Faith at Home: Growing Your Special Needs Child’s Faith

My faith is a topic that I’ve tried to keep separate on my blog, so if this isn’t of interest for you come back tomorrow for something else. Almost a year ago, I shared some of our story of how we left the church. It wasn’t an easy choice. For 2017 I am going to write a little more about faith, special needs and God.  Before I get too deep in where my faith is at, I thought I’d share with you all what we’ve done in our family since we left the church.

We (mostly me on this one because I am more administrative, Sensory Dad was a little burnt out from church leadership at this point) thought it was important to incorporate some type of learning about the bible and God into our life with our daughter. It is funny how being active in a church you don’t really have to think about this because it’s usually just such a part of your life.   Think about it, you get up, you attend church often your child attends Sunday school or listens to the services and you as a parent don’t have to do anything.

So, here we were two exhausted parents, who left the church trying to figure out how to incorporate teaching our daughter about faith.   We were burnt out on so many levels and we were also really hurting people with everything we had gone through. So, I searched Google and Pinterest for the best options and landed on a few great options that were low stress and easy to do! We weren’t the best at always making the time to do it, but being home together as a family was way less stressful!

Faith at Home: Growing Your Special Needs Child's Faith

book_4year_lessonplansABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum  This was great for super simple projects and easy age appropriate learning.  I loved how it was easy to use and age appropriate I could skip parts that may be challenging and focus on the one’s that she might enjoy the most.
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The Children’s Bible App  We all loved this app and it’s FREE!  This was a great way for Miss S to access the bible on her own time when she got time on the kindle or the ipad.  She could listen to bible stories and they come to life on the page as well.  You are able to click different parts of the story and learn more. 
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The Beginners Children’s Bible from Zondervan  One thing I love is that both the bible app above and the bible use the same pictures.  Remember being a child and those old children’s bible images sticking in your head so well!  This is a great beginners bible with lots of images and simple language.

Lessons on video:  We used this series from lifekids.tv this was our most common activity because we could sit down as a family for 20 minutes and Sensory Dad and I didn’t have to put much thought or energy into it!  (They also have a bible app as well.)  They do a great job making it similar to todays popular TV shows, it reminded me a lot of the Sprout channel.

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Seasonal books: The books above are our favorite easy to read and simple to understand stories to read during the holidays.

We also found a really good vacation bible school that Miss S knew lots of friends at and was able to attend.  This was something that had a smaller crowd, less noise, a lot of hands on activities and was able to accommodate some of her needs.

Here’s what we learned:

We loved that we were ones who were teaching our daughter. I am pretty straight forward and I will be honest that I didn’t always love the things or the ways that our church would teach children.

We were really surprised by her realness and honesty. Maybe she gets this from me even though she doesn’t have my genetics (we adopted) but she is never afraid to be real. She’s never afraid to tell it like it is and we have to be prepared for tough questions. She challenges her daddy who has a theology degree especially at bedtime.

The important things to remember when growing your child’s faith from home: Church doesn’t have to look like church. You don’t have to have all the answers. Be real, teach by example and don’t be afraid to grow with your child.

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I’m starting a special e-mail list just for building faith in the middle of the messy journey of special needs parenting.  I’d love to have you join me!  You can subscribe here to receive encouragement and inspiration in your inbox!

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