Monday, June 10, 2013

TOS Crew Review- Daily Dilemmas

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Christianity Cove is a wonderful publishing company that offers curriculum for Sunday Schools as well as home use, Bible games, crafts and more.  Recently we were given the opportunity to review Daily Dilemmas- 26 True-to-Life Devotions for Kids aimed at children ages 6-12.  These devotions cover what the publisher considers the 26 most common moral issues that kids face today.  The downloadable e-book is available for $29.00 and has a 60 day money back guarantee..
 photo 26devotions_zpse20f3cac.jpg Each devotion is divided into four parts.  First is the "scenario" that you read like a short story to your child.  Secondly, there are related scripture that you can look up.  Next comes a list of four possible scenarios for your child to rank from most appropriate Christian response to the least appropriate.  Lastly, there is a reflections section at the end of the book that helps guide a parent in initiating further discussion and guiding to the proper choice.  It talks about the pros and cons of each answer and then backs up with scripture why they think their particular first choice is the best.  This section is really intended to be read by the parent as a guide, but we ended up reading much of it to the kids, as it had a lot of details and continually referenced the bible.

The whys of devotions-
Devotions allow kids to experience moral dilemmas in a safe, secure environment, think about the "right" thing to do, and receive guidance from an experienced teacher or parent.
So when that challenging situation pops up in real life, they know exactly how to respond in a way that's consistent with their Christian values. (from the website)
I just had to include the above quote from the publisher because I think it sums up our need for devotions of this manner.  When we can teach our children not only what we believe, but also why we believe it and then EQUIP them to apply those beliefs to their every day life, then I think we are walking in the right direction. 

What we did and what we thought- 
Because our family already has a nightly family devotion time, this was super easy to add to our evening.  Each night my husband would read the scenario and the choices available.  Then each child would decide which one they thought was the "most appropriate Christian response."  Then, the heat was on!  Yes, it usually led to quite some heated and often lengthy discussions about what one should do versus what one would really want to do.  I will have to say, we did not always agree with the answers the publisher led you to.  Actually it wasn't that we disagreed, but there always seemed to be so much more you could add- and our kids always wanted to add the what ifs and what abouts!  I think at times it irritated them that our family had different ideas, but as we tried to point out to them, it WAS generating thought and allowing us as a family to decide how we felt and discuss what we believed and why.  That is, after all, the point of such a devotion book, after all!  I would have liked to have seen another label other than "the most Christian response", but that is just me splitting hairs about labels, I am sure.
One of the strong points of this book is that each scenario listed in the table of contents tells what situation it covers such as honesty, friendship, loyalty, responsibility and more.  I especially like this because I can see choosing to use a particular  devotion that may be applicable to a current situation in your child's life or focusing on a specific character trait you are trying to teach.  Another thing I really liked was that at the end of the book all of the scripture referenced are listed alphabetically by the books of the Bible.  After our current bible memory list, we are going to use this list for our family scripture memory work.   It is a pretty exhaustive list of verses that are very meaningful to kids at this age.
Our Bottom Line-
I think my kids had a hard time engaging in some of the scenarios because many were centered around public school life, I do think we benefited from the discussions many of the scenarios raised.  If you are looking for a place to start with family devotions and have kids in the 6-12 year old range, this may be a good way to get started.


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