I am probably going to shock you right from the start of this post. So, since it might be shocking, I might as well spill it all out right now. Are you ready? I have never bought a formal Bible curriculum for my kids. There, I said it. I know many homeschool moms think that it should be a subject all to itself, and I agree, but I don't feel a curriculum is the path for us. So, that being out on the table, how do I teach God's Word to my children?
This may come as a shock, but I rely on the Bible itself to be my solely. I add to it, yes, but the Word is my sole "curriculum." When the children are young, we found Bible story books, flannelgraph, and hands on things were so helpful to conveying the truths found in the Word. We also memorized Scripture a family. We like making hand motions to help them remember the various parts of the text. My husband would work with us, teaching them over supper. (The dinner table is a great place for much learning and debate). We also read devotions or sections of Scripture together as a family whether at breakfast or dinner. The children ask any questions they like or need to know, and we go from there. We, also, rely on the teachings from our pastor. That might seem a given if you attend church, but we have had many wonderful discussions at home based on what they learned during the sermon. We allow our kids to doodle during the sermon with what he is talking about. It is amazing the things they pick up. Recently, we went through the entire book of Acts as a congregation. My 14 year old drew the book of Acts graphic novel style. He can now look back and see all we learned just by looking at his pictures.
When they are young, I like to read Bible stories to them using our cherished Betty Lukens flannelgraph. We love that stuff and it is so durable and great for hands on. There are a variety of Bible story books for various ages out there. Here are the ones we found that we like alot.
For some hands on fun, I purchased long ago a treasury of Old Testament and New Testament craft books for the kids. They are no longer in print, but there are some great websites out there that have stuff. And, pinterest can garnish you more ideas than you'll ever do. Just take a look around, if you like the idea of crafts with your little ones.
As they get older and can read, we turn the personal devotion part of the day over to them. We have enjoyed getting Keys for Kids for years now and it is a great starter to get your kids in the Word. There are other kids devotion subscriptions you can get. I like having a handy starter tool like that to keep them going. After that, if they are still needing more help, a trip to the Christian bookstore will show you tons of stuff. Or, they can just keep going on their own. I have found having a guide for a while helps immensely. They don't seem to know how to keep going for a long time. It hasn't been until well into our teen years that my oldest two figured out how to keep going on their personal devotions on their own. As an adult, I still like devotionals and guides to keep me in it, so I find this perfectly understandable and fine.
We have also enjoyed videos and CD's to teach things to our children. The makers of Veggie Tales have a great Bible video series covering all 66 books of the Bible in an entertaining way. Its called What's in the Bible? We have the series and enjoy it very much. Veggie Tales itself has been great to teach various character traits or Bible truths to the kids. We are currently enjoying the Owlegories series which teach about faith using nature. (Since we love nature, it has been a great fit). And, there are others out there. Nest Learning and Friends and Heroes also have some great stuff (the latter I find a bit expensive which is why we've never done any but the free stuff on youtube). As far as CD's are concerned, we've enjoyed the teachings from Jonathan Park. It is a series of adventure stories crammed with creation vs. evolution teaching and other worldviews. It is a family favorite here. We also love music CD's like Patch the Pirate, Hide them in your Heart, Scripture Lullabies, Songs for Saplings (teaches the catechism), and my newest find Slugs and Bugs. Music is such a core of our family. I love I can find music to help them along in their spiritual growth, too.
We are members of a reformed church, so we follow the liturgical calendar. I try to incorporate that as much as possible into our lives. And, our service follows a liturgy. So, part of our children's memorization includes The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed as well as the Lord's Prayer. Hymn playing and singing is also a large part of our lives as well. Whether a list on Pandora, learning at home the new one we are learning at church, or the kids playing them on their instruments, hymns are always around.
So, you can see we have a rich and full life without a set curriculum for Bible. But, what about apologetics and character training? You know, I have found some resources and a couple of curriculum that we do rely on for those. I don't mind having help where I know I clearly need it. We do a bit of apologetics in elementary school using What does the Bible Say About That? It has been a great discussion opener and good for them. In high school, we go more earnestly with them using I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Athiest. My husband has also sat down and watched with them Collision and How to Answer the Fool.
For character training, I have loved the resources from Doorposts. They have something for about every area of life. I have also used the Laying Down the Rails series from Simply Charlotte Mason. I prefer the first one more myself. There are a couple of other resources I have seen on the internet that I will list below. I plan to use the Focus on the Family one myself come January with a couple of my young ones.
I pray this will help you in your teaching your children the Bible. It is so foundational to their soul. If you know of any other great resources, let me know in the comments. I am always on the lookout for more Bible goodness.
Goodness from around the 'net:
Free character training resources - Kids of Integrity (from focus on the family)
- Free character calendar with verses
Fun free Bible village paper crafts (I love this) - there are other great little villages here as well
I am not catholic, but both of these mom's are. I find some of their resources very helpful when looking at our liturgical calendar
Activity Village is another great resource for Bible crafts
A great preschool resource for Bible stuff is Bible Story Printables