He pointed to the far corner of our upstairs loft, motioning to the bottom of the end table by the couch.
“Let’s get out the Bible verse box,” suggested my four-year-old. We had already done some activities with Little Passports, read a leveled reader and sang a couple of nursery rhymes from his What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know. Generally G is much more eager to re-enact epic superhero battles with me, than engage in my planned out activities.
Like any typical four-year-old, G’s proclivity to be guided into an organized lesson waxes and wanes. Because he has already begun reading so well, simply through story time, I have allowed him to read on his own when he chooses. And he chooses often at the most surprising of times.
Cereal boxes at breakfast.
Billboard advertisements on the freeway.
Random books from his shelf.
My private emails over my shoulder.
Sports results from the bottom of the t.v.
Some educators refer to this as environmental print. G calls it “reading his words.”
On this day, however, he was focused, so I continued letting him choose the next activity. And apparently he had several things on his mind, including the Bible verse box.
An old, cardboard box covered over in typing paper and decorated by a five and four year old A and S, has sat on top of select back issues of Appleseed and Cricket magazines for several years. We originally created this and filled it with Bible verses on love, bearing with one another and patience, in those early first days of sibling rivalry. What began as a way to infuse a bit of kindness and respect into my boys, has unwittingly become another way of encouraging literacy. Add a colorful card stock backing and apparently we have an appealing way to include a little Bible in our family’s morning Together Time.
We don’t make use of this box regularly anymore, but occasionally G asks for it. Instead of pulling out our Bibles for a lengthier read, A and S still like participating with G, choosing a purple or green-backed proverb, a yellow reminder from Ephesians.
The Bible verse box also houses trading cards of the apostles and the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. You can print them out here. Unfortunately, they have started charging for them now.
If G is determined to read, I am happy he is reaching for these words of wisdom, even from an old, cardboard box.