Five Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Finish Their Awana Handbooks

Jeff Smith writes for the Raising Modern-Day Josephs parenting blog

For many kids, February to April is their most challenging time of year in Awana.

A lot of churches end their Awana ministry year in April. That means as of mid-February, their Awana students have about two months to complete their handbooks.

Is your child behind on his handbook? There’s no reason to panic. Perhaps the hurdle you need to clear is merely motivating him to do the work.

If motivation is what your child needs, here are a few keys to inspiring greater commitment that hopefully results in completing this year’s handbook and instilling life-defining biblical truths in your child’s heart.

Set goals with them

If your child is in Sparks or T&T, our Bookwalks are free resources that help you determine how many sections of her handbook need to be completed per week through the end of the club year for her to finish her book. Or ask your child’s Awana leader to assist you to figure out how many book sections your child needs to complete over the final weeks of the club year to reach this goal.

Having an end goal in mind and dividing up that goal into manageable chunks will help your child and you immensely in the process.

Work with them

Commit to practicing new Bible verses with your child each week. Make a schedule. For instance, spend five or 10 minutes a night before bedtime going over verses. If you’re morning people, work on verses during breakfast or in the car. Here are some Bible memorization tips that might prove helpful.

And consider committing to learning the verses yourself. This will further inspire many kids and provide accountability for them. Maybe even make it a weekly competition between the two of you if your child is at an appropriate age. Who can finish more sections each week?

Reward them

Awana rewards handbook achievers with end-of-year awards. Many churches’ Awana ministries further reward kids with candy, prizes, Awana bucks or other external benefits.

But if you think your child needs an additional incentive, what would motivate him even further? Extra allowance? A gift? A special meal? A night out with Dad or Mom? This also communicates to your child that his Bible learning is important to you and to his spiritual growth.

Praise them

As they finish a section and move closer to completing their handbook, load on the encouragement. This will fuel most kids’ fire to press ahead. Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.

Prioritize their involvement

Learning God’s Word is essential to developing a strong walk with Christ. 2 Timothy 3:16 says Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Treat your child’s Awana “homework” the same as you treat her schoolwork. Our kids will pick up on this and take their handbooks more seriously.

How do you motivate your kids to finish their Awana handbooks?

This entry was posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 8:22 pm and is filed under Awana. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Five Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Finish Their Awana Handbooks”

  1. Sherrie Fancher Says:

    March 3rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    How do you motivate parents to get their kids to the AWANA meetings? So many of them will bring their kids only if they don’t get “a better offer”, or if their sports/arts/entertainment activity of choice doesn’t plan an event. The kids in our club do not take their books home because a)no parental support for working in the books, and b) the kids are afraid they will lose them – some kids are shuffled around during the week due to custody arrangements, moving frequently, etc.

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About the Authors
Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is editorial manager of Awana. He and his wife have two children. Jeff has written three curriculum books for Awana.
Kim Anderson
Kim Anderson is a Web copywriter for Awana. She and her husband have daughters in sixth and ninth grade. Kim is a former youth ministry leader at her church who has co-written six books on youth ministry.
Linda Massey Weddle
Linda Weddle is senior U.S. program designer at Awana. She grew up in Awana, her children took part in Awana, and now her grandchildren all are in Awana. Linda is author of How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph.