I am finally happy with the Bible lessons we're doing. For a while, I was hit-and-miss with different devotional-type books and mostly just resorted to reading from the kids' favorite Bible story book. Not that there is anything wrong with reading the Bible stories. It's just that they had heard them many times, and I wanted something just a little deeper for them. But also not something long and boring. The Bible, of all things, should not be boring, and while Miah and Larkin can listen to me reading for quite some time, Zahana and Rohan can't. I like to begin the day with The Most Important Thing - Bible reading and prayer, but all too often, I was beginning the day with a lot of "Sit down, and be quiet!" Not a good way to instill the love of God's Word in children. Which is the reason for the quick Bible stories. Over and over. Also, I felt that Miah really needed something more visual and hands-on to truly understand.
So, here's what we do.
-Review previous Bible verse(s). These come from the below book. They are very short and always very meaningful. I usually make up a little tune to sing the verse to, which makes it a lot easier for the kids to remember. I love hearing them sing their Bible verses at various times throughout the day. And just in case you think this makes me musical, I'm NOT. Believe me, I'm not musically inclined. The tunes come from other songs sometimes, and other times I just can't figure it out, so we only say the verse.
-Read a lesson from Leading Little Ones to God. I don't do the question, hymn, and prayer sections. Only the story and verse.
-Learn the new verse presented in the lesson.
-Pray. Something appropriate to the lesson and short. Sometimes the kids. SOmetimes it's just me.
-Practice the verse from the previous day. During this time, I don't try to review past verses.
-In the book, part of a Bible story will be incorporated into the lesson. I read this story from the actual Bible on the second day.
-Practice the verse.
-Ask the kids what they remember about the story. I clarify any foggy points.
-Send them to set up/tell the Bible story with Bible felts. Since I like to do everything as free or cheap as possible, this was a big purchase for me. But it was also very important to me. Plus I found a good deal. Asking Miah to narrate a story is like pulling teeth, tears included. Asking her questions about the story usually gets me an "I don't know." Giving her beautiful felt characters, animals, and props gets me the whole story, well told. I can see that she knows what's going on. And she can too. She can do this with confidence and enjoys it. Of course, Larkin loves it too. They both like to use the felts in their play time.
Then we repeat. There are times when the story is too abstract to warrant the use of the felts, in which case, we skip day three and go back to day one.
There is another little book I used maybe three years ago that we all really liked. Little Hearts For Jesus is full of activities for toddlers and preschoolers to learn about God. (The link is for a preview of the book.)
"Children . . . come into the world with many relations waiting to be established; relations with places far and near, with the wide universe, with the past of history, with the social economics of the present, with the earth they live on and all its delightful progeny of beast and bird, plant and tree; with the sweet human affinities they entered into at birth; with their own country and other countries, and, Above all, with that most sublime of human relationships - their relation to God." -Charlotte Mason
"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little." Isaiah 28:10