So, if you've been waiting to see some ideas for older kids, here you go!
A big thing I've come to believe about children is that they can learn a whole lot more than we often give them credit for.
My husband, sister Bekah and I lead the 3rd through 6th grade Awana group at our church on Wednesday nights. Awana is a program designed to help kids memorize Scripture. A portion of every evening is called Council Time where we either study God's Word or learn about missions. This year, as I was deciding what I would teach, I pondered what I wish I would have known when I was their age. I came up with a few ideas and plan to develop or find curriculum units that I can teach over the next couple of years.
One of the things that I wish I had understood at an early age was how the Bible all fits together. It can be a confusing and overwhelming book, especially to children. I remember one child I worked with jumbling the timeline of the Bible so much that he thought Jesus and Noah were contemporaries. :)
I grew up in an amazing Christian home where the Bible was taught, but sometimes I wasn't much better. I viewed it as 66 separate books divided even further by separate stories within those books. I didn't see the big picture. In fact, it wasn't until into my college years and even further on into early-adulthood, that I began to see the unity of God's Word. And the unity is not just an academic thing. This unity of Scripture points us straight to Christ. Seeing it as such helps us to strengthen our relationship with him and deepen our understanding of the God we serve.
Enter God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts.
My husband attended a Sunday School class this past quarter at our church based on this book. As I looked through it, it caught my eye for several reasons. 1) It is focused on exactly what I talked about above... how God's Word is actually ONE book pointing us to Christ. 2) It is pretty simply laid out and fairly easy to read. 3) It references a lot of specific Bible stories that a lot of kids learn at an early age. This will help them relate and then build on the knowledge they already have.
The more I thought about it, the more excited I got. SO, this year we're going through God's Big Picture with our 3rd-6th graders! We will, of course, be adapting the material and making it a little easier to understand, as well as, be providing some hands-on activities, visuals and worksheets to reinforce the lessons, but I could not be more thrilled to be starting this study with them!
Tomorrow I'll post a review of our first lesson with printable lesson plans and worksheets! If you have an older elementary child (or even a middle-schooler), this might be something you'd be interested in tackling with them. I'll give a basic overview of the material here, but I strongly suggest getting the book and reading it for yourself so that you have a better grasp on what you're trying to teach your child(ren).
I promise, the material really is interesting and it really is foundational in its content. It could make a world of difference in how your child understands the Bible for the rest of their life!
If you're interested in the lessons from this curriculum, go to our "More Ideas" page and scroll down to God's Big Picture Curriculum.
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