There are a wide variety of tools available which can give us great Bible information – Bible studies, curriculum, devotions, etc. This stuff can be very good, and I make sure my kids are getting plenty of Biblical knowledge and worldview through church, Bible studies, history/unit studies etc. But most importantly I believe that a discipleship model is necessary as the foundation for any other Bible “curriculum” we use. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:
4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[b] 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
I believe that the Lord’s hand is relevant throughout every moment of every day, and can be seen throughout the history and subjects that we study. I intentionally look for natural ways to teach scripture and Biblical truths and applications to my children. I believe that teaching the Bible is much more than just a subject in school and should be intertwined throughout all of family life.
With that as the foundation, we do also set aside time specifically to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word individually and together. We’ve done different things to meet this very critical Bible knowledge need. What the Lord has led me to do for “Bible time” is very simple and not complicated. I vary how I teach my children the Word of God depending on their different ages and stages, and season of life; but on a real basic and consistent level I teach them how to have real devotions, reading their own Bibles. Even my very young children were taught to have devotions with kids’ picture Bibles, who can look at their Bible, pray, and think about God. This has always been of first importance to me. Then I try to have some type of daily discussion/prayer with my children about the Lord and His Word, which is really just personal discipleship. For me, even at the times when we had crazy, crazy little kid days, we could usually sit down together and do a little devotion and pray together at some point during the day. We’ll sometimes talk about a verse that applies to something our family is going through and apply the scripture to real life today. Or we’ll discuss verses or Bible stories about character qualities we need to work, and how to do that. Or we’ll go verse by verse through books of the Bible. Or I’ll just share a verse I read that morning that encouraged me and we’ll talk about it. Even a child may share a verse that has encouraged them, or share what the Lord is teaching them. Sometimes we’ll go through a Christ centered book together, (like recently we went through “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends”). We’ve studied through the names of God (I just took the names and verses from a Kay Arthur study I did), and we made a bulletin board out of it. Currently we’re reading about missionaries and are being inspired through great men and women of the faith to live bold lives for the Lord. There are such a variety of things the Lord has led us to do. All were just right for what He wanted to speak to us at that season. It is so important to pray for wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we point our children to Jesus and the sweet grace of the gospel every day. He is so faithful!
Many of us tend to get anxious when we don’t have a formal “curriculum” for Bible, but it is a difficult thing to really find a curriculum that just works all the time for every kid, because our souls are not ‘one size fits all.’ God calls us to discipleship, not just imparting knowledge. I believe that the Lord will truly lead us in this area specifically for the needs of our family and each child. Sometimes it is more knowledge related, sometimes it is more application related. Maybe you’ll find a great workbook that will work for a while, or maybe the Lord will lead you to go through a book of the Bible verse by verse. Maybe you’ll find a great devotional… but I guess my encouragement would be to stay open to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the Lord gives me a plan for the year, other times His plan is for the day. I simply long to be faithful to consistently teach my children the truth of God’s word and point them to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which applies to them every day. This discipleship model is filled with freedom, truth and love, and has been a foundational joy of my homeschooling experience!