Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Homeschool Bible Study
Bible study often gets separated in the minds of homeschool families,but I prefer to think of themas both an integral part of the day. They compliment each other. When I discipline, character train or any other aspect of life, it is the bible and the Word of God that I refer to and that I want my children going back to. So I do not homeschool and then do bible.they are done together.
When it comes to finding a family Bible Study curriculum for the children, I have tried to approach it in the same way I approach my own personal studies. I read, I research, I talk about it to others about what has worked for them and what has failed. Ultimently it comes down to alot of trial and error. What works for my family,may not work for yours.
Preconceived ideas, accumulated resources and set habits have been hard to break. At times I make bible study a checklist in my mind. One more thing that we accomplished in our day. Spent time with God-check, prayed-check, did the dishes-check. It is a hard balance between doing what pleases God and having the personal heartfelt relationship with Him. I want our children to know the life that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. I want them to understand that the Word of God has something to say to every area of their life. I want them to have the courage to live by this belief, especially when the world, their friends, and society tells them its wrong-its hatred-its hypocritical-its intolerance. Having the word of God blazed on their hearts to draw from at these times is crucial.
I have teenagers and with that comes a whole new set of challenges I was not ready for. My kids deal with things that were not so open and common when I was growing up-or maybe I was blind to them-homosexual friends, bi-sexual friends, friends contemplating abortion, those who have already had one, friends who might smoke,do drugs,have premarital sex, friends who are depressed, self harming, etc. They deal with making choices regarding the right music to listen to,the right movies to watch, the right friends to have. I want them to have the desire to know what the word of God says about each of these issues and how they are to respond. How they can stand firm and show love in all cases and not turn their back on God making exceptions. They cannot do that, if I do not take the time to equip them and teach them habits that will shape their future. Sadly though kids learn a great deal by watching! If I am not first setting the example in the house for devotions. and leaning in Gods word for the decisions I make, chances are slim that my children will.
What does our day look like:
Most of our days start with each of us having our own individual time with God – we call it Devotions or Quiet Time. Because I don’t segregate our day into home life and school life this time is very much a part of Discipling our children. I would love to say we start each morning off having our devotions,but that simply is not my life.We may do devotions in the morning, afternoon or evening depending on the day. Daily Quiet Time is a habit that I formed a couple of years ago and it is one that I desire for my children. I want my children to know God personally, to build a strong relationship with Him, to know His Word and to live by it. You cannot have those things if you are not in the word on a consistent basis. We spend around 15 minutes in our personal quiet time. Reading and praying where God leads us separately. For my youngest son who cannot read yet- he looks through his numerous bible story books, and bibles and thinks on the pictures and what they mean to him.He prays for things that are important to him. From his dog,to friends being nice, to getting something he wants,to his family. The importance here for my family is on time with God and building that personal relationship that is comfortable and lasting.We each have our own space we like to go to.
After our separate devotions we start our bible study. Right now we are in Romans. We read the book together before we ever get into the nitty griddy.Once we have read it all we pray for insight. I normally pick up a guided study that we do together and I make copies of the worksheets for each of us. We take turns helping my youngest with writing his answers and reading his passages.
Some days we simply discuss the last sermon we heard in church. We might listen again to it online, review notes we each took to get different perspective or look at other commentaries on the subject and discuss them. There is no wrong way. Only the way that works best for your family.
Family Bible Study can be tricky - considering the ages of my children, their different level of understanding and their different desire for God (maturity of their own walk with God). Over the years I have found a way that works for us, not against us.