STRONG IN SPIRIT:
by Tamara Eaton
In the last article (Are You Neglecting the Needful?), we discussed how important it is to teach our children the Word of God. Have you noticed how many times God uses the simple presentation of the Word to speak to, and direct His children? In the systematic study of His Word (moving sequentially from verse to verse, chapter to chapter), He is able to direct us by consistently bringing "just the right verse" into our lives at "just the right time!" This week we'd like to share some of the helpful resources we've used with our children.
- THE BEGINNER'S BIBLE by Karyn Henley, Questar Publications
This is our favorite resource for young children. It's filled with short, simple stories from the Bible, but doesn't add anything to them (unlike some Bible stories for children). Our little ones enjoyed having us read them over and over to them. This would spark their interest in finding out what else happened to these people in the Bible and often these stories would provoke interesting questions and discussions. Sometimes we would select a memory verse related to the stories. We purchased this from a Christian book store when our youngest two children (who are now 6 and 7 years old) were toddlers and it is still a favorite, although now they can read the stories themselves!
(Published by Questar, P.O. BOX 1720, Sisters, Oregon, 97759. ISBN: c 0-945564-31-7 Can be purchased through the chfweb.com bookstore)
- EVERY DAY WITH GOD
Written for ages 7-10, but we used it years ago while including our little ones, too. It is an excellent resource, especially for families with little wiggly ones! It features five short Bible readings each week which will take you from Creation to Revelation in one year. Each Bible reading is accompanied by:
* A brief introduction
* A simple daily prayer
* A weekly memory verse to instill God's truth in children
* A colorful illustration of the Bible passage.
* A contemporary photo of children showing the the truths of the Bible are for today.
(Published by Word, ISBN 0-8499-0831-0)
- THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE HANDBOOK by Lawrence Richards
This book attempts to answer many children's questions from Creation to Revelation. The Bible is covered in chronological order in a great question-answer format that makes in easy to follow and simple to understand. It contains charts, maps, a dictionary and an index to help readers locate and understand Bible places and people. Great for families to do together! Learning activities are suggested at the end of each chapter. Arranged in 36 units for a regular school year.
(Published by Word, ISBN 0-8499-3212-2)
- PRECEPT BIBLE INDUCTIVE STUDIES FOR YOUTH by Kay Arthur.
These are wonderful studies designed to teach young people how to study the Word of God for themselves! The study on John is posted on the Precept Youth website and each lesson can be done in 15 minutes a day. My older four teens are working on these in addition to their daily Bible reading and family Bible study. (Precept Website: http://www.precept.org )
Last year I led my teens through highlights of an adult Precept study I was doing and it was excellent. They are easy to understand, even for Jr. High students, but definitely not shallow! I highly recommend them as a way to teach teens how to study the Bible systematically. What I did was have each of the teens do the lesson on his or her own, then we sat down once or twice a week and discussed them. We're following the same format this year with the youth precept studies in John.
- EXPLORE THE BOOK by J. Sidlow Baxter
This is a Bible course with the goal of grounding the student in the Scriptures. In the introduction, Baxter says the course will seek to get hold of the controlling thought, the outstanding meaning and message of each book, and then see it in relation to the other books in the Bible.
He also says, "Our Lord Jesus Himself has taught us that HE is the focal theme of all the Scriptures; and everywhere, therefore, we want to see beyond the written word, to Him who is the living Word. And we want to see Him in such a way as causes us to love and trust Him the more.....Our great object is to know the true God, to become more like Christ, and to be more fully possessed by the Holy Spirit. True Bible study will encompass that object, for the inspired pages of Holy writ live and thrill and glow with the presence of God!"
"....Let our prayer be: 'Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law'. And let the dominating motive in all our study be.... 'That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
We bought this years ago through a Christian Book store. At that time it was published by Zondervan, copyright 1966. I think some teens should be able to handle this if they take their time (his writing can be a little difficult to follow if read too quickly), and this is a great resource for parents!
- WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW WHEN by Robin Scarlata
An extremely well balanced guide for evaluating your homeschool and setting goals for your children--includes sections on "According to the Bible" and "According to the State", evaluation check lists for grades K-8, charts and guidelines for "character traits" and for studying the Bible through in one year.
Why would this be included as a Bible Resource? Robin includes a "Heart of Wisdom" teaching approach in her book which describes how to use the Bible as the main focus and core of a homeschool curriculum. This approach includes reading the Bible through in one year and creating a "Bible portfolio". The Bible is studied daily and students compile a chronicle of the concepts and beliefs into a portfolio which counts as "language arts". (History, science and math would be added by using unit studies or textbooks.) She includes sample lessons and examples of how to teach using this method. I highly recommend this book and consider it a great resource for homeschooling parents of students K-8.
(Published by Heart of Wisdom -New and Expanded Version ISBN 0-89826-044-2 )
- A FAMILY GUIDE TO THE BIBLICAL HOLIDAYS: With Activities For All Ages By Robin Scarlata and Linda Pierce
This book is filled with information, lesson plans, special unit studies, craft ideas and other activities to help Christian families understand the purpose and meaning behind the "Holy Days" of the Bible. This is a "meaty" book, packed full of resources and ideas for families interested in learning more about the Jewish roots of Christianity, and yet simple enough for anyone to understand. You don't have to be an Old Testament scholar to appreciate this book!
(Published by Heart of Wisdom ISBN 0-89826-076-0 )
( Website: http://www.heartofwisdom.com )
- QUICK VERSE from Parsons
Our family uses this software daily--it's a great resource. Our children use it for their daily "Read through the Bible in a year" plan-- it keeps up with each child's schedule. Here are just some of the features included: * Customizable Bible reading schedules allowing you to create a plan to read through all or part of the Bible. * Choose from preset plans or create your own, and select the duration and days you want to read. * Color highlighting of Bible verses--lets you color-code a single word or complete passage. * Added search features, including finding text in notes you’ve attached or searching for highlighted text. Other options include: concordances, study Bibles, and commentaries.
[ You can order this from your local Christian Book store or call Parsons Technology at 1-800-223-6925. Or visit their website: http://www.parsonstech.com ]
- THE BIBLE ON CASSETTE TAPES
These tapes are available at your local Christian Book store or through many Christian book catalogs. Great to listen to while you're driving in your car or during naptime or just before bed. I listen to mine every night as I go to sleep. We've used them in the past for our children, too!
- BIBLE STUDIES ON THE INTERNET?
I've noticed that there are many Bible Studies available on the Internet, but haven't personally checked out any except the Kay Arthur Precept studies for youth. (Which my children and I highly recommend!) If you can recommend any non-denominational Bible Studies which are available on the Internet, please take a moment to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share the address and a brief review!
As Christian homeschooling parents, our first goal for our children is that they become "strong in spirit", serving the Lord Jesus with all of their minds, souls, and strength. If we concentrate on academics so much that we end up neglecting spiritual training, we would fail in the most important ministry. What a tremendous privilege the Lord has given us--the opportunity to mold and shape our children into men and women of God--strong in spirit, and ready to be used by Him!
The Bible gives us examples of children growing strong in spirit, here are just two of them:
Luke 1:80 "So the child grew and became strong in spirit..." (Speaking of John the Baptist)
Luke 2:40 "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." (Speaking of Jesus)
May the Lord direct your families and bless you in your teaching and training in God's Word so that your children will also be "strong in spirit"!
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.
[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."