ONE of the many REASONS WE DECIDED TO HOMESCHOOL our kids was because we want to share our faith with them. I want to introduce our kids to our Creator as He has made Himself known in the Bible. The Bible has CHANGED MY LIFE more than any other book, and I want to share that with our kids. Because of this, we read the Bible daily as part of our Morning Time. Here are some thoughts on teaching Bible in Morning Time.
Video: Teaching Bible. in Morning Time
The Next Generation
Just as we want our children to be physically healthy, shouldn’t we also be concerned about their spiritual condition? The same way we feed and clothe them until they are able to care for themselves, I want to also feed them spiritually until they are able to feed themselves.
Our job is not to save them. They ultimately are responsible for their response to the message of the Bible. But I feel a responsibility and a desire to share God’s word with the generation coming behind us.
I am inspired by verses like this…
Psalm 78…”I will teach you hidden lessons from our past…stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders….He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God.”
Benefits of Reading the Bible to Your Kids
If you want to learn about history, science, geography, wisdom, poetry, you will find it in the Bible. The Bible has it all. The Bible itself IS an education.
Ultimately, the Bible shares the message of man’s utter depravity before a holy God and God’s plan of salvation through His Son Jesus. The value of reading God’s Word to our kids cannot be overstated.
One story that moved me recently was hearing the story of Carrie Ward who decided to read the entire Bible with her pre-school aged children. You can hear her story in this podcast titled, The Value of Reading God’s Word as a Family. I laughed along as I heard her talk about all the interruptions she encountered in the daily readings and how she sometimes felt like she was reading to herself. (I can relate!) She tells how she wondered sometimes if her kids were taking any of it in…until she saw them acting it out again and again. Her story is a beautiful picture of what happens when one generation passes on God’s truth to the next.
Teaching the Bible in Morning Time
I recently wrote a detailed post about Morning Time that gives the basic understanding of how to SIMPLIFY YOUR HOMESCHOOL WITH MORNING TIME. In this post, I share how we use Morning Time to teach the subjects that are best taught as a group and also some of the things that we want to teach our kids, but often get put aside for the more important subjects.
I have found it helpful to break up the subjects you want to do with your kids into daily and regular lists. We read the Bible as one of our daily subjects.
Simply Read the Text
When you begin to teach Bible to your kids, I think it is good to consider your purpose. What is your purpose in teaching Bible to your kids? My purpose for our kids is for them first to hear the message of the Bible, and secondly, for them to be able to read it and interpret it for themselves.
There are lots of great curriculums and materials out there for teaching Bible. We are fortunate to have access to so many excellent options for teaching the Bible. I don’t want to discredit any of them, but sometimes it seems that with ALL the great tools for teaching Bible, simply reading the Bible to our kids is archaic and too sophisticated for children to grasp. But I don’t believe that it is.
Because my goal is for our kids to be able to read the Bible for themselves, reading the Bible together is exactly what we do. We keep it very simple and just read the text of Scripture. Daily Bible reading, especially in short segments, can be a wonderful long-term investment into a child’s spiritual life.
Reading the Bible regularly makes it easier to read the Bible.
Scaffolding with Bible Stories
Now, after having said that we simply read the text, I realize that to start out reading the Bible to a preschool child can be quite a jump for them. Because of this, I like to break the Bible into bite size chunks by first reading quality story Bibles. This will give them a general knowledge of basic stories until they are able to read the literal text with less and less help.
Reading Bible stories or retellings of Biblical accounts will give kids a basic understanding of many of the stories of the Bible. It will help them understand basic concepts like the break up of the Old and New Testament, the series of the kings of Israel, the history of the Israelites, the coming of Christ and the beginning of the church age. Reading Bible stories will also help them to become familiar with common names and places.
Here are some of the Bible Story books I have enjoyed with our kids.
What I love most about this book is how each story points to man’s need for a Savior and the promised Messiah. The message of the gospel is central all the way through from the Old Testament to the New.
This book is really well-written. Some of the language is a little older English, but the details and narrative is so engaging. We especially enjoyed the stories of all the kings of Israel and Judah.
This is a newer story book for us. It is shorter with fewer stories, but again, each story is very well written and close to the original text.
After I published this post, a friend shared this resource with me. I listened to a few of these podcasts and they are EXCELLENT! If you are looking for an alternative to reading a book of Bible stories yourself or if you want to mix things up a bit with another resource, this is an excellent retelling of Bible stories. I’m looking forward to listening to these with my kids!
Moving From Bible Stories to Literal Text
Just as it is with reading any book to a child, every time they hear a Bible story, they will understand a little more of it. The flow, major thoughts and doctrines of the Bible will be familiar to them. When they begin to hear or read the literal text of the Bible, they will have some prior knowledge and be able to understand even when some of the language is challenging. They will be literately ready. They will also be aware of man’s sin and need for a Savior, and so be spiritually ready as well.
Reading the Bible regularly makes it easier to read the Bible.
As you move from reading Bible stories to reading the literal text, this progression might help bridge the gap.
- Start reading from the Bible by major stories. Ambleside Online has an excellent list of the main stories of the Bible HERE.
- Read chronologically through the Bible. There are many chronological Bibles available with a simple search.
- Finally, read the literal text as you choose. You can read through Scripture from beginning to end. Some people like to read a Proverb and/or Psalm a day. Sometimes I like to switch back and forth between Old Testament and New Testament passages.
Do you really want your kids to understand and learn what you are reading? Then keep your lessons short. We usually read a chapter a day, about 10-15 minutes. They will pay closer attention and get more out of a short segment than if you go on and on. We want them to form a habit of paying attention rather than a habit of wandering off. Short lessons will encourage this.
Beware of Sermonizing
Let’s be careful not to take their bread out of hand, chew it up, and give them the remnants. Sometimes it helps to explain difficult passages to kids or to help them understand the point of a passage, but beware of sermonizing.
We belittle their intelligence when we draw the conclusions for them.
I wonder if the reason some adults struggle to form a daily habit of Bible reading could be because we have this idea that we are supposed to have an “experience” every time we read. Does the pressure of needing to have a special experience or reflection sometimes cause us to put off reading our Bibles?
We forget how simple it should be. It should not be complicated. Just read the text. We are feeding, (sometimes force feeding) our souls, nourishing them with the food they NEED.
In our literate world, we make time to read so many things throughout the day, why should reading the Bible intimidate us?
Let’s not model for our kids a complicated process. Keep it simple. You can just read and it will be enough.
Simple Ideas for Teaching Bible
- Use maps. I found a book of Bible maps at a second hand store and we have used it for years. It’s really nice to be able to see the places that you are reading about. To make it even more meaningful, find a current map and compare to see where the places are located in modern times.
- Learn songs about what you are reading. We have done songs about the Kings of Israel and the Books of the Bible and others. Our kids learned so much from THIS song about the Kings of the Bible. It’s been one of our favorites for years.
- Have the kids read the story. Let them take turns. When they are reading, they show more interest.
Do you include Bible as part of your Morning Time? Please comment below and let me know how it is going for you and what has worked best for your family. I love hearing from other homeschool moms!
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!