After reading Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper a few months ago, I decided to follow her advice in scheduling a “quiet time” for Lydia. We may all call it something different, but this is basically her alone time with God.
At first, she couldn’t read well on her own, so her quiet time consisted of singing, praying and looking through her lessons she had colored in her Bible coloring book. Sometimes she would tell me things she had prayed for and usually her songs were “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
Throughout these months we have tried different schedules. Madi, now 2 1/2 years old, wants to do everything Lydia, 6 1/2, does. Our son, Joshua is now 15 months old. So, today we tried something new.
Lydia went to her Dad and Mom’s bedroom with her Bible and journal. She can now read on her own and is reading through the book of Matthew (by her own choosing). She is also copying down one verse a day in her journal, working her way through the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew. (Our pastor is preaching through Matthew at this time and we are trying the keep the same pace with her copywork so that she is copying the verses each week that he will be preaching that Sunday.) Then she has a time of prayer.
I had Madi go to the kids’ bedroom and we turned some praise music on their CD player. I gave her several Bible storybooks to look at on her bed.
Joshua and I sat on the couch in the living room. He looked at Bible story board books while I read to him aloud from my Bible. I set the timer for 15 minutes and told the girls I would come get them at that time. Madi was out in about half that time saying, “I’m finished!” The timer went off and Lydia was still reading when I went to get her.
Yes, I still have some adjustments to make, but I think the important thing they see is that this is something special that we (try to!) make time for everyday.
What is working for you? Those of you with small children, how do schedule in “quiet time” and what activities do you use for multiple ages? Or, those of you with older children, how did you do this when they were small?