Here’s what we are doing for our 2019 Homeschool Bible Reading!
You all know I love children’s books, it’s one of the most popular things I share on the blog and over on Facebook. I love that children’s books can open up conversations about real life issues and tell beautiful gospel-rich stories that we can then think about and discuss.
However, I recently felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my kids to give them a survey of the whole Bible.
So (in classic homeschool mom style), I immediately started googling and was quickly researching Bible curricula, some of which look amazing and I will probably use in the future but were so in-depth that it would take years to get through the entire Bible (in addition to costing hundreds of dollars per kid).
Instead of doing that, I decided to put together a simple plan that would get us through one year of all the history and stories of the Bible and works for all ages in my house (currently ages 3 to 8).
There are four components, one of each to:
And these are four resources we will use over and over in a variety of settings in the future.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
While we are still early on in our plan, I am really liking this and wanted to share as quickly as possible with you! I plan to come back and update this post as we progress.
I tried to include as many links as possible to make it easy for you to find the materials and in some cases, even have the opportunity to try them out before purchasing.
Cover The Bible in a Year - Simple Elementary Age Plan Details
1) Read one chapter per day from The Child’s Story Bible.
I haven’t read all of this book yet (part of the reason we are working through it now), but it comes highly recommended from other Reformed homeschooling moms I respect.
The writing is beautiful and engaging. It is Biblically accurate and covers much more detail than most story Bibles. The author often points to Jesus in the Old Testament and explains concepts with great theological depth. I don’t know if it’s just a maturity issue or the way this book explains things, but my 5 year old is asking amazing questions each day after (and of course sometimes in the middle of) reading a story!
There are a total of 202 chapters in this book. This serves as our guide and main resource for our year long plan. As we finish sections here we will check in with the next three resources. This book just sits on our kitchen table and we read one chapter at breakfast each morning. A “typical” school year contains 180 days but in a calendar year there are 261 weekdays. This makes the 202 chapters seem very achievable with enough grace built into the year that you don’t have to do catch up if you skip days for vacations and field trip days.
2) As stories are covered, color the corresponding timeline piece from the Big Picture Bible Timeline.
I wanted a visual reminder of what we’ve read, while it does not match up exactly, I like that this timeline still does cover a lot of content.
There are 111 Old Testament timeline pieces and 39 New Testament pieces. Each timeline piece contains a Scripture reference so it should be easy to match up and if a story isn’t covered for some reason, we can just read it from the Bible.
A word of warning, if you use it as is from the book, it will be 62 feet long! I chose to copy them on my printer to reduce the size by 50% which seems much more feasible to hang up in our Play/Homeschool Room. As a bonus, I can also use the originals again in the future if we do a different project with them. The book itself has many suggestions for use such as playing a matching game, scrambling the pieces and then putting them in order, finding which piece is missing, or just using them as coloring pages.
3) As the same stories are covered, listen to the audio from The Jesus Storybook Bible.
We’ve read The Jesus Storybook Bible so many times and we still don’t want to stop! In our first copy, pages started coming out so I had to buy a replacement. For this project, I thought as we were diving into Scripture a little deeper, it would be good to still re-visit our favorite Christ-Centered storybook as well, so we will listen to the audio version just to mix it up. When appropriate (meaning when we are listening at home and not in the car), I plan on having my five year old read along with the audio as he is learning to read.
Depending on what services/apps you use, you can grab this from Audible (no subscription required to purchase it, I did this years ago and we’ve listened to it many times) or Scribd (I really love this app for both children’s audiobooks as well as books for myself and you can get a free two-month trial here).
4) As a review of major book divisions, watch an episode of “Buck Denver asks… What’s in the Bible?”
This is about 13 hours of shows covering the whole Bible, diving into what it means and covering lots of material!
If you’ve never heard of the series before, you probably want to go read this Gospel Coalition article, which is an interview with Phil Vischer where he says he was influenced for the creation of this by the ESV Study Bible and Tim Keller’s sermons among a few other things.
In that article, he also shares some of his regrets of his previous show creation (the very popular Veggie Tales) and says, “A profound thought hit me: Had I just spent 10 years trying to get kids to behave “Christianly” without actually teaching them Christianity?”
The breakdown for each of the 1-hour shows is as follows:
You can get these shows a few different ways:
You can preview (and watch) them all for free on JellyTelly by signing up for a free trial of their streaming service here. You can then decide if you want to continue with the subscription to access all the shows in the future.
You can also purchase (or rent) them digitally if you prefer to have copies online and not worry about DVDs.
I am really looking forward to doing this with my kids and have already benefited from just the first week!
Let me know if you’re going to try it too!
If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below or contact me.