I look forward to Lent every year for all the reading we do as a family.
There was a lapse in our Sunday school curriculum at the church we attended in Germany due to an ordering issue and the adults were discussing what to do during the interim while we waited on the new books. The regular curriculum is themed across all levels – preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, adults – so we can discuss it as a family all week long.
One mom actually said out loud: “Who actually discusses the lessons with their kids? Does it even matter?”
My husband spoke up (bless him): “We do! We talk about the Sunday school lessons after church with the kids every week and we read the Bible together every night. Jennifer teaches the kids all sorts of Bible lessons every morning with our homeschool.”
It’s very important to me that we read the Bible at home every day and reinforce or even refute what our kids learn in church.
These last few years not attending church has really helped us learn and grow.
I don’t want the Bible to be just a book on a shelf or pew, never looked at except on Sundays.
We want to learn all we can.
Lent is a traditional time of fasting and social media is all abuzz with people discussing what they’re giving up for the next 40 days.
While we all have faults and even addictions to things we could pare from our daily lives, I don’t feel the need to give up Facebook, TV, sugar, or coffee or even the occasional glass of wine or beer.
Giving up a food for 40 days doesn’t make me more holy.
I try to be thoughtful during this time, reading more and often different selections than usual.
I try to put on more grace, love, and kindness.
I curb my speech and tone and try even harder to be aware of language that excludes or is harsh to little ears.
Forming a new habit or releasing a bad habit takes time. Forty days is enough for it to take effect. This should be a time for resolutions.
Reading during Lent:
We love reading Amon’s Adventure: A Family Story for Easter. The kids almost have all those books memorized, but we still enjoy them!
Every morning and evening, we read passages from the Bible. This doesn’t change much during Lent.
We just finished The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith by Champ Thornton. It was more for very young kids but it was nice.
We use the Pray Now app on our iPads every evening to guide us through readings in Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament, hymns, writings from or about the church fathers, and a selection from the Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions. Everyone reads a passage: Tori reads the Psalm; Katie reads the Old Testament; Liz reads the New Testament; Alex reads the Hymn; Liz or I read the writings; Tori reads the prayer; I read the Concordia selection.
I’ve read Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter, a compilation of several spiritual authors.
Last year, I read Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass.
My littlest one worked through Bible Treasures when he was very young. It’s a great scripture workbook trilogy for young kids. I read the Bible story aloud to him and we worked through the questions and catechism together each day.
My son is now working through Studying God’s Word. He is almost completely independent with this, reading their Bibles and answering the comprehension, thinking questions, and activities for each lesson. I often help and do review.
My eldest completed Manual of Christian Doctrine, Second Edition, Grades 11-12. She did a lesson each week and we discussed it.
My girls read Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church. It coincided with our history studies.
I’ve read Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art – which is very autobiographical, written by Madeleine L’Engle. I highly recommend this book to all creatives.
Each evening, I read aloud selections from the Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions as listed on our Pray Now app.
My eldest and I read I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. It’s so intelligent and well-written. We loved discussing the points the authors bring up to refute atheism.
We enjoyed reading the What We Believe series as a family a few years ago.
We change up and add to our studies each year as the kids grow and I learn about and find new resources for myself, the kids, and our family.
- Tending the Garden of Our Hearts: Daily Lenten Meditations for Families by Elissa Bjeletich and Kristina Wenger
- Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing by Gayle Boss
- The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter by Sister Wendy Beckett
- A Way other than Our Own: Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann
- Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent by Richard Rohr
- Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Readings from C. S. Lewis by C. S. Lewis
- Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C: A Daily Devotional by N. T. Wright
- God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri J. M. Nouwen
- Lent and Easter Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen’s Own Words by Judy Bauer
- Grapevine Studies: Biblical Feasts and Holy Days, Esther, The Resurrection, The New Testament and MORE!
- Easter Notebooking Pages
- I love these free Easter resources from Homeschool Share.
- Benjamin’s Box with Resurrection Eggs
- Pilgrimage of the Soul by Parenting Passageway
- Coloring calendar
- Living His Story: Revealing the Extraordinary Love of God in Ordinary Ways, The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2021 by Hannah Steele
What Lenten traditions does your family celebrate?