What “Bible Time” with Littles Looks Like + A Giveaway!!!

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Growing in His Glory: Bible Time with Littles + a Giveaway!!

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)

BibleTime.BRT.ABBRT 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 🙂

  • Scripture Memorization

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:

Kate & Cora-Hebrews 11

  • Notebook Pages

BibleTime.BRT.Kate

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”

Cora-SongbookIn 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 🙂
  3. 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!

The Giveaway

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.  Win One Year One Bible Road Trip and One 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.

Or

 Purchase Bible Road Trip Here 

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? 

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Comments

  1. For many years, we did not “do” Bible. It was woven into our curriculum. Now, we have Bible, but some days it’s pretty dry. It’s a challenge to move beyond just Bible stories without losing the kids’ interest.
    Shecki @ Greatly Blessed recently posted…Vacation Pictures part oneMy Profile

    • I agree, Shecki. Sometimes the Bible readings are lengthy. That’s when I try to find an application to my kids’ lives or try to make them think by asking questions. Yesterday, we were reading about Jacob wrestling with God. The kids were getting restless, so I stopped reading and asked them some questions like: “Do you think Jacob knew he was wrestling with God?” “Why didn’t God win? Did He let Jacob win? Could Jacob have been wrestling with Jesus or an angel? Why was Jacob crippled?” We had some really interesting discussions then and it’s all speculation because we don’t know the answer. Sometimes, though, we just pull out the Children’s Storybook Bible and read the shorter version 🙂

  2. keeping them still

    • Oh, Polly, I feel ya! My girls are totally wiggle worms. I try to enforce sitting on their pillows at least throw the Bible reading. Then, they can get up and move a little while we sing. Still, it’s tough. I remind them that Bible Time is just like worship at church. We need to be still and quiet out of respect for others who are trying to participate in worship. But mixing up the activities…read a little, sing some songs, work on the memory verse, sing more songs, read more, color a picture or do a craft, pray…gives their limited attention spans a little break 🙂 But this is a daily struggle for me too!

      • Yes, we do the same things-prayer, song, lesson, activity but I lose them during the lesson often. I am going to maybe try a different routine to break it up. Mine are 2, 4, 7 and 9 (teenager 16 not an issue and 18 in college); so, they are probably doing pretty good given their ages. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Explaining big concepts to little minds.

  4. I struggle with keeping them still and to not bother or distract one another. Often times I too give up when things get chaotic.

  5. JoEllen says:

    We’ve always made our Bible work a part of our normal studies. However, this summer I’ve had all three of my children working together on the same topic from the Bible, and we’re loving it! That’s when I happened to remember that I had bookmarked the BRT some time ago. Now I’m thinking it will be a great tie to our Tapestry of Grace curriculum this year!

    • JoEllen, I am really curious about TOG. Do you use it with all 3 kids? What are their ages? I’m looking for something next year for two school-age kids to do together and love the Classical Christian approach. I’d love to hear your likes and dislikes.

      • JoEllen says:

        Keri,
        This will be our first year using TOG, and I am super excited! Last year was our first year doing a unit study approach with all three children working at different levels. It was a lot of work as I created all of our lessons. I’m really hoping TOG will take care of that this year. Our children are 9, 7, and 6. They work very well together and I find that the youngest picks up so much by having the discussion time with the older two. I haven’t begun TOG yet, but am planning on starting with the free three week trial that TOG offers. The biggest hitch I foresee is getting the books. I’m hoping that I will be able to get enough of the books through our interlibrary as our budget would never allow for purchasing all of those resources. I’m not worried about the planning end of TOG as I’ve always created our lessons so planning is something I love and am good at.

  6. I’m more of an open the Bible, and go kind of a gal. However, I do appreciate (and sometimes utilize) curriculums as a guide. 🙂 My biggest struggle…consistency. 🙂
    Caroline recently posted…Abiding In Christ For MomsMy Profile

    • I wish I were more like you, Caroline. I would not do anything if I didn’t have a plan and structure 🙂
      Consistency is hard for me too. That’s where having a curriculum works great for me because it’s all laid out so I don’t have to do but minimal planning and prep work.

      • I used to be way more structured, and well thought out; then God gave me 5 children. Somewhere between the first baby, and the fifth all my structure got blown out of the water. No matter how much I try to go back to how I used to run our lives, it simply doesn’t work. I’ve had to rely heavily on the Lord to learn to live w/o the structure. All that to say, bravo for being able to maintain the structure! So many times I wish I could go back to that, but it’s where we’re at now. 🙂 The lack of structure, plays a big role in my consistency, but I guess the Lord will have to guide us in that as well. 🙂
        Caroline recently posted…Abiding In Christ For MomsMy Profile

        • Oh, my, Caroline. I’m scared of where I’m headed now! 🙂 Structure (or at least a semblance of it) is the only thing keeping me sane right now. But it’s encouraging to see that lack of structure is not incongruous with consistency because I always thought those two were mutually exclusive. So, we will just press on and let the Lord lead us in His way, knowing that He is at work in our lives and that His work is for our good 🙂

  7. Wendy Pierce says:

    We are excited to be beginning Bible Road Trip next week. The What’s in the Bible videos are fabulous. We have watched them all. Though I don’t own the DVDs. We subscribe to JellyTelly.com. In the long run, it will cost more than just purchasing the DVDs, but at $5 a month, I don’t notice the cost. And they have lots of other great videos too. If I remember correctly, you can try the site out for 2 weeks for free.

    • Thanks for letting me know about JellyTelly. I will have to look into that even if just for the trial run so I can see what the “What’s in the Bible” videos are like. Thank you for sharing that information and also I hope you and your family enjoy BRT. It’s been a blessing to us for sure!

  8. Renee S. says:

    We have the wiggles. Well more than the wiggles. But the coloring just might work for us, so simple but works so well. I have to remind myself even children can listen while doing something else and God put those wiggles there 🙂

    • Renee, we have the wiggles, the bounces, the falling off of things. We have those too 🙂 and I agree that God knows kids need to be moving and active. Short lessons are good for short attention spans!

      Also, a little coloring works wonders. It really is amazing how well a coloring sheet will work (for many kids, not all), and I’m always astounded at how much information they’re retaining while coloring. My three year old is a hands on learner, so she needs something to do with her hands or body while listening or she’s not going to retain anything.

  9. This is such helpful information, Keri! I like the idea of reading out of the bible, not just using a devotional.

    • Well, Salena, we do both. I think it’s good for them to be exposed to the language but too much just goes over their heads.

  10. Don’t have littles right now but remember wiggling being the main issue 🙂 We had to do school in 15 minutes intervals. In between I would say 25 jumping jacks or count to a 100 and jump to get out the energy, a lap around the back yard, etc… I am interested in the grade 7-9 curriculum now 😉

    Thanks for offering this giveaway!
    JES recently posted…Our Favorite {No Cook, Raw} Vanilla Ice Cream ~ 4 VariationsMy Profile

  11. I love this look into your Bible time. I hadn’t heard of Bible Road Trip, but it is working so well for you and your family that I will definitely be checking it out! I also love reading all the comments here about the wiggles; it’s so tough to sit still as a kiddo!
    Alyssaz recently posted…Collide Book BlitzMy Profile

  12. What a neat resource!
    Stasia recently posted…Guest Post: Do it Yourself Refinished Chairs!My Profile

  13. This looks very interesting. We’re looking for a Bible plan, so I would love to give this a try 🙂

    • Getting my youngest, age 3, to sit still long enough to learn something is a big struggle. But, simply needing a plan period is a huge issue right now.

  14. Bethany Furness says:

    My biggest struggle with Bible time for my daughter (almost 4) is knowing what she can absorb and understand at this age. She remembers facts so well, and sometimes I struggle to make the lesson/story engaging because she already remembers the information that is age appropriate for her. Thankfully she loves just hearing the stories again and again, so we still get in lots of Bible Time!

  15. We usually just read through a book of the Bible together as a family.

  16. Thanks for sharing on What You Wish Wednesday. We have our Bible Time with our girls in the morning over breakfast. Also…check out The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Gospel Story Bible. Those are great resources too. Come back and link-up tomorrow!
    Leslie recently posted…Striped Accent WallMy Profile

  17. Hannah Jurgelis says:

    Making things age appropriate(simple enough for my son to understand) is the hardest for me.

  18. Thank you for sharing all your homeschooling inspiration Keri! We really like the note booking approach in our homeschool and I am sure these posts will inspire others! This Bible Time looks wonderful!

    Hope you are resting up before baby comes!
    JES recently posted…Seasons at Home Magazine ~ Scrumptious Summer ReadingMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] Keri at Growing in His Glory also has a detailed explanation of how the curriculum works in her family (and what she’s added!). Keri is also hosting a Year One giveaway. Today is the last day to enter. […]

  2. […] of our usual Bible Road Trip study during Bible time, we’re going through this free Family Thanksgiving Worship Service from Amy at Raising […]

  3. […] Keri at Growing in His Glory : “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!” […]

  4. […] Every morning before we start school we begin with Bible. All of my children sit on the couch (except the baby) where we sing hymns, pray, recite memory verses, and read our Bible story. This year we’ll continue using Bible Road Trip. We were in the book of 1 Samuel when we last stopped, and I’m eager to get started with this program again. (To find out what Bible Road Trip is and how we use it with our little people, read this post and this one.) […]

  5. […] Keri at Growing in His Glory : “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!” […]