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Last week I posted about an amazing Bible curriculum the girls and I are working through called Bible Road Trip. For more details about what Bible Road Trip is, check out that post. This week I want to share how we’re using this 3-year survey of the Bible, including the note booking pages, with our little people (ages 5, 3, & 2 years).
I also want to give you a glimpse into what “Bible Time” looks like for us in our current season.
The reasons I’m sharing this information are:
1. To show you that even little children can learn the big truths of God’s Word (and BRT delves into some pretty challenging Biblical concepts);
2. To encourage you — when you & your kids are ready — to move beyond reading Bible story books and get into the actual Bible (Note: If your children have been in church since birth, they’ve likely heard most of the popular Bible stories.
At some point, they will begin to crave more or else grow bored.) I love this quote from Susan Schaeffer Macaulay in For the Children’s Sake:
“Do not forget that the reading the Bible will put the child into direct contact with the person of God Himself . . . Let him have direct access to the source” (85).
3. To offer a few suggestions for making a curriculum work for multiple ages (BRT offers curriculum options for preschool – 12th grade, but you do have to do a little tweaking to reach different ages); and
4. To give you a glimpse into what “Bible Time” looks like in our family lest you think everyone sits quietly and still (Think chaos, squirmy children, fights over who prays first, & Mommy praying out loud for patience).
First of all,
The Elements of Bible Road Trip
BRT offers A LOT of curriculum options, but for the young crowd, we’re keeping it simple. These are what I see as the primary elements of BRT for Preschool – 3rd Grade:
- Bible Reading
- Scripture Memorization
- Notebook Pages
- Supplemental Materials including Research, Crafts, Videos, & Prayer
As of yesterday, there are now free Suggested Schedules for BRT that you can download!
How We Use the Elements of BRT with Littles
Bible Reading (The Focus of our Bible Time)
BRT recommends using a Bible storybook with the Preschool – Kindergarten crowd. While we have half a dozen good story book Bibles, I really want the girls hearing the Bible so they become used to it. I picked up a NIrV Bible for kids at Good Will for $2.99, and the translation is one in which my oldest can read, the younger two can understand, and yet all the details remain intact.
Sometimes the BRT passages are long, so we’ll break the lesson up into 2 or 3 days. Just like in our homeschool curriculum, we’re not rushing through just to get it done. I want the children to take in what they’re ready for and let it simmer. Too much information leads to disinterested children. So we keep it simple.
While I read the passage, the younger children color a related coloring page I’ve found on the internet while big sister listens attentively so she can take notes on her notebooking pages. Before we begin a new week of lessons, I go through the Bible stories and search online for good coloring sheets to accompany them. Coloring is a great way to keep little hands occupied so little ears can listen. I like to hang up their coloring pages so they can share what they’ve learned with Daddy. Plus, they feel like artists 🙂
Each week the children memorize a new verse. While BRT offers simpler verses for the Preschool crowd, we usually memorize the 1st-3rd grade verse unless it’s just too long. Children are sponges and memorization comes pretty easy for them. I write the verse on an index card and we practice reciting it daily. At the end of the week, each child who says her verse without error, by herself, receives a dime 🙂 It’s a little incentive that pays huge dividends. Here’s a clip of my two oldest reciting Hebrews 11:1:
The oldest is the only one who does the notebook pages, and, to be honest, we don’t do all of them. BRT offers amazing notebook pages, but since Kate is just learning to write, we keep it simple. For each lesson, she may write 1 sentence about what she learned. Other times, she’ll define a Biblical term.
Supplemental Materials including Research, Crafts, Videos, & Prayer
BRT also includes additional ways to apply the Word to your children’s life.
- Research: One of Danika’s recommended resources is What the Bible is All About: Bible Handbook for Kids by Henrietta Mears & Frances Blankenbaker. I highly recommend this book because it not only tells how we got the Bible and how it’s organized, but it also provides a neat synopsis of each book. We read the suggested pages in this book prior to reading our Bible lesson. Lots of great info here!
- Crafts: Thus far, we’ve made a Sword of the Spirit from cardboard and began a poster board bookshelf of all the books of the Bible, which is a great visual. I’m always grateful for craft ideas since I am in no way crafty 🙂
- Videos: We don’t have any of the recommended “What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver” movies, but if we did, I know we’d use them. I really would like to buy these one day.
- Prayer: For grades 1-3 and 4-6, BRT recommends Daphne Spraggett’s Window on the World, another resource I’d like to buy at some point. There’s a note booking page each week that goes along with the reading from this text. Sometimes we try to do it without the context, but it’s a bit tricky. Instead, see below. Next,
What Else We Do During “Bible Time”
In addition to following the BRT curriculum, I aim to always do the following during our Bible Time although the order of activities varies from day to day:
- Pray: We have a jar of popsicle sticks with the names of loved ones on them who need prayer. Each child draws a stick and we pray for that person.
- Sing: Each week we learn a new hymn or children’s Bible song that goes with our lesson. Learning hymns is a great way to help your children participate in worship. Just last Sunday my girls were overjoyed to hear “Love Lifted Me” at church because they’d just learned it at home 🙂
- Review Bible facts: Usually, we go over the parts of the Bible, # of books in each part, and review recent Bible stories.
So, our Bible Time runs around 30-45 minutes. That’s long for little people, but we break up periods of sitting still with coloring, songs, and movement and the girls do all right. Yes, they wiggle, they whine and they grumble at times, but we press on.
Bible study time with little people can be a time of great frustration or a time of joy. Your attitude going in to it will determine the outcome for sure. I have had days where our time together was encouraging and sweet and other times when I’ve thrown up my hands and quit. But the Lord is teaching me that it doesn’t all have to get done nor does it have to be perfect.
This time is about helping my children grow in love for God and His Word. Thus far, Bible Road Trip has been everything in a Bible curriculum for my children that I could want. And the beauty is that I’m learning and growing right there with them!
Danika of Thinking Kids Blog and author of Bible Road Trip has graciously offered 1 of my readers one (1) FREE download of the Year 1 curriculum with a choice of one (1) Notebooking Journal.
Enter the giveaway below!
Available in the US and Canada. Giveaway open through 7/17 and winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
If you purchase BRT and are the winner, your purchase will be reimbursed.
What about you? What does Bible Time look like with your kids? Is it structured or relaxed? Do you follow a curriculum or just open the Bible and go? What struggles do you face?