Time for another true confession on the blog: A secret area of Mommy Guilt for me used to be that I hadn’t been able to get my kids to like reading Bible stories.
We own at least four or five different Bible story books, but my young children (6, 4 and 2 by the way) just hadn’t ever been interested in any of them. Beyond Adam and Eve, Jonah and the Whale, and David and Goliath, the kids weren’t familiar with very many stories and would always choose another story over a Bible story.
Granted, my kids are still very young, and I also can understand that Bible stories can be confusing and even a little boring for young ones. It can be tough to understand what’s really going on (especially if you’re reading the Old Testament!), and the characters, situations, or even God’s actions probably seem strange and harsh.
Enter me running into TAN Homeschool‘s Brian Kennelly at Edel a few months ago. He was filling in for a coworker in the vendors’ room of the conference, and he was the lone male in this grand, historic old hotel filled to the brim with bubbly Catholic women (and more than a handful of bouncing babies who tagged along). I decided to stop by the table because I felt sorry for him. Just kidding.:) Actually, homeschooling was on my mind, because I knew I would be diving into it this year with my daughter Faith.
Much of the material Brian had out that day was a little too advanced for my PreK daughter–except for their Story of the Bible audio drama. It came with a workbook that had lots of coloring pages and activities I thought I’d be able to incorporate into our homeschool this fall. I told Brian that if they sent me a copy of the Story of the Bible (Old Testament) audio drama, I’d be happy to check it out and review it on my blog.
I play a lot of audiobooks and music in our van for the kids these days (mostly because our new-to-us van doesn’t have a DVD player like our old one did!). I decided to put the Story of the Bible CDs into our listening rotation this fall, and it’s been awesome. Here’s why:
- My kids seem to enjoy these–or at least they don’t beg me to turn them off.:)
- The reader, a male with a pleasant, steady voice, stops and explains relevant or important background for each of the stories, including geography, cultural traditions of the time, and helpful explanations for situations that seem harsh or confusing (read: Old Testament stuff that is hard to explain to kids, like why Cain would kill his own brother, and why Jacob would try to steal Esau’s inheritance). The reader presents each story matter-of-factly, but helps the listener unpack what’s going on.
- I really like how the reader gently helps listeners to ask spiritual questions about their own faith lives based on lessons from each Bible story. I was blown away by how much more relevant the Old Testament became for my own faith.
- These audio dramas are produced in a way that is tolerably entertaining for kids as young as four or five, and is good listening for all ages beyond that. The music and sound effects are nicely done, rather than annoying or too cheesy. The older your kids are, the more they will get out of them over time. I love that these are CDs that my family will be listening to for years.
- There is an Old Testament set and a New Testament set. The New Testament set is on my Christmas list for the kids this year. 🙂
The Story of the Bible CDs are actually part of a whole children’s Bible study series that includes text books, activity books, teachers’ manuals, test books, and a video lecture series. I like that the audio drama CDs can truly stand alone as a great resource for families, though. My two oldest children are only going to be in Kindergarten and First Grade next school year (and to be honest, we haven’t discerned clearly yet what we will do school-wise next year), but if we homeschool both kids, I am definitely going to look at using some of the other age-appropriate materials offered in TAN’s Story of the Bible resources.
The best part of doing this review for TAN (other than finding a wonderful resource I’m truly thankful to have for my family) is that I get to give away a copy of the The Story of the Bible Old Testament audio drama! To enter the giveaway, type your email address into the handy Rafflecopter giveaway app below, click through the point prompts to enter, and pray that you get a happy email from me sometime next week.:) The giveaway will run until midnight on Tuesday, December 8th, so enter early before you forget!
Advent joy to you and yours,