"Now the Berean Jews... received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11
Our goal is to read the Bible as a family every morning before we begin the rest of our academic work. I'll admit that we sometimes don't accomplish this if we are rushing to get to co-op on time or make some other appointment. Still, it is a habit we constantly come back to as part of our daily routine.
Here is a short video of how we take turns reading the Bible aloud. You might notice we are not reading a Bible storybook, but the actual Bible. Some of the younger children read from the NIRV since it has simpler words, my Bible is a NASV, and the older kids have NIV, but we all follow along together, and we read at least a chapter at a time. (Our 10yo has requested a King James Version Bible for Christmas, since she wants to read a "more intelligent" version.)
Even though the words are not identical in each version, all the children have become accustomed to realizing that several words can mean the same thing. The children's version might say Jesus "walked," while another version will say he "traveled."
Once in a while, a reader might have to ask, "Where are we?" and someone will tell them which verse was just read. I believe this is excellent practice for reading comprehension, oral reading skills, vocabulary building, and more.
But most importantly, I love this daily Bible reading habit because we are stressing the importance of examining the scriptures for ourselves. We have told our children many times that we love Dr. So and So who is bringing the message to us, and we believe he would never intentionally mislead us, but it is our responsibility to examine for ourselves to see if what he says is true.
This has caused our kids to know much about what is actually in the Bible and what are common misconceptions about Biblical teachings.
It has also brought about many difficult conversations.
Like, "If God is loving, why did He do that? That doesn't seem loving."
We try to answer to the best of our abilities. Sometimes the answer is to remind our children that just like parents know what is best for their children, even if the children don't like it at the time, God knows what is best for us even if we don't understand or agree.
And sometimes the answer is we simply don't know, but we are looking forward to finding out one day.
Entire religious structures have been built upon what a single man or several men have told the people what God expects of them. And sometimes the people simply trust and do not look for themselves.
We don't want our children to ever be deceived by false teachings, but to be in the habit of examining the scriptures daily for themselves.
- See how our children journal about what they read with the S.O.A.P. Bible study method.
- See a 30 day Bible study for kids on controlling the tongue.