Your blog has been an encouragement to
me, and it's been inspiring to see how you teach your 2 older children
to read the Word daily. I would like to find out at what age did
you start doing this, as I wonder if it is possible to (and if so, then
how) do this with preschoolers? Where to start, how do you know to
cross-reference, for example? Appreciate your advice. Thanks
Your blog has been an encouragement to me, and it's been inspiring to see how you teach your 2 older children to read the Word daily.
I would like to find out at what age did you start doing this, as I wonder if it is possible to (and if so, then how) do this with preschoolers? Where to start, how do you know to cross-reference, for example?
Appreciate your advice. Thanks
Bible Time: Warning about Picture Bibles
As for "formal" bible time, from babyhood, we do use picture bibles and read to them. We make sure that the drawings are acceptable because the children will form impressions of God's Holy Word from these pictures. This is a reason why some parents will even stay away from picture bibles altogether because it can lead children into a wrong understanding of God's word.
For instance, how many of us picture Jonah in the whale (Bible says "big fish") sitting quite comfortably in this cavernous rib-cage of the whale tummy, with a few sea weed hanging here and there for effect. Actually, scientifically speaking, a person sitting in the gut of a big fish would not be surrounded by that much of space and air. His skin would begin to be digested by the gastric juices of the fish. Coming out of the fish after three days and three nights in there, he would have looked awfully bleached. That might be the reason that the people of Nineveh repented so quickly at Jonah's warning of God's impending judgment upon them.
So much of (liberal) interpretation on the part of the illustrators. My children often ask, mama, is this what Moses looks like? I'll often have to tell them, no, it's someone's imagination.
And of course, we don't believe that Jesus looked like a gentle faced Caucasian with long hair and feminine features.The Bible tells us that when He was a man on earth, He was not handsome at all!
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of
a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see
him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and
rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we
hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him
It is good to note also that there was nothing in His appearance (or some kind of charisma) that drew people to Him. Judas had to go to the length of giving Jesus a kiss as a signal to the Roman soldiers that this was the man they were looking for- the man who was causing so much controversy!
And Jesus, now seated on the right hand of God in Glory, is just beyond any man's poor depiction in art.
So do be careful of images of God and His word.
Having said that, as a parent, I do see that young children can benefit from illustrations and depictions of scenes can and do help children understand the story. Choose a safe one, and always check the doctrines!
But it is not the only tool available to the parent/ teacher.
To describe battles (like I'm doing now with Joshua and Israel's military conquests of Canaan land), I use whatever I can find in our schoolroom to represent cities, armies, characters, etc. That is always fun. Like the ambush plan that God instructed of Joshua in the battle for Ai. (Joshua 8) We used several books to represent this group of soldiers and that group, moving here, hiding there.
I get their stuffed toys to role play as well.
If you are the kind who is more comfortable with a program that you can follow, just look up the links on the right hand column of this blog for the Christian homeschool Curriculum providers. There's lots to reference and buy. Good for teaching bible at home.
Nic, you asked about cross referencing. Personally, I do it from my knowledge of the Word. Much from listening to good bible based preaching at church. (Follow the link and there are some mp3 recordings of our Sunday sermons there.) From study, and there was walk through the bible course I did with my husband some years back. Faith Bible Institute. So, keep digging in the Word. God's word is rich with treasure!
I do train my children in "cross referencing", though I don't think they know it. :Op Like if we talk about Lazarus who had died and came back to life again, I'll ask them if they can remember another person who that happened to. Or if they can name all the mothers of the bible who had children in their old age. It's drawing from their pool of knowledge gathered over the weeks, months, years..
We're finishing off the life of Joshua now. I asked the children, when we meet him in heaven one day, if we told him, You're a hero! what would his response be? No. 1's reply was that he'd say, It was nothing much (that I did) but God did it all.
And we're excited to look into the life of David next! :O)
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.