At our house, we have begun nearly all of our “school year” activities. It has been a busy few weeks. But, it’s been hanging over my head that I need to post the actual Bible reading plan my daughter is using. I was going on and on about doing it, so I must be true to my word!
There are actually two parts to her “Bible study/reading.” The first part is a short, 4-day reading plan through a few of the Psalms. My intent with this reading plan is to help my daughter have some consistent time reading in the Word, and to begin learning to engage it. For this portion, though there are some elements of “Bible study” in it, this is not intended to be a thorough treatment of these passages. I also want to be careful to avoid extremes…legalistic reading, pure knowledge accumulation, “mindless” reading, responding purely out of emotion, or without wisdom. It is 3rd-grader approved, and quote, “better than the ones from last year we did.” So far so good, I guess!
I have five weeks of this written out; you are more than welcome to print them off for personal use. Perhaps they will be helpful for some. If they are, send me a note or comment below and I’ll post more as I prepare them.
They could be done individually, the way my daughter is doing it, or they could be used to help foster some discussion together. The Psalms I chose are in no particular order. I wanted to give her a taste of different Psalms, so I’m being intentional to include some from different genres of the Psalms – they are not all praise, they are not all lament. It would be easy to avoid “harder” ones, but I think there must be ways to allow our kiddos to engage all of it at some level.
The disclaimer: I sort of proof read these, and I know when you blog you’re supposed to be great at proofing, but this just didn’t happen, so you may truly find some typos. And, they are totally not comprehensive! After all, this is for a little girl’s daily reading and prayer time. I prayed and worked hard to be faithful to the Word, but I also did not agonize over these for hours on end. I pray there are no major exegetical fallacies (!). That being said, the primary resources I use for our Bible study are Bible Study by Kathleen Nielson, One To One Bible Reading by David Helm, a few resources passed down from my pastors, and my resources from a course I completed at http://www.simeontrust.org.
Second, in my previous post, I mentioned we’re trying to prepare for Sunday mornings at our church by reading through and doing some “Bible study” together so we’re primed and ready for the sermon. I don’t plan to post this portion specifically, because it’s primarily discussion. If you’re interested in the kinds of questions we talk about, though, I’d be happy to give some insight or suggestions! Just send me a note.
We do this typically on Fridays together, and it’s mostly a discussion that takes us around 30 minutes. On Sundays during the sermon, I’ve been having her take notes, listening for three specific things: 1) something we learned together about the passage (this helps us know if we were on the right track!), 2) something new she heard that we didn’t discuss or address (this helps her – both of us! – remain teachable, and appreciate the pastor’s work, teaching, and instruction in the Word), and 3) listen carefully for how the pastor asks us to apply it to our lives (this has been hardest for her to find, I think because it’s at the end of the sermon typically!). On the way home or later that day I’ll glance at her notes and/or ask her about what she heard.
This has been highly encouraging to me. She has gleaned a lot from the sermons recently. I praise God for some of the things his Word has really made her consider and think about during our Friday discussions and Sunday afternoons after hearing the Word preached!
But, lest you think we are super great at maintaining this rhythm – or you observe my daughter on Sunday mornings and question – we have not done this perfectly. This is our ideal, our goal, my vision for my daughter and myself as we study on Fridays. Traveling to see new babies in our family and spontaneous field trips has interrupted our “study” cycle. And sometimes, when we sit down to discuss it on Fridays, it’s just really, really awkward! I ask questions that sound boring or are filled with “ums,” she is unenthused, her eyes are glazed over, and it often has taken a few minutes before we really get to anything very “great.” However, once we finally get there, once we plow down and work together to see what God is saying, wow! God’s Word is real food for us, not plain ol’ words on a page. I just know he is delighting to see us make this effort to know him.
I’m praying these ideas spur many of you on to better and greater ones, as you work heartily to bring your littles before the throne of grace and truth!
Here are the five weeks of Psalm readings: