Tuesday, January 18, 2011
In our home, the basis of all learning starts with God's Word. Period. The foundation for all course of study from reading to mathematics to science and humanities is Scripture. My husband and I teach expository Bible learning: line upon line, verse by verse. So when it comes to building Biblical foundations in our childrens' hearts we started at the beginning.
Beginning Biblical foundations start with simply reading Scripture: to them as infants, toddlers, and beyond. Reading Scripture cover to cover started in our home at our childrens' births and carried through to our current teen years. Straight forward, letting God speak for Himself. Yet, while there is a need for this type of Biblical foundation, left without explanation where will it go in a little heart?
Some tools I found useful:
*the flannel graph; all-time favorite of the young and the old!
*pictures; I prefer not to attune God's Holy Word to cartoon imagery..pictures that depicted reality were my preference (after all they are real people and events, right?)
*imaginative play; march the walls of Jericho, part the shaving cream Red Sea, get into it.
*object based lessons; tangible items --a variety of garden foliage to depict the Garden of Eden, the Nativity to teach the birth of Christ, be creative!
*The Bible- either your own study version or a chronological one is nice; I have used both and loved them.
I started (and still do) every Bible study session stating the plain truth: our Bible is God's Word, it is all true..no pretend stories, every event and every person are real just like you and me. Speaking realistically reinforces the fact the events in the Bible are true (in a world of so much fiction) One pet peeve of mine is teaching from other sources. Lesson books and study guides are great helps and that is all they are. My desire if for those I am teaching to know the Source of my lesson: the Bible.
Early on, I learned that you cannot teach if you do not have their attention. To engage young students, I started with song (do you know how many children today cannot sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"?). Interacting and moving with the music engages their whole being in learning and attention. With some energy released, we settled down with objects (or pictures, flannel boards, etc.) to read the Scripture and share the lesson. It has always been my practice to reinforce the lesson by asking questions; review what you have just taught; let them tell you. Praise and encouragement is always on hand for their earnest efforts to retell or remember parts or all of the lesson.
As they grow, so do the lessons. It is an amazing fact that no matter how many times you study the story of Jonah or Daniel or Ester you will always learn something new and different. Biblical foundations are timeless and they never get old. When my children joined various church studies such as Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, or Bible drill, our home lessons were complimented by including memory work and study from these classes. As we grow, we glean nuggets of truth and re-instill lessons already learned.
Teaching God's Word has been the most important and most powerful class ever held in my home. Every other study has its root here and often comes back in discussion to here. When you build a strong foundation, you are setting your home on solid ground.