Even if you don’t feel called to homeschool your child in the traditional sense, you can’t deny that parents are instrumental in the foundation of faith for a child!
I encourage you not to rely soley on your local church for your child’s religious instruction! In our “life,” we often live overseas and what this means is that “choice” in churches (especially in our native English language), is slim. Often there is just one Protestant church and one Catholic church that offer services in English. And typical Sunday School is often left up to the parents of the children in the classes, just because there are not enough volunteers to go around.
That has taught me that I must be more hands-on with my children and take charge in their spiritual upbringing. And frankly, I had absolutely no idea how to begin. I kept buying toddler Bibles (I think we’re up to three or four different ones now), hoping one of them would include the magic secret of how to impart this information to little minds. I even bought Sunday School curriculum online and attempted to go through the lessons with my then two-year-old. And when she turned three I realized that unless I stepped up, she’d never even know the basic stories like Moses and Noah! So I took over her nursery Sunday School class of four little girls, and we did a short lesson every single week. This was great, but I really felt like I was floundering around, like a fish out of water. That’s probably because I was!
However, in the process of looking through all of the homeschool information, I found a wealth of resources I’d like to share with you.
1. Successful Homeschooling that gave me many ideas that I have implemented with my own children (great even if you don’t homeschool): Christian Homeschool Resouces.
2. Leading Little Ones to God – “Using simple, conversational language, this classic volume discusses such matters as the nature of God, sin, salvation, the Christian life, the church, prayer, and the Second Coming.”
3. Scripture Memory Fellowship – One thing that seems to be lacking from what we have been able to get in churches is the classic idea of Bible verse memorization. (Does anyone else remember memory verse contests in their church classes growing up?) We implemented this program with our two preschoolers and they have responded amazingly! We chose the full kit with incentives because our girls respond really well to
Our oldest has begun the ABC Memory Book and I got our youngest the Forget Me Not book for our youngest so that she’s not left out. We have made this part of our bedtime routine, after changing into nightgowns and visiting the potty (always a big source of conversation in our house) we sit on their beds and review their Bible verses and say their prayers. (When there is time, I try to add in reading.) I love that this has actually become a much requested and loved part of our day!
(They are also on Facebook!)
4. One thing I have begun doing, is when we are dealing with specific behavior issues with our girls, is try to bring the Bible into discussion. I hope that this will teach them even at a young age how much the Bible relates to their life. We’ve talked about Miriam helping watch her baby brother in the basket when we’ve talked about being helpers; we talked about Jonah at great length when we were discussing disobeying and consequences of those actions. I see For Instruction in Righteousness as being really useful in this endeavor since it “identifies stories and passages of scripture that deal with specific character issues families encounter.” (Doorposts is a wonderful resource for Christian parents! They have a really great blog as well.)
5. Polished Cornerstones looks a little too advanced for my girls right now, but I got it anyway. What a wonderful resource to have on my shelf as they get older! (Though this particular book focuses on girls, there is a companion book for boys.)