I rarely post about our Bible lessons, which suddenly occurred to me as rather strange. But I think the main reason is that it is such an interwoven part of our daily lives that I rarely think of it as “homeschool.” For those of you who have been curious, however, here’s what we are up to.
When we first started homeschooling, I put together flannelgraph lessons a couple of times a week. Though I quickly decided that this was way too much prep time for me to continue doing, my son still remembers and asks about those stories. He loved them. And I did, too—just not all the time it took to sort through the pieces and put them away again. Also, my husband wanted our family worship time to be the focal point while they were young; we wanted to avoid confusing them by bringing in too many stories and lessons at one time.
That said, most of our homeschool Bible is focused on memory work. Last year, we memorized Bible verses and definitions for character traits without any formal curriculum. This year, we’ve been working on memorizing the books of the Bible, beginning with the Old Testament. When my kids started stumbling through some of the more complicated names of the books of the Old Testament, I went on a search for a song to help them. After all, I thought, if they can memorize all of the strange sounding countries of Africa and Europe, they ought to be able to get through Haggai and Zephaniah. I love the fact that with mp3 music from either iTunes or Amazon, you can purchase just the songs you need rather than a complete CD; so I only had to spend $.99 for each song, one for OT and one for NT. We’ve nearly completed the OT, and I suspect the NT will go much faster.
The kids also have memory work for our church’s kids program, and we will work on these verses and “Big Ideas” during our Bible time as well.
For family worship, we’ve been going through the book The Gospel Story Bible. It’s a beautiful colorful devotional book that is perfect for their age levels without sacrificing content or dumbing down. For both the OT and NT stories, the Gospel is the focus. I especially love how the OT stories are told in a way that shares how God was preparing His people for the arrival of His son, and the devotions have really helped the kids to see the Bible as one story rather than a bunch of smaller stories with no connection.
Next year, our Bible is a major part of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. One of the reasons we chose this particular curriculum was how well the Bible and church history were woven into all of the other parts of the curriculum. History, geography, and art projects all provide a context for the Bible itself. I’ll be using a combination of stories from our children’s Bible and audio readings from Scripture, notebooking the lessons along the way.
Of course, Bible is interwoven through out our day. We pray and thank God for the gift of language and the opportunity to learn to read His Word. We thank God for the way He has ordered His world and given us math as a way to understand creation and order our lives. (And we pray for His help to figure it out.) We talk about character and the right motivation as we learn. We marvel at God’s goodness and wisdom in our nature study. We pray for the unreached people groups during our geography study. One of the reasons we love homeschooling is that our faith is woven into every other part of our lives; school and education is not segmented from that whole. Homeschooling provides a fluid connection with faith and family, and there is no need for distinction between secular and Christian.
A few other resources we love to use to teach our children are the children’s stories by R.C. Sproul. These fun stories are well-written and beautifully illustrate important concepts of Christianity, like imputation in The Priest with Dirty Clothes and atonement in The Prince’s Poison Cup.
Last, we have absolutely loved the products from Lamplighters, specifically their very well done audio books. Though my oldest has outgrown a nap, he still does quiet time each day; and one of his favorite quiet time activities is listening to these audio stories. We love that the stories teach character and lessons about living for God in rich literature, rare out of print books that have been republished. These are not your cheesy moralistic tales, but true classics with realistic plots and well-developed characters. Our favorites right now are Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince, Charlie’s Choice, and Hedge of Thorns.
While I don’t use a Bible curriculum, we haven’t really needed it. There are a number of great Bible products out there, and as our children get older we may turn to some of those to deepen their understanding. But for now, incorporating Bible into the everyday has been an ideal way for our family.
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. -Deut. 6:7
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