A History Book Your Child Will WANT to Read! {GIVEAWAY}

In Fear of the Spear

What parent doesn’t want his or her child to learn about how God has worked throughout history to save His people? But sitting down for a faith history lesson is not exactly every child’s favorite way to spend time. A dry textbook or worksheet doesn’t make history come alive. And while there are some great movies out there to help kids understand historical events, many parents are looking for alternatives to screen time that will engage their children in learning—to make them excited and want to learn. Does that sound impossible?

I can guarantee you, it is not impossible. Imagination Station books are the answer that Christian parents have been waiting for and kids have been begging for. In this book series, created by the award-winning team that brought us Adventures in Odyssey, kids take a journey through history, using their imagination. They learn about history characters as if they are friends by following the adventures of young Patrick and Beth. And because faith and values are woven seamlessly into the stories, children learn how to call upon God in their everyday choices and actions.

The Imagination Station is an invention created by the owner of Whit’s End, John Avery Whittaker, in the fictional town of Odyssey. The Imagination Station takes its passengers back in time during key points in history to places like Nazi-occupied Germany, Greenland, Egypt, Rome, and even Bethlehem. Kids learn about famous historical Christians such as Corrie ten Boom, Saint Patrick, and Telemachus.

The Imagination Station books are perfect for children just starting to feel confident in reading a chapter book on their own. Your child will be captivated by the stories and want to read every book in the series.

The latest exciting Imagination Station book takes your child to the rain forests of Ecuador, a land of tribal warriors. Patrick and Beth have escaped from volcano lava only to be separated again, and no one knows exactly where Beth has gone. Eugene and Patrick frantically try to fix the Imagination Station so they can find Beth, who unbeknownst to them has landed in the Amazon jungle. Will Patrick find Beth? Will Eugene be able to fix the broken Imagination Station? What will happen to the strange man with who was speared?

Find out in the latest Imagination Station adventure, In Fear of the Spear!


Want to win a copy of In Fear of the Spear? We have five copies to give away. To enter, leave us a comment. Have you or your kids ever listened to an Adventures in Odyssey episode? My daughter is fairly obsessed with them and listens to them on CDs all the time! One of our favorite sets is the Platinum Collection.

Winners will be selected by random on Friday, February 12. USA only, please.

The Other Side of the Story

Teaching kids empathy can be a great joy and struggle in parenting. We are all self-centered by nature, and showing children how to be other-centered takes some stretching. Helping a child understand how to “put himself in another person’s shoes” can be a great way to teach empathy.

What about looking at Bible stories in a new way? In the book The Whale Tells His Side of the Story, author Troy Schmidt imagines what the whale felt like with Jonah hanging around in his belly. (The subtitle, Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up, pretty much says it all.) In the same vein as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Frog Prince Continued,  Schmidt rethinks Bible stories. He’s also written the following biblical “other sides”:

Even if you aren’t able to purchase these books, having your child imagine another side of a Bible tale is a good way to spark imagination and explain having empathy. It can be a funny activity or a serious talk.

What “other sides” can you imagine?

Eye Exams for School-Age Children

Eye Chart
source: firemind

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children receive an eye exam at age 6 and then every two years during the school-age years. Parents can look for signs of child’s vision becoming impaired. Contact an optometrist if your child experiences the following signs of having vision problems:

  • Frequent eye rubbing or repeated blinking
  • Short attention span
  • Avoiding reading
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Covering one eye
  • Tilting head to one side
  • Holding books close to face
  • An eye turning in or out
  • Seeing double
  • Losing place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what is read

 If your child has vision problems, when did they start?

Optional Paid Jobs for Happy Workers by Amber Peacock

Amber Peacock wrote the article “Solving the Allowance Dilemma” in our October issue. You’ll have to pick up a print issue to see what she said there; but here, she writes about getting kids to do her household chores!

When I'm cleaning windows...
source: horrigans

I’ve got a secret. I rarely do the dishes, never vacuum, and have not cleaned the upstairs bathroom in years. My children do it—willingly and without being asked!

It started with a simple chart, “Optional Paid Jobs for Happy Workers.” I wanted to instill a healthy work ethic, encourage responsibility, and teach my children how to earn and manage money. I also wanted more help around the house. I made a list of specific household chores that I had been doing, but that I would be willing to pay the children to do. Signing up for a paid job was entirely optional, so I made sure not to list chores that I expected the children to do on their own, such as picking up their toys and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper.

Tips for Success

  1. Start small with jobs you know your children can handle.
  2. Invest time in on-the-job training. It’s amazing what kids can accomplish with specific instruction.
  3. Stay positive. These jobs are optional, so there’s no need to nag. Children will buy into the system when they need money for something important to them.
  4. Start fresh each week. Pay weekly and let your children choose new jobs for the week ahead.
  5. Talk about money management strategies with your child—giving, saving, and planned spending.

Do your kids help with chores around the house? Paid or unpaid?

Amber Peacock, M.S., M.Ed, developed an “Optional Paid Jobs for Happy Workers” chart as an experiment five years ago when her children were 5, 8, and 10. She’s tweaked the job list and pay scale over time, but the system is the same. Her kids love getting to choose their own chores and having control over how much money they earn each week. She loves having help around the house, but says the best part is that her children never ask for money. They’ve learned how to earn and manage their own.