Superbook: faith-based screen time your kids will love

This post is sponsored by CBN and Team Superbook.  All opinions are my honest assessment of the Superbook show.

After a long day of outdoor play, my husband tucked our three weary kids in bed.  I tiptoed into the quiet bedroom to give each of them one extra kiss.  As I bent over their sleeping heads, I thought about what my heart desires for my kids.

I want them to be active and adventurous.  To explore outdoors.  To grow in strength and confidence in their bodies.

I want them to have a love of learning.  To be curious.  To stretch their minds through reading and critical thinking.

And I want them to know God.  To be familiar and comfortable with Sacred Scripture and the Traditions of the Church.  To love Jesus.

I often feel these goals are threatened by the lure of modern technology.  Every day, my kids beg for movies and TV shows and videogames.  Every day, I have to be intentional about playtime, reading time and Jesus time.  I have to make sure screen time doesn’t take over.


I want my kids to be familiar with Sacred Scripture and the Traditions of the Church.  To love Jesus.  Tweet this.


I feel like I’m fighting a battle against technology.  I try to suggest VeggieTales and My Catholic Family, but the kids beg for Frozen and Moana and Big Hero 6.

And I don’t blame them.

I love these movies.

The storylines are more compelling.  The characters are more relatable.  The action scenes are more exciting.

But I longed for a way to cut back on screen time and increase faith and learning time without my kids treating me like I was torturing them.

Then I found Superbook.

What we love about Superbook

Chris and Joy are two elementary school best friends.  Their sidekick, Gizmo, is an adorable, quirky robot.  In each twenty minute episode, the trio starts off the show by getting into a bit of trouble.

Then Superbook, a tablet-esque digital Bible, shows up with impeccable timing to transport the three friends back in time to a perfectly relevant Bible story.  They are immersed into the action of the story, with seemingly little foreknowledge about what will happen next.  By the end of the show, the friends are transported back to the high-tech present, where they apply what they learned in the Bible story to solve their real-life problems with virtue and integrity.

The format is everything I want.

The modern life of Chris and Joy is relatable and appealing to my kids.  The animation is cute and sometimes astounding.  The action scenes are exciting

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And best of all, I feel good about letting my kids have a little screen time.  They beg for an episode of Superbook and I don’t feel guilty about making a deal with my persistent 5-year old.  “Just one episode, then go outside and play.”  I can take this opportunity to ease the indoor-outdoor transition  (it’s easy to sunscreen with his eyes glued to the screen).  And I’m on board with letting the TV give the kids a little faith formation in the morning before kicking them outside for the rest of the day.

With Superbook in my queue, I’m free to use screen time as a tool rather than dreading it as a time-wasting brain sucker.  The episodes are the perfect length to keep the kids occupied on meltdown days when I’m in desperate need of a quick shower.


With Superbook, I’m free to use screen time as a tool rather than dreading it as a time-wasting brain sucker. Tweet this.


And when we pull out our children’s Bible, the kids are even more familiar with the stories, and how to apply the lessons in modern situations.  After watching the episode where Isaiah goes face-to-face with the priests of Baal, the kids are quick to choose that story for reading time.

I loved Superbook so much I recommended it to all my friends.  And then I reached out to the Superbook team, partnering with them so I could share my recommendation with you!

You can introduce your kids to Superbook for free.  At Superbook.cbn.com, register for a free account, and you’ll have access to Season 1 streaming online.  If you love it like I do, you can join the Superbook DVD club for access to streaming further seasons, and new episodes on DVD sent in the mail.  My recommendation: share the subscription with a friend or two, or register for your Catechism or Faith Formation class (you get 3 copies of each new DVD in the mail, so sharing is ideal).

 

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Superbook has become a family favorite.  It’s a great tool (one of many) to help me realize the goals I dream of for my kids.  The short episodes leave plenty of time for active play, allowing me to make compromises on screen time without feeling like I’ve lost a battle or failed as a mom.  The Bible based content inspires my kids to want to learn more about the stories during reading time.  And the kids begging for faith-filled movies?  That just melts my heart!

Give it a try!

Favorite Superbook Episodes

In the Beginning: This is my favorite episode, the first in the series.  The animation of Creation is breathtaking, and filled me with awe at the thought of God creating this entire world out of nothing.  The animators did an amazing job of giving it the feel of the miraculous.  And of course, I always love to have a good laugh about artists trying to creatively cover up the naked Adam and Eve.

The Giant Adventure:  This is my son, Hero’s, favorite episode.  What kid doesn’t love the story of David and Goliath?  To see a brave young kid battle a fierce giant.  Complete with head chopping (off-screen of course, but this detail is often lost in kid-versions).  In this episode, Chris is inspired to overcome a bout of stage-fright he encounters when he wants to audition for the school band.

Roar! My girls always beg for this one.  I’m not sure what exactly makes it their favorite.  I think they like the friendly lions.  I like the lesson about standing up to bullies.

Revelation: More epic battle scenes.  Angel armies flying through the air, battling the demons.  Jesus riding in triumphant on a white horse.  This episode is intense, and appeals strongly to my son, Hero, and his older uncle.  I appreciate the way the creators of this episode portrayed Satan as a deceiver, who disguises himself to trick you, but at the same time, lets the children watching know who he is all along.  In this episode, Chris learns an important lesson about forgiveness.

Superbook Bible themes parental caution

The Bible is no cakewalk.  It’s filled with struggles between good and evil, scenes of peril, and epic battles.  Superbook makes these stories accessible to kids without completely eliminating the exciting parts.  Keep in mind, this show is not for the youngest kids.  It appeals to older kids who can handle the scary parts of the stories.  Some children may end up with nightmares!  I recommend you view a few episodes before showing them to your kids, and discern whether they are mature enough to handle the content.


The Bible is no cakewalk.  Superbook makes the stories accessible to kids without eliminating the exciting parts.  Tweet this.


I specifically want to caution you about the violence and scariness of some Superbook episodes.

  • violence

Yes, there are battles and wars, and the Crucifixion scene in He is Risen makes you uncomfortable. My son loves action movies, and he begs for Superbook episodes with sword fights. If you want squeaky clean feel-good stories, stick with Veggietales.  If your kids are ready to be introduced to a little more of the reality of the Bible, give Superbook a shot.  Just be prepared, and know what you’re letting them view.

  • scariness

We had friends over and I thought it would be a good idea to put on an episode of Superbook for them. I thought The Miracles of Jesus would be a happy, uplifting episode.  Miracles make us smile, right?!  Well, this episode included the time where Jesus cast the demon, Legion, out of the man.  Think glowing eyes and a double-pitched demon voice.  Even I was creeped out.  And it gave our guests the heebie-jeebies.  My bad.  But we had a great conversation afterwards about Jesus always winning against bad guys!  So just be warned, Superbook does have some frightening scenes.  And if your kids are easily scared, stay completely away from Revelation.

Superbook passed my Faith-check

Every time I check out a new kids’ Bible or Bible storybook, I go straight to two places: the birth of Jesus and the Last Supper.  I don’t like anyone implying that Jesus is anything other than the Son of God, or that Mary gave birth to brothers and sisters for Him.  And don’t even get me started on renditions that treat the Eucharist as symbolism.  Naturally, I viewed these two Superbook episodes with extra caution, and I was pleasantly surprised to give it a thumbs up!

Are you intrigued?  If you think Superbook would be a good fit for your family, give it a try today!

Rocking Motherhood

What makes a good mom?

A little while back, I guest posted on The Koala Mom about what it means to be a Love Rebel Mom.  In short: I’m dedicated to my vocation.  God called me to be a mom, and I’m going to be a darn good one.

So Anni over at Beautiful Camouflaged Mess of a Life challenged me to prove it.  In her rocking motherhood post, she shared what makes her a good mom, and tagged me to do the same with practical examples from my own life.

As I brainstormed my supermom qualities, I realized everything on my list was more about the mom I want to be than the mom I am right now.  And I struggled to identify real life ways I actually rock motherhood every day.

So I asked my kids.

“When do you think I do a good job of being an awesome mommy?”

I was humbled by their answers.

Hero

My 5 yo son, Hero, is a ball of energy.  His feet hit the ground running every morning (this is not a metaphor).  He’s a big thinker, a big reader, and one of those people who’s so good at everything they do, it’s obnoxious.  Hero says I rock motherhood…

“When you play cars and Legos with me.”

Honestly, my car skills are limited to “brmmm brmmm – wheeeelieee!”  And I’m not very talented at Legos either… I can’t turn bricks into something cool.

But skills don’t matter to him.  Nope.  It’s enough for me to sit on the floor with him while he builds a demolition derby car that will DESTROY mine.  It’s enough for him that I brmmm my car while I listen to him tell me all about who’s winning the race.  It’s enough for me to just be with him.

“When you feed me.  Especially dessert.  Chocolate dessert, that’s my favorite.”

A boy after my own heart!  I love chocolate dessert, too.  It doesn’t surprise me that he finds the comfort of family dinner and dessert a special time when he feels  loved.  I want him to feel the joy of home, of a happy family.  If it takes a little chocolate to get the desired effect, so be it.

Princess

My 3yo, Princess, hides a big personality behind a quiet, shy facade.  “Feed me.  Carry my.  Read to me,” is her litany.  Her comfort zone is in mommy’s arms (or daddy’s).  Princess says I rock motherhood…

“When you get yourself tea because you share it with me when you drink it.”

This surprised me, but it shouldn’t have.  Princess needs down time, snuggles, physical reassurance.  So I do my best momming for her when I slow myself down.  When I sit and do nothing important.  Sip tea quietly and snuggle her.  As of today, I’ll be adding that relaxing cup of tea back into my morning routine.

“When you’re at church.  Because you get to pray.”

Well, I might have cried a bit at that one.  How does she know so firmly that I need Jesus big time?  How does she know I can’t do this motherhood thing on my own?  How does she know the grace of God is the only thing that keeps me going somedays?

I need to remember this when the toddlers are tormenting me during Mass and the big kids are whispering, “Can we go yet?” during Adoration.  I’m a good Mom just by being there, because I get to pray.  And prayer makes all the difference.

Flower

My 2yo, Flower, is crazy from the hair down.  Daddy can’t even discipline her without laughing and telling her how cute she is.  It’s gonna come back and haunt us, I know.  She thinks I rock motherhood…

“When you’re in the tub with toys.”

The tub is my safe haven.  And I’m not usually in there with toys.  But sometimes Flower escapes from movie time and finds me.  I suppose I don’t rock motherhood the times I send her back out.  But when I let her float her boats in my bath, I transform into Supermom.  Fill my tub with toys, baby, if that’s what it takes to let you know I love you!

“When you be a good listener.”

Excuse me?  You’re two.  Stop being so darned grown-up.  Flower makes sure I’m looking at her when she’s speaking to me.  She grabs my cheeks and turns my face towards hers.  So I’m not sure if she thinks I AM a good listener, or that I need to be a BETTER listener. But from now on, I’m going to make sure her voice is heard.

Rocking Motherhood

Motherhood is not about chores (except dinner, apparently).  None of my kids said I’m a good mom because I do the dishes and the laundry, and make the bed every day.

They showed me I’m a good mom when I make them feel loved.  When I spend time with them.  When I give them my undivided attention.

If I want to be a good mom, I need to stop thinking about myself.  Because motherhood is not about me.  It’s not about what I do.  It’s about my kids.

Now that I know this, I’m going to rock it even more.  I’m going to print this list and make sure I meet my kids’ needs.  Their real needs.  Most importantly: the need for love.

Moms, spend time with your kids.

Love them the way they need to be loved.

That’s all it takes to rock motherhood.


Love your kids the way they need to be loved.  Tweet this.


I want to hear from you!

How are you rocking motherhood?  I challenge you to ask your kids the same question I did:

“When do you think I do a good job of being an awesome mommy?”

Then come back here and leave a comment.  I want to hear what they say!

Blogging friends, I want to hear from you too.  Today, I especially nominate:

to join me in the #RockingMotherhood challenge.

Here’s whatcha gotta do:

  1. Write a post on how you rock motherhood.  Tell us 10 (plus or minus) ways.
  2. Link back to the blogger who tagged you.
  3. Tag blogging friends to join the challenge.

(p.s. no pressure… I won’t be offended if this type of post isn’t for you!)

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I Have Extra Arms and Extra legs

For all the babywearing moms.

I strapped my tantruming 2-yo to my back, rolled up my sleeves, and dug into the dishes, hoping the closeness and the movement would help her calm down.

The cries eventually turned to whimpers.  The whimpers to sighs.  The sighs to silence.  She was asleep.

Time to lay her down for a nap.

But first I stepped into the bathroom to scoop up the dirty clothes for the laundry.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  My silhouette was augmented with extra appendages.  Little tiny fingers, toes, arms, and legs, were peeking out from the left and right.

I stopped.

And stared. Continue reading “I Have Extra Arms and Extra legs”

Why (And How) to Bring Your Kids to Adoration

Jesus waits in the Tabernacle, saying, “Let the little children come to me.”  Bring your kids to Mass and Adoration!

I can almost feel the disapproving glares of the parishioners behind me burning holes in the back of my head, but I don’t dare turn and look.

Continue reading “Why (And How) to Bring Your Kids to Adoration”

Discipline Like the Garden of Eden

Today I snapped. It was the last straw. My son defied me, disobeyed me, one time too many. I could hear my mind screaming, “What punishment can I think of that will make him so miserable he will never want to act like this again?” It’s times like this that I need to step back, take a break, and work hard to be gentle and loving in my parenting.

Continue reading “Discipline Like the Garden of Eden”