Well, today, the little boys (Sammy, Gideon, and Joshie) were having our morning school time, and we were reading Proverbs 4. Our older kids, for many years, have tried reading a chapter of Proverbs a day (as it has 31 chapters). We haven't done that with our little guys, but today, that is what we read.
Anyway, in introducing Proverbs to the boys, I pointed out how Proverbs was really written to children (especially sons), and how children need so much teaching from their parents.
Our ducklings, when they hatched, needed NO instruction. They are wired to stick near their mommy, with no need for reminders. But children (at least once they become conscious of themselves and have some mobility) do need instruction. Especially when they are young.
God did not give ducks the Bible. They don't have need for it. But God gave us the Bible, because we need it.
For our Bible timeline reading, we have gotten through the Tabernacle, the layout of the camp of Israel (around the Tabernacle), the Levites' "chore packs", and the rules for Nazarites. We have a notebook for this time, and we write down things that seem good to remember out of our lesson. We mapped the camp layouts, learning about north, south, east and west, the compass, and discussing which directions various friends live in (north is Rhinelander, south is Mexico and Texas, west is California and the Hansen family, east is the Amish community where we do a lot of shopping).
Since Sammy is learning to read, we pick out certain words and learn about letter sounds. We did ox and oxen, and then fox, lox, pox, etc. Sammy is not reading through the text, but I read it and pause to define things. So, he is always learning and he is learning to LISTEN to what I read. Gideon is too. He really got into the laws for the Nazarites. What an awesome "early childhood education" the Bible is!
Anyway, the subject of oxen came up, because the princes of the twelve tribes all brought gifts of covered wagons and oxen. There were twelve princes, and one ox given by each prince, and two princes gave a wagon each. So this was a good math lesson for the boys.
We also had to explain how you have "one ox and two oxen". But then you have foxes and boxes. English is such a mess! So, we discussed how it was the result of the Tower of Babel!
We are seeing how we cannot "teach it all", but we can "always be teaching". There is just so much to teach our children, and we really can do it all day long. A classroom is one method, but it is so artificial. Ben even showed me an ad in a (Christian) magazine that said "Where life and the classroom meet." (College!)
Anyway, we have learned that we don't really have to make the Bible exciting and entertaining. Kids will learn to love what we love. The little boys always ask to have "school" and they know it's the Bible and they are ready to hear what it's got for them for the day. They never ask for pictures or puppets or videos. (I don't have to use any of the techniques I needed when teaching children's church classes for 10 years.)
Sammy has a large print Bible, and I took post it notes and made printed titles and icons for different stories, so he can find the page for "Time line" or "Jonah" or "Noah" or the story of "Samuel", etc. So he's learning his way around the Bible in more ways than one.
The notebook has simple pictures that jog his memory about things we have covered. Noah (7) and Susanna (almost 9) had been doing Bible copy during this time I work with the little boys, but they are now included in the Bible lesson with Sammy and Giddy, and they are starting their own notebook. Zak stuck up a scrap of white board in my bedroom, so I can make the illustration and they can all copy it in their notebooks.
Anyway, we are enjoying our time with teaching our little ones. We are always learning!
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