Today, I’m happy to introduce guest blogger, Kari Denker. Kari is a Christian homeschooling mom to three teen boys – and the author of an amazing Bible study series that I’ve recently discovered and thoroughly enjoy, Journal and Doodle Through the Bible.
I’ve been playing around with this creative study method for a few weeks and am hoping to start working through the series with Megan this fall. There’s a link for you to get a free download and a chance for you Kari’s new study that is being released next Monday!
For years I had been searching for the perfect Bible curriculum for our homeschool. I mean this is THE BIBLE. The holy, inspired, inerrant Word of God. What could be so hard about finding a perfect curriculum about a perfect book?
We tried many, many, many different curricula, and after a few weeks with each one, everything lost its shine and sparkle…and some were pretty close to “You’re going to meet Jesus this afternoon, sweetie” kind of studies.
Mom-intensive ones killed me.
Workbook ones killed them.
And the studies written down to kids brought on a lot of rolled eyes and heavy sighs.
So when all else in homeschool land fails, we DIY it all up ourselves. Right?
Lord Jesus, have mercy.
Fill in the blank workbooks were OUT.
(Much to my dismay because workbooks make me very, very happy.)
Labor intensive and 30 minute or longer sessions are OUT.
(I want them to LOVE the Word, not dread it!)
Anything where I had to read a lot was OUT.
(Some days even I get tired of listening to me.)
So, I tore the few used pages out of the composition notebooks I had so lovingly labeled at the hope-filled beginning of the year, grabbed my much loved NIV study Bible, and sat everyone down at the table to figure it out.
After a few tweaks and failures, we had something that actually worked! And the depth, retention, and fun of this method made us stick with it and love it – not just for a few weeks, but for years. We had finally found a Bible study method that helped us learn and fall in love with God’s Word.
DIY Homeschool Bible Curriculum That Works!
1. Choose one chapter to go through. Just one. Don’t get all super-spiritual homeschool eager! In that chapter, count up the divisions or sub-headings.
2. Set up the page. Have your kids draw the same number of big squares on their page as there are subheadings.
3. Read or listen to the chapter. Reading out loud is important, but if you are tired of hearing your own voice, use Bible Gateway. (Our favorite reader is Dale McConachie.)
4. After each section, pause and doodle. Ask your kids to draw what stood out to them in one of the boxes in their notebook. Now, lean back and watch. Because when your kids are translating what they hear into something they see, they deeply process it. And because they are using their auditory, visual, AND kinesthetic senses, they are fully engaged.
5. When you finish the chapter, talk about their drawings. The insights your kids have can be staggering if you take the time to let them show you. Some of the stuff my kids picked up on and understood took my breath away!
6. After discussing, take a few minutes to pray. It is so important to give the kids a chance to pray, so they can learn how to pray with confidence as they approach God.
As time went by, I found myself drawn more and more to this kind of study. Not only were my kids slowly being transformed by their Bible study, but I was too. I needed this. Too often, we had approached Bible study as part of our curriculum, and it was all too easy to check off and move on without thinking too deeply.
As I worked on my own personal studies this way, I started to document a step-by-step process of how I did it… and gradually Journal and Doodle Bible studies were born.
What do you need to start a DIY Bible Study?
Keep it simple. A cheap composition notebook and a pencil or pen are incredibly effective.
Where do you start?
A great place to start is with a story – any of the Gospels, Acts, or the life of an Old Testament character.
What ages will this work for?
We started when my youngest was 9 and my oldest was 14. They all did great. You could definitely use this method with kids as young as 5, and there are many ways to challenge older, more mature kids too.
Extra add-on ideas:
- Add memory work.
- Add dictation and memory quizzes.
- Ask your kids to choose their favorite verse and use it as copywork.
- Challenge your kids to rewrite the verse in their own words and illustrate it.
Today there are nine Journal and Doodle Bible studies available. My two newest studies – 1 and 2 Corinthians – are about to be released, and I am so excited to give away a set of them to one of you!
Enter to win below, and also head over to my blog, Stone Soup for Five, to get a free full length study on Ephesians by subscribing!
May God bless your homeschool year and Bible time!
Follow the directions on the RaffleCopter widget below to enter.
Rules: This giveaway is open to United States residents, ages 18 years and older only. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (ET) on Sunday, August 2. The winner will be selected at random using Random.org via RaffleCopter.
The winner will notified via email and given 72 hours to respond. You must enter a valid email address to win. In the event that the winner cannot be contacted by email or does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited and and alternate winner selected.
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top image courtesy of lightstock
Kari writes from the beautiful Pacific NW where she is married to her best friend. She homeschools their three teen boys, (Please pray!), doesn’t read enough, and always overestimates what can be done in a day. Born from her love of doodling and journaling, she created the Journal and Doodle Bible studies. She is a terminal dork, Jesus girl, and coffee lover. She blogs at Stone Soup for Five.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.