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For Educators

About this issue (May)

May 2017—Family—In This Together

This theme was inspired by an observation from one of our former Kids’ Advisory Board members’ that while friends are great, Friends won’t always be there like your family.” In this issue we celebrate the family as a place of love and constancy. We’re not talking about perfect families here (we don’t know any of those!) but about the family as a place where people love and nurture one another. This love is one of the primary ways we come to understand God’s love and care for us. This issue should give children a sense of their own families (whatever their imperfections may be) as places where they can experience God’s abiding love through the abiding love of those with whom they share their lives.

This theme was inspired by an observation from one of our former Kids’ Advisory Board members’ that while friends are great, “Friends won’t always be there like your family.” In this issue we celebrate the family as a place of love and constancy. We’re not talking about perfect families here (we don’t know any of those!) but about the family as a place where people love and nurture one another. This love is one of the primary ways we come to understand God’s love and care for us. This issue should give children a sense of their own families (whatever their imperfections may be) as places where they can experience God’s abiding love through the abiding love of those with whom they share their lives.

 

Stories:

In “Synch or Swim,” new step-siblings Katie and Madison are “encouraged” to enroll in a synchronized swimming class by Katie’s mom, who is tired of their picking on each other. When Katie suffers a potentially embarrassing incident in the first class, she finds out that Madison is there for her because “you’re my sister.”

In “Not My Job,” Elijah is expected to pick up a lot of extra chores when both parents start working extra hours to get the family through a financial crisis. He doesn’t mind helping out, but younger sister Grace’s chores are comparatively few and way easier. Plus, Grace loves taunting him about it. When their parents decline to intervene, Elijah decides to get back at Grace in his own way.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Zoe and her mom attend a community fair together—for the first time since Zoe’s dad was killed in Iraq several years ago. Zoe’s worried about how her mom will respond, but Mom says it’s time for them to remember Dad by doing the things he loved.

In “The Right Answer,” Stephanie is feeling the pressure of end-of-the-school-year projects. When a friend offers answers to the upcoming science test, Stephanie worries but decides it will be worth it if it gives her more time for other projects. When the girls get caught, Stephanie is afraid she has made too big of a mistake for her mom to forgive her.

In “Make Up Your Mind,” Ethan is excited when his big brother invites him to come for a summer visit in Hawaii. Then Ethan’s parents start arguing a lot and he worries that he shouldn’t leave, but he’s afraid to tell them about his worries. In the meantime, little brother Leo is the target of a lot of Ethan’s frustration.

Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings from Exodus, Joshua, the Gospels, and Ephesians.

Where in God’s World? looks at Mozambique.

 

Coming up:

June 2017—Prayer

“How do I know God is listening?” “Why doesn’t God speak to me?” “I don’t know how to talk to God.” As we receive these and other comments and questions from children, we are reminded that children are serious about prayer. They want to know how to have conversation with God. This issue is not about prescribing a “right way” to pray but rather to help our readers realize there are many avenues of prayer in which to deepen their relationship with God. We want children to understand that God can be a part of every moment of every day. Quiet time, journaling, breath prayers, music, movement, the beauty of creation, everything and everyone they encounter in a day can point to God. We hope this issue will help children understand that living each day can draw them close to God.

 

July 2017—Tech Time

Technology has changed our lives in such significant ways and has become so omnipresent that it’s hard to even comprehend its impact. The positive effects are many, as are the negative. We hope this issue will look at the role of technology in children’s lives in a balanced way. This is not about nostalgia for “the good old days”! What are the ways technology can help us have positive, healthy relationships with others? And what are the pitfalls? What role does technology play in a healthy family life? How does the way we use it help or hinder our efforts to love God and neighbor? How do we use technology in ways that are consistent with our faith?

 

mhooper

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