I was recently asked by a lady who is just getting to know God, and who feels that her and her husband and herself dont have much of an internal deposit and is unsure of what to say to her kids when explaining the whys of not being seflish, respecting your parents etc.
She is also looking for a childrens Bible.
She would also like to do some sort of study course with the kids. She says, Going to Sunday school & reading the bible every now & then is not enough. What can I do to learn more & teach the kids more?
Here are my answers . If you have some thoughts please add a comment.
Moral Warehouse …. There are two scriptures that come to my mind that are the basis of selfishness, respect etc. One is the 10 Commandments and the 2nd is the “Greatest Commandment” which Jesus said. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and love your neighbour as yourself.” or the Golden rule as it is called – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Interestingly nearly every religion recognises this “rule”!! – spare bit of information!!) That is just a quick one – it may not be one you are wanting to use.
Character First: Character First has both a book, Achieving True Success, for families as well as the Education series, which is much bigger and gives activities, songs, actions etc. There is also a book for the Christian which gives a good Bible Study on these traits, The Power for True Success.
Children's Bible – Interesting question. Everyone will have their favourites. My total favourite is no longer in print so Daniel has had to have another one since the ones that Josh and Jess had were no longer useable!! I'd like to mention first though some of what I see as guidelines for buying a kids bible…
1. What do you want them to get out of it? (I wanted them to enjoy it, to learn the stories)
2. The Bible was the first book my kids read – instead of readers so I was keen for it to be real sentences, not necessarily phonetic type, but real but in a sense basic too.
3. Remember it is for them – so see it from their eyes not your eyes. (this is arises particularly if you are comparing content and depth of stories)
4. Remember it won't be their bible forever! The kids have had a toddler bible, and then a preschool bible, then a children's bible and when they were reading well a proper bible, which I expect to last now till their late teens. This kind of connects with #1. To me it needs to be a book that gets used, and you grow out of it, replace it with another that will be used at their level.
So the one we have for Daniel is: The Beginners Bible by Zonderkidz ISBN:0-310-92610-6
What can you do to learn more: I personally, have a time daily where I read the Bible, or read what is called a “Devotional” which is someone's thoughts on a verse or two that is generally applicable to your daily life.
There are many studies written for people to do at home by themselves if this is the type of thing you want to do. A Devotional book, which also gives you some Bible Readings to do for the day, is a quick and easy way to go and has been the backbone of my daily time with God for many years since I have had children. As my children get older I have the time to study deeper but when my children were little I learnt about, and from God, this way. (And from the music I listened too).
You will also be personally learning as you prepare your lessons to pass onto your children. So some of these thoughts may be the answer for learning yourself….
Kids learning more regularly: I agree that daily contact with God's Word is the way to go. I am sure there are several ways to go – here are a few:
1. Pick an area that you would like to learn more and then find a resource that teaches this subject/area/content etc. You could pick on Proverbs which would add to your moral warehouse. You could pick “Getting to know Jesus”, or I have a study that is a 7-week overview of the main story of the Bible. So there are many options for this way. Once you are finished one study you can move onto another.
2. You could start from the beginning of the Bible and do a “story” a day. There are two ways, that come to mind, to do this. First you could just read a Bible (there is a narrative style Bible which is good for this) and you could use several study tools to help you understand what is being said. Alternatively, there are some Sunday School type material that you can buy, that you could do at home, daily. The Sunday School material would give you structure, activities, stories and sometimes maybe even songs. In either of these directions you could choose to start at either the New or Old Testament.
3. Another resource that has had huge impact on our children, at the preschool/primary school age, is Colin Buchanan's CD's. Do you know Colin Buchanan from Playschool and Disney Playouse? Well, he is a Christian and his music is FAN-TAS-TIC. From his various CD's the children learn what is right, they learn scripture verses – general Christian teaching. I can't recommend these enough (especially his earlier ones for this purpose). Our car always had Colin on!
4. Videos – we have a huge array of videos. There are videos that focus on character building, videos that tell Bible Stories as well as the ever-popular Veggie Tales, which you may have already come across.
I have found that teaching Bible is a all life thing… not just restricted to the one hour a day that we give it in our homeschooling and you are picking up on that. As to which of the above options do we do… we do them all at various times. I want to start the Proverbs book and we are studying the Bible from the beginning.
I have given you a lot of information here – please don't get overwhelmed by it all. Sometimes it is good to have it written down so you can digest it, bit at a time.