Today’s episode will help encourage you with practical family Bible study tips. Danika Cooley’s new book, Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible, is launching this week, and I’m so happy to be part of her launch team! Listen in on this conversation and learn how you can implement some of these ideas into your own family Bible time.
Welcome to the show notes for Episode #117 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast!
As a former classroom teacher, now homeschooling mom of five, I love to equip and encourage other homeschooling families.
On the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast our goal is to inspire and encourage you with actionable strategies to take you from overwhelmed to confident in your homeschool adventure. Listen to interviews with amazing influencers in the homeschool world and beyond.
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Inductive Bible Study Samples
One way to help your kids learn to study and understand the Bible is by using the inductive method! You can try out all of our Inductive Bible Studies for kids in grades K-12 through downloading our FREE samples.
Listen to the Podcast
About Danika Cooley
Danika is an award-winning children’s author and Bible curriculum developer. Weekly, she encourages tens of thousands of parents to intentionally raise biblically literate children.
Danika is a homeschool mother of four with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Washington.
In Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible, bestselling children’s author Danika Cooley gives parents the tools and confidence to study the Bible, as a family.
Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible will…
- Help parents identify and overcome objections and fears
- Give parents a crash course in what the Bible is all about
- Show parents how to teach the Bible
- Provide parents with the guidance they need to set up a family Bible study habit
Parents will finish this book feeling encouraged and empowered to initiate and strengthen their child’s relationship with the Lord through his Word.
“We are the generation that will educate our children in Scripture,” says Cooley. “It’s not enough to take our kids to church or Sunday school. We have the opportunity to steward our kids for Christ—to disciple and bring them up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. We can raise children with minds and hearts full of Scripture.”
Family Bible Study Tips
Danika’s book helps give parents a practical plan for studying the Bible together as a family. Consider how you teach your children other things in life. Teaching the Bible to your kids can be as natural as teaching them how to read.
So, even if you didn’t grow up in a Christian home or a home that prioritized reading the Bible together, you really can do this well with your kids!
Remember, the Bible is written as a story – a big, overarching story that also includes many other sub-plots within the grand narrative of Scripture. Kids naturally resonate with this!
Consider your kids developmental stage as you figure out the best way to study the Bible with them. Danika’s book looks at the different stages of learning and development and she gives practical tips that she used with her own kids.
It isn’t hard to study the Bible with your kids, but it does take intentionality.
Studying the Bible with Younger Kids
One common challenge parents bring up is that the Bible is too complicated for younger kids. Danika has some great ideas for you!
- our kids pick up on our excitement level
- use a puppet
- act out the stories
- remember that young kids are concrete in their thinking
- take abstract ideas and try to make them concrete so they can understand
- play an Bible while your children are playing or as they fall asleep
Teaching the Bible to Multiple Ages
There are many ways to keep kids engaged in your family Bible reading. She discusses these ideas and more in her book.
- Round-robin reading
- Engaging your various learners: auditory, visual & kinesthetic
Danika recommends teaching up to the level of your older kids. You’ll be amazed at how much your younger kids absorb. But you don’t want your older kids to feel left out if you’re teaching is too simplified for younger siblings.
Many times our older kids don’t like to focus on the obvious facts in the text. They’d rather dig deeper into the grand themes of Scripture and application. So, don’t neglect to go deep with your teens!
Common Mistakes When Studying Scripture
Danika mentions several common mistakes we can make when studying Scripture. And these mistakes can lead to wrong interpretations of Scripture.
- over-allegorize Scripture
- moralizing Bible stories
- not remembering the genre you’re reading
The biggest mistake is probably trying to moralize Bible stories. Danika reminds us in her book that “the Bible is not Aesop’s Fables.”
Using the Bible to mainly teach morals to our kids is dangerous. This Moralistic Therapeutic Deism tends to focus on behavior rather than heart change. So, this is one major area we need to be careful with in our study of Scripture with our kids!
Reading in context is an excellent way to help ensure that you’re interpreting the text correctly. What comes before and after the text can help you interpret and understand rightly. Every book has its own theme, its own genre, and all of these context clues are necessary for understanding Scripture.
Memorizing verses in context is also a great idea.
How Can You Stick to a Bible Reading Plan with Your Family?
Danika’s book was so approachable and realistic, which you can tell by this chapter title: Study the Word When You’re Not Feeling It. I’ve had those days, haven’t you?
Here are some great ideas and practical solutions for sticking to your plan:
- remember the rhythm of family life
- anchor your Bible time to natural routines (like mealtime)
- include passive Bible learning into your day (audio Bibles, Bible stories on CD)
- talk about what you’ve learned that day with your kids
Additional Resources for Family Bible Study
Danika has a 130-page Bible Study Toolkit available on her site!
Of course, get a copy of Danika’s new book, Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible.
You can check out Danika’s Bible Road Trip Curriculum and try out some FREE samples.
The Importance of Bible Literacy: Homeschool with Moxie #77