For those of you who do, or would like to do, a Bible study or devotion time as part of your school day, I have a couple of discoveries for you today. First up is the daily devotions for kids at Kids4Truth.com. I first discovered these when my ds was about 7, and thought they were a little old for him, but now at 9, they're just perfect - and probably would be good for several more years. The devotions are very well-balanced, with scriptural truths, life application lessons, and thought-provoking questions. They're also interesting enough to hold attention, and even come with an optional audio track for those that need help reading, or just are better at learning with their ears instead of eyes. The rest of the site is delightful as well, and includes a "stuff to do" section, where kids can ask a theological question, submit a prayer request, send e-cards, "meet" a missionary, or print out coloring pages. There's also a Kids4Truth "club", much like AWANA, which could be done small-scale at home. The K4T club tends to focus less on memorizing verses, and more on teaching kids basic Christian apologetics through dialog with parents/teachers. Neat stuff all around!
Discovery #2 is my FAVORITE Bible translation EVER: the International Children's Bible. It is a complete "thought for thought" Bible translation (same type as the NIV), with each and every verse translated into a 3rd grade vernacular. Unlike most children's Bibles, it is not a paraphrased translation or a storybook. And unlike most "grown-up" Bibles, there are no fancy or "churchy" words in this Bible that you wouldn't find yourself using in everyday conversations. Instead there are crisp, clear, and to-the point sentences, making it the easiest to understand Bible I've ever read, for adults and kids alike. This Bible just says it like it is. A great example is Psalm 1:1, usually memorized as "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Now compare to this: "Happy is the person who doesn't listen to the wicked. He doesn't go where sinners go. He doesn't do what bad people do. He loves the Lord's teachings. He thinks those teachings day and night." Yay, it makes sense!! I highly recommend this Bible for any child old enough to start memorizing verses, to help them understand what they're memorizing, as well as for adults to read when they're just reading the Bible to read it and grasp the content, not necessarily for in-depth study.
Like other translations, the ICB Bible is available in many styles. I have the stylish Mary Jane Bible, and I bought a Treasure Chest Bible for my ds9. The ICB is also available in a really awesome ILLUSTRATED version, with complete verse-by-verse text cunningly integrated into "comic-book style" pages. See for yourself - thanks to Neely Press, select Bible books are now available for viewing online in their complete text with illustrations, for free! To purchase the illustrated ICB, you can buy individual OT books online, or buy the complete NT as one book.
I know there's many other WONDERFUL options out there - if you have a kids Bible study or book or website that you love, please comment and share it with me!