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The Treasure Hunters - 8 Session Children's Program Discovering God's Treasure in Family Life Review by Cassie Deputie

Family Life
National Center for Biblical Parenting
76 Hopatcong Drive
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-4136

Our family started a tradition when we first started having children to incorporate a designated and guarded family night once a week. With our busy schedules, many family members, and even people that have lived in our home with us over the years, having this weekly family night creates an atmosphere of coming together, and a time of being open, honest and transparent with one another; a time of playing games, having laughs, pouring out our hearts, and searching God’s Word and will for our family.

With this being said, sometimes these family nights need some direction and structure. Our family has been using The Treasure Hunters- 8 Session Children’s Program Discovering God’s Treasure in Family Life,by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN, for our family nights over the last many weeks and it has had a dramatic affect in our relationships as a whole!

The goal and intention of this book is to lay a foundation and vision for kids in family life and focuses on their behavior and attitudes of their hearts. This book touches on topics such as following instructions, dealing with bad attitudes, learning how to appropriately respond to being told “no”, how to remove one’s self and take a “break” when emotions start to stir up in their hearts, how to respond in kindness even when wronged and more. It takes on the theme of hunting for treasures of wisdom and every Session abides by this resounding idea.

Each session begins with an instruction page for a teacher or parent to read with a brief overview of the lesson at hand as well the option of reading a portion of their Parenting is Heart Work book (sold separately) that goes along with the lesson. The following pages include all the nitty-gritty. The theme of the lesson is in nice bold letters, the welcome activity, object lessons, Bible stories, games, crafts, and snacks are all nicely organized all in proper order of execution and divided by scripted transitions flowing from one thought or illustration to the next. The parent or teacher is thoroughly equipped with more activities then they will probably have time for which is brilliant! We had to pick and choose a few things to do each night, so we weren’t up until the wee hours of the night playing the “Treasure Hunt Detector Game” or creating and consuming “Brownies with Attitude”. At the end of each lesson are pages that can be copied and used for the games, crafts and activities as well as a “Dear Parent” page if this book is being used as a Sunday School or Vacation Bible School type setting informing to the parent what was taught in that day’s lesson.

Our favorite session was Session 3 titled “What is Heart Change All About?”. In this study we opened with a heart mosaic craft and discussed the layers of our heart. Our hearts are complex and have many things going on in them. We discussed how we battle emotions and feelings, as well as thought and reason, but God knows the hearts and ultimately holds them in His hands. Our all-time favorite activity was one in which we used water, vinegar, bleach and a spoon with red food dye on it to illustrate how God can take those things that rage in our heart and change us! Our water in our cup turned from red back to clear before our eyes as we practiced taking a “break” and praying for the Lord to change our hearts!

So many activities and crafts and things we discussed as a family have become something we have owned; a part of us! My kids have some tools in their tool belt that I have witnessed them pull out and utilize to effectively communicate and respond with proper behavior at home since going through this book with them! I have seen them play some of the games we played as a family with their friends including a very entertaining hand tapping game. In fact, my husband teaches children’s ministry at our local church, and is planning on using some of the activities from this book in his class.

The sessions are scripted out rather carefully for the parent or teacher to follow, which is a nice tool to have, however, we often would go on tangents that were applicable to our family specifically or what the Lord was speaking to us, as parents, through the scriptures we were reading.

The age range for this book is wide: ages three to twelve. This might seem like a stretch, but each session has options for younger and older children that you can implement and adapt to your children’s needs. I believe this age range is an accurate estimate.

Some improvements I think this book could make is creating a few lists in the beginning of each session to streamline the preparation work a parent or teacher needs to accomplish prior to commencing each session. A master list of materials needed to be gathered with a note as to which activities the materials are intended for would be immensely helpful. Also, a list of what items are needed to be prepared ahead of time such as an instructional sample of a craft for children to model after, or papers that need to be folded a certain way, or experiment materials that need to be measured out. These things are time consuming and a clear, bullet point list of these would provide a quick-look option instead of needing to read, in detail, the entire lesson and assembling lists independently.

Another improvement would be, in Session 7, I noticed a spelling error on page 115 in the “Transition” segment where the word “the” is incomplete and spelled“th”.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is very well put together, easy to understand and utilize, has unique and exciting games and activities that elaborate on the theme at hand, and can adapt to meet the needs of a diverse age group. The lessons our family has learned will be with my children their whole childhood and predictably ones they will use to instruct their children in family life.

In conclusion, if your family doesn’t currently have a designated night where you corporately get together and spend quality time together, maybe this is the perfect resource to get one rolling! Or, if you’re a children’s ministry teacher and want to do an eight-week, in-depth study on character and family life, this would also be a great resource in your tool belt as well as in your kid’s!

-Product review by Cassie Deputie, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July, 2018