Like so many homeschoolers, we start off our learning time with some Bible reading together. And like some of these same homeschoolers, it was one of the most difficult parts of our day. It seemed that no matter what I tried, the kids suddenly started acting possessed during this time! I was ready to start cursing and throw everything out the window. Literally.
As I was mulling over this in prayer recently, an idea popped into my head. I remembered how about 6 years ago, I used GrapeVine Studies with Tabby during our morning Bible time and that she had enjoyed it. This is a very simple curriculum that takes you through the Bible by focusing on the Old Testament, New Testament, or another topical study (see this link for the selection).
Each week's study is for five days. I read several scriptures, then my kids make simple drawings - using stick figures - to illustrate highlights. There are one or two drawings a day. There is also a memory verse for the week, and one day has questions to review that week's stories.
This week we have been continuing in our study of John the Baptist and Jesus. Here is Tabby's illustration showing John baptizing Jesus:
GrapeVine offers their studies in several levels, according to age. I wanted to just stick with one level and have everybody doing the exact same thing so I picked level one of the New Testament Overview. (My kids ages are 13, 6, and 2.) I bought the e-book and printed a copy for each child, and put the printouts into 3-ring binders.
Most mornings, Solomon likes getting everyone's notebooks out and putting them on the table. He's an orderly little guy, and I love that he took charge this simple job:
The first couple weeks we did this, Solomon wanted me to help him draw his pictures. I held the pencil with him and we drew together. Then this week, he suddenly wanted to draw the stick figures on his own. He draws a head and two really long legs for each person. Progress!
Hunter, not surprisingly, has to embellish his drawings. After our lesson, he draws some kind of machinery type boarder on his page. This one has a bunch of fire alarms on wheels:
(To the right in the picture - Hunter's new thermostat watches him draw. Yes that's a thermostat with a happy face drawn on it. He bought it used off Ebay for just under $5.00.)
So the big question - how is this working for us? AWESOME! The kids listen more attentively when I read, then their hands are busy drawing. Not getting into trouble. On Saturday's, Hunter goes through his pages from the week and tells Frank the story. I've been pleased with how much more he's retaining.
Do you have to use the GrapeVine Studies curriculum to do this? Of course not, you can do this on your own. But with my life's current circumstances, it was is helpful to have everything already laid out for me. THANK YOU GrapeVine!
I've also been thinking of applying the stick figuring method to some of Hunter's other schoolwork, and using notebooking pages to do so. So that will be something I try soon.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17