When you teach your preschoolers the Bible, how do you plan which Bible story or topic to teach?
At this level, I have seen a variety of materials but I have never seen anything like THIS outline before.
To me, it solves a couple of minor predicaments that I’ve considered in the past:
- I like to teach somewhat chronologically BUT if I start in the Old Testament and go all the way through it until I reach the Christmas story, then it’s a long time for a preschooler (who really doesn’t remember as much of the whole Bible due to their young age and lack of years for memory to build) until they hear much about Jesus.
- And if I start in the New Testament with the life of Christ on earth, then how do I transition back to begin at Creation for when I’d like to go through the events leading up to Christ? And how can I include the main themes of Christian living which we read in the epistles?
Here are some of the general options I’ve seen before:
1. Start at Creation and go chronologically through the entire Bible. First the entire Old Testament, then the New Testament. (This is a great method for older children or adults but seems long for the preschoolers.)
2. Just pick and choose a variety of stories along a theme such as the character of God (e.g. love, protection, justice, sovereignty, etc.). I find this approach is quite good with preschoolers. But, if you also have older children who would like a more chronological style and are teaching them together with the littles, a whole year of picking and choosing can feel somewhat scattered.
3. #2 is similar to choosing just topical studies, which can be good for a multi-grade discussion but not as helpful if you have tiny tots who want a story to draw about rather than a topic, say, about how to best use our tongue or about various proverbs. It can be hard for them to draw proverbs compared to Bible stories.
4. Start at Creation and go chronologically through the Old Testament until the end of Moses or David and then skip over to the New Testament, ignoring other Old Testament lessons until “sometime later”.
5. Old Testament stories in the morning with “mom leading” and New Testament in the evening with “dad leading” – simultaneously following along 2 timelines so-to-speak.
As I was helping my mom (Grace) to pack her things for moving this spring, I came across a book of drawings and verses that my older sister had completed many years ago. To me, the outline of lessons stood out as quite unique so I asked my mom if she could remember whether or not this was an outline she had made up herself or if it had come from another curriculum. She was pretty sure it was one of her ideas this time. (She often did develop her own curriculum but if you have seen this elsewhere, we do apologize if it was a borrowed idea instead. Either way, I think it is excellent!)
Grace’s Order of Lessons in General:
Begin at Creation and go through Genesis to Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments – which is a basic set of laws teaching about sin – the law is a schoolmaster bringing us the knowledge that we cannot live up to God’s standards by ourselves).
Then flip to the New Testament for the Christmas Story in-depth. Use Isaiah 9:6 to teach about the character of Jesus and then John chapter 3 in-depth to teach about Jesus as our Saviour. In John 3, Moses is mentioned so after John 3’s lesson(s)…and this is part of the uniqueness of her outline that I love…
Go back to continue the stories of the Old Testament beginning with that story of Moses mentioned by Jesus in John 3! A smooth transition for sure and now, in a brief period of time, you have also taught about Creation, Noah, who the Israelites are, what sin is, Who Jesus is and why He came. Yes, all these lessons for children who are just beginning their memory of studying the Bible!!!
But here is the other part that is unique which I love about her outline…
When she goes back to begin chronologically from Moses onwards, she NOW begins to double-up concepts so-to-speak – relating the person and work of Christ in with these Old Testament stories! (And occasionally also bringing in parts of the epistles too.)
By the time she has completed the Old Testament in this way, it is easy to see how the next blank book can be filled with your child’s drawings about the stories of Jesus – His miracles, parables, etc. and of the early Church. Things just flow together quite nicely I think, both for the preschool age AND the older siblings!
How to Use This Outline:
Use a blank notebook so that the child can draw pictures about each Bible lesson in it. The parent can print the Bible verse (and/or the phrase or word list or hymn excerpt) on those pages as well.
Self-pace this study. Each lesson listed below has whatever was written on the page(s) for the lesson. (Sometimes it looked like more than one day might have been done for one section of Scripture.)
This outline was developed for Grace’s family using KJV and older hymns but can easily be adapted with any similar Bible version and songs you know.
(In your desired order…)
· Pray with your child(ren).
· Read the Scripture.
· Sing a short song if you like.
· Then instruct your child to draw a picture about today’s lesson. (Colouring is optional. Tracing any words is optional.)
(Note: Grace often wrote only a part of the verse, to keep the meaning simple for tiny tots to remember.)
P.S. And thank you for your prayers for our family during these times.