Mummy and Daddy CD’s

99. Andy and Ang

Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself? At times, repetition is required to train and grow our little ones in the way they should go. One tool that I personally find helpful is our Mummy and Daddy CD’s. I think of them as repeating myself every day for an hour or so without having to say a word!

A Mummy and Daddy CD is a recording that you make of anything you would like your child to memorize or know. Using a question and answer format, you and your husband record yourselves talking and singing and invite your child to join in. We have created one for each of our children to use during room time from around the age of 2 or so and they have all loved them.

Our recordings have included:

  • personal information we want them to remember: (Address, phone number, their full name etc.)
  • some basic general knowledge (naming the days of the week, months of the year)
  • some math skills (counting, skip counting)
  • bible verses we would like them to memorise
  • character definitions and descriptions
  • good manners scenarios
  • children’s bible songs interspersed throughout

The question and answer format uses the child’s name each time and is repeated twice. One parent asks the questions and the other gives the answer. The idea is to have both voices recorded throughout, continuously engaging the child’s interest by using their name and encourage participation. For example;

When Jo wants a drink, what does Jo say?

Jo says “May I have a drink please?”

When Jo wants a drink, what does Jo say?

Jo says “May I have a drink please?”

Or

What is attentiveness?

Attentiveness is listening with the eyes, ears and heart.

Jo shows attentiveness when he stands still and looks at Mummy or Daddy’s face while we are speaking.

What is attentiveness?

Attentiveness is listening with the eyes, ears and heart.

Jo shows attentiveness when he stands still and looks at Mummy or Daddy’s face while we are speaking.

To make the recordings we use a free downloadable recording program from the internet called Audacity. It’s very basic and with my very limited technological understanding I have had no problems operating it. If I can do it, anyone can!

The idea for Mummy and Daddy CD’s comes from “Creative Family Times” by Allen Haidian and Will Wilson.

 

 

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Scripture memorisation

Most Christians understand the importance of memorising scripture; of writing God’s word on our hearts so that we may be able to live by it on a day by day basis. Those occasions where a scripture just pops into our heads when we are caught up in a situation, giving us a warning or guidance that is needed in the moment, are unlikely to happen if we have nothing stored up in our memory for just such an occasion. The same applies to helping our children memorise bible verses.

There are so many ways to go about teaching our little ones how to remember bible verses, the benefit to us being that as we do it together with them we are storing up scripture in our own memories as well. We have tried a few different methods along the way, some of which I’ll outline for you below.

Our favourite system so far (and the one we are using at the moment) is scripture set to song. We start a new verse each Monday during circle time and find that by Friday even our youngest participant (4 years) has easily memorised the song and therefore the scripture passage. There are a few resources around for this but we like the Children Arise CD Series. The music is professionally produced, with children’s’ voices and catchy tunes. They also stay true to the scripture, pretty much singing straight through word for word rather than altering and manipulating the bible verses to fit the music as some other resources do.

Another system we like is the Scripture box from Simply Charlotte Mason. Scriptures are stored on index cards in a simple flip box system and read through on a daily basis until all family members are able to recite the verse. The system details how to cycle through and review verses already memorised and is simple to set up and use.

We have a large white board on the wall near our dining room table and we have written verses we are working on up here. We have redeemed those wasted moments when children tend to lose control while waiting for the meal to arrive at the table by reciting the verses we are working on.

Another great place to pin scriptures that you want children to remember is on the bathroom mirror (you can even write it on in permanent marker and remove once it is well-known) or on the back of the toilet door. When there’s nothing else to do it’s amazing how many times your eyes will travel back over whatever is in front of them.

Pin verses around and about the house anywhere that they are likely to be noticed and read. Above the washing machine to glance through when throwing a load on, above the kitchen sink to contemplate while doing the dishes, above the computer keyboard or any other place you or the children will likely have a spare mental moment to read through and commit to memory.

Reciting verses as part of family devotions can also be very rewarding. Perhaps children who have memorised their verses with Mum can have the thrill of reciting to Dad what they have learnt. I have printed up certificates with the bible verses on them for each child to place into their own keepsake box or pin up on their pinboard as a small reward for learning each one.

However you decide to do it, it’s not as hard as you think once you get going. For me, I need to get a whole bunch prepared ahead of time so that there is no day-to-day planning involved, otherwise it just didn’t happen. You may like to choose scriptures on a day by day basis that are related to character or behavioural issues you are currently dealing with. Which ever way works for you, choose one and get started!

Recommended Resources

Here are a couple of my favourite Christian resources for family devotions, circle time or for simply reading through with children.

The Lamb by John Cross is an amazing resource. It begins with creation and covers the gospel message in a clear and concise form that is easy for children to understand. Each chapter has beautiful, full colour illustrations and summary questions at the end to check for understanding and stimulate discussion. The book comes with an audio CD so children can listen to the story as many times as they like and follow along with the illustrations in the book.

It helps children to comprehend Jesus’ death and resurrection and shows the connection between the old testament sacrificial lamb and Jesus as the Lamb of God. It is aimed at 5 and up, however my children have read through it with me from the age of 3 and it has really helped their understanding of salvation and what it means to them.

The book is a large hardback and is beautifully presented; it makes a lovely gift. It is not available online in Australia but can be ordered from the Goodseed office on 1800 897 333 for a very reasonable price. Cartons of 16 can be purchased for a good discount.

Big Truths for Little Kids

Big Truths For Little Children by Susan and Richie Hunt works through the questions from the children’s catechism. It breaks the questions into small groups and follows each group with a related story about Caleb and Cassie that incorporates the truths from the catechism. We have been working on memorizing the Westminster Children’s Catechism for a while now and my children loved these stories. Our only problem was that they wanted to keep reading the next story before they could remember the answers to the questions! I think it is vital for all children to know exactly what it is they believe and the catechism is an excellent way to ensure that their understanding is thorough.  Even if the answers are a little above them, they can still remember them and grow into full understanding as they mature. My 3 1/2 year old knows the first 30 or 40 questions now and the others are further along, so start early while they are sponges just waiting to soak up knowledge.

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism

Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade follows the Westminster Shorter Catechism (adult not children’s version). It is an excellent follow-on from the children’s catechism as it contains a similar flow of questions with much more detailed answers. The book follows each catechism question with 6 days of family devotions – short readings with bible references related to the catechism question. With each question studied for one week and reviewed on Sunday, it will take about 2 years to complete the entire catechism. Quite doable! We started with this but decided to do the children’s catechism first as our youngest was struggling to remember the longer answers. Our 6 year old plus could cope with it with a stretch but I want circle time to include everyone so we have put it on hold for now and will go back to it later.

Our 24 Family Ways (2010)

Our 24 Family Ways  by Clay Clarkson is another wonderful resources for family devotions. It includes 24 biblical values based “Family ways” with scripture memory passage, character quality definition and 5 devotions for each. The latest version includes colouring in pages for each family way and other than copying the colouring in if you are using it and finding a bible, no other preparation or materials are necessary.

A Child's Book of Character Building

A Child’s Book of Character Building  by R & R Coriell includes 12 different character qualities with a story to illustrate each; from the bible, at school, at home and at play. Each character has a definition and bible verse and the stories are such that the children can identify with the characters and situations. Easy reading and short enough for even the youngest listeners if one story is covered each day.