I’m so happy with the Bible lessons I’ve been doing with my children each morning! I was going for easy planning this year along with something that was budget-friendly (On A Dime, right?). While I really love the A Beka Book Bible series, they were not a cost-effective option for us this school year. I also wanted something that was a little more involved with my children instead of having them sit still and listen to a lesson. I’ve pieced together a few different ideas that seem to be going really well for our little ones (ages 4 and almost 7). By having a few different valid options on hand for us, I can easily hold a study with them with minimal planning and a high interest level.
I keep (almost) everything in a canvas bin that sits near our dining room table. This way, I can easily pull out what I need while they are eating breakfast. By the way, I’ve found that full mouths make for still students! The contents of the basket are as follows:
- memory verse cards in organized booklet
- “treasure” boxes and “treasures” for memory work incentives
- My NASB Bible (on hand, not actually in the bin)
- My First Bible
- The God and Me Bible (for girls ages 2-5)
- My Very First Bible: New Testament Stories for Young Children
- The Kingfisher Children’s Bible
- Nave’s Topical Bible
- The Book of Life series (this is an eight book set, so it sits on our bookshelf)
- Various board books and small stories from the Bible
- Lessons printed from Easy Peasy all in one home school (hole punched and placed into a folder)
This year, I’ve kept the planning to a minimum using my handy Bible bin, but that doesn’t mean I’m going shallow. I try and use my Bible first (sometimes that’s all I use) and only read from the children’s versions if I feel they aren’t understanding or sometimes just to add interest.
We open with a prayer and I begin each morning by going through our current memory verses. I found this AMAZING video on how to keep them all organized. I’m so glad this idea came to me when it did! Our organizer holds the A Beka memory verse cards, their AWANA memory verses, Sunday school verses, and the verses my husband and I are learning in our 2:7 group. This system ensures they are getting the proper amount of time on each of their verses while not overloading them with ALL of them EVERY morning. I encourage you to check out the video here. I made ours using an old pocket planer sleeve. I used larger index cards for the dividers and a rubber band holds it into place.The treasure boxes have helped us so much with our memory verses too. My daughter got a treasure box at the beginning of the month with a little gem in it for completing her memory verse at Sunday school. As soon as I saw it, I knew we would have to continue the tradition! I read Psalm 119:11 to them the next morning, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.” They (especially my youngest) are actually working hard each day to earn the “treasures”. I give them a button to hold in their very own treasure chest each time I’m convinced they have really hidden it in their heart. I place their initials on the back of each card to tell me who has already earned their treasure.
Next, I pick a “lesson plan”. Yes, usually I pick it right then and there (unless there is a specific character trait or topic I have planned out specifically for a child or particular situation).
As I stated above, I have the free Easy Peasy lesson plans printed out and placed in a folder for a quick reference. To save on space (and paper and ink), I printed them with four per one side of the page. I can glance at it and know right where to turn in the Bible. When I’m done, I highlight that particular lesson so that I know where we are next time I choose this reading route. I will warn you: If you use this guide by the letter, these are going to be a bit watered down discussions and you will not get the amount of engagement you are seeking. I use this as more of an outline of what to study with them rather than using it as a word-for-word guide.
“The One Inch Bible Study“. I flip through my Bible at random and have one child stop me whenever he/she wants. Then, I hold up about an inch using my thumb and index finger. I scroll through the chosen page until the other child tells me to stop. We read whatever inch we land on! Then, we try and work through these four questions:
- What does it say?
- What does it mean?
- What does it mean to me?
- What am I going to do about it?
I like this especially for days when we’ve gotten up later than usual (or when they’re scarfing down breakfast abnormally fast), because we can get some content and interest flowing without necessarily spending a lot of time on it. Some days I need that. Other days, however, it takes me by surprise. I’ve had days where the one inch really spoke to me. I’ve also experienced times when a child will take it to the next level asking really thought provoking things about it. Gotta love when that happens!
As I also mentioned above, we have a series of eight hardcover books entitled “The Book of Life”. It’s an older series created using the unabridged King James version of the Bible categorized and in the form of classical picture books. I found the set at a flea market I recently attended and I talked the vendor down to just $36! I just finished the teacher’s guide and it is AMAZING! It’s a great outline of how to engage your child in bible study. It has fun activities, ideal verses for memorization, beautiful art, timelines, and it even has a full list of positive and negative character traits emphasized in individual Bible stories. It is a book set that I will use for probably the next decade or so. This series really made me rethink the way that we educate children (in general and in the Bible) today compared to how wholesome, in-depth, and quality it used to be. I HIGHLY recommend this book set. If you can’t find the whole set, get AT LEAST volume 8. You won’t regret it!
I don’t intend on using this the as my most frequent of choices right away, but more as a way to expose them to the King James language a little bit through needed character studies. I will also be using it for referencing in art, timelines, and more.
Nave’s Topical Bible will also help me with character traits. It’s useful for when I want to into greater detail on a topic we are already in the process of talking about too.
We almost always read something from one of the picture Bibles just for fun. And sometimes I’ll throw in a free printable I find online. Once in a while, I’m even able to sneak a memory verse into copy work later in the day. What home school mom doesn’t love a two-for-one deal?!
What do you do for your quiet time? Any suggestions for our family on a no-to-low budget and minimal planning? I’d love to hear from you!
This post has been featured on: