DIY Homeschool Bible Curriculum…that works! {+ Giveaway}

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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!

Here’s Kari:

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?

DIY Homeschool Bible Curriculum...That Works!

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.

Click to read the complete rules. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.

top image courtesy of lightstock

Kari Bio

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.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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.

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  1. Hi Kris,
    This is thrilling! Finding a good way to study the Bible with the children each day hasn’t been as simple as picking up a convenient curriculum package and we finally just settled with reading straight from the Bible each day – no frills. I love the idea of engaging their minds a bit more though through drawing and am excited to hear about this resource.
    Thank you for sharing and for hosting the giveaway! I’m eager to learn more about it and looking forward to the Ephesians study.

  2. Thank you, Kris and Kari. I’ve been looking for just the right Bible study for my 9th grader. She’s an artist and a doodler. She often chooses to express her feelings and emotions by drawing. Journal and Doodle through the Bible might be just the thing for her. I’m anxious to try the Ephesians study.

  3. I agree with so many things you said: this is the Word of God, not drudgery, one chapter, and simple. This sounds great and I am excited to try it!!

  4. These books look wonderful! I think that students will love them 🙂 I’d love for you to link this post up at my Homeschool Memo Blog Hop!! Thanks 🙂

  5. I like that you can doodle your way threw the bible for the kiddies. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. How simple but brilliant! I too have tried many different methods/curriculum to share the word with my three but nothing has stuck. Their math workbooks are full of creative doodles so why shouldn’t bible study notebooks be just as colorful? Thank you:)

  7. This is great! I use to do something similar for reading comprehension but never thought to apply it to Bible study. Thanks you for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the opportunity! I’ve done a little journal/drawing on my own but have been looking for something like this

  9. I’ve just recently started looking for a way to get serious about studying the Bible for both my kids and myself. I’m looking forward to trying this. It looks like fun and a great way to really dig in to God’s Word!

  10. Check out The Bible Project on their site or YouTube. They do animated videos of each book that sort of look like doodling and it is amazing, it would be great to add it to a study. They also have word studies, theme studies, podcasts etc. it is all free because it is crowd funded. It has really been awesome for me.

  11. Thank you so much for this idea!
    I’ve had my kids do it for a couple of years now.
    I pick a book of the Bible and they read a section a day day and draw it out comic book style.
    I really appreciate this great idea!

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