Since my children were born, my husband and I have prayed with them each night before bed and have included God in our conversation and daily activities, but my son is now two and very into books and stories and seems extra interested in learning about God and the Bible. So—it’s time to dive in and start teaching!
In my “outside the home” life I teach Christian Education courses to college students. Over the past several years it is remarkable to note how many Christian college students really have only a basic understanding of the Bible. A few (wanting to go into ministry) really have not been taught the Bible. It is much harder to know where to start with college students, but at home with Sawyer, we are starting with popular Bible stories and some select Bible memory verses. I feel a deep calling to help my children understand who God is and how He has worked throughout time to reveal himself to us and show us His love. Hopefully when Sawyer gets to college, he will have a deep, meaningful understanding of Scripture—not just Sunday School answers.
Where to begin….well, we are on a pretty tight budget with me reducing my work load (and pay) beginning this July to stay home with the kiddos. So even though this is probably the most important investment of my life, it has to be done without breaking the bank! We started with what we already have on hand.
We were given a storybook on Jonah (with GREAT pictures), so we started with Jonah! Here are the three big ideas we developed from the story:
- God wants us to obey even when we don’t want to.
- Sometimes, God goes to great effort to get our attention so we learn to obey Him.
- God is a God of second chances. He is loving and forgiving–even when we are not!
We took a week of our life to focus on the story of Jonah. It really is awesome to teach a Bible story to a child who has never heard the story before! I have found it even rejuvenates my own faith. Throughout the week, I developed several activities related to the story that Sawyer could participate in and integrated the big ideas above into our conversations.
Here are some of the activities we did together:
- We read the story out of our storybook several times. In addition, I talked to Sawyer about how the story of Jonah is in the Bible and asked him if he wanted me to show him in mommy’s Bible. He got very excited about this. After Sawyer was pretty familiar with the story, my husband read him parts of Jonah from Scripture.
- We found ways to act out the major events of the story using props from around the house. At one point, I was the whale and I swallowed “Jonah” (Sawyer) by putting his head under my sweater. He LOVED this game! After that, he found tons of ways to be swallowed by the whale–a clothes hamper, blankets—you name it! We also acted like the boat. I was the boat and i rocked him back and forth while making stormy noises before throwing him out of the “boat.”
- We learned a song about Jonah and sang it throughout the week.
- I showed him some pictures from the internet from different versions of the story.
- I let him watch the veggie tales video on Jonah (though it was a LOT longer than I had anticipated—didn’t veggie tales used to be 30 minutes? you know….sweet and sour….half and hour….veggie tales.)
We are tackling the creation story next. I have been collecting ideas all week. Can’t wait to have a great time explaining how God is the source of life!