Our 24 Family Ways {Book Review}

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Our 24 Family Ways (2010)

Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Overview

Our 24 Family Ways is a family devotional guide that aids parents in teaching their children twenty-four principles for Biblical living. The twenty-four ways are divided into six categories: Authorities, Relationships, Possessions, Work, Attitudes, and Choices. Each “way” takes one week – Monday through Friday – to work through and also has a reproducible coordinating coloring page. Using this book as it has been designed, gives you twenty-four full weeks of planned family devotional sessions.

Our 24 Family Ways Book Review

The Readability

Personally, at first glance I was confused by the layout of this book. However, after reading the five, short intro pages, I realized that the format of this book is very simple to use. The pictures are appropriate for young ages but the questions seem aimed at upper elementary and may require you to re-word them in order for younger children to fully understand what you are asking them. Since there are only five questions per day, it is simple to glance at them and re-work them as you go, unless you are using this with pre-school and younger.

The Highlights

The main highlight is that it is simple to use and can easily be done with or without extra study. You have a guide that is sufficient for a busy day but also gives you, the parent, room to expand if you choose to do so. I really like a material that allows freedom to make alterations without a lot of effort.

The Downside

While this is a simple and straightforward approach to teaching solid Bible truth to children concerning everyday life, sadly it is also very command centered rather than pointing kids to the grace of God when they are unable to measure up to this set of family “ways”. In four weeks of using this material with my own children I found them frustrated that they could never really do what I was teaching them. For example, family way number two is “We read the Bible and pray to God every day with an open heart”. When we missed a day that week they became very frustrated and upset rather than applying grace to our family life as well as passionately pursuing God’s truth.

The Recommendation

My recommendation for this resources is with a bit of mixed thoughts. While it is a simple, easy-to-use, and organized approach to teaching some solid Biblical principles, I struggle with the fact that the thrust of the Gospel is weak at best. It was best for our family to switch to Exploring Grace Together by Jessica Thompson.

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