For our every day homeschool life, I like to be SIMPLE for Bible lessons. Really simple. Partly because I think God intended that His Word brought to the hearts of children would not be complicated or overwhelming. Partly because my homeschool teaching days have ALWAYS been with a nursing baby or busy toddler who need lots of attention as we start our day.
While I shouldn’t get too long-winded for a multi-age group of active students, I do enjoy a measure of depth to a discussion, not just a shallow storyline, but something with “umpf” in it. By using the real Bible, even one memory verse read by Daddy, I feel that this carries more LIFE in a Bible-time than reading paragraphs of paraphrasing in a devotional followed by worksheets/workbooks. If we use a devotional (and there ARE some great ones), we always want to remember to read from the real Bible as well because God’s Word is much more powerful than human writings will ever be (Isaiah 55:11).
Sometimes we go through a section chronologically and other times, topically throughout the Scripture.
It depends on how God leads our family. And since we want you to enjoy a similar approach, we don’t put the subject of “Bible” into a scope and sequence in our planning guides or bundles.
I grew up being involved in children’s ministry for many years. Yes, even as a child, I helped other children to learn about God. That was exciting and I loved those opportunities to serve! These experiences also gave me a number of ideas of what worked well and what did not for teaching methods and activities, what was longer lasting and what didn’t amount to much after all.
And yes, sometimes I have continued to develop Bible-based lesson materials for my children or other groups that I have taught and more of that stuff might show up on this website in the future. (My calling for this business has been to produce school subject material initially and we will have to wait and see if/how other possibilities for publishing develop online or not.)
Sometimes, our family uses something more “special” for a Sunday evening church time at home or Sunday morning if someone isn’t feeling well and misses church.
Sometimes, we have this sort of thing as an extra activity on a Sunday too or “just because” on a regular day – our children/teens like these extra special Bible study times too (in addition to the daily simpler times together).
But these special things are “sometimes”, not always.
What are the characteristics of those types of resources?
Well, I like visual learning – things like simple pictures, maps, charts, and colour-coding some Bible verses with ordinary crayons (lightly-coloured or pastel-coloured).
For special days or weeks or months (not every day all year long), I like a craft that has a point to it with a meaningful Bible verse on it which relates strongly to the Bible lesson itself – something that is simple to prepare, a bit of a skill sometimes, but something that is more likely to be kept for years to come rather than a quick page that is recycled and forgotten. (I grew up with crafts like these from Sunday School, Junior Church, camp programs, or my aunt’s VBS weeks and I still have some of the ones I made – they still remind me of Bible lessons I heard years ago!)
I encourage my children to mark up and write in the margins of their Bibles, rather than journaling because those notes will be seen more often again rather than words that are stored in a notebook and put on a dusty shelf.
And we try to keep any games or contests/challenges simple too.
Thinking while doing something (“chewing the cud”) and smiles are important characteristics to teaching the Bible to any age! And when hands-on activities are included, that can allow for some thinking time as a related activity reinforces the main ideas of a lesson.
An example is provided here of a “special week”, so that you can see some of the above ideas organized into a few multi-age lesson pages: Noah and Genesis 1-11