Friday, June 26, 2015

Why I wish Family Christian's Reading Program Existed 30 years ago!

FTC disclaimer:   This is a sponsored post by Family Christian.  It contains affiliate links.  All opinions are my own.

I always loved to read.  I always hated in first grade we had to circle all vowels and color all pictures on our worksheets every day before we could go to the reading nook and read.  There was this girl, who also shared my first name who was quicker at that, and she got to go to the reading corner more often.  I'd look on with envy as she was there with an open book when I had to color pictures.  To make matters even worse, she had a cooler last name than I did because it came before mine in the alphabet.  She got to read, and she was Jennifer "1".  Add in the fact that my last name was Short, there was no way I wanted to go by Jennifer 2 Short.

Fast forward a couple years and our library had their first ever summer reading club.  In typical 1980s fashion, the goal was to create a pixelated video game character on a grid.  We got one sticker towards it every time we read a book.  And wouldn't you know it, Jennifer 1 was there.  There was the promise of a reward at the end of the summer for the top reader, and there was no way I was going to let the cool Jennifer win!  I was reading all summer long.  I walked to the library nearly every day.  (This was the 1980s and it was fine for eight year olds to be walking somewhere by themselves.)  My Donkey Kong character was nearly complete.  The last day of the reading club, there was a party with Kool-Aid, cookies, and a movie.  But Jennifer and I realized we were almost tied.  We skipped the party, looked for the shortest books we could find in the library that qualified for our age range, and read through the party.  How did it turn out? She beat me by one book.  Yes, my picture got in the paper, and yes I got a prize of a book that didn't interest me, but she beat me.  She was at my wedding last month and I mentioned this to her.  (The fact that she thought I had the cooler seat in class in 3rd grade means nothing.  She beat me at reading club.)

So why do I wish Family Christian reading program would have existed back in the 1980s?  Well, a big reason is I wouldn't still think about how I was beat by one book in the reading club.  The way the Family Christian program works is children 12 and under read any six Christian books.  Then fill out the downloadable forms and take them in to any Family Christian store.  If you don't live near a store, you can e-mail them to them.   There's no competition involved, and the prize is one I would have loved as a child -- a $10 certificate to Family Christian.  This, of course, would be great to be spent on a new book, but of course there's a cute Romaine Faithful to God t-shirt for just $12.99.  There's the Paws and Tails DVD that teaches about prayer and rejoicing.  They could even pick a book such as The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult.  (Personally I would encourage a child to pick out this adorable kitchen Taste and See the Lord is Good pitcher and say they could use it to have a lemonade stand and then use it in the kitchen afterwards.   How selfish is that?  Ha ha!)

But first, the child has to read the books.   This would have been no trouble for me as a child.  I loved the Mandie books, and I can remember spending a summer afternoon reading The Sugar Creek Gang and the Swamp Robber.  My absolute favorite books as a child were the In Grandma's Attic Series.  I have shared these with many a girl in my life over the years.   If these suggestions are a little too old for your child, I adored the Arch Storybooks when I was a child.  They retell Bible stories with great pictures and they are in rhyme!

There's time to discover new favorites such as Tricia Goyer's Prayers that Changed History.  This book introduces children to heroes of the faith and how their prayers made a difference.  What an encouragement for kids!

Now if you'll please excuse me, I haven't read my Grandma's Attic books in a few years and it is a summer day, and I want to re-read about the time that Mabel made the facial mask from a magazine she came across.


  1. That sounds like a fun program. The only Family Christian around here is 30 minutes away though.

    I love your story from when you were a kid. Isn't it funny the things we remember?

    Have a great day!

    1. Miranda, you can do this program online and spend your certificate online, so don't let the distance stop you from getting your kids involved! :)

  2. Jenn, this is great! Lots of great information here, as well as your youth (I cried!) but, thanks for the great information and for all of the links back to FC, I was able to search some stuff out quicly!