Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Our son enjoys reading different youth bibles and devotionals so he was very excited to review The Action Bible Anytime Devotions from David C Cook. We approached this devotional in several ways in our homeschool. From my passing it to our first grader to read independently, to our son and I sitting together to read some of the devotions together, to our daughter and I reading a few of them together before bedtime. There are quite a number of ways in which one could incorporate The Action Bible Anytime Devotions: 90 Ways to Help Kids Connect with God Anytime, Anywhere into their children's' lives.
The Basics of the Book
The paperback book is 193 pages with a set of illustrations by Sergio Cariello that repeat as you read through the book. There is a place to write the name of the child to whom you are presenting the book, along with your own name and the date. It is geared for children ages 8-12 years old to help them learn about God's world, relate to the people in the Bible as real people, think about the Bible in a way that will help them grow, and apply the lessons to their own life. There are eight general topics covered that address many important difficulties and problems that children may be facing in their everyday lives. In total, there are 90 devotions to read.
The topics include:
If you or your child wishes to focus upon a specific topic, you or they can flip through the book as the topics are listed on the top right-hand side of the pages. Or you can look through the table of contents where the topics are listed behind the devotion title but before the Bible reference. The manner in which the book is laid out makes it easy to find topics that might help address your child's current worry, problem, or concern.
Each two-page devotion opens with a quote from the Bible and then a story to help make connections to the real world. From there, children are introduced to questions that will help them explore the topic on their own, a prayer relating to the topic, and a way they can take it further by reading in their Bible (the book references The Action Bible).
Each devotion does not take long to read – probably only a couple of minutes. We were able to read several different ones before bedtime one evening.
How Did We Use Anytime Devotions in Our Homeschool?
Like with most books, I gave The Action Bible Anytime Devotions book to our first grader when it arrived for him to read on his own. He read through several devotions, flipping through and picking and choosing from the book based upon the various specific topics. He then pointed out some that might be helpful for his sister to read or have read to her.
Taking a break from our writing curriculum that includes Bible stories, I incorporated the Devotions into our everyday lessons. Our first grader and I would sit down together and read through one devotion. We talked about the quote that was chosen as well as the story that was shared. We then went through the story and talked about whether or not our son had ever felt like the boy or girl in that story. We answered the questions provided. I read the prayer and on one occasion our son said, "I really need to remember this prayer." Finally, we sometimes looked in my Bible "take it further."
One of the devotions I read with both our younger children was "Always Time to Forgive." Like many siblings, our son and daughter get into arguments. The story shared in this devotion was about a brother and sister who play video games with each (much like our children) but on this occasion, Sarah ended her brother's turn playing the game early. There have been a number of times that our daughter has 'ruined' something in the Minecraft world, upsetting her brother. And of course, he has said he never wants to play games with her again. But they always do – sometimes after a long period of cooling off or lots of intervention and discussion from myself or my husband. After reading through this devotion, my hope is that both will remember how important it is to forgive not just seven times but seventy times seven times.
When I asked our son which devotions he wanted to read, he would flip through the book and look at the different topics to pick and choose which to read. Having the topics listed at the top of the pages was very helpful!
He would also use the table of contents to pick and choose which devotions he wanted to read each evening. The table of contents had lots of useful information that he used to choose from the topics to Bible references.
What Did We Think?
I think that The Action Bible Anytime Devotions is a great resource for children and their families who are looking to connect with God through His Word. The use of 'action verses,' prayers, and references to Scripture really brings the Devotions to life in my eyes. I appreciate that the book is not just a collection of stories or prayers for children. It really does try to meet multiple needs for children. I also really enjoyed the illustrations. I just wish there were more than one set that repeated as well as ones that were more directly connected with each devotion.
Our four-year-old daughter likes the pictures in the book, too. One of her favorite illustrations was Jonah and the fish. As she was looking at the pictures, she would recount the stories she was familiar with from the Bible. She was also impressed with how large Goliath was in the illustration of him fighting David.
When I asked our six-year-old son what he enjoyed the most he said, he liked the inclusion of the real-world struggles and how they tied into the rest of the devotion. He liked reading about the examples of other children and their problems. One of the devotions that stuck out to him was "For Times When You Need a Guide." The real-world struggle presented is that of Chad approaching a group of older boys who are looking at bad videos on someone's phone. Chad knew it was wrong and walked away. The devotion then goes on to remind children that Jesus sends the Holy Spirit as a guide to help them when they might not know what to do. I think this is a great devotion to include in the book because too many of our children will be tested with inappropriate content when we, as parents, are not around to offer advice.
I would recommend The Action Bible Anytime Devotions to families who are seeking a book for their preteen to read either independently or with their parents that will help guide them to God's message. It is the perfect size for them to carry in their backpack and take with them to use at any time.
Do You Want To Learn More?
David C Cook publishes a great number of excellent books and they also help spread the Gospel around the world when people purchase books, music, and curriculum.
Our family was only one of many that had the opportunity to read and review The Action Bible Anytime Devotions in their homeschool. Please visit the reviews to see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this newest book from David C Cook.