Teaching the Bible Through the Years
As I begin to put together a few ideas for next year, I am tracing the homeschool journey we took with our older children. Basically, I am putting together a listing of what we used when. If it worked, then I am keeping it in the plans for the younger children. Below you will find the curriculum and books we have and will use for Bible lessons.
Preschool / Kindergarten - At such a young age, most of our studies are introductory.
Our faith has a lot of words which may be hard for little ones to understand. We want our children to know what is meant by words that are used often in the Bible and during church. Our favorite resource is an older copy of My First Bible Words: A Kid's Devotional, by William O. Noller & Kenneth N. Taylor.
From the time our children are born, we read straight through a toddler Bible than progress to a story Bible. Ultimately, we reach a 'regular' Bible. In this progression we typically reach Egermeier's Bible Story Book around Kindergarten age.
Early Elementary (1st - 3rd grades) - Building on our children's introductory knowledge, we begin a more formal approach to reading the Bible and studying it. Several of the resources which we used are listed below.
Old Testament and New Testament Curriculum
God's Great Covenant, published by Classical Academic Press
Veritas Press Bible Series, published by Veritas Press
The Victor Journey through the Bible, by V. Gilbert Beers
What the Bible is All About: For Young Explorers, by Frances Blankenbaker
Daily Life at the Time of Jesus, by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh
A Chronological New Testament
How the Bible Came to Us, by Meryl Doney
People of the Bible: Life and Customs, by Silvia Gastaldi and Claire Musatti
Bible Animals (The Bible Discovery Collection)
Reading on their Own
The Beginner's Bible - Once our children are reading reasonably well, (either first or second grade) we start them on their very first journey through a Bible story book. They read one story per sitting.
A junior Bible version - We individually choose junior reader Bibles with chapters and verses for each child when they turn 6. These are the Bibles with the full text, but uses words from a child's reading level. Our children learn to find verses and passages in these. As their reading improves, they naturally turn to their own junior Bible version to read.
A 'regular' Bible - During the spring of their third grade year, our children are given a Bible. It is a grown up version of the text (NASB or ESV). We purposefully purchase ones without any study notes or guides. There are typically maps in them and sometimes a suggested reading plan, but nothing else to distract them from God's Word.
For our family, we spend four years asking and answering the questions of a catechism. We do this as a family and the children have ranged between second and eighth grades.
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade
The Westminster Shorter Catechism CD set by Holly Dutton
For Older Elementary (4th to 6th grades), we introduce individual Bible study skills and a Biblical world view.
Personal Bible Studies
Discover 4 Yourself series, Kay Arthur
Personal Bible Studies for Girls
Write Upon My Heart character study published by Keepers of the Faith
A Virtuous Girl, by Michelle Zoppa
Personal Bible Studies for Boys
An Honorable Boy, by Michelle Zoppa
Lessons in Responsibility, published by Pearables
What We Believe series, Volumes 1 - 3 (we are awaiting availability of volume 4), published by Apologia
More Intense Bible Study
During the Junior High Years (7th and 8th grades) we hope to build on their Bible study skills and strengthen their Biblical world view. The resources we have used follow.
How the Bible is Set Up
30 Days to Understanding the Bible, by Max Anders
Learning Bible Truths
The Truth about Grace, by John MacArthur
The Truth about Forgiveness, by John MacArthur
The Truth about the Lordship of Christ, by John MacArthur
The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey
The New Answers Book (1-3), by Ken Ham
The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns
* In addition, we study the lives and ministries of missionaries around the world, from past and current years.