I want to share over the next few days what that looks like in each area and what resources we have found to support our homeschooling adventure.
Another book we use is Every Day With God, which has Bible selections from the International Children's Bible translation. It has readings for Monday through Friday and a memory verse for every week. We do not use their verse because we are working on other verses right now, but we may in the future. We go back and forth between this Bible and the Jesus Storybook Bible.
We gave our daughter the NIrV Adventure Bible when her reading got to the point where she could manage this on her own. We want her not only to get the story of the Bible, which is often easier to understand in the other books, but also to be comfortable with the whole Word of God. This Bible also has lots of notes, maps, and other study helps. (We added a fun Bible cover to protect it from wear.)
Grapevine Studies is an innovative approach to Bible study for kids of all ages (and even adults!). It introduces the grammar of the Bible - people, places, events - by having students draw stick figures as they learn it. They have "traceable" books for very young learners and then different levels of complexity as students get older. This page is a good explanation of the levels and where to start.
Bible Road Trip is a gem! It is a complete Bible survey curriculum for preschool through high school that allows you to completely survey the Bible from Genesis to Revelation every three years - and can then be repeated with a greater depth now that your child is three years older. The author, Danika Cooley, uses a variety of notebooking pages and other suggested resources to guide families on this "Bible Road Trip". It is free for week-by-week downloads (which can be tedious), or each year can be purchased for downloading as a single pdf file.
There are two other resources we have used. Leading Little Ones to God is an older book that was passed down to me from a friend, and we have often read it at bedtime. It walks through different aspects of theology for kids: who God is, His attributes, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, salvation, prayer, the church, spiritual growth - it is a pint-sized systematic theology book and it is wonderful.
Finally, we do a little bit of memory work during this time using this free resource from Classical Conversations. It is basic Bible knowledge broken into three cycles to correspond with the CC academic years. It is not a required part of the CC curriculum, but we love it, so we are doing it anyway. It takes about three minutes.
For Such a Time as This
My daughter LOVES this book by Angie Smith. The stories are told in a way that girls can connect to the real-life Bible characters and each story is followed with a message to the girl and to the parent about how to apply it to everyday life. At age eight, she could read it to herself, but we read it together for the discussion.
Susan Hunt Books
I am putting all of Susan Hunt's books in the same category because they are that wonderful. She has written many books specifically to help children internalize Biblical truths. Some are about a brother and sister, Cassie and Caleb. Another, Sammy and His Shepherd, is a delightful retelling of Psalm 23. I cannot say enough good things about her books and the impact they have had on my children.
Putting it all together
Remember the thirty minutes a day that we spend on each subject? We do that with Redemption, too. We spend about 10 to 15 minutes on Bible Reading, about three on the CC Bible memory work, and then 15 to 20 minutes on either Bible Learning or Bible Living. As much as I want to do both everyday, my kids (ages eight and three) don't have the attention span for it right now.
One final note about these resources - just because we include this in our homeschool day doesn't mean that they can't be used by families with kids in public or private school. We as parents are responsible for the spiritual learning of our kids - not a school or a church or a kids' ministry. These are good resources for ALL Christian parents!
Up next: Recitation - what we memorize and why and how we make it fun!