About a year ago, I started thinking about auditory learners and the Bible. I’ve been thinking about it all year, so I thought I’d share a few followup thoughts.
First, I am increasingly thankful for the Bible on MP3 that we downloaded for our children. It has enabled our children to understand far more of the Bible (because of the dramatic/ interpretive cues) than they would had they simply been reading it on their own. I am thankful for God’s nudging me to make this available to our children. We added the Pilgrim’s Progress to their iPods and allow them to listen to this after bedtime, too. (For the Bible, I downloaded the KJV dramatized version from Faith Comes by Hearing. They now have the whole dramatized Bible in ESV, if you are so inclined.)
They continue to listen to the Bible. When their Sunday school teachers teach on a book, they start listening to it, repeatedly (often, without my prompting). When Lee started reading through the Psalms with David a few weeks ago, David started listening to his Psalm each day.
I’ve started thinking about the long-term implications of learning the Bible by listening to it. David observed that it’s easy for him to read a portion of scripture that he has listened to repeatedly. That’s true.
We downloaded some sermons on birds for David. His enjoyment of these make me think more about how I can encourage his ability and interest in listening to God’s Word. He asked yesterday if he could record the Bible lessons in his classes at church. I’m not sure if he really wants to listen to them, or if he’s simply interested in technology. I’m waiting to see if he brings it up again.
I’m not giving up on the reading. We need a lot more reading out loud together. I’ve started teaching David how to use the Bible tools on our computer. We have worked on a writing project this year (compiling Scripture topically), and I do think that children who read God’s Word improve their reading ability as a general rule. I suspect as my children improve their academic reading, they may gravitate more toward the written Bible, but I don’t know the future.
Nevertheless, I am not going to make Bible reading an academic goal. I want them to learn God’s Word. If hearing it is the most efficient way, then that’s the road we’ll take. If my children are adults who primarily listen to God’s Word and meditate on it, is that a devastating reality?
And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. Deuteronomy 31:10-13