While homeschooling my three daughters, I have found it is critical to start them early learning about God and His Word. Here are nine ways to do this in your own homeschool.
1- Pray together.
Create a prayer photo album of the people for whom you are praying. This can be done simply by printing off pictures from Facebook and inserting them into a notebook or by elaborately putting together a photo album using photo quality paper. After several months of praying in this way, go back over past prayer requests and see how God answered your prayers. Show your children examples of how prayer is used in the Bible and discuss prayers that God answered.
2- Read the Bible consistently.
Read with your children. I prefer using an adult version. It is also okay to tell the story in your own words. Think about it. These are God’s words to His people. Express to your child the magnitude of that. There is something about closeness and developing a special time to read the Bible together that will make your child want to do it. Have them all climb up on the couch to snuggle or consider reading during a meal when you have their attention. Don’t be concerned if attention wanders, just keep bringing them back. God will honor your efforts. Try short paragraphs of Scripture at first. Keep it interesting.
3- Learn through Bible characters.
Learning about Bible characters shows how God can use anyone He chooses, even sinful and imperfect men and women. Act out stories. Tell the story and have your child narrate it back to you. There is power in a child owning his own telling of the story.
Bible story characters can paint a picture of how God used that person and how He can use us.
4- Engage your child with character traits.
Learning about compassion can be lived out through serving others, such as in a nursing home ministry or helping a neighbor. Gratitude can be taught by keeping a gratitude journal. Showing affection teaches children to be affectionate. Giving to others teaches generosity. Point to the Bible to show where God teaches us about these character traits. Go to my blog, www.AKAHomeschoolMom.com, for a free biblical standards chart you can use.
5- Engage your child with God’s Word through art.
You can use Christian symbols, such as crosses, lilies, etc. Teach your child how God is an artist and as children of God, made in His image, we are artists, too. To keep little one’s attention, I would often print out free printable coloring sheets of the story that they could color as I read Bible stories.
6- Read about personal stories of missionaries.
I remember when we learned the story about the missionary George Muller and the orphans in his care. We learned he had no food for several hundred children but trusted God to feed them. He had them get dressed, sit down at a set table, pray and wait. Imagine the look on my kids’ faces when I told them how a milk man’s truck just happened to break down in front of the orphanage with milk for all the children. The knock on the door from the baker who listened to God’s request and brought bread to the children taught an important lesson on faithfulness!
7- Go on a field trip!
Visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte or other Christian museums and see what a modern day prophet looks like. Take the family to a Creation Museum. Go and see a replica of Noah’s Ark. To make your child a part of the experience, get some chalk or a yard stick and have your child walk or measure the length of the ark on your street or in a park. You can google biblical discoveries or interesting pictures and videos right in your own home. When you hear about discoveries that confirm that the Bible is true on the news, share these with your child.
8- Make Scripture personal.
When reading a passage or story, ask or tell your child how this applies to their life. Give examples from your own personal life or your child’s. For example, in Matthews 5:44, when Jesus says to pray for your enemy, explain how this can be hard when that enemy is the bully who is bullying your child. Ask your child to imagine they were a Bible figure such as David, Joshua or Peter. Ask, “What would David do?” when your child is facing a challenging situation.
Try placing your child’s name in the place of the word “love.”
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, love is not puffed up; love does not behave rudely, love does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
9- Memorize Scripture together.
I cannot speak enough of the importance of storing God’s Word in your heart. As I memorize and learn with my kids, we have an arsenal of God’s Word as a weapon and tool against the adversary’s attacks. My children learned huge chunks of Scripture by age four. Start small and add a sentence a day or memorize a verse at a time. Memorizing Scripture together is a humbling experience. As an adult, I know that those words have brought me comfort in the dead of night or during a conflict. I can only imagine what those same words will do for my kids throughout their own lives.
Homeschooling intentionally is a good priority. This time is precious and short lasting with your young children. Your influence is huge. Prepare your kids for the world by engaging them with the Bible early.