At the beginning of each school day I read the Bible aloud to the kids, and we work on our memory verses. However, I like to use a curriculum as a supplement to help us delve deeper into the Bible. For my youngest (1st grade), I chose Explorer’s Bible Study: Beginnings II ~ God’s Promise. God’s Promise is an Old Testament (Genesis through Malachi) study written for young readers. This study is written for children in grades 1-3. It doesn’t just cover the familiar stories, it tells the whole story of the Bible on a young child’s level.
The book is easy to use and inexpensive. There is no teacher’s manual to purchase. You can purchase a separate answer key, but I chose not to do so at this level. Each lesson is broken into five parts — one for each day of the week (lesson 10, day 1, etc.). The lessons are short and geared toward young readers. There are memory verses or words to remember for each lesson. Review questions follow each lesson, as well.
Here’s how we use it in our home:
- I read the Bible Words to Remember to her. This is the week’s memory verse(s). These are the same for each of the five lessons in a week. We discuss how these verses go with the lessons we have been reading, but I do not require her to memorize them.
- Then, I read the Bible story. We talk about what led up to the topic we are studying (currently the 10 commandments). What things were mentioned in previous lessons that correlate with today’s reading? What do you think will happen next?
- Some lessons have a prayer thought at the end. These are included to help each child learn to talk with God.
- Some lessons also have a “think about” section. These describe situations which are designed to help the child apply God’s Word to his/her life.
- We discuss any words to know (bolded vocabulary words that are defined at the end of the lesson).
- I allow her to answer the “Thinking & Remembering” questions on her own. Some of these questions are multiple choice and some are fill in the blank. For example, the lesson we will complete next (lesson 10 Day 4) has 5 multiple choice questions, 5 fill in the blank questions (filling in the missing word in several commandments), and an instruction to learn the next set of commandments.
- After she completes the review questions, I check them. We discuss them and correct anything that needs to be corrected.
Even if your child is not a “workbook” child like mine, this curriculum could work for you. You could easily read the lessons, memory verses, and review questions orally. Your child doesn’t HAVE to write the answers to the questions. My daughter just happens to enjoy doing it this way.
Explorer’s Bible Study has 15+ books written for children from preschool through high school, as well as studies for adults. Your student will study the Old and New Testaments in broad overviews in preschool and early elementary school. In upper elementary school the curricula is broken into 5 separate studies:
- Exodus through Joshua
- Job, Psalms, and Proverbs
- Luke and Acts
- Exploring Bible Prophecy
The junior and senior high curriculum is broken into 6 studies. In addition to the five books listed above (at a higher level), there is an additional book that studies Romans, Galatians, and James.
I recommend this curriculum to anyone looking for a straight-forward, no frills way to teach the Bible to young readers. You can view the books in this series, as well as sample lessons, at: http://www.explorerbiblestudy.org/store.php
Tara, homeschooling two with a little bit of everything. You can find her blogging at Mom Teaches 2.