Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Home Education & Bible Teaching

We home educate our children for a number of reasons, but primarily so that we can give them a Christ centred education. I have always planned for Bible teaching to be part of our formal curriculum. This is in addition to the morning family devotions that my husband leads, or to our Bible reading with our children at bedtime.

It took me a little while to settle on exactly what we would use when our older children were little and we were starting out as home educators. I used Sunday school material of various kinds, as well as reading through children's Bibles. However, I found that often material designed for Sunday schools covered a few sections of scripture very well, but that much of the Bible was left untouched.

Furthermore, I started to think about exactly what I thought was helpful for our young children, and we decided that having a broad knowledge of the content of the whole Bible would be a great benefit to them as they grew in their understanding of the scriptures. We already read through the Bible with each of our children, but we wanted to take our time going through the Bible in a slower way, focussing on the overarching stories and themes, and in particular how the whole of the Bible is about Jesus.

To do this, I decided on a simple pattern that I would follow: first, reading a chunk, then asking the children some basic comprehension questions to get us thinking about the content of the passage, and as a springboard to further discussions. The children then draw or colour a picture, and write a caption to summarize what we have learned from the passage that day. We have done this for the books from Genesis to Esther, and it works well for these largely narrative sections of the Bible. We have studied Job a little differently, but back in the Psalms I am finding that drawing a picture and writing some key verses from each Psalm has worked well.

A picture from 1 Samuel.

A page of my (unpolished!) notes, selected at random.

A recent picture from the Psalms.

It isn't perfect, and they don't remember everything, but we have had some great conversations and we have seen a gradual growth in their knowledge of God's word. I have found it particularly encouraging to see how excited they get when they see how a passage of scripture points to Jesus. They still love to talk about the parallels in the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus, or how Samson saved God's people as he died.

Although this is a simple format, it still took some time to prepare, and I am glad that it is now ready when I come round to starting this with my younger two in September. I am looking forward to beginning in Genesis again, while continuing in the Psalms with my older two.

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