If you've never considered Bible as curriculum vs. Bible as life, I encourage you to read today's post by Suzette, a former classroom teacher, with an open mind. How we teach the Bible to our children (whether homeschooling or not) will have a lasting impact on their lives!
As a 4th and then 5th grade teacher at a Christian school for 10 years, Bible was our first subject of the day. Through it my students became aware of many of the Bible accounts throughout the Old and New Testaments, memorized verses, and used the weekly verses as copy work.
As our year moved along, I was able to go back to what we had already learned to apply biblical lessons to teachable moments that would come up throughout our day.
Having Bible as a subject in our classroom was very important because a few of our kids were coming from unbelieving homes, and the exposure they received to the Bible in the classroom was the only exposure they got.
When I became a homeschooling mom, my first instinct was to have Bible as a subject, too. It is what I had always done, it was what was required when I was being homeschooled, and most curriculums have it as a required course.
Then I stopped.
I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. (And if you choose to have Bible as a subject, I am in no way condemning you or trying to change your mind.)
I felt that by having Bible as a subject in our homeschool, it could eventually be looked at as a chore. I did not want my children compartmentalizing God's Word and Christianity to a subject we do 5 days a week and can put away when we have crossed it off our list of things to do for the school day.
God's Word is more than a subject.
It is a guide to a way of life that pleases Him, brings blessings, and helps us make choices that will determine the path our life will take.
It is a personal love letter from an Almighty God to His people.
It is a Book of adventure, battles, beautiful romance, and the ultimate act of true love.
It has the answers to the questions in our every day lives.
It has accounts of people facing situations that are similar to ours and guidance on how to address those situations.
God's Word is a way of life.
When a new movie comes out, we gauge if we are going to see it based on what God's Word says.
When we are going to read a book, we see if it aligns to what the Bible says.
When Brother and Sister are not playing nicely, they are reminded that God's Word says it is pleasant when brothers dwell together in unity.
Daily, personal time with God first thing in the morning is how we have Bible. Each child has an age/reading level appropriate Bible.
Most evenings (Wednesday nights are difficult because we are coming home late from church), we have family devotions.
When our daughter brings up a 5 year old sized problem (Sunday school friends not getting along or taking about something they shouldn't), we take the time to show her what God's Word says.
As far as our schooling is concerned, my goal has been to apply God's word to each subject. I want them to see that God's Word applies to every area of our lives and everything we do, school and outside of school.
In history, we are learning ancient history and we are seeing how the ancient civilizations fit into the history timeline of the Bible and how characters in ancient history affected the Israelites (Cyrus was our favorite lesson so far).
Math is a reflection of God's “absoluteness.” Math is not abstract. It is not relative. 2+2 will always be 4, and God and His truth will always be right.
Science teaches us the magnificence of God's creation and his creativity (animals) and brilliant design (human body) and how infinite He is (space).
Reading allows us to read God's Word and other great books of literature which have great lessons for us to learn.
Grammar gives us the ability to use words in a way that will edify others.
Before a test, we pray and ask God to help us remember what we have learned and ask for His help in doing our best.
Throughout the week, we review our Sunday school lessons and our Awana handbook and memorize our verses, but this usually happens at bedtime.
The verses my mother used while raising us were Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The grade we received in our Bible course was important (because she required our very best in everything we did) but not nearly as important as living out what God's Word said on a daily basis.
In the end, when my children are walking across the podium as they receive their high school diplomas, my goal is to see champions for Christ who have learned to apply God's Word to every aspect of their lives.
Suzette Ladouceur and her husband Brian will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this summer. They have two children- Addie (turning 6 at the end of the month) and Ian (2). You can read more about Suzette and what God teaches her in the everyday moments of marriage, motherhood, and life at The Joy of Homemaking.