As I embark on the second part of this 3-part homeschooling a preschooler series, I want to put out a reminder. With the amount of detail I am giving in each post, it might seem a bit intense. But we only spend 15-20 minutes on each category that we cover and all of it is done during my baby’s 1.5-hour nap with time to spare.
To recap, I have broken up what I am teaching my kids into four categories:
- World Concepts
If you would like to check out my discussion on Academics and World Concepts in Part 1 click here (link). Today we are going over how I teach my kids about God’s Word.
ABC Jesus Loves Me
Our starting point was a curriculum called ABC Jesus Loves Me. If you want to find out more about it, check out this post (link). I loved that series and we did it faithfully for two years; it only took about 15 minutes every other day. But now that my children are a little bit older and starting to grasp a lot more, I wanted to take what I was teaching them a little bit deeper.
ABCJLM is a great starting guide until you get your feet wet and get into a rhythm of planning lessons. But the Bible stories they assign each week are a bit sporadic and some of the songs they wanted us to learn were very obscure and ones I had never heard of before. Again, nothing bad, I just thought I could do it better. *Excuse me while I go toot my own horn* 😉
So this year, I’m doing it on my own! And so can you!
There are three main things I teach my kids every week:
- Bible story
- Bible verse
- Bible song
This (link) is my kids’ favorite children’s Bible to look through. So I decided to start at the beginning and take it story by story. I would strongly encourage you to do the same because that makes it really easy to introduce that week’s story and reinforce the stories we learned before every time they look through it. I often hear Heidi and Daniel in their room “reading” each other the stories we’ve learned. You will hear me talk about a lot of ways to reinforce what you are teaching throughout the day…repetition, repetition, repetition! That is how this age group learns!
We spend about 20 minutes, two days a week, learning the Bible story. So plan about 45 minutes of activities related to the story and split it between two days.
- Read the story from the children’s Bible (I do that to start off both days)
- Print a coloring page
- Work together to act out the story
- Watch a couple of YouTube videos on the story (link)
- Find a connected craft on Pinterest
This is simply picking a Bible verse and writing it on an index card. I do like to pick a tune that they know and add a couple of hand motions. I try to get one related to the story but you certainly don’t have to…God’s Word is God’s Word and the only real goal is to help our children learn it!
Here is an idea a what the index card could look like:
To help them learn it we simply review it every day. I’ll say/sing it one time and then I will get them to do it several times with me. For a while, it will just be fumbling their way through because they don’t know it yet but by the time we’ve been reviewing it for a week, I will try to start explaining the meaning to them and they are able to start doing it by themselves with a few prompts. After several weeks of reviewing a verse, I will randomly hear one or both of my kids spontaneously start singing it around the house! Repetition, repetition, repetition!
My main tips are to choose a short verse or half of a verse. Also, make the address part of the song…they obviously don’t know how to look up verses in the Bible yet but I want this to be the way they learn verses so that when they get older they will always know where to find their verses in their Bible.
There is no limit to the number of kid’s Biblical songs you can choose from!
- He’s got the whole world in His hands
- The wise man built his house upon the rock
- I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
- This little light of mine
We also purchased this Veggie Tales album (link) on iTunes and use a lot of those songs so that we can reinforce the learning by playing them throughout the day. Whatever song you pick, post it on the refrigerator so that you will remember to sing it throughout the day. Repetition, repetition, repetition!
Hiding it in their hearts
Now, you must ask yourself…what is the point of doing all of this if they don’t remember it beyond a week?? I was met with the same concern…so here is my system:
Stories/songs – You will want to get a three-ring binder that comes with organizer tabs like this one (link).
Each week you will print off the lyrics to the song (remember, you are posting it on the fridge). Also, either make a coloring page about the story one of your activities or simply print one for you to color during the kids’ naps.
At the end of the week write down the name of the story you studied on the front organizer page and put the song and coloring page behind that tab.
Verses – Instead of going into a detailed explanation, I am going to send you to check out this post on how I memorize scripture. I use the same technique for Heidi and Daniel.
Every night, I turn to a tab in the story/song book. I will either give them a two-minute recap story or ask them questions to see if they can basically tell it to me. Then we will sing the song 2-3 times or take turns singing it if you think they are familiar enough with it.
Lastly, we review the verses under the tabs “New”, “Daily”, and whatever day of the week it is. Again, check out this (link) post so that it will all make sense. Altogether, our evening review takes about 10 minutes. 10 minutes a day to store God’s Word in their hearts…oh yeah!
If y’all have any question about this process, pleeeeeease let me know! Thank you!