First, a little bit of my background: I am a homeschooling mom who survived—no, thrived—through sixteen years of homeschooling our two children. Today, I teach high school homeschoolers. I’m going to mention a trend I’m noticing and make a few practical suggestions for incorporating the Bible when you plan next year’s school, whether you homeschool or send your children to school.
I totally understand why there’s a dilemma. After all, if you send your children to Christian school or homeschool, math, science, language, and all the rest is taught with a Christian worldview, using Christian curricula. Why would you need an additional subject, Bible?
Before I answer that question, let me share some things I’ve learned through observation:
- Many Christian homeschool high schoolers don’t know their Bibles. They don’t know the words of Jesus. They have no clue where Bible verses are found.
- Let’s suppose a graduating senior doesn’t know his or her Bible. How is he or she supposed to battle the onslaught of secular teaching if he/she goes to a secular college? And more than that, how is he/she going to be able to stand against temptation? In Ephesians 6 about the armor of God and resisting the devil, the only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (verse 17b). Have we “armed” our children with secular knowledge and not given them The Sword?
- Many Christian teens are unchurched. One would suppose that Christian homeschooling parents want their children to have a Christian education that includes Christian priorities. The Bible says we’re not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). Church attendance is important!
The Bible commands us to teach the Bible to our children. Let me share a few of the verses with you:
- And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up . . . . Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 9).
- Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD (Psalm 34:11).
- If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore (Psalm 132:12).
- Use a Bible curriculum. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this approach, which we did in our homeschool. But, it was much better than nothing! Together with church, personal, and family devotions, I felt like our children got a good Bible foundation.
- A Bible overview approach. These systems take sections of the Bible and make practical applications along with Bible knowledge. Even if you just do it yourself, it will orient your children in the Bible, and they will know where to find what they are looking for.
- Book studies. You could through: Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Daniel and the New Testament books of John, Acts, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, James, 1 John, and Revelation to hit the key spots. Of course, in their private devotions, your children should be reading the Bible devotionally for themselves.
- Topical studies. This will take work on your part, but you can explore such topics as love, prayer, drugs, family life, and other subjects that might be of interest. You can also look into the heroes of the faith: Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Joseph, Esther, David, Daniel, etc. (Look at Hebrews 11 for inspiration.) You can discover how Jesus treated people by going through one of the Gospels. You can help your children know why they believe what they believe.
- Catechism. Many parents use a memorized biblical catechism for teaching basic doctrines to their children. We did, and our kids (now grown and married) can probably quote some of those statements of faith today!
- Use a devotional book together. I personally like a devotional book with more meat and that makes connections between Bible passages. I like devotionals where the reader needs to look up references and come to his own conclusions, based on Truth.
- Bible memory. Kids can do Bible memory with church clubs (like Awana, Kids for Truth, etc.) and at home with you. Make sure they know verses about salvation and others that are practical for them personally. Even very small children can memorize well. Let them memorize short Psalms (23, 100, etc.) and key passages.
- Family discussions. Our family had the advantage of about forty minutes’ drive to church and back home. It gave us opportunities for all kinds of “why do we believe” discussions. These were especially important in our kids’ formative and teen years, when they were trying to make decisions crucial to their personal testimonies and belief systems. We also talked at the table at mealtime. Use teachable moments to instill the Word of God in your kids’ hearts, so that their faith has a biblical foundation.
Some tried and true suggestions for Bible curricula:
A-Beka Bible Curriculum—Good content with colorful flash cards. abeka.com/homeschool/
Accelerated Christian Education—Bible curriculum for all grades. Very good New Testament and Old Testament Survey classes (high school). aceministries.com
Answers Bible Curriculum—a three-year journey for the whole family. It’s a Sunday school program with age synchronized materials. Apologetics and a chronological overview of Scripture. AnswersBibleCurriculum.com
Apologia Bible Curriculum—Foundational worldview and Biblical Truth. Look for “Who is God?” on apologia.com
Bob Jones University Press—Its Bible Truths curriculum presents the life of Christ and all the major persons in the Old Testament with a foundation for living. bjupresshomeschool.com
Mercy and Truth Bible study booklets—Topical studies, such as: the Tabernacle, Women of the Bible, etc. mercyandtruthministry.com