Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible by Danika Cooley Book Review

 I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew. 

The Bible. It can be a massive undertaking just to read, not to mention teach to your kids. Add in the struggles that new Christians or parents who aren't very confident in their Bible literacy have, and it may seem that teaching your child about the Bible just isn't a job you're cut out for. 

This past month, I had the chance to read Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible by Danika Cooley with Bethany House Publishers. I'll break down what you can expect from this delightful read in this review! 

Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible Book Review

This book is a trade paperback with a sturdy construction. You can use this book for many years! 

How is the book written?

First, I love the tone of the book throughout. Cooley is encouraging and casual in your approach, but backs everything up with Scripture and some other resources. I don't doubt her literacy and intent, which helps me trust her as an authority in writing this book.

Second, the book struck me right off the bat as something applicable to all parents. While Cooley homeschooled (as do I), her approach toward child-rearing is very similar to mine. I loved that she started the book with a verse out of Thessalonians (1:4) where Believers are encouraged to:

"aspire to live quietly, to attend to your own matters, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you. 12Then you will behave properly toward outsiders, without being dependent on anyone."

This is very much how we strive to live, and going into the book with this theme in mind helps me to read it with the understanding that my husband and I (and only we) are responsible for educating our children in the Word so that they can live in the world.

What does the book cover?

The book really takes a logical path through the big questions, such as why we should teach children the Bible and if is it appropriate for all ages, as well as things like how to address some of the more unsavory parts of the Bible. (Cooley shares some of the wording she uses to talk to older kids about themes of abuse or sexual sin, for example) I like that she doesn't shy away from embracing the Bible as a whole, important work while also giving parents permission to teach their kids what they need at the place they are at.

Then, she goes into some basics of how to approach this big book, ways to frame it as a "doable" task to introduce daily to family life, and own even those who are limited in Bible literacy can break it down into something the whole family can learn from, even if you're new to it yourself.

Everything is written in chunks. Each section is clearly labeled with headers so you can mark sections and go back to them! With so much information, it's nice to take it a little at a time. There are a lot of notes you might want to take as you go.

Bonus: Anyone reading this book through for the first time may think that they have to read it all through, set up a plan, and then start learning through the Bible as a family. Cooley actually stops her teaching at one point and tells families to start now, with what they can, and that it's best to keep refining as you go, rather than wait until you have the book and tactics mastered. This approach is so wise!

Things you'll learn in this book:

Cooley presents three main ideas, all equal in value. They are:

1. You're the leader -- this section explains the authority and the responsibility you have as a parent to lead your kids

2. Faithful reading - this section gives some Biblical background, sets up the Bible as an authority, and goes into some of the answers to questions you may have about staying on task and making the reading time relevant and positive for kids

3. A daily walk - this final, larger section gets into the nitty gritty of what a daily family Bible time looks like and how to implement it in your house -- no matter the schedule. This part is the nuts and bolts that you are probably seeking when you pick up the book. (All three parts, however, have value as a cohesive plan for putting the Word into your kids' hearts.)

Final thoughts

This book is convicting, compassionate, and compelling. I don't know of a parent who won't read it and not come away with an "a-ha" moment or two. I marked several pages for reference, and it even got me thinking about being more intentional in our family Bible time. While Cooley does come to readers as an authority, there's nothing she says that seems off-putting, judgey, or too lofty to implement in the home. (There's even a section on how to teach the Bible through sickness or tough times, and she gives DVDs and Bible shows a "pass" for helping when you can't do much else.)

Whether you're new to the Bible or have read it many times through, this book equips parents to be the leaders in their children's lives that they really need (and crave) to be. Note that the author takes a very engaged role in her kids' lives, as a parent, homeschooler, and mentor. If you already believe that you should take these roles, this book will be a welcome addition to filling in any gaps in your kids (and your) Bible literacy. 

Those who largely take a "hands-off" approach, letting school or youth group teach their kids, may find it difficult to relate to. This second group, however, is who I think can benefit most from the book and should be prepared to have it challenge your worldview of parenting in a good way. 

Learn more:

You can follow Danika Cooley at her social channels here:

And Bethany House Publishers here:

Read other parent reviews here and see another Bible literacy tool with our Bible Breakdowns review.