One of my favorite bloggers, Lora at Vitafamiliae, is writing a “how we do it” series, and I’m joining her series with a few posts of my own. It’s an attempt to think out the details of my daily life and to throw open the doors and welcome you in. So, welcome, all of you, to my life and home!
Oddly enough, Bible is not a subject per se in our homeschool. It’s just an integrated part of everything. Which, incidentally, means that I rarely blog about what we are doing in Bible. So, time to let you in on the big secret workings of Bible study in our home.
My Bible Study
I have blogged about this a few different times. I have a method that I’ve been using for the last year that I love, journaling through books of the Bible. I write out—completely, word for word—the book that I am studying. I write it in a specific journal and only on the right-hand pages. On the left-hand pages, I journal any thoughts, cross-references, or questions that I have about what I am studying. Sometimes, that left-hand page is filled to the last line. Sometimes, it’s pretty blank. I don’t beat myself up about having something on every line. This has been an awesome method for me. Slow. Sometimes tedious. But great for allowing me to customize to my morning and focus my thoughts. One morning, I may copy a whole paragraph. The next morning, maybe I’ll write my thoughts about that paragraph. The next, maybe I’ll copy only a single verse. But writing each word helps prevent my mind from wandering to the grocery list, to-dos, or menu that rattle around in my brain constantly. (Read more about journaling the Bible here.)
I also have a 3×5 card file box for prayer requests, with labeled sections and a card for individuals and their requests. I have a section for each child and my husband, a section for family and one for friends, a section for church and ministry, etc. I also have a “thanksgiving” section; answered prayer cards are dated and moved to this section. My favorite section is the “praise” section; as wonderful names of God or descriptions of his wondrous works come up in my daily Bible study, I copy them onto a 3×5 card and file them. Then, I pray those adorations back to God. (Read more about my prayer box here.)
The Kids’ Bible Study
My Oldest is a fluent reader. Our gift to him when he reached this level of ability was a Seek and Find Bible. We choose a book of the Bible for him to study, and I print out sheets for him to fill out. The sheets tell him which verses to read (usually 5 or 6 verses) and either ask a question or ask him to copy a particular verse. Then, on his school assignment sheet, I have a spot for him to draw a smiley face each day he does his reading. He’s independent, but accountable. Usually, he’ll try to have this done before coming down for breakfast. But if it gets missed in the morning, he’ll make it up sometime later in the day.
Middlest, who loves to be like Oldest as much as possible, sees this happening every morning and often gets out her picture Bible for a study time of her own. I have no plans for her and have no requirements for her, but I love to see this habit already rooting in her routine.
A Family Habit
Our family “Bible Time” usually happens sometime after supper and before bedtime. We take Sundays and Wednesdays off, but every other day of the week we try to maintain this habit, a habit we’ve had since Oldest was about 2 or 3. Now, the kids hold us accountable. They love this time. Daddy usually reads, but sometimes I will, and occasionally Oldest has had the privilege of leading the time. We’ve done a variety of things in the past. We’ve loved R.C. Sproul’s children’s books, and the Gospel Story Bible. Sometimes, our Tapestry of Grace biographies make a great Bible time (St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and other Reformation heroes). Right now, we are reading God’s Promises.
An Integrated Subject
For our homeschool, Bible is integrated largely into our history studies. When we study ancient history, we survey the Bible. When we study the Middle Ages and Renaissance, we learn church history, the corruption of the Gospel and the Reformation. The next couple of years, as we head into the modern era, we’ll be learning about great missionaries and the missions movement. (Then we’ll repeat from the beginning again.) I usually do assign some memory work for the year. Last year, we memorized the Ten Commandments and Psalm 1. This year, the kids are in Awana and memorizing lots of verses through that program. But we are also learning catechism through Teach Them the Faith songs.
Bible naturally comes up in nearly all of our subjects and in many of our daily conversations. That’s one of our primary joys of homeschool, that the Gospel and Bible study is integrated into life itself, not segmented into certain aspects. It happens when we rise up and when we sit down and as we walk (or drive) down the road. It doesn’t happen perfectly, and I don’t always give the right answer. But it happens, and in God’s gracious way, it’s a living, breathing part of life itself.
How does Bible happen at your house?