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Most Christ-focused families realize that Bible study is an vital step in spiritual growth. After all, how else can our children know and love the God of the Bible if we don’t take time to read His words?
There are many helpful books and articles on developing a family worship time – a few minutes a day set aside for Bible-reading, prayer, and singing as a family. I wouldn’t begin to act like our family has arrived in this area. Unfortunately this special time gets lost in the mix of busy weeks, sick kids, and Netflix binges. So, if you need help in this area, you may want to read, Family Worship, by Donald Whitney. His ideas are simple yet effective in setting up a regular time of corporate (or combined) worship time in your home.
Recently, however, our family has had success in individual Bible study times for our boys. As parents, we want them to grow to desire the corporate aspects of church worship and the sweet fellowship of private study equally. Because things have been going so well for the last month or so, I thought I would share our ideas with you!
These are formative years. Don’t discount reading to them before bed from a children’s Bible such as the Jesus Storybook Bible. While the illustrations initially catch our two year old daughter’s attention, she is starting to learn words such as Jesus and sin. This is so important in her understanding of her sin problem and her Rescuer in the next few years.
When our middle son saw that his older brother was spending time studying the Bible each day, he wanted to follow suit. There is only one problem – he can’t quite read.
Enter: The Bible App for Kids
I hope you already have this app on your phone or tablet. We have had it for a few years, but have only used it while waiting in the doctor’s office or similar situations. Using it strategically as a Bible study tool has been a wonderful help for our pre-reader. This app traces Scripture from Genesis to Revelation highlighting some of the most well-known stories along the way. Each is a separate interactive chapter with animated characters and music to keep the child engaged. At the end of each story, are several questions for comprehension. It has been exciting to see our son’s excitement to get to his “Bible time” each morning after breakfast.
As he gets older and advances in his reading ability, we will incorporate actual Bible reading and he hears Scripture read aloud in family worship times and during homeschool. Until then, I’m so thankful for this technology that helps bridge the reading gap!
*Older Child (8-12)
Our oldest can read fluently and is starting to grasp more and more theological concepts, and we knew we wanted him to have a strategic plan for Bible study. My husband created a little reading plan for him based on the book of John.
Each morning, armed with his Bible, a notebook, and a pen, he reads the assigned passage (some are meant to be read 2x). Then writes down the meaning of the verses as he understands them and one take-away thought to remember. Because he is still young, however, he needs some guidance in his study. So each evening after his siblings are in bed, he discusses what he studied with either my husband or me. This gives us the chance to check his comprehension and discuss any important theological themes in the reading.
It has been so precious to see him grow in his desire to know God through his Word and his assigned passages are often challenging or convicting to me as we work through them together.
All of these Bible study methods are free and simple, and none of them are particularly time-consuming which is important in this season. I have honestly been shocked to see how quickly these ideas have become a habitual part of our morning routine.
What about you? Do you have ideas for Bible-study for young children? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. We’re always game to try something new!