When I first implemented Bible reading in our morning school routine, I figured we’d have a 15-20 minute devotion and move on to science, math, or whatever I had planned. I never anticipated the discussions we’d have, or the other subjects we’d skip, in favor of asking and answering question after question regarding the Scripture I’d read. One of my kids’ favorite things to do is to sit around and discuss the Bible with me and my husband. I always imagined we’d one day do this, but I figured they’d all be teenagers before they wanted to chat about “grown up stuff” with Mom and Dad. The truth is, the Bible is for all ages and we don’t necessarily need cutesy songs with motions to get our kids interested. (Although I’m all in favor of a few rounds of “Deep and Wide” every now and then).
One thing my husband and I like to do with the family Bible studies we plan ( I do mornings, he does nights) is to pick a theme and come up with creative things to help the kids remember the Bible truth along with other facts. We’re all history buffs and I often like to tie our lesson in with something from history. BrainyHistory.com has a historical event calendar that is really useful. If you get creative enough, you can fit several subjects into the lesson plan and make it a fun break from the usual schedule.
For instance, I recently set up a Titanic Tea Party for the kids. I had them all get dressed up in their finest costumes and gave each of them an invitation. They came upstairs and each received a flash card with a picture of a historical Titanic passenger on one side and a short biography on the back. They took turns introducing themselves as the character, then I taught a Bible-based lesson that included each person. We used the Titanic story to talk about issues like pride, responsibility, and priorities.
You could very easily put together your own lessons based on any day of the year. Here are some ideas for just one random day in April. All of these events happened on April 18th of the given year.
- 1521: Martin Luther is called before the Parliament in Worms and told to recant his teachings. He refuses. Theology aside, this is a major turning point for modern religion.
- 1775: Paul Revere and William Dawes warn, “The British are coming!” There’s a lot to be done here with bravery or loyalty.
- 1834: Charles Darwin sailed to Rio Santa Cruz on the Patagonia. This trip was key to the development of some of his views on geology that are contrary to the Bible. Creation.com has some great information on this event.
- 1838: Wilkes’s expedition to the South Pole sails. From what I’ve read on him, he seems to have been an arrogant man who accomplished great things but sometimes did it at the expense of others.
- 1868: San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formed. A lesson could be taught on how God gave us dominion over all the earth and our responsibilities toward it.
For fun activities, you could incorporate something from April 18th of one of these years:
- 1924: This was the year the first crossword puzzle book was published. Teach your kids how to make a crossword puzzle with names or vocabulary terms from your study.
- 1934: The first “washateria” or laundromat opened in Ft. Worth, TX. You can celebrate by having them get your laundry caught up!
- 1955: The first “walk” and “don’t walk” lighted street signs were installed. You could play “Red Light, Green Light.”
- 1975: John Lennon released “Stand By Me,” which was based on Psalm 46:2-3. It can easily be adapted from “darlin'” to “Jesus.”
I think it’s fun to go through a day-in-history list and see how many events I can put together for a unique lesson.
Does your family enjoy history? What kinds of creative ideas have you found to incorporate historical events with Biblical lessons?