She has weekly chapel at preschool and goes to Sunday school, but I feel that parents should be primarily responsible for their child’s religious training. I also don't want to leave things open for others to interpret for her. If she has questions, I want David or I to answer them.
Last fall, right after Georgia turned four, our church announced the AWANA at Home program. I went to the parent meeting and immediately signed our family up for it. We are in the program for four and five year olds. There are programs for older children too, but I’m not familiar with the specifics of them.
Although Georgia recites her verses to volunteer “listeners” on Sunday mornings (all parents in the program take turns volunteering) and our church offers prizes each week, I have friends who are doing AWANA 100% at home and having great success with it! I have linked to the items we use at the end of this post if you would like to look into AWANA for your preschooler.
Each lesson is completed at home during the week and when a verse is memorized, children receive a sticker for their book. Lessons consist of a Cubby Bear & Timothy story, Bible story, and memory verse. You can also opt to earn more stickers by reciting a previously memorized verse or completing additional activities that are listed in the book. Georgia earned an extra sticker this week by acting out the David and Goliath story with me.
AWANA lessons take less than 20 minutes and we practice memory verses in the car, while I’m making breakfast, bath time – just a few times a day and she has the hang of them! It is a go at your own pace program, although you really should try to do one lesson each week. We have been playing catch-up (of course we have!) and doing two each week in order to finish all of the lessons in time for our church’s graduation ceremony.
I downloaded the CD on iTunes, but I didn’t find it to be helpful so I don’t recommend it. The best resource that I’ve found is the Valley View Kids YouTube Channel. They have a cute show for each week featuring Cubby Bear – and best of all, each week’s verse is set to a nursery rhyme song, making them incredibly easy to memorize!
We usually follow this process in this order:
+ Read the Cubby & Timothy story, which relates the Bible story to real life
+ Read the Bible story - I don't introduce the verse, I let the YouTube do that with a rhyme
+ Watch the YouTube
+ Recite and practice our verse throughout the week
+ We don’t always do the additional “Golden Apple” activity, but I try to remember to incorporate them
+ Georgia is always able to sing the little song from the YouTube to earn the previous verse sticker
If you are looking for a way to easily teach your preschooler Bible truths at home, I highly recommend AWANA! You can do as little or as much as you’d like – just doing the book and YouTube videos would teach so much!
I’ve linked to the rewards (which our church provides, but you can buy online if you would like to use them) and other items I’ve found helpful.
+ AWANA Book – includes Bible stories and activities, you can see sample pages here, too
+ Vest, Weekly Stickers and Badges (if you want to do rewards) - I previously saw a lot of listings on eBay but they've all ended. If you want to search, just look for AWANA Appleseed Vest, Emblems or Stickers. You can get them from the AWANA site, but they're pricey and only come in packs of 20. I would just skip the vest and use some Dollar Store stickers for the book.
+ YouTube Channel to help with memorization
+ Printable chart of verses - I created this one because I couldn't find the original that my friend Christina printed out for us. I kept this on our fridge to remind myself of the verse we're working on – Georgia usually remembers it!
+ Some of the verses repeat.
+ You have the choice of memorizing the long or short version. The short version is underlined and children don't have to recite the scripture reference.
+ Special Days are for Holidays and we didn't memorize those since AWANA listening was not scheduled for those weeks. Our church didn't require them for graduation.
This is not an affiliate or sponsored post; I was not compensated in any way. Just sharing a great program that we love! I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this post so I can answer it!