Homeschooling Your Children: How to teach the Bible

Teach the Bible

Several weeks ago, I attended a meeting of homeschool moms where we discussed ways to teach our children the Bible.  I didn’t even bring any materials because I thought I would listen.  There had to be a lot of great ways to teach our children from this wonderful book.  The ladies had good ideas.  I found that many relied on devotionals or Bible story books.  We started that way, too, when our children were smaller.  One mom supported her church’s programs by using their memory verses and study guides at home.  We did that in the past, too.  As I listened to the ladies, I found myself sharing the techniques we now use.  Our study has changed over the years to make it more simplistic.  It seemed like those ideas were helpful to my local friends, so I have been wanting to share them with you (all the moms in blog world), too.  So, here are a few ways we teach the Bible in our home.

1.  Start Your Day With The Bible

If you do not start your day with the Bible, chances are you will end up missing it.  Believe me.  I know.  Once you start schooling, the baby starts crying, projects get underway, the laundry needs folding, there are meals to prepare, and you realize you have to run to the library before it closes or you will have a fine, Bible reading will be pushed to tomorrow.  Then, tomorrow, the same thing happens.  Before you know it, you haven’t studied the Bible in a week.  You say to yourself, “It’s not really a required subject.  We’ll get to it when we have time.”  The thing is- homeschool moms never have time.  Make a point to start your day with Bible.

Most days, we like to begin Bible at breakfast.

2.   Read The Bible

I did mention my ways were simplistic, right?  When we first started homeschooling, I was a little intimidated when it came to teaching the Bible.  That’s why we relied on devotionals and other books that had the Bible pre-digested.  After a while, though, I began to feel like those books had watered everything down too much.  So, we started reading a chapter everyday.  We have done things differently every year.  One year we read a chapter of Proverbs a day.  Another year, we rotated a chapter from the Old Testament and a chapter from the New Testament.  When the children were smaller, I tried to go through the Gospels.   I felt like the stories were more easily understood, and my children would get an accurate picture of Jesus Christ.  The bottom line is that children can understand the Bible.  It’s not as complicated as one might think.  Just read it, and you will be amazed at what they pick up.

As I mentioned, we begin by reading the Bible at breakfast.  Someone will read while I prepare the food.  We may listen to a chapter from the audio Bible on Youtube if we have a rushed breakfast and everyone has their mouths full.

3.  Talk About The Bible

After we listen to our chapter, we talk about it.  Everyone is likely to give an opinion  or reflect on how the chapter relates to something else in the Bible or in their lives at the moment.  Sometimes, your child may have a deep reflection.  Sometimes, they may come up with something off the wall (depending on the child, this may happen a lot).  The point is, get everyone talking.  If you don’t talk about what you have read, it will be easily forgotten.  You want to imprint the thoughts conveyed in each passage on your children’s minds.

4.  Keep The Atmosphere Positive Around the Bible

If you have never read the Bible this way, it may take a week or two for everyone to warm up to speaking about the Bible.  Mom, your job here is to be positive.  Never nag (for me, it can be a challenge 😉 ).  It is imperative that we make Bible an enjoyable part of our day.  Tell a funny story.  Make a crazy connection.  Smile.  Listen.  If your children find that this is the best time to connect with you, they will look forward to spending time in the Bible.

5.  Memorize The Bible

I love Bible memory.  Love it!  It is the single best thing I feel like I have done with my children.  What was the very first verse I had them memorize (besides John 3:16)?

Ephesians 4:32   And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had my children recite that verse.  Pretty much every time they were fussing with one another, this verse came in handy- usually because someone had been unkind or someone was unforgiving.

It doesn’t matter which verse you choose, just start memorizing.  We have done this a number of ways.  At first, we started by memorizing a list of verses from our church’s kids club.  Then, I changed things up and gathered verses that were relevant for each child.  Brian learned verses on loving his brother for a year, while Ricky learned verses about foolishness for a year.  A great place to search for Bible verses is Biblehub.  You can put in a word or phrase and search the Bible for verses that might work for your child.

After that, we worked on memorizing an entire book of the Bible.  I highly recommend this activity.  We chose the book of James.  Everyday, we recited it like we did the Pledge of Allegiance.  We started with a small section (Chapter 1, verses 1-8) for 4-6 weeks.  Once we had that down, we picked up another small section (through verse 16) and another until the end of the year.  We tested the children weekly, and had contests with prizes.  We were all excited.  Mom and Dad tried to do better than the children, and it didn’t always happen.  By the end of the year, we had only gotten through Chapter 2, but it didn’t matter.  What did matter was that our children were excited to fill their minds with the Bible.  This was 5 years ago.  My boys and I still know most of those chapters of James by heart.  Briana was a little young at the time, but she still has a good understanding of the book.  To this day, it remains Ricky’s favorite book of the Bible.  He teaches from it often.  I think it is because he feels he understands it so well.  Bible memory is an excellent exercise.  Do not neglect this aspect of Bible teaching.

6.  Learn About The Bible

Go deeper.  One of the best things we ever did was to take a class in Hebrew.  We only went so far as to learn the Hebrew letters and their meanings, but boy did that ever open up a new world to us!  Brian has since developed a love of the Hebrew language, and he is interested in learning more about Greek.  There are so many great things to learn out there.  Find good books, and learn as you teach.  Do an in-depth study on the tabernacle, the feasts, the disciples, anything!  Combine it with another subject, like science.  Right now, I am teaching a class in my co-op on military basics using the book of Joshua as my backdrop.  We are finding similarities between that book and other war history books, and using those tactics to plan for evangelism on a worldwide scale.  There is so much in the Bible, you can never run out of topics to explore if you look.  Pick one, and dig in!

7.  Remember the Bible Through The Day

Teaching your children the Bible should not be limited to a small portion of your day.  Deuteronomy 11:18-21 says this:

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. 

Keep the conversation going.  Yes, take a portion of your day and set it aside for Bible lessons, BUT don’t let that be the only Bible your child encounters.  Look for connections throughout the day to the things you have read, memorized, and learned about during Bible time.  Sing Bible songs and hymns.  Listen to good sermons.  Host a Bible study with friends.  We have done all of these things to fill the hearts of our children with God’s Word.

Teaching your children the Bible doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or serious.  Set aside a little time everyday, and you will be surprised what your children (and you) can learn.

How do you teach the Bible in your home?  I would love to hear your suggestions!  Comment below your ideas and share them with other homeschooling moms who are looking for more.

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2 thoughts on “Homeschooling Your Children: How to teach the Bible

  • December 16, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    Your tips for teaching the Bible are awesome! We do start our homeschool day with scripture study-just started memorization this year. I really appreciate your tips!

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    • December 16, 2015 at 7:25 pm
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      Thanks for your kind words. I am glad that it was a blessing to you 🙂 Please come back and visit us again!

      Reply

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