For Jonah, we quickly found a solution that worked for him. He's fairly responsible and can do most anything that is required of him on his own. So, we implemented 15 minutes of AWANA into his daily checklist. Each day he would review verses and work on current work for about 15 minutes. By the time Sunday came around each week, he was more than ready.
Micah, on the other hand, can't read. So, his verses and book took more effort from us to help him. On occasion, his verse and Jonah's were the same so they worked on them together. That was always fun to hear and see.
Next fall, our AWANA program will move to Wednesday night. Sundays were hard for so many people who weren't used to any Sunday afternoon/evening church activities. I was on the fence about the move because Wednesday night will take Dan and I out of the mix of being able to help because of the other responsibilities we have on those nights. It has been SO good for our boys to see Dan involved in something that was for them rather than his typical roles around the church. They loved that he was the game leader and got to be "fun daddy" rather than "preacher daddy."
The value of what they gained during this program is beyond any words I have to explain it. Just yesterday, we were at a water park and Jonah was afraid to do a certain ride. Out of the blue, Micah said "Well, I think Joshua 1:9 says to be strong and courageous, Jonah." Y'all, he's five years old. He knew how to correctly apply scripture he memorized. I immediately thought about all the hard Sundays of getting there. We couldn't have pool days or theme parks in the afternoon like we were used to on past Sundays. I dreaded it so many days because I just wanted a Sunday nap! BUT, there is no question about the value of what my kids gained and what I saw other kids gain. So much so that I'd do this program any day of the week at any time.
Here are a few pictures from our entire AWANA year. Some are from various theme nights and some are just from random nights. You'll see the ones from our celebration tonight at the end. Both boys finished their books this year and will be ready to move on to the next book when AWANA begins in the fall.