If you were to ask me “What is the one thing most important in your homeschool?” I would want the answer to be Bible. Even though we do place a pretty heavy emphasis on the Bible, as I planned out this post I recognized a few places where we could be doing even more. This is the one area of education I just do not want to mess up. I want to etch His word onto the hearts and minds of my children!
After I wrote Bible First: Every Day I got quite a few questions. “What does that look like?” “What do you use for Bible curriculum?” “What can I use with small kids?” “How can we incorporate Bible more into other subjects?” Great questions! Let’s explore some ideas together!
What does Homeschooling Essentials: Bible look like?
Ask yourself — is the Bible essential to your homeschool? If you can’t positively answer yes — and you want it to be — this is a good time to make some changes. In our home, we have a policy that Bible is supposed to be the first subject covered at the start of every day. I think now that I have older children who work more independently, I need to be more diligent to make sure that Bible happens first! So we start with a basic Bible curriculum. That varies depending on age, but everyone should have a Bible curriculum to start with.
What do you use for Bible Curriculum?
You may not know this about me, but I am a curriculum collector. We’ve used quite a few Bible curriculums which we’ve enjoyed. These are some of our favorites.
Preschool: The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Taylor
Kindergarten: Egermeier’s Bible Story Book by Elsie Egermeier
First-Third Grade: The Day by Day Kid’s Bible by Karyn Henley
Third-Sixth Grade: Who is God series from Apologia Ministries
Seventh – Eighth Grade: LightBearers Bible and Worldview Curriculum
No matter the age of our children or the curriculum we are using, we have enjoyed a handy set of questions to ask our kids once they finish reading the Scriptures for the day. For many years, the Bible and this list of questions was our only Bible curriculum. Each child was required to read a passage daily and write out the answers to these questions. I created a small printable for this, laminated it, and placed it into my daughter’s Bible so she could keep the questions handy and write out answers each day. You can click on this image to download the free printable file and do the same for your children.
Besides reading the Bible each day, every child in our home is expected to work on AWANA verse memorization at his level. Scripture Memory is one of the keys to living a victorious Christian life — Jesus used Scripture to refute the temptations of Satan and we can do the same! With the little ones, that means I work with them to help them memorize their verses and read their Bible stories. It’s one-on-one time, and it’s important. The daily reading aloud of Bible to the little ones is one area where I have gotten off track and need to step up my game.
How Can We Incorporate Bible More Into Other Subjects?
I think my friend Anne Elliott did an excellent job on this subject in her post last week titled The Bible: Our Best Textbook and I encourage you to go read her post for some more insight on this topic. I have a few things to add that work well in our home.
Bible Copywork. Using the Bible as handwriting practice and copywork is an excellent way to get more Scripture into the hearts and minds of your kids through their hands.
If you aren’t sure where to start – my FREE 1 Corinthians 13 Cursive Copywork is a great starting point for older students (available for fans of my Facebook page by clicking on the Fan Only Freebie tab) and you can get the manuscript version free as our newest Subscriber-Only Freebie once you confirm your subscription for Homeschool Encouragement Delivered.
Reading Practice. I noticed something interesting as I worked with my son Caleb on AWANA verses. I decided that even though he isn’t reading well, we should write his verses on the board and use the disappearing word trick. It was fascinating to watch him actually start trying to sound out the more difficult words as we memorized the Scripture. Whenever he struggled, I would help him with sounds and parts he did not recognize. The result is that his lesson wasn’t just in memorizing a verse — he was learning to read. Using the Bible to practice reading really works!
Spelling Words. My ten-year-old is learning to spell from AWANA verses and search sites (an AWANA writing exercise required to pass a section). Again, it is interesting to watch this happen. Because she is writing to show others her work, she pays more attention to how a word is spelled the first time. Depending on how your child learns, you might need to choose a selection of words from his Bible memory work and have traditional spelling practice.
History. We have always had close ties between our history studies and our Bible studies over the years. At this very moment, we are listening to Mystery of History Volume 1 in the car and the entire text is tied closely to the Bible. I love that!
I think it might sound cliche’ – but it is absolutely true — if you have the Bible as the foundation of your homeschool, every thing else will fall into place.