Monday, March 22, 2010

Putting Scripture in Our Children's Hearts

Although I'm not planning on using a religious based curriculum (mainly because I want to make sure my children are taught what our family believes, not someone else's interpretation), it is important to me that our children are exposed to Bible stories in our home.  I think this is important not only for their spiritual upbringing, but to also be exposed to great stories with flawed heroes and heroines who have to deal with real problems.  Whether the people rely on God or not is their choice, and we get to see the outcome of their actions.

Charlotte Mason wrote: “Now our objective in this most important part of education is to give the children the knowledge of God. We need not go into the question of intuitive knowledge, but the expressed knowledge attainable by us has its source in the Bible, and perhaps we cannot do a greater indignity to children than to substitute our own or some other benevolent person’s rendering for the fine English, poetic diction and lucid statement of the Bible. Literature at its best is always direct and simple and a normal child of six listens with delight to the tales both of Old and New Testament read to him passage by passage…” (CMSG, p. 99)

I think Miss Mason makes an excellent point in that somewhere along the road we thought we had to dumb down Bible stories for kids to understand them. I have found that is clearly not the case.  I don't plan on reading from the King James version (I know some people do and more power to them!) because I find the language difficult to follow myself, but I think reading from several translations of the Bible will be helpful to their vocabulary and their long term language skills.

During the 2010-2011 school year, I'm going to use Penny Gardner's Highlights from the Old Testament and Highlights from the New Testament lists for daily episodic Bible reading.  I'm not exactly sure if we'll do one from the O.T. and one from the N.T. or just do one a day chronologically or alternate O.T. and N.T.  I guess we'll have to see how it goes when the time comes.  I'm hoping that this daily reading will help make God an important part of their daily routine and help them learn about the Bible in the context of history.

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