Where to Go Next With Our Bible lessons?
We still have a couple months’ worth of Bible lessons to get through for the ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum, but I know the end is going to sneak up up on me more quickly than I would like. So for the past few weeks I’ve been searching and praying for the right path for our family to take when it comes to Bible teaching once that time is here. A few thoughts:
We don’t use the majority of the material in the lessons from ABC Jesus Loves Me. It’s not that they’re not wonderful. On the contrary, I think they are amazing, and I’m so blessed by Heidi’s willingness to share all her hours and hours of hard with us for free! I just choose to focus on Bible and let most of the other stuff happen in its own time. The main thing I utilize the curriculum for is the suggested activities to enhance our time with each Bible story. Those suggestions have led me to many wonderful resources which have made it easier to plan lessons around stories not in the ABCJLM-3YO scope and sequence.
That leads me to ask myself, if I can plan my own lessons, do I really need someone else’s curriculum? Well, no. I tend to tweak any curriculum I get to suit our needs (one reason I’m not willing to pay big bucks for something all laid out). Still, it’s helpful to have something there to provide a basic framework and provide ideas. So then I start thinking about the big picture.
I think eventually I’d like to help my kids develop habits of both reading the Bible daily (maybe going through it once a year) and devoting time to in-depth study of the Bible at a slower pace. But that’s still a few years off, so I find myself torn between reading something new every day or taking our time and spending a whole week on a story as we’ve been doing. I see positives to both approaches. I want to try to include Elijah more so a slower, focused approach (like we’ve been doing) might be better. I started doing Bible lessons when Ian turned 3, and Elijah will be 3 in the fall.
My next dilemma is what sort of framework I want: chronological or topical? I tend to lean towards the former, both in my personal devotions and with my lessons for the kids. But that means spending a long time on all those fabulous Old Testament stories, which leaves me missing Jesus for a big chunk of the year. And I’ve found a number of programs I like that are more topical that I don’t want to just dismiss without due consideration. Broaden your mind, Deanna! Think outside your little box!
Here are some of the ideas I’m tossing around for where to go from here (all would just be spines; I plan to pretty much do my own thing no matter what I choose):
- ABC Jesus Loves Me 4-Year Old Curriculum Bible portion (topical, based on character traits)
- Bible and Rhyme from Hubbard’s Cupboard (chronological; pretty even split between OT/NT)
- “Little Ones” Calvary Curriculum (could do chronologically or according to their schedule, which alternates OT/NT)
- My ABC Bible Verses (topical, based on Bible verses, using ABC as framework; would require more planning)
- Long Story Short devotional book (OT only, but a companion NT book to be released. Would be a LONG time on OT. I’ve actually already purchased this because I’m excited to use it in the future–just not sure if now is the right time.)
- Fruit of the Spirit (I’ve found a few good online resources for spending time on each “fruit” with preschoolers); could use this for Bible “study” and read through at a faster pace for devotions; could lead into character trait focus to finish out the year
- OR… do I just write my own outline. Once it’s done it could be just as useful as most of these since I don’t plan on following any of them to the letter.
So why am I processing all this “out loud” with you? Well, for one, it just helps me clarify my thoughts to put them down in writing. But my main reason for sharing my thought process is because I’d love feedback. What have you used? What have you considered? What factors have I NOT considered but should? My oldest child is only four, so I’ve still got a lot to figure out (and thankfully a lot of time in which to do so!) Input! I need input!