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August 21, 2014 / BTM

An Easy Way to Help Kids Study the Bible by Themselves

new bookmark for epistles

A while ago I mentioned that we began to teach our kids how to ask and answer questions about the Bible passages that they were reading on their own. We explained that we were teaching them how to ‘chew’ on the Bible themselves. We’d used the illustration of graduating from baby food (which they used to love) to solid food like pizza (which they now love).

When we first started this process, we were mainly focusing on books of the Bible with a lot of action – like the gospels, Acts and Genesis. Now our kids are reading books like the epistles and letters of the apostles. These books are a bit different and provide us with more opportunity to discuss the author, setting and purpose of the book and how these are relevant to understanding the book itself. We’ve been thinking that we need to update our approach to ‘chewing’ on the Bible as well, so here’s our first attempt to do so.

 

We created book mark templates that can be updated each time our kids begin a new book of the Bible. The templates are printed on heavy paper and include the following questions:

Questions about the book of the Bible:

  • Who wrote this letter?
  • Who was it written to? What are they like?
  • Why was the letter written?

Questions about the passage:

  • What are the people being told to do? Why?
  • How does this passage apply to me?
  • What is God saying about Himself through the passage?

The first three questions on the bookmark are answered by reading the introductory notes for the book of the Bible being studied. We had our kids fill out the answers to these questions right on the bookmark, which they can then review before reading their passage each day.

The last three questions are about the passage read that day. We modelled how to use these questions while reading through Romans together. We discussed why knowing the audience and their problems or needs is helpful in order to understand the passage we’re reading (i.e., this gives us the context for the passage).

Feel free to use our bookmark template, or create your own. Here is a longer list of questions from Power to Change that you could draw on to help your children to inductively study their Bible on their own:

    • Who? – Who wrote it?
    • Who did he write it to?
    • Who are the main characters?
    • What? – What are the main events?
    • What is the meaning of the message?
    • What are these people like?
    • What is his purpose in saying this?
    • When? – When was it written?
    • When did this event happen?
    • When will this take place?
    • When did he do or say this?
    • Where? – Where was this done?
    • Where was this written?
    • Where will it happen?
    • Why? – Why was this written (Why did God want me to know this?)
    • Why did the author say so much, or so little about this?
    • Why should they do such and such?
    • How? – How did it happen?
    • How did they do it?
    • How do I do that?

How do you help your child to understand his Bible? Please share your ideas with me!

 

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