Because of all the various issues, including health, that my Sandwich Generation family is dealing with on a regular basis, we do spend a LOT of time in the car! I'm always on the lookout for great educational and character building resources for quiet times together and I've got two excellent resources to share with you this week and next.
The first is one I've mentioned before – Down Gilead Lane. It's a Kids Christian radio drama full of interesting stories, character building episodes, and plenty of Biblical values – and it's really fun to listen to! You can actually listen to episodes at no cost at CBH Ministries or buy them on CD or as mp3 downloads to listen to in the car or on your iPod or other mp3 player.
I first bought a couple of their CDs back when my oldest grandchild was about 10 or 11. We had a long drive ahead of us and I thought they would help to make the trip a bit more enjoyable. They did! And I enjoyed the stories as much as she did! Now my 8 and 10 year old grandsons have started listening and they are all enjoying them just as much.
The stories center around the Morrison Family – five kids and their parents – living in a small town. They have a variety of friends, some saved, some not. There is mystery, intrigue, family fun, drama, happy times, and sad times – and it's all Christ-centered and biblically based. We are currently listening to the stories about a beloved family friend who is a senior citizen. He is in the midst of developing Alzheimer's Disease and I was wiping away tears as we listened to the story of how he disappeared for a few hours during a storm. Having lived through something similar with a great-aunt, I used this as an excellent opportunity to talk about ways to deal with this situation if it ever occurs again.
I know, from listening to some special episodes set later than this story, that his passing away will also be dealt with – and with senior grandparents on both coasts, I am sure that will be another good opportunity to plant seeds of love, compassion, and caring in the hearts and minds of my grandkids – both from the stories themselves and from our chats as we listen.
And yes, I continue to listen to AND enjoy these stories right along with my grandkids. They truly are very interesting. There are 12 seasons in all, with 12 half hour shows per season. I was able to purchase a complete set of all 12 episodes on CDs during an extra great discounted sale this past Christmas, so if you think you want to buy them, signing up for their email list can be a great idea. I've transferred them to my iPod and "iTouch" and my grandteen is enjoying the new episodes as much as the rest of the grandkids!
I enjoyed reading some of the CBH history in an article by the West Michigan Christian News. I still remember my own kids listening to some of the original radio programs with their home schooling buddies many years ago – talk about your sweet family memories!
I love the fact that these are audio stories rather than video. Don't get me wrong – I do enjoy TV (LOVE my TIVO), but, as Dr. Michael Rich, MD, MPH, Children’s Hospital Boston’s media expert and director of Children’s Center on Media and Child Health, puts it in the article, Are audiobooks a good use of kids’ time?, "Audiobooks are valuable media for your children because they don’t pre-digest imagery for them. That means that as your kids listen to the stories, they’re given the exquisite experience of actively imagining the worlds they’re hearing about, rather than having the characters and scenery presented to them like in a book or TV show." (Hmmm – sounds like that would make it excellent brain exercise for all of us boomers and seniors as well 🙂 )
You can get more information about all of this, plus find out about more of the great Christian resources they offer our kids and grandkids, by clicking here. And whether you're out and about on those zillion errands that are a part of our Sandwich Generation lives, or gathered around the computer the way our senior parents used to gather around the radio, enjoy some quality programming and fun stories with your grandkids. You'll treasure your own sweet family memories in the years to come as well. 🙂 And be sure to check back next week for another interesting audio resource. In fact, to make sure you don't miss it…
P.S.I thought I'd use one of my fun new iPhone apps, Ransom Letters, to wish you all –