Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bible Study for the Public School kid

Although this post is from several years ago, the curriculum it reviews still stands as one of the best series we've found to help busy moms learn the Bible with their public school kids. Melissa's kids have all switched to homeschooling but I know that she still recommends this resources.   We hope you are enjoying our series of devotionals from Daniel but you'll need to keep going when we finish! So consider checking out this or other curriculums! 

My two oldest kids go to public school, but in the end, their education is my responsibility.  In fact, the most important subject they have is not one they learn about at school at all.  It is vital that my children learn the Bible, and they aren't getting that between 7:30 and 2:30 every day. Sunday Bible class simply can't make up for daily teaching of the Word in our home.  In the past, I've tried to create my own "curriculum," with varying degrees of success.  I'm not an educator, though, and I knew our time could be more productive.  I was so glad when I found the "Growing Up in God's Word" series from Pryor Convictions media because it gave me the structure I needed to teach my children well. 

I decided to start with The Life of Christ part 1, even though I had recently gone through the book of Mark with my children.  When I looked at the book, I realized how much I missed in our previous studies!  For instance, one of the activities you do each week with the kids is a map activity.  Now, I never really did much with the maps in my Bible as a kid.  "From Dan to Beersheba" made no sense to me because I didn't know that these two cities were near the northern and southern borders of the kingdom of Israel. It's like saying "from New York to L.A."  Despite how much I learned with a Bible in one hand and a good map in the other, I'd never thought to start map work so early with my children.  I did have to grade the activity somewhat.  My kids are in pre-K and first grade, so free-handing the region of Galilee and locating Nazareth on a blank map are a little beyond their skill level.  What I could do was draw in Galilee myself (roughly), and add a dot for Nazareth that they could label.  

The map activities are not the only ones that can be graded for a range of ages and abilities. For instance, the author suggests on day 3 of any given week to do research activities OR puzzles.  The research activities would be great for older children.  Some of them can be completed with the Bible alone, such as finding all references to the angel Gabriel.  Others require deeper digging, like researching how Jewish boys were educated in Bible times.  These activities are a little above my kids' level, so the authors have also included some word puzzles.  Word searches, rebuses, and crossword puzzles work well for my 1st grader.  Even my 5 year old son likes to try them, but I always have a coloring sheet handy in case he gets overwhelmed.

If crossword puzzles sound a little fluffy to you, let me assure you that this series has more meat that most Sunday school curricula I've come across.  For one thing, the authors expect that either the parent or the child will read straight from the Bible.  No watered down stories allowed! There are explanations and elaborations for each set of Bible verses you read, but no paraphrasing of Scripture. Each activity through the week only serves to reinforce the story you read on the first day.  By the end of the week, my kids knew the story well.  The games and puzzles only helped them to learn the stories better; they were not the main event.  

Besides reviewing the story, the only activity that is done daily is memory work.  When I was doing my own Bible lessons, I struggled to find appropriate verses for them to memorize that went with the story.  This curriculum does that hard job for me.  There are one to four memory verses for each week's lesson, and sometimes other memory work (like learn the names of the 12 apostles).  I was surprised at how much my kids could memorize.  Even my two year old piped up on the short verses.  

Each day's work typically took about 30 minutes or less, which easily fit into our after school, before supper time.  I was a little intimidated by the craft projects at first, but there is always an option for a simple craft that requires minimal supplies.  It did help to plan ahead a little to have supplies on hand, but preparation for the whole week could take about 30 minutes.  The series is really perfect for any parent who has struggled with teaching her children the Bible during the week, from homeschoolers to working moms.   


Several books in the "Growing Up in God's Word" series were sent to us by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing.  No compensation was provided, and the opinions are entirely my own.  The books are great, even if I did get them for free.  Visit to see a list of all the books.  You won't be sorry

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