Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Resources for Parents

A friend of mine who helped with publicity for The Gospel-Centered Woman shared with me a few resources for kids, knowing that my son was on the autism spectrum. It's interesting to have a resource created by those with direct experience geared toward children on the spectrum. The first is a children's storybook series about a real-life aspie superhero's quest to be “normal” and a family who wants him to be anything but. This is an interactive APP for iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android (phones/tablets), Kindle Fire, Nook, PC, and Mac by Geek Club Books.

This app has an interactive storybook based on the real JMan, Jonathan Murphy, and his real life adventures growing up on the autism spectrum. Written by his sister, Molly Murphy, and narrated by Jonathan, the story is told by someone who sees his world from a very unique perspective. It promotes self-acceptance, awareness, and understanding for others who are different. It's geared toward kids ages 5-11. It has some cool features, especially that you can change the superhero, JMan, into super-heroine, Jaycee. There is a secret notebook throughout with age-appropriate information on Aspergers Syndrome, being different, and bullying. There are options to have narration with word highlighting if a child isn't interested in reading it to themselves. Here's a link to the website for the app. This seems like a good resource for families with kids on the spectrum.

Another resource I want to share is more general. It's called The God Puzzle. This is a workbook that is a great resource for teaching our children the overarching story of Scripture. I like the order of the lessons, which you can read through here. My boys and I are finishing up another set of lessons from Scripture, but I plan to dive into this workbook with them once we are done.

For so long in my own life, I thought of the Bible as a disjointed series of moral lessons. I was well into adulthood before I came to personally understand the connected, coherent story of the whole of Scripture. I'm excited about a resource that helps me, much like The Jesus Storybook Bible, give my boys a stronger foundation of understanding Scripture. I think I will benefit personally as well.

8 comments:

  1. Wendy,

    once more you are an answer to prayer, thank you.

    My boy isn't an aspie (at least that we know of), but he is one of those for whom ideas and mechanisms are easier to engage with than people, and whilst he is very sociable he also finds social interactions draining and sometimes hard to navigate, that app looks like it would be very helpful.

    And the God Puzzle also looks like just what we need: we have read through the Jesus Sotry bible and the Lion's First Bible several times, and I would also recommend Lloyd-Jones' s Thoughts to make your heart sing, which for us was great to focus our minds between breakfast and rushing out to school. We were looking for what to do next, the Newt is starting to need something more thought provoking than just the stories.

    I was wondering if you also had any recommendation for parenting resources of a different type: Creation vs Evolution. I was going to comment on the Intelligent Design post, but it felt slightly off topic, and here you are, with a post on parenting resources: a God-incidence indeed!

    The issue we are having comes mostly from our ignorance: I'm a mathematician, not a biologist, and although you are one too at least you love whales... :)

    I know that evolution is only a theory and not a proven fact, and I do believe in the inerrancy of the Bible; however I am enough of a square head to not be able to ignore science altogether: we have been created thinking beings and I do marvel at how our glorious God has fitted all creation together, and how He graciously enables us to further our understanding and modelling of how it all works; but I do not know enough of the state of biological research to screen ideological bias out of how the data is presented or interpreted.

    It is pretty obvious that there is a lot of spin on both sides of the debate of this heavily charged topic; it is close to my heart because it was the obstacle over which my own budding faith crashed when I was 8. And since coming back to the Lord about 10 years ago, I have mostly suspended disbelief and chosen to trust the Lord even in the areas, like this one, where there is unresolved apparent contradiction.

    It is now time to resolve it though, for the sake of our son, who is in a Montessori school and therefore starting to look at the beginning of science and history linked together through the great stories, and the naturalism ideology is rampant. The method is great, but humanism is pervasive in it and we need to balance the scales at home, yet feel woefully unprepared in this area.

    Do you have any suggestions? Tips? Resources? How do you tackle this with your own boys?

    Many many thanks, your blog is a real blessing, and I don't tell you or actively engage nearly enough! :(

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    1. Would love info on this for my kids too. While I have done enough research on my own to be content in my reconciling of the biblical account of creation with what secular scientists have to say I would love some resources for my young children who are asking questions about evolution and creationism. I have a really hard time explaining it in terms they understand. And I am a little leary of the resources out there from Ken Ham and the Creation Museum type crowd. He just rubs me the wrong way and I don't trust him.

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    2. I don't know of resources right off. This is a good question. Maybe the community who reads here can recommend something.

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    3. Hopefully! I have tried starting off with a google search but the amount of dross to plough through before getting something even vaguely sensible is quite daunting.

      One thing I have come across is this article by Ray and Sue Bohlin. The article itself is reasonable enough, I didn't know of them beforehand though and I have not had yet the chance to sift through the Probe website to test further. I have found vitriolic critic of them, but I think it is par for the course given what they are trying to do. Any wisdom on them or the Probe website?

      Anonymous: would you be so kind as to share the research you've done for yourself? It would be a great starting point for me given I haven't got that far yet...

      God bless and many thanks

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  2. Thanks, Wendy. We love the Jesus Storybook Bible, and I just ordered the God Puzzle.

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  3. As a reading tutor, a book I have recommended in the past for children and parents with learning differences is Mel Levine's Keeping A Head in School. It is written directly to the 9-15 year old and presents fictitious scenarios while teaching about learning differences. Parents can read the book to younger children. It's been a while since I looked at it, so my thinking on aspects of the book may have changed, but I remember it being a hopeful and helpful book and unique as your first recommendation above in that it is written to children.

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  4. Long-time lurker, first-time commenter.

    Wendy's words resonated with me:
    "For so long in my own life, I thought of the Bible as a disjointed series of moral lessons. I was well into adulthood before I came to personally understand the connected, coherent story of the whole of Scripture."

    I have tried to give our children a better opportunity in this area, so I am thankful to learn of any resources to help out. These may be old news to you, but just in case...these little treasures have helped my children (and me) in this area:
    "Grandpa's Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption" by Starr Meade (others from this author look promising)
    Sally Michael's works: God's Promises, God's Names, God's Providence, God's Wisdom

    I understand some concerns with Ken Ham. Still, though, it's a good place to get some ideas of other better balanced resources.
    Also, ICR http://www.icr.org/ might be more to your liking (includes some Ham items but also others).
    Also, Apologia science book. Yes, these are textbooks, but they are very enjoyable textbooks (conversational style, can even just be for reading through together in a non-schoolish way, and can be adapted to many ages--all of our children--and I--have gleaned from them) http://www.christianbook.com/apologia

    If I've recommended something heretical, Wendy, feel free to correct me!



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    1. Great resources! Thanks for sharing.

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