There are many different ways you can help your children dig into God’s Word. One method we have enjoyed in our family is using bible journals.
Our method of bible journaling incorporates personal introspection, family discussion, memorization and even academic skills.
These are the sections we work on with each verse:
– reading comprehension
I have found that doing bible journal time first thing after breakfast is most effective. We all sit together around the table, and after prayer I read the verse for the day, sometimes adding extra verses for context.
Next I dictate the verse slowly, while the children write it in their journals. Dictation is an excellent exercise for developing listening skills as well as a rudimentary sense of grammar. At times I have used the King James Version to help the children become used to more difficult language. I believe this has been instrumental in preparing them to willingly read challenging works at young ages.
After the dictation portion of our bible time, we turn to silent writing time, when we each journal about what we think the verse means. I encourage the children to ask themselves hard questions, and to be honest when they are unsure.
When everyone has finished writing, we share what we have written and discuss the verse. This is the time when we take God’s Word and really apply it to the nitty gritty of daily life. It is a great opportunity to see how each of the children is growing in understanding, and also highlights areas we need to address further. Our discussions are sometimes very short, and sometimes last for a long time as we pull in other resources to answer questions, or have hearty theological debates.
Lastly we work on memorization. We have found over the years that repeating a verse ten times out loud really helps us get it fixed in our heads. Each verse almost becomes a mini song as we repeat it. After our repetitions we take turns going around in a circle, each saying the verse on our own without looking at the words.
I enjoy looking back at old bible journals. They are almost like diaries of our spiritual journeys. And I treasure those hours around the table with my children. As they steadily grow up and away into adulthood, I am more and more aware of what a precious time childhood is in a family. A strong foundation of love and God’s Word prepares them for the unknowns and challenges of adulthood in a way that little else can.