As Christian parents, one of the most important things you can do fory our kids is to get them in the habit of reading God’s Word daily. However, it can be hard to know where to have them start, or how to set up Bible reading plans your children will enjoy.
(This is an article that my son wrote about his desire that his children would not only READ the Bible but also would ENJOY reading it.)
Bible Reading Plans Your Children Will Enjoy
As a father, I am gripped by two main thoughts regarding my children reading the Bible.
1. I want my children to read the Bible.
As a father of three children, of which the oldest is six, I have already come to the very clear realization that (naturally speaking) I am incapable of raising godly children.
I am constantly blown away by their brazen, unabashed selfishness. To be perfectly honest, the simple fact is that at least my two older children have inherited their father’s bullheaded stubbornness.
At times I’ve looked at one of my kids as they were fighting over something totally stupid and thought, “I have no idea how to ‘fix’ you.” Have you ever been there?
Sometimes I’ve explained to my daughter why something is wrong, and yet, when I’m finished, it is so obvious that she would still do it in a heartbeat if she thought she could get away with it.
There have also been many times I’ve gone to God in frustration and asked, “How do I get my kids to desire the right things? How do I change their selfish thinking?”
And that’s when God reminds me,
“Mike, you can’t raise Godly kids using natural means. Raising kids for Me is a supernatural work. You need to use the same thing that changed your life, your goals, and your desires. It is my Word that changes lives, not your logical explanations.”
I’ve come to the conclusion that the Word of God is my only chance to turn out godly children.
I cannot tell you how badly I desire for my children to read the Bible. I suspect that most of you who are parents feel the same way.
2. I want my children to enjoy reading the Bible.
How do you motivate children to read the Bible?
Just as badly as I want my children to read the Bible, I want them to enjoy doing it.
I don’t want Bible-reading time to be a drudgery for my children. The Bible is not a boring book. But most kids, growing up in our media-dominated world, don’t know that!
When my daughter reached the point where she was able to begin reading the Bible, I really struggled with where to have her read each day. What book of the Bible should a child read first?
There are so many great stories in the Old Testament. Genesis is absolutely loaded with great stories, but it also has a lot of really heavy reading. The same thing could be said of Exodus, Joshua, Judges, and every book from I Samuel to Job.
Let’s look at the New Testament. The Gospels look more inviting for a six-year-old reader. But then you run into the genealogy of Christ in the first chapter of Matthew.
In the book of John, you have some awesome stories, but they are surrounded by long wordy debates between Jesus and the Jews.
As a result, Beth and I usually ended up in Psalms. It’s obviously a great place to read, but I just felt like Beth was missing out on so many great stories. Most of all, the honest truth was, she didn’t like reading her Bible.
She is a “shy, introverted” person, but on more than one occasion, she looked at me with one of her dramatic expressions and said bluntly, “I just don’t really like reading my Bible.”
Somewhere during that time, I got a different idea. An idea of just picking a different story from the Bible each day and having Beth read that. I quickly discovered that that is much easier said than done.
Bible-reading time then became a burden on me.
I would pick a story, find it in my Bible, and then realize that it was much longer than I had previously realized, or it was much heavier than I was expecting.
After a little while of trying to read Bible stories, Beth and I ended up back where we had started… in Psalms.
Now, obviously, I’m not being critical of the Word of God. It is perfect and powerful, and it has exactly what my kids need.
I’m simply trying to illustrate that it can be very challenging to keep your kids excited about their daily Bible reading.
I certainly understand that there is something to be said for developing the character to just push through. To make yourself read the more challenging passages of Scripture. However, I don’t believe that should begin when a child is just starting to read their Bible.
I want my children to have kid friendly Bible reading plans they would look forward to and enjoy. That simply was not happening in my home.
As I struggled with Beth’s Bible reading, an idea slowly began to form in my heart and mind.
Could I use a monthly-goal model for a children’s Bible-reading plan? One that is based on stories instead of entire books of the Bible?
It was a daunting task. But I’ve never been smart enough to realize when I’m about to get into something that is way over my head… So I jumped in.
It took way longer than I anticipated. I started in Genesis. I worked my way through the major story-telling books of the Bible and broke each story down into bite-size chunks.
The story “chunks” vary in length from 2 to 24 verses.
The biggest struggle was finding good stopping points as I worked my way through each story. Some stories are completed in a single “chunk” while others are broken up into dozens of “chunks.” The story of David’s life, for example, has over 50 “chunks.”
When it was all said and done, I had 679 story “chunks” to use in my children’s Bible-reading plans. Yes, I decided as long as I’m putting so much work into breaking the stories down that I might as well create more than one children’s reading plan.
I have created four levels of Bible Reading Plans Your Children Will Enjoy. I’d like to make them available to anyone who would like to use them.
THE FIRST LEVEL bible reading plan requires an average of 3 verses per day (around 90 verses per month).
Approximately 30 of those verses will be in Psalms and the rest will be Bible stories in fairly small “chunks.”
I believe the largest “chunk” for this level is 12 verses. In the case of a “chunk” of this size, I as the parent just determine how many days we will take to work our way through it in Beth’s Bible reading.
Needless to say, I could not break each story down into 3-verse segments.
Simply put, you as the parent will need to be involved, and if I may be frank if you don’t want to be involved, it doesn’t matter what Bible-reading program you choose, your children are not going to read the Bible faithfully.
You will have a monthly structure to help you, but you will also have tremendous flexibility.
You can read a story chunk the first day or spend a day or two reading through one of the Psalms assigned to the month.
The order doesn’t really matter except when you are reading through a story that has multiple “chunks.” Obviously, it would make sense to read that kind of story in chronological order.
Ultimately, you can really do whatever you want. You have lots of options in using these Bible reading plans your children will enjoy, and you can do what works for you.
Personally, I like giving my daughter some options to choose from. She enjoys having a say-so in her daily reading, and it’s good for her to be learning to make decisions within boundaries.
THE SECOND LEVEL Bible Reading Plan requires an average of 5 verses per day (around 150 verses per month).
Approximately 50 of those verses will be in Psalms, and the rest are Bible story chunks.
THE THIRD LEVEL Bible Reading Plan requires an average of 10 verses per day (around 300 verses per month).
At this level, we introduce the child to Proverbs while continuing to read in Psalms. Approximately 150 verses each month will come from Psalms and Proverbs.
As you can see, I am slowly trying to stretch their reading into different areas. Also at this level, some of the stories will be a little more challenging.
THE FOURTH LEVEL Bible Reading Plan requires an average of 20 verses per day (around 600 verses per month).
At this level the child will read through the entire book of Psalms once and through the entire book of Proverbs twice within the course of the year.
In an average month, about 350 verses will come from Psalms and Proverbs and the rest will come from story “chunks.”
Once again, you can see that I am trying to stretch them in their reading.
If I child completes this level, I would think that he is more than ready to try a teen and adult-level Bible-reading plan.
As of right now, my daughter is working her way through the first level. Because of her reading level, Beth is moving through level #1 much faster than the recommended 3 verses per day.
Beth is enjoying it, and Ruth and I absolutely love it! It has helped us so much, and I honestly believe that it could be a real help to you with your own children.
If you would like one or more of the children’s Bible reading plan printables that your children will enjoy, sign up below.
You will receive an email with the links to all four of the plans, and you can download the ones you want to use with your children.
Get your kids excited about reading God’s Word!
Thank you so much for sending this plan! It is WONDERFUL. What a gift to families.
I just emailed you with the plans and info on using them. I checked your profile in my email and it shows they were sent to you, so maybe they landed in your spam folder? Hope your kids enjoy using the plans!
Hi, I have tried multiple times to receive this document. The 4 Levels of “Bible Reading Plans Kids Will Enjoy” would make a huge difference in the life of my kids. I can’t seem to figure out how to receive the free copy. I tried the email multiple times. I tried contacting the blog directly twice. Finally I purchased something simply so I could have a login and leave a comment. It seems once others have left a comment the plan gets sent. I don’t know what’s left to do. Hopefully this works! Thank you for this resource. It could be a huge blessing and answer to prayer.
Hi Victoria, I just sent you an email with the plans!
I filled in the fields to receive the email twice but it’s not coming through. I LOVE this plan. How can I obtain it?
Sorry about that Susan. Just sent you an email with the info. SO glad you love my site!
Hi Sandy! Sorry the link isn’t working. I just sent you an email with the info!
I tried to sign up for the Bible reading plans a free days ago and I haven’t received an email yet. I was wondering if you could help me with this. Thank you so much! I love your site!
Thanks so much for this. I have tried to fill in my details a number of times to get the printable sent to me, but it isnt coming through. Would you mind sending it to me, please?
I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I
will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!
I have the same question as Lin. My daughter will be 8 in a few months. She reads well. The post mentions letting children choose which sections to read. I’m interested in helping her do that. Thanks!
Hi! What a wonderful read. I’m trying to organize a way to get my kids to read the Bible daily, and thankfully came across your article. I would love to be able to use these charts with my children. Are they still available?
Thanks so much!
Hi Kathie, I entered my email to receive the Bible plans a week ago but I haven’t received them yet.
Hello. I just stumbled upon this post and am very excited about it. I am the Children’s Ministry Director at our church and our Church is kicking off a church wide bible reading plan, beginning on June 1st. We have the plan for Adults and teens and older readers set to go….I was hoping to find a companion reading for our younger preschool-6th graders, so they could along side of parents, be involved in the all church activity. I am wondering if you have the levels set up by age or do you just let parents decide what level their child would do the best with? I’m guessing the level one would work best for preschool- 2nd grade?
Do you have any bible recommendations for each age? It’s a question parents always ask…I have a list, but would be interested in your recommendations as well. We use ESV Thank you
Hi Laura! I emailed you with the info for the Bible reading plans.
Hi Lin! I sent you an email with more info to help answer your questions!
I haven’t received the Bible reading plans in my email yet. Thank you for your help with this!
Hi Ashley, yes it is still ok for Children’s Ministry Directors to share with their kids!
I am confused about the directions. In plan #3 for January for example, you have Psalm 1,2,3,4,5,6. Do they read one Psalm a day then go to the next reading? What do the numbers in the columns represent? It says 304 in January and 56 in Psalm. Is this the number of verses? If there are 31 days in January, there are 18 rows. So, these rows don’t represent days. I am just trying to figure out how to use the plan and have my girls “check off” what they have read independently. Thanks in advance!
Thank you for being willing to allow Children’s Ministry Directors to share with their kids. I noticed your response was from 3 years ago though, are you still okay with this? Thanks for sharing this plan that you and your son worked on, it is a great way to encourage loving the bible to our kids! I will at least be using it with my 5 year old:)
Hi MIsty! I will email you with the plans. Sorry they haven’t come through for you!
I filled in the fields to receive the email twice but it’s not coming through. I LOVE this plan. How can I obtain it?
Hi Linda! I sent you an email with the plans. 🙂
I sent email a few days ago but got no email reply. Trying to reach again thanks.
Hi Dory! I will send you an email with the info. Thanks!
I’m not seeing the Bible reading list in my email. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you for a valuable resource.
That’s great Robyn! So glad they are what you’re looking for! 🙂
Thank you so much for posting these bible reading plans! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!
Hi Melissa! I will let him know – I’m sure that will encourage him! So glad you found them useful and will be using them with your kids.
Hi Kathie! Please thank your son for me for those wonderful Bible reading plans. That is exactly what I have been looking for to use with my own 4 children! What a blessing from the Lord!
Mary, thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Great idea to share this with your class of kids at church. Love it!
HI Jennifer! I will email you with the links for the Bible reading plans. Sorry you never got them! ~Kathie
Hi Anna! So glad you found the article helpful. Thank you for your encouraging words!~Kathie
I found the article very useful and necessary for me and my Sunday school. I will like to share it with my Church. Thank you for being encouragement and a blessing to many homes!
Hi Love your idea for Bible reading. I too signed up but never received the download. Sorry and thank you.
You are such a blessing, and thank your son for doing all the work to make this resource available to the public! I teach 3-6th graders at church and thank you for giving permission to use it in a classroom. What a wonderful way to start out a New Year for 2020! I will definitely challenge the class to use these Bible reading plans. God bless you and your family.
Hi Tanya! I just sent you an email with the plans. Sorry they never came when you signed up! ~Kathie
I signed up for the reading guide 24 hours ago but no email, so I just re-signed up. Am I missing something?
Hi Angie! So glad the Bible reading plans will be a help to you and your kids! When the kids were younger, I did real the Bible aloud to tehm, or help them if they were beginners. And yes – Bible first! I think a reward chart is a great idea too! We had a celebration when our kids read their Bible all the way through for the first time and that was great incentive.
Thank you so much for sharing this resource with families! This is exactly something I have been looking for and praying for guidance for our kiddos. We do have an AWANA program that we are involved with as a family. This program is a blessing, but I really wanted a structured plan for directing and guidance for my kiddos to read in their own. I’m so glad the Lord allowed me to see this! So, we do our AWANA verses and then we have our own monthly family scripture time to memorize.
I had a question in that with multiple ages, if they are not yet confident in reading their bibles on their own yet; do you do your reading together? I was thinking I would love to do my kiddos who aren’t as confident as my oldest to read their reading with mom before we do our core subjects with our homeschooling. Bible first!❤️ My kiddos are ages 9,7,6 and 4. Did you do a reward chart for them finishing their level of bible plan? Or, if they completed a certain amount of their readings? We are working on initiating and responsibility in our home, so I didn’t know your thoughts on rewards for reading their bible?
I’m sorry about the pop-up — is this on mobile? I will go ahead and sign you up for the Bible reading plans!
Hello, when trying to sign up for these reading plans a huge pop-up ad for a 10-day challenge blocks the entire page and I cannot complete the sign up. It happens every single time I have tried.
Hi Tabitha! I will email you with them. I’m not sure why it’s not working for you!
I have tried a few times now to download this is the link still working?
We just had our kids read right from the KJV Bible, and started with small easy sections till their reading was more fluent. Until they are reading fairly well you probably will want to do the Bible reading plans with them, and read some of it out loud for them so it won’t be overwhelming. You want them to enjoy it.
Thank you for sharing this. I’m not sure how it will work, the concept is very new for me but I definitely want to try. Could you tell me what Bible you would recommend for an 8 year old and a 5 year old? Neither one is a very strong reader. I usually read them a children’s bible book, which just has basic stories and not really ‘chapter/verse” style.
Mia, you are so welcome! I’m glad that God directed you to that post right when you needed an answer. Good for you for working with your 3 year old, and striving to give him a heart for God. Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for sharing this. I was reading your “Are you raising a rebel” series and was interrupted and just prayed that The Lord will show me where I should start to teach my 3 year old to love God. We’ve been reading bible stories from Children’s Bible but wanted something that will give him more than knowledge. 5mn later I saw this post and got the answer! This is such a good idea and and I see how much work and devotion was put in it. Blessings.
Jen, that is so exciting to hear! Great idea to also have her copy or illustrate the verse. Love it!
My seven yr old has excitedly started using the first plan, and copies her favorite verse/illustrates it in a notebook. Thanks for this valuable tool, it really helps us parents out!
Courtney, What a blessing to hear about your 6 year old getting her first Bible! I love God’s timing — you saw this post right when you needed guidance in how to get her reading God’s Word. Let me know how she enjoys the plan you choose for her to start on! 🙂
Thank you so much for this! As I was reading, I was thinking how perfect this would be for my 6 year old daughter-an answer to a prayer not yet prayed! Her first Bible is ordered and on it’s way right now, but I didn’t know how to help her start reading on her own. She reads far above her grade level and has been asking for a Bible. Then to reach the end of your post and find this resource is FREE! Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
What a great idea to read Bible stories to you 6 month old! I love it!
I love that you are encouraging your children to make reading the Bible a habit.
I read one story per day from a story bible to my 6-month-old before bed. We will see how we evolve his habits as he grows. Thanks for the inspiration.
Rhoda, you are SO welcome! I’m glad that the will be getting put to good use.
Thank you for the permission to use with “my kids”. I’m looking forward to sending this home with them. A few of my kids are from unsaved homes and I pray this helps reach parents too.
Rhoda, I love the idea you shared about how you have them read it and memorize it. That is great! It is fine for you to share and use this with your kids from church! thanks for asking. 🙂
I work with 1st -5th graders at my church. I’m always looking for ways to encourage them to have a daily devotion time. Though I am getting this mainly to help with my own children, would you mind if I shared this with my kids from church. Currently what is kind of working with some of “my kids” is I give them a 3×5 card with a Scripture reference. They then look it up, copy it on to the card, and read that one or two verses all week long. The following week, if they can quote the verse back to me, they get a new verse. If they can’t quote it back, they continue on that verse until they can. Some verses are pretty easy, some are more difficult and will take several weeks to learn. I would love to get all “my kids” reading their Bibles every day, but even just a little bit (one verse at a time) is better than no bit at all. I appreciate your making this available to us to use.