Tuesday, May 25, 2010
When homeschooling, many people make this educational choice for religious reasons. Although we feel strongly that we need to share our religious beliefs with our children, this was not the primary reason that we chose to homeschool.
Bible studies are an important part of our school day though. As a matter of fact, I schedule these times at the beginning of the day, so they are not skipped or rushed.
I have looked through Bible study curriculum for the younger ages, but I found most to be "watered down" and lack true substance. So, we started in first grade to read through the Bible - a chapter a day. I would read the chapter from a standard "adult" version and have my students draw a picture about our reading. My thought is that at least my children will not leave my house without having read through the entire Bible. I do not grade their pictures (though I do encourage that they have something to do with the reading), and as my older daughter moved into 3rd grade, I asked her to add a sentence or a few sentences to explain what she heard. You can also find printable coloring pages or crafts to go along with your Bible reading - click here for online resources that I have discovered.
I also use church activities to supplement our Bible reading - such as Scripture memorization. If your children's ministry does not encourage memorization, then look for fun resources at your local Christian bookstore.
We have a couple of Scripture memorization CD's and books that were gifts or that we purchased. My girls have enjoyed Steve Green's Hide'Em in Your Heart cd's, and we have found some scripture memory songbooks from Focus on the Family as well. Music is a great way to start the day too! Let them dance and sing while they learn foundational Christian truths. There are now DVD's that let you arrange a whole worship time with your children each morning. Check out Hillsong Kids for these wonderful resources.
Also, look for a local Awana chapter in your neighborhood. These clubs really encourage Scripture application as well as memorization in a fun and rewarding environment.
Putting all these things together will establish the foundation needed for them to begin discipleship studies in later grades. This is also an area where we want our students to have ownership, especially as they are older and leave home. I encourage you to gently lead and give them opportunities to build their individual faith and relationship with God.