Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Growing, Growing, Growing

If the blogging world is any test, the series Growing up in God's Word is going to be very popular.  You can find it reviewed at

I don't want to stretch your patience by going over the ground they've already covered. Instead I'd like to tell you what I've learned from working through the lessons on Exodus with my 5 year old this term.

For one thing I've been impressed anew with the character of Pharaoh.  Insightfully, the Pryors described the hardening of his heart as a reaction to God's power.  My 5 year old can easily envision clay and butter sitting out under the sun.  The book explains that Moses' heart was like butter; it melted when God's power was displayed. The Pharaoh's heart, on the other hand, was like clay; it hardened as God "turned up the heat."  With this perspective, it was easy for her to understand the application of responding to God with a soft not a hard heart.

I've also re-envisioned the panoply of the Exodus account.  The story God was creating, the nation-forming narrative, was built on the display of his power.  It all culminates in the metaphor rich celebration of the 1st Passover.  My daughter has enjoyed drawing pictures as we've worked through the lessons.  Gnats, frogs, blood and darkness have come alive under her crayons.  Rather than making these stories into a meme the Pryors have allowed the many characters, many steps, and rich pageantry to play out.

To be honest, Bible curriculum has not been high on our priority list over the years (note I did not say that BIBLE wasn't high on our list!).  I have limited in-country access to religious materials and so this is only the second time in 8 years of homeschooling that I've used Bible curriculum.  I've found this one beneficial for several reasons.  The most important is that the pacing is deliberately slow.  This matches the pacing of the book of Exodus itself. It takes Moses chapters to describe the burning bush episode, chapters to discuss the plagues, and chapters to talk about the first Passover.  Telling the story in a couple of paragraphs is really false to Moses' pacing.  It also matches the speed of my 5 year old.

She is a bright girl but at 5 she needs repetition, help retelling the story, and time to absorb the most important parts.  But at around a chapter a week, she's getting it.  We curled up on the couch last week, her, me and her daddy.  She needed to do a quick review and we decided to make it into a game- who could remember the most answers to the review questions. The game was rigged; not only had Daddy not heard the questions before but we gave him the hard ones like "what were the names of the two Hebrew Midwives who defied Pharaoh?"  Still both her Dad and I were surprised and pleased when the two of them came in neck and neck.  She really understand and remembers the material.

If you're looking for clear, insightful and well-paced material that will challenge your kids, I'd recommend Growing up in God's Word.  So would a host of other bloggers!  


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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