Friday, August 10, 2012

Child Training Bible Review and Giveaway

STOP!  NO!  Give me a break!  Get away from me!  What are you thinking? The cruel, disheartening, and distant words spoken to children cannot be taken back.  These words may or may not seem hurtful to you but they will have an impact on children. Some parents often get frustrated and respond to their child in unwanted ways later regretting the exact words that come from their mouths.  I caught myself losing it not too long ago and responding to Alyssa in an unwanted way due to the amount of stress at home ... not to a horrible extreme but in way in which made me unhappy and upset with myself. It wasn't how I wanted to raise my daughter. I want to eliminate scoldings and train her in deciding the "right" things to do and how to behave properly.  I want her to know that God's Word and Scripture is the authority in the end. She was testing limits and I knew that I did not want to be the type of person that spoke harshly to my child.

I started praying to God ... for something ... something to help guide me in the right direction towards teaching Alyssa how to learn scripture meanings and apply them to her life. I wanted her to love, trust, and obey God, Our Almighty Father.  I wanted her to memorize scripture and to be willing to hide God's Word in her heart and mind. I wanted her to apply the necessary scriptures to her everyday life when needed. I wanted to train, encourage, and discipline her using a Biblical approach rather than addressing her outward negative behaviors. I want Alyssa to understand that the Bible is the ultimate resource that will guide us in ALL decision-making opportunities.  If I need to discipline her ... I would like to turn to the Bible for answers - it will be the authoritative reproof instead of me.  It is important to me that I model appropriate behaviors by reading scripture when dealing with discipline issues and to help her develop good Godly character traits and habits.

I received an answer to my prayer - a door opened ... and I was introduced to The Child Training Bible Kit as recently seen all over the the internet. God only knew what was to come and how much the Child Training Bible would honestly bless this home. We needed to hear more of His Word! This product has tremendously changed my way of thinking about discipline and Biblical truths.  It changed who I am and my attitude towards child rearing.  Now I just need to take action and be proactive with my choices consistently. My hope is to train and teach Alyssa while using the Bible as my main source of nourishment and guidance.  All children and adults for that matter need guidance in developing Godly character traits and habits.

"And these words words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

A Little About Me and My Lifelong Decision
I feel it necessary to give my readers a little background knowledge. I was raised in what many people today would call a non-christian family. When I was younger, much younger,  I remember getting ready for church one day.  As we walked up to the grand door entrance, a gentleman approached my parents and asked us to leave because we were not dressed properly for church. I am sure there was more to the situation. Was it possibly the powerful alcoholic stench that seemed to be seeping out of my stepfather's skin pores or the strong odor of his breath lingering over the man at the door. I am not sure what their reasoning was for turning us away, but I do know what I heard and that is all I remember. We didn't have a lot of money and to tell you the truth ... when I look back at old photographs we were filthy ... my hair was always greasy and stringy. I looked as if I hadn't had a bath in days.  I couldn't believe we were turned away.  Unfortunately, that day was the last time our family attempted to go to church.  I would occasional stay over night with relatives just so that I could go to church.  My junior year I lived with my grandparents in Texas ... faraway from family in New York.  I had an awakening. A wonderful girl at school invited me to her church one evening and opened my eyes to a newfound world. Something miraculous happened that night ... that very night I saw an outstanding performance that left me in tears but led me to God. An overwhelming amount of joy and love took over my body and I rose to the occasion requesting prayer and guidance. I was SAVED that very night! I traveled both off and on the spiritual path throughout my college years struggling to make the right choices but alas I came to the conclusion that I must have faith in God. I must respect God and His Word. I eventually, after many questions, learned to trust and believe in God.  I learned that the Bible contains the Biblical truths that will lead me in the right direction. This is where I am today.  I have a very strong desire to raise my daughter as a Christ-loving christian in opposition to the way I was raised. I want her to be surrounded by positive spiritual attitudes and experiences with regards to God.

Are you looking for a resource or tool to help you teach character traits and habits found in the Bible? Have you heard about The Child Training Bible Kit?  It may be the answer for your family needs as it was for mine.
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I recently had the opportunity to review an essential and useful parenting tool or resource called the Child Training Bible Kit developed by Mindy Dunn and her husband.  I was absolutely thrilled when Mindy corresponded back so quickly. The Child Training Bible is a 9" by 6" Bible that uses colorful color-coded tabs to correlate highlighted Scripture references to character traits, habits, or behaviors. There are 21 color-coded key traits or habits found on the child training key such as anger, disobedience, defiance unforgiveness, lying, and not listening. The key is glued or taped to the front of the child's Bible. Your job is to highlight over 200 Scriptural references related to those traits using matching colors. The parent will then address and discuss the color-coded Scriptures with their child related to the behaviors or traits exhibited in order to develop Godly character.  There are three other double-sided laminate tabbers that contain discussion questions and prayers one side and Bible verses on the other side.

I must say I probably took WAY TOO LONG to pick a new Bible for Alyssa.  It was a very hard decision for me.  She was ready for something other than a story book Bible.  I wanted it to be special.  I wanted her to be reading and learning from a "real" Bible with scriptural references and not just historical accounts in the form of stories. I scoured the internet checking my favorite stores for a reasonably priced Bible that was the right size and font.  After hours of searching ... I ended up purchasing one of Mindy's recommended Bibles, "The HCSB Illustrated Study Bible for Kids." I couldn't wait to begin the training process.  Luckily, I was extremely busy with other home organization projects (house going on the market) that distracted me from thinking about it ... at least  temporarily.  When the box did arrive, I tore it open like a child on Christmas morning.  I showed Alyssa her new Bible and our excitement began to soar.  I was impressed with the help aids offered within the Bible.  Now, I must say it has taken me forever to write this review because shortly after completing all house projects suggested by the stager - our house sold in less than three weeks.  Those of you following and reading my blog frequently already know this tid bit of information. It was finally time for me to share this marvelous tool with you once and for all so that you too can impress His Words in your child's heart.

Below you will see photographs of the Child Training Bible Kit. You will receive:
  • 1 Child Training Bible Key
  • Three Tabbers or Question Cards
  • Set of Instructions (explaining how to create and how to successfully use the kit with children)
           
I stored all the supplies in the pencil pouch. You can also see the package used to ship the kit and instructions.
Additional Required Items to Purchase On Your Own
  • Children's Bible (your choice of any version - 9" x 6")
  • Tabs or Post-It-Notes - 7 Colors
  • Highlighters - 7 Matching Colors  
  • Bulldog Clip
  • Double-Sided tape
Click on this link if you are interested in purchasing the extra items through the CTB company.  

What Does it Cost?
The Child Training Bible Kit costs $9.00.  Shipping and handling is $4.99 for up to two kits.  Discounts are available for order of 10 or more. Please contact Mindy.

Creating the Child Training Bible
Please view the informative and concise video tutorial including instructions on how to create the Child Training Bible (CTB). No, really I am serious - watch it!  I was so excited about receiving my kit that I jumped into tabbing and highlighting verses in Alyssa's Bible after a short period of instructional use. A third of the way through I realized that I didn't tab correctly.  I didn't follow the explicit, helpful instructions outlined for me. I also recommend creating this Bible when you are fully alert. I worked on her Bible after a long and hard week working on the house.  I was exhausted and tired so after double checking my scriptures ... I found that I made three highlighting errors.  This is not a good thing for someone with perfectionist tendencies.  I did get over it.  My husband told me it was not the end of the world. I personally wanted to buy another Bible and start all over.  Shhhh ... don't tell him I said that. I can't tell you how long it took me to actually assemble Alyssa's Bible because I created it on vacation. Our vacation lasted a week and I didn't record the times I worked.  If I had to guess, it would take you approximately 2-4 hours depending on how familiar you are with the books of the Bible.  If you are unfamiliar with the location of the books of the Bible, like myself, then make a copy of the table of contents as you work to eliminate flipping back and forth. 

How We Used The Child Training Bible
It was important for me to be consistent and to remain calm while using the Child Training Bible with my 4 1/2 year old daughter. It was used during family devotion time in the morning or after dinner for approximately 5-15 minutes at a time. We targeted several character traits initially before highlighting the verses. I decided that before highlighting all the scripture verses, I would read from the Bible verses, discuss them with thought-provoking questions, and pray with Alyssa. The first character trait or habit that I discussed with Alyssa is disobedience.  I had read several Bible stories and other books related to both obedience and disobedience. We would read and discuss 2-6 tabs during each sitting depending on her attention span that day. I used the questions on the three tabber cards to understand Alyssa's perspective and knowledge of the topic. Then, together we would highlight the scripture, narrate it, write it on a notecard, and then add it to our scripture memory system to memorize or hide in our hearts and minds.  This would assure me that the verses were to be read many times throughout the year. She also completed a character notebooking sheet from Notebooking Pages that focused on disobedience.  This would be a great time to encourage the use of a Bible journal especially for older children! The next two habits we covered were attention and trust.  These three traits were mentioned as top priorities during a Charlotte Mason workshop at a recent homeschool conference I attended.

After briefly discussing those character traits for several days, we then decided to highlight the rest of the scriptures to use as a reference when discipline was needed and as Bible study topics in the morning for devotional studies. The Child Training Bible was used whenever character issues arose as a reminder of how God would want us to act and be.  Our hope is to be responsible parents in the upbringing of our daughter ... to teach and train Alyssa to rely on God's Word and relevant scriptures that can be practically applied to daily life.  Alyssa also spent her quiet time using the Child Training Bible - this independent reading or study time lasted at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes at a time. At times, I would catch her doing copywork from the Child Training Bible - writing down verses that seemed meaningful to her for one reason or another. She often explained to me her reasoning for copying particular verses.

We'll continue to use the Child Training Bible to study character traits in conjunction with other resources we own. We haven't decided yet if we'll do one trait per week or if we'll discuss character traits or habits in depth for one month.  The Character Training Bible Kit easily turns a child's Bible into the ultimate child rearing training guide.

Finished Product
This is what our finished Bible looks like inside and out. I ended up highlighting every single scripture verse and I am so glad that I did.  I really thought I would give up and only highlight a few. YAH!!!
Doesn't it look great?
I used double-sided tape and to place the key on the first page. 
Our tabbed and highlighted Child Training Bible is complete.
Pros
  1. The colorful charts and key were created using heavy, durable, and sturdy cardstock made of good quality, glossy laminate. The charts provide practical application and tips for child rearing.
  2. Customer service was at its best with super fast shipping. Mindy was readily available to answer questions promptly via e-mail or on her blog.  It was a pleasure working with such an understanding person.   
  3. The Child Training Bible kit helped show God's authority with regards to character development.  Children learn what they should do and how they should act based on God's Word and this kit lessens the "We do this because mom or dad said so" approach. If there was a problem with character or issues with other children arose, we went straight to the Bible for answers and instruction in His righteousness.  This resource helps parents get to the heart of the problem or issue.  Sins are addressed and discussed immediately once encountered. Alyssa responded well to this sort of instruction. I noticed a more positive change in her behavioral attitudes and saw immense spiritual growth throughout the use of this tool.
  4. The Child Training Bible can be assembled quickly and easily with the use of the simple and clear instructions. Be sure you read them first and watch the tutorial ahead of time. 
  5. The Bible recommended by Mindy has a larger font, great colorful illustrations, and helpful aids.  It was a trusted translation. It was a "real" Bible and not just a storybook as seen for children Alyssa's age.  I wanted and needed the "real"thing.  This Bible was a perfect fit for our needs at the moment. 
  6. The Child Training Bible Kit thoroughly covers 21 key character traits or habits with over 200 correlated Scripture references. The scriptures to highlight were placed in sequential order based on the books of the Bible; this organization method made it somewhat easier for beginners to prep the Bible. There are gospel, prayer scriptures, and applications included in the set.  I love the fact that I am instilling scripture related or biblically-based verses to discuss, memorize, and pray about within the ultimate living book. The character traits are color-coded with tabs and the use of colored highlighters.  
  7. This resource could be easily implemented with children of all ages
Possible Cons
  1. Bible was not included and the choices were limited due to size of key and charts.
  2. The highlighters did bleed through the thin Bible paper and could be seen through the pages of the Bible.  If I were to create this Bible again for a friend, then I would use twistable crayons or colored pencils to mark the verses especially since the the cost of highlighters was extremely high in my opinion. They were almost the same price as the Bible.  You can reduce the cost by using resources you already have at home.
  3. The tabs may become a problem for both Alyssa and myself.  I find the tabs flimsy and I am not sure how long they will last before needing to be replaced.  I also have a hard time turning the pages since the tabs are placed across the top, down the side, and across the bottom of the page.  Younger children will need to be taught not to remove the tabs.   
  4. The prep time may be too overwhelming for some individuals but I can tell you now - it is definitely worth the effort and saved me time in the long run searching for scriptures on my own.  Flipping back and forth between the table of contents and the scriptures to highlight became a problem for me.  I am not as familiar with the Bible as much as I hoped to be. I found this part a little frustrating.  It did help me realize that I need to spend more time reading my Bible and becoming more familiar with it.  
  5. It was very hard for me to highlight a Bible but over time I realized the purpose is to STUDY and learn from it.  I thought it was taboo to mark a Bible but many of my friends clarified this for me quickly. 
  6. Several Scripture verses may be too advanced for younger children to understand without a full explanation describing practical insights or applications.  It may be necessary to mark more suitable verses in the Bible. 
Possible Improvements
  • Offer a variety of packages with and without the children's Bibles and other required items.
  • Develop and sell larger key and charts for larger Bibles. On the other hand, offer smaller keys and charts for smaller Bibles.  This would allow individuals to choose ANY Bible they wish to use with their child or children.  There were several Bibles that were top on my wish list however the keys and charts would not fit inside so they were eliminated. 
  • Offer a second edition that covers additional scriptures and topics.  You could also create a specific product with scriptures meant strictly for teenagers and the issues they face today.
  • The Child Training Bible kit could be easily turned into a character study unit. It would be very beneficial if lesson plans or some sort of character-based curriculum was written as a supplement for the Child Training Bible.  It could be offered as a package or separately for those that already own the kit.   
Results and Recommendations
This was one of the most meaningful experiences I have had with any review product.  It created a peaceful and joyful home atmosphere, resulting in high quality family bonding time, while bringing us all closer to one another and one step closer toward God. Personally, it led me toward an enriching spiritual path closer to God during my independent Bible studies and was helpful in guiding the entire family's growth and relationship with God and His Word! Overall, this is a fantastic product to deal with the heart issues behind your child's negative behaviors and poor attitudes making the bible the ultimate resource for child training. I believe this is an effective tool for families to use when teaching children character traits and habits. I would absolutely, positively recommend this phenomenal resource to ANY parent, homeschooler, church, or Christian school educator! This tool would be a blessing in any home or christian school. The Child Training Bible Kit was very beneficial to our family in many spiritual ways. This may or may not be the case for your family, but you'll never know until you try.

Click here to read other reviews of the Child Training Bible Kit by many well-known bloggers. 

If you have any questions about the Child Training Bible kit, please contact Mindy here.  Be sure to check out her Pinterest board and to follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you Mindy for blessing our household and my daughter with The Child Training Bible Kit!  It will definitely get used in this home.  

Disclaimer: I received The Child Training Bible Kit, at no cost to me, in exchange for an honest, professional review on my blog.  All experiences and opinions are my own and have not been influenced by the creator.

Time for the Child Training Bible Kit Giveaway!!!
Mindy has graciously offered to giveaway a Child Training Bible Kit which will bless one of my readers.  Other required items are not included in this giveaway. You will need to purchase your own Bible, tabs, and highlighters.  This giveaway is open to continental US residents only.  The giveaway will end on August 19th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time Zone so be sure to bookmark or pin this to help your remember the date.  The winner will be e-mailed within 48 hours so be sure to include a reachable e-mail address.  If the winner does not contact me with shipping information within 48 hours, a new winner will be randomly chosen. Please be sure to read the terms thoroughly.  Comments are moderated.        

To enter this giveaway simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. There are multiple entry options. 


This review and giveaway will be linked up at the following blogs:
3Boys&aDog DEALS!MusingsFromAStayAtHomeMom
Giveaway DayFamily-Friendly Giveaway Linky
Mom SpottedGiveaway Linky
Blessed Beyond a Doubt

7 comments:

  1. We just need this so badly! I like the suggestions you made, pros and cons. What a thorough review! I think the biggest character issue that needs to be worked on is honoring God and godly attitude. Thank you for a chance to win.

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  2. I would love to use this with our kids!!! I would work on kind words and gentleness first.

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  3. Which character trait or habit are you most interested in teaching your child first?

    For my son it would be something to do with hard work and not giving up. For my oldest daughter, it would be about modesty and that true beauty comes from the inside. And for my youngest daughter, it would be about serving others.
    This looks amazing! I so want to add this to our homeschool curriculum! Thanks for the chance!

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  4. I am most interested in reading thru the verses on fear to my dd who is adopted.

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  5. The example that I desire most to set for my children is to always seek out the answers to any question or problem by reading and studying the Bible.

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  6. Self control and attitude. :D

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