessons subjects cover: Gotta Trust God (fear, happiness, love, bitterness, sympathy, contentment, temper, gentleness, etc), Gotta Know About God's World (nature, environment, death, weather, origins, change, etc), Gotta Keep Learning (peace, discovery, rules, cooperation, perseverance, careers, etc.), Gotta Get Along (helpfulness, haring, teasing, assistance, encouragement, consideration, promises, compassions, etc), Gotta Obey (politeness, charity, play, forgiveness, obeying, exaggeration, sacrifice, humility, etc), and Gotta Be Safe (protection, consequences, endurance, health, illness, etc.). These are all broken into a two-page format that is really easy to do (for both the parent and child!).
I plan to use this as my three-year-old's sole core curriculum for the year. After his couple of lessons from the devotional book, he was so excited to have his very own "homework" like his big brother and sisters. I am really excited about this series. It's perfect for his full school year, and I will continue to use the CD as a supplement for my older kids as well.
This is the first Bible/character curriculum that I have found that I know can easily be implemented into my busy school day. I think the best thing I like is how these lessons are put together into short, attention-grabbing segments. There is a lot of freedom with this format. If you have a two to five-year-old, you will want KIDZ PAK as their early learning program. This is THE Bible/character curriculum to get for young ages. With six kids, I need easy and usable in my life! I'm not sure which I like better - the devotional book or the CD. Both are so well done!
The Gotta Have God and God and Me! KIDZ PAK come in individual Boys and Girls sets or in a Combo PAK. The KIDZ PAK retails for $59.95 or $99.95 for the Combo PAK. Or you can buy individual pieces from the KIDZ PAK set (devotional books are around $12 and devotional CD's are around $15) from their website www.gottahavegod.com.
Be sure to check their site for more information, and to see what they have available for older ages.
Nicely done, DateTrak. You've put together a wonderful resource for homeschoolers!