Saturday, September 7, 2013

Here is your information overload.

      A few posts back I said I would begin answering questions on my blog that were emailed to me. Sarahbeth.sparkle@gmail.com
Well, I did receive a few questions. However, they were so personal in nature I didn't wish to publish the answer. So, keep the questions coming and I'll do my best to answer.  If the person asking wishes me to write an answer publicly I will. 

I received a great response to my last post. In this entry I'd like to tell you all of a few of the resources that I've found. I'm not perfect, and fail at many things, but I try to do my best, and pray Gods mercy will fill up my great lack of...everything. 

I hope that these help you and inspire you to try to learn more and teach more. 

First, there is an amazing blog, hands on bible teacher, that is full of amazing ideas and methods. I HIGHLY recommend this. Another good site is currclick.com. It is full of great print outs (some free, some not) and some lesson plans.  

       I have also had great luck with lap books. If you aren't sure what they are, please "google it". It is a LOT of fun for kids. I google bible themed lap book ideas and get a ton of information. 

      If you are looking for a traditional curriculum, I also have a few recommendations. We have used Christian light publications. It is very thorough and accurate. I learned a lot going through it with my kids. 
       
        Rod and staff publishers also have good stuff. They are very conservative in their views, and most of the illustrations depict Amish and Mennonite if that gives you a gauge. It is good stuff though. Lots of pure bible information, especially Old Testament. 
       
          
       I really really enjoy finding curriculum and putting it together into lessons. If you too, are demented like that, you can find all kids of random information online that you can put together yourself bit by bit. I sadly don't always have the time that I want for it. 

         One of my favorite bibles for kids to use (and even adults if you need to brush up on your bible stories) is the Action bible. It's a giant comic book that is very accurate with its stories, in my opinion. It is great to sit down as a family and go though it story by story. Who doesn't like comics? You, in the back, put your hand down. 

          What I do not recommend doing with kids is reading straight through a bible. I mean, it's all pretty interesting until you get to numbers. Even most adults stall out Numbers. It's like reading the never ending story problem. Don't do it. You as an adult, I believe, should read the Bible cover to cover. When you do this (trudging through the book of numbers) you get a better sense of the completion of the bible and how it is so intricately connected from start to finish. 

       Right now with my own kids, I'm doing something with them together and separately. My 11 yr old is assigned a daily devo to read and write in a prayer journal about. My 7 yr old is working on memorizing the books of the Old Testament and praying. Together we work on memory verses. We are also going through the major stories in the bible right now. They learn  different things from the stories, even though we do the same story. For example, we are going through the story of creation. My son is working on memorizing what was created on what days with little projects and worksheets. My daughter is looking at it from a creation vs evolution prospective and digging deeper. 

        Now, allow me to give a disclaimer here. I want not a soul to think I've got this all figured out and do it perfectly. If you envision us all getting up at dawn with cups of hot tea sitting at desks studying hard as we are all dressed like we are going to church, you are so very very wrong. Allow me to paint you a more accurate picture. It is 11 am and My son, still in his underwear, is crashing matchbox cars on the floor while I try to read the bible lesson. I tell him to focus, and he laments. So I let him continue, as long as he can tell me what I've just said (which he always can and it drives me nuts. But he learns while moving, I think). My daughter is laying sprawled on the couch chewing gum and doodling. We try to say a prayer and the dogs suddenly think its time to play, which cracks the kids up and they start giggling. Some days I feel like they learned nothing and others I feel like they are hanging on my every word. I feel that that is why we do more than just read. We do worksheets and projects too. We also hang charts and draw pictures. For those days when the story seems to float over them like a cloud, it helps the information to stick.

          Finally, don't hold yourself back. If you feel like you need to know more before you teach your kids, don't. Learn together. Let them see you making discoveries in a Gods word, so that they can be eager to make their own. 


           

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