Friday, May 28, 2010

Scripture Study For Little People

I look back now at how we approached daily scripture study with the older 3 kids and groan. Every morning we would sit at the table and DO scripture study. Everyone would read 4 verses as quickly as possible (they learnt to read really quickly using this method) followed with family prayer and off we'd go with a tick in the mental box for obligation done. On a good day we might initiate some conversation in regard to that scripture block, then add an extra tick to the mental box as a highly successful morning.
It wasn't that we didn't love the Scriptures or teaching our children it was just other things like the baby #4 needed a nappy change or baby #5 needed feeding or babies 4,5 &6 were, shall we say chasing away the spirit in a way only possible by a screaming... I don't even know what being reverent means type way!!! I know you know what I am saying here.
Well after 21 years of parenting I'm not sure we have mastered it but I have definitely changed our approach. I now look at it the same as I do science, history or language arts. If you just hand your little people a textbook of those subjects and say read it, some might but not mine. I have to make it come alive the same way I do for the other subjects I teach them. Scripture reading is now a totally hands on subject now. It receives equal preparation time on my behalf as the other subjects and has actually moved up in the children's mind as one of the favorites of the day.

How We Do It
Well our day is structured as we're a family that requires structure. Spontaneity is not what we would be known for so after food, morning chores & hygiene are taken care of the day begins.

Circle Time
We have a special 'circle mat', symbolic really that the school day is beginning. We start with news time, show & tell, funny facts or just anything that you would like to share with the family because you get the floor & our full attention for whatever you like.
This is an important part of our day. We sing, have opening prayer then comes Scripture study. Of course we use the Book of Mormon but as a companion to that we use Scriture Study for Latter-Day Saint Families. This book is by far my favorite. It breaks scripture blocks down into bite size pieces and gives you hands on ideas or opportunities to examine a topic relevant to our everyday life in a way the kids understand. The book gives you enough information for you to extend it further if you want more hands on ideas for a particular topic. It's an amazing book for ALL ages. I just couldn't recommend it enough This is the page we are up to so you can have a look at how it works.
I also use Discover the Scriptures Another fantastic teaching aid. I use the pages from this in the girls workbox's during the day just to re enforce what we have learnt that morning. If you click on the link I have provided, sample pages are available for you to explore yourself.
Both of these programs alone are fantastic but for us the two together has just strengthen our knowledge and our love of the gospel. So gone are the days of "just hurry up and read would you!" We love scripture study now and it's definitely a highlight of our day.
After we finish scripture study we then have Ukulele lessons at home by Mike Jackson. That is a whole other blog, so stay tune for that one. It's a blast!!!!


Melody said...

I love your idea of circle time Donna.

Your post also made me think that if you really put some time and energy into scripture study then it doesn't have to be 'separate' from the academics.

For instance, if you write in your journals about what you discussed, then that's also the writing lesson over for the day. If you copy a verse down, then that could be grammar (throw in a few instructions about sentence structure lol). If your children retell what was just learnt, thats narration. If you help your children to read the verses, then that's phonics.

Molly said...

can't wait for the ukulele post. My husband and I both play a little, but I'd love to teach the kids. We're moving from our home in Hawaii to the mainland and I don't want the kids to loose their local roots! Which book did you find best appropriate for your kids?

Molly said...

can't wait for your ukulele post. My husband and I both play a little but we'd really like to teach the kids. We are moving from Hawaii to the mainland and I don't want the kids to lose their local roots. Which book did you find most appropriate for your little learners?