In December, I started reading the Bible out loud with my children. The continuity has been thought-provoking for me, so I’d like to continue giving updates. Want to think with me? Let’s catch up.
When are you reading? For a half hour. Around 30 verses per child. (I’m mostly giving each child a chapter from the chronological Bible reading plan. If a chapter has a lot of names, I’ll read that chapter, or I’ll give it to one of my stronger readers.) We do it right before we start school.
What are you reading? Just the Bible.
Are you super mom? Nope. I’ve never read through the Bible with my kids, although I’ve always been inspired by my friends who have. I’ve read together with them but more limited– a single book or topic at a time.
Are you a super Bible person? Nope. Several times they’ve asked questions, and I’ll give my best guess and end with, “I don’t know.” My goal is to limit my talking. I want our time to be Bible, not me. So I’ve pointed out some things I think are significant, but I’m keeping it to a sentence or two. That’s keeping the pressure off of me trying to be a Bible expert.
Are your kids super readers? Nope. I have one who is a strong reader, and two who are not fond of reading and aren’t confident at all. There’s a lot they don’t understand. That’s actually a good thing. I want them to know that experienced Bible readers don’t worry about what they don’t understand. We guess at name pronunciations. We focus instead on what we do understand.
Do you really read the bad parts? Yep. We read about Tamar. Dinah. Onan. (Although I did chicken out at Onan. They didn’t ask about spilling seed, and I confess that I didn’t explain it.) I’ve tried to answer their questions simply, but plainly. The Bible doesn’t give a ton of information, so several times I’ve told them, “I don’t know what that means.”
Are your kids really willing to sit and read together? Yes. But my theory is that they’ll be more willing to hear the Bible than hear mom lecturing about the Bible. I also figure their limit is thirty minutes. If they were younger, their limit might be five or ten minutes. I don’t know. My goal was to keep it short enough to be fun.
- When they were younger, we read the Bible at the table and I let them play with silly putty.
- When they weren’t strong readers, we traded verses. Or I just had them read a few verses at a time. I picked passages that they could understand. Here is an example of a time when we read through proverbs. I picked proverbs, read them aloud, and asked them what they meant.
- I also read to them during breakfast. Some weeks I read consistently, and some weeks I didn’t. Those breakfast talks lasted around five years, until we stopped eating breakfast together regularly.
Leviticus is coming next. Honestly, reading it the way we are, out loud, and sharing the reading, is making is easier to comprehend and see the big picture. It’s been helpful for me as well as my children. I’m interested in their independent reading, but I believe reading out loud will take some of the mystery and fear of the unknown out of the picture. What do you think?