Friday, May 10, 2013

How do you teach your kids?(what curriculm do you use?) Part one: Teaching the Bible



People ask me about what curriculum I use, and how I teach all my kids.  To be honest, I have a hard time knowing what the right answer is to this question.  One reason is I don't use any one curriculum exclusively.  Two, I don't do school, like most people, even homeschoolers.  Three, I am not preparing students for college or even the work force.  I am teaching my children God's Word and trusting HIM to prepare them for whatever future he has for them.  So, when people ask me this question, I am not sure if I have a good answer for them.  If they are asking just out of curiosity than I am happy to share, but if they are asking for advice, I may not be the best person to ask.  If your goals are to have college bound students my method might not work for you. 
That being said, I will try and give those friends an answer who want to know about what curriculum I use or have used. 
NOTE:  Any materials, blogs, websites, etc.  recommended in this blog are written by humans.  Therefore, they are not perfect.  The only completely true, book out there is the BIBLE.  The materials recommended throughout this post are well written by God fearing people doing the best they can to share God's Truth.  Please remember to weigh everything in scripture for yourself.

I will be answering the following questions over the next several weeks:

What is Bible Copying?

What do you use for Bible/History Study?

How do you hide God's WORD in your students hearts, and how does dad get involved if he works away from home all day?

How do you teach your kids to read?

Do you teach math using the Bible?

How do you teach Biblical Science?

How do you teach grammar and writing?

How do you teach Godly Character?

What about literature?

Do you do extra curricular activities or other subjects?

Do you do unit studies?

For today I will try and tackle the Bible questions.

Let's start with BIBLE.  We teach Bible in everything we do, but we do use some curriculm and/or methods to do this.  The first method we use is Bible Copying. 
Deuteronomy 17:18-20
18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.
What is Bible Copying?  (EVERYONE does this, Kindergarten thru High school)

Here is a  link to information on Copying the Bible.  Basically, we follow the method presented by this family.  A student sits and copies the Bible word for word, letter for letter.  It is to be exact and done diligently.   But, we do a variation of what the Klein family does.
Here is how we do it in simplified steps:
We started copying at Genesis last year, but this year we skipped to Psalms, the older students actually copy a chapter from Psalms in the morning, and a chapter from Genesis in the afternoon.  If you think the Old Testament will be hard for your student to copy and comprehend then start in an easier book, but once they start a book have them complete that book. 

Step One: Read complete chapter to self.
Step two: Draw a picture of chapter.
  (currently I use these Notgrass Draw to Learn, but I am saving to buy Picture Smart Bible)

Step Three: Copy the chapter word for word, punctuation for punctuation.

Step Four: Have it checked by sibling or parent.

Step Five: Make any necessary corrections.

Step Six: Write journal page on chapter in same book as drawing.

NOTE: I will give assignments for grammar and writing in relation to copy work. For example: if they are copying Psalms we will do some poetry assignments or even music/lyric writing for the journal assignment.

When and how long does it take?
All students are to copy from 9 am to 10 am daily. High school students are to complete two chapters of copy work a day. A typical chapter done right takes an hour. Therefore, a high school student must make another hour in the day to copy. Junior high students need to complete a minimum of one chapter a day. Elementary students that are reading and writing independently, usually around grade 4, are to copy a minimum of one chapter a week. Younger, beginning readers participate in group reading two to three times a week, and then draw a picture and copy one verse from the chapter read during group.
How this looks with young readers:

Step One: Leader (usually mom) reads chapter to group and discusses it.

Step Two: Using divided copy books, students draw a picture as assigned for the chapter.

Step Three: Student copies assigned verse from Bible, if not yet able to copy on own then leader copies it into the book and they either copy or trace it depending on ability.

Step Four: Student reads verse to leader.

The copying of God's Word is not just an exercise of the body and mind, but it is a way for the student to really focus on God's Word and put it on their heart.

What do you use for Bible/History Study?

I am a history lover.  I have lots of different history materials in our library.  But what we use daily
is the materials written by my dear friend Anne Elliot.  She is a gifted Bible/History teacher.  I have learned so much from her. 
These are her books that I currently use, I recommend these to anyone who wants a complete curriculum and doesn't want to make their own lesson plans.  Her materials are simple, easy, and Bible solid.  You can use them with one student or a dozen students all at the same time.  They rotate and give your child a solid foundation in God's Word.
Cover - From Ancient Times
Because I tend to have to make life hard, I actually write my own lesson plans.  We currently are going through the Bible chronologically. We are moving at our own pace. We are using Anne's books as our guide. But we are doing every chapter, verse, and word. So, I either write my own guide for books or use other peoples materials. Below are some materials we have used as supplements so far. Anne's curriculum has recommended supplements, I do not use them all. But I do use Christine Miller's  I recommend these books by Christine Miller for use with elementary students.  You can read them to them or you can have them read to you.  The Bible based stories are adapted, so we read them then compare them to the Bible.  This is a good way to teach you children to recognize and seek truth.

Below are links to other resources I have used as I teach Bible and History.
 Another resource I am currently using is from Heart of Wisdom called Ancient History: Adam to Messiah.   I just got it a few months ago, and am still reading and studying it myself, but plan to use it more as I go.  I will talk more about Heart of Wisdom when I do the post on Unit Studies.
added 5/13/13

How this looks at our house:

For every book of the Bible we study. I study it first. I look for the resources I think will best benefit us in our study. I then make a study guide. Some books take as little as two weeks, and others may take us months to get through. From 10 am to 11 am students are to work independently or sometimes in a group through the study guide. Study guide includes maps, journaling, Bible reading, word research, memory verses and more. Each student is to complete these assignments on their own even if they have to work on it for more than the allotted hour each day.
Sample of Joshua study guide. 

Then once a week in the evening (from 7:30-8:30 usually on Monday night) we have group. We review their assignments and we discuss the material. We work on our memory verse for the week together. Often, we listen to a message or teaching on the chapters covered, or read a group book study on it. Currently, we are listening to the radio show by Rabbi Jeremy on the book of Joshua.

When we first started our study through the Bible I had planned to teach my students in a four year rotating curriculum style.  I was going to teach Bible, History, and Science incorporating writing, literature, and grammar into the lessons.  I liked this idea of rotating through it every four years so the students repeated the materials at different grade levels before completing their home education.  But, once I got started in studying the Bible and preparing lessons, I felt it was necessary to not rush it.  Rather than hurry through lessons just to get them done, I want to focus in on the lessons and make sure the materials I am teaching are being learned.  So, we are still in year one of my lesson plans even though the calendar has moved us into year two. 

How do you hide God's WORD in your students hearts, and how does dad get involved if he works away from home all day?
These two issues are very important to us.  First, we believe that God's Word should be memorized and readily available to use in our everyday lives.  Second, we believe that dad is the head of the home and that he should lead the home spiritually.  This second issue has not always been easy for us, since Jeremy works all day at a job away from home.  One thing that we had to give up to make this work is extra activities in the evenings.  By not running around in the evenings we have time for dad to be involved in our lives at home.  Another thing we do is put our kids to bed later.  Since we don't have to get up to catch a bus or anything, we stay up late with dad and get up later if needed. 

This link shows the method of study Jeremy uses to teach us two times a week from God's Word.

We do this study on Tuesday and Thursday  nights. Everyone even the little ones do it.

How this Bible Time looks:
Everyone grabs their Bible, there Dad Bible study notebook, and their buddy and comes to the living room.  Little, little ones get a hand held white board and expo marker (under 4). 

Dad set's up the white board in front of the living room.

Dad recites a verse from the passage he is teaching from, then we repeat the verse back.   We do this several times.  Until we all have it memorized.  We then take turns saying the verse.  Then we recite all the verse we have memorized from the passage we are studying, so far.  Once we get to the verse of the day, dad continues to read the verses one line at a time, and we repeat the lines back to him until we have all said the complete passage.

Dad then writes the verse of the day on the white board and teaches on that one verse. 

Then he draws a picture under the verse to help us remember the meaning of the verse. 

We all copy the verse and the picture into our notebooks.

A few examples of passages we have studied:  Isaiah 53, Matthew 5:1-12, and Ephesians 6:10-24.
That's basically our Bible plan.  Next week, I will share how I teach my kids to read, especially how I, a dyslexic teacher,  teach my dyslexic students.  Blessings.

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