N.T. Bible Study

This Spring we’ve studied through some Bible books together, but I had no specific plan of where to go next. I spent some time in prayer and began to think through our direction. I wanted something that could be worked on independently by all, but still discussed daily together when we had time. I had already decided I wanted to do a “90 day” reading plan over the summer, so decided that this would be good for our older children too. I also wanted to encourage them to keep studying, not just reading (as much as they are able). Last week I made my plan, and we’ve started, our summer Bible study.

I chose a three month chronological reading of the New Testament. (This would work out to 1 semester of “school days”, if you choose to do it that way.) We are following the Biblical Principles method of study detailed in R Road to Biblical Wisdom. This is simplified for Bible Study in our Spiritual Journey journal pages.

Perhaps you’d like to join us (do this same study on your own.)

You can find the reading plan we are using at Bible Study Tools. You can also get a free iphone/ipad app for it.

You can get the Spiritual Journey pages to customize your your notebooks for this study, or use a Composition Notebook. The Spiritual Journey pages are colorful pages with nature photos as backgrounds that you copy and put in a half-sized (8.5″ x 5.5″) 3 ring binder.  A composition notebook is a sewn, handy sized notebook with 100 sheets, perfect size for a 3 month study. See our simple instructions below. If you’d like more in-depth information on how to study anything by Biblical principles get R Road to Biblical Wisdom.

Study instructions:

We read and study that we might know our God better and love Him even more as we see more clearly through His Word, Who He truly is. Pray that your heart will open open to receive God’s Word, to know Him better, and that the Holy Spirit will teach you, and give you grace to apply what you learn.

Read the day’s passages and check them off on the reading plan.

Journal your study under the following headings (1 page – front and back – per day.)

  • Read: Note the references of the passages you read.
  • Record/Rewrite: Write a very short summary or outline answering “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” about the reading.
  • Reflect: What does it mean? What is its context? What does it show me about God, Jesus, man, sin, grace, the gospel, the law, cause and effect? Use cross references, concordance, Bible maps, commentary, or other study tools as needed. If you have further questions about the passage that aren’t answered in your study today, write them down.
  • Relate: How does this apply to me? What am I to think and do?
  • Recite: Copy a verse/verses to meditate on throughout the day.

Pray to close out your time of study. Ask God to lead you to greater understanding and answers to your questions, and grace to walk out what you’ve learned; that you would not only love Him more but also show forth His love to others. 


Join Us Live Today – on Prayer

“Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer

Becoming a Family of Prayer is the topic I’ll be speaking on for the Ultimate Home School Expo, a completely ONLINE, HUGE homeschool conference. More on the Expo below.

If you’d like to join us live as we record my session, “Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer, you can do so this afternoon at 1:00 CT, for FREE! The details are below. Even if you aren’t able to make it, please pray that all will go smooth with the presentation and recording, and that God will be glorified in it.

In this session, I’ll be speaking on prayer in general, and also sharing prayer projects our family does, and how to become a family of prayer.

“Teach Us to Pray” ~ Becoming a Family of Prayer

Monday, April 19, 2010, 1PM CT

(The room is closed until the chat-the room will be open about 15 minutes before we go live)

OR here are the call-in details:
Phone Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 38181#
PIN: 1# (Or your Talkshoe PIN)

Now, more about the Expo. This conference is complete with a wide range of speakers, vendors booths – many with special prices for “attenders”, and a multitude of grab bag Free resources for all. The 2010 Expo will be held the week of May 3rd, but it never ends. You can go back and download sessions and free gifts, and browse around over and over. You can get your ticket for the Ultimate Home School Expo here!

Off to a Good Start

At the beginning of a new “school year”, most home educators have grand ideas for a new start? What are yours? Do you immediately think things like this: “We need to get caught up on math.” “I’ve got to get this child to read.” “How am I ever going to teach physics?”


Although these may be good things, even important things to teach our children, they should not be our focus. As we look to new beginnings, we must keep our priorities in mind. “Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge…” (2 Peter 1:5) The most important matters in discipling our children should be looked at first. “Has this child been converted?” “How is he growing in Christ?” “Where is he struggling?” “Has he been taught the foundations of the true and living Gospel?” “Has he grasped those teachings?”


In the Christian home, the Bible should never be another “tacked on” subject to “regular” school. Discipleship in the Word of God should be the foundation and framework of all we do. We should be first and foremost teaching God’s Word itself in our homes.


In addition, we should be teaching everything else in connection with the Bible. Although we will use other resources to teach the details of other subjects, the Bible should be our Source book for every subject, for in it we find the meaning, the source, origin and purpose of everything we learn, of everything that is. It is all God’s. There is no knowledge outside of what God has Created and given, and to glorify Him, we begin with Him.


As you start your “new year”, remember to put first things first.


See also article: Foundational Anchors



The B-I-B-L-E

Getting started with our Bible Lessons for this year.

The Bible tells us what man is to know of God and what God requires of man – and a whole lot more, but this is a good overarching key. So in our studies those are 2 things we look for. Sometimes I state them expanded:

  1. Who is God?
  2. What has He done?
  3. Therefore, who is man?
  4. What is he to do?


This week’s Bible lesson begins at the beginning:

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

We were looking at God’s Sovereignty. What does that mean? Is God really Sovereign? What is He Sovereign over?

Find scriptures that tell us what God is Sovereign over.

As we read the verses, the younger children drew pictures of the things we found that God is Sovereign over.

The olders assignment was to write a personal application.

  1. God is Sovereign (Ruler over all)
  2. God has made everything, and He holds it all together, and has it under His control
  3. & 4. Therefore, who am I and what should my response be?

Notebooking the Shorter Catechism

Our family studies the Westminster Shorter Catechism as a tool to help us grasp Bible truths. It is imperative that our children learn the pillars of the Truths of Christianity and learn to stand on them, as our society is rapidly straying away from them, even in the church. And the WSC is a good summary of Biblical Christian teaching.

523927: Training Hearts, Teaching MindsOur favorite resource for the family is Training Hearts Teaching Minds by Starr Meade. This book is a family devotional based on the shorter catechism (Protestant, reformed doctrine). Rather than just teaching the questions and answers of the shorter catechism by dry rote, there are 6 daily short family devotional readings that explain each question and answer and give Scriptures that teach us these doctrines.

There are 107 questions, so we take about 3 years to go through the WSC. Daily we read the devotional and Scriptures and recite the questions and answers, and perhaps most importantly, discuss what we are reading in the catechism and the Bible. Our younger children that are able to write copy the questions and answers and list references for the verses the teaching comes from. At the end of each week, they write a summary of the teaching in their own words. They Journal this in a Composition Notebook. We all memorize the questions and answers, but it is in this context of understanding, not just rote repetition.

2521X: The Westminster Shorter Catechism: For Study ClassesYouth copy the question and do their own research in the Bible before looking at the answer, following R Road to Biblical Wisdom method of study.  They then compare their answer to the stated one, and look up other Scriptures listed that they hadn’t come across in their own study. They also then read from The Westminster Shorter Catechism for Study Classes and other resources. In addition to copying the answer, they write their own synopsis from their learning. Their study is kept in a 3 ring-binder.

This study forms a core for our Bible Doctrine studies. We utilize many other resources, but primarily the Bible itself, to learn the tenets of our Christian faith, that we may be faithful followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Prayer Project – Focused List

One of our Family Prayer Projects is our Focused Prayer List of those we pray for regularly. We have a schedule to help us remember to pray for various people and areas of need. We’ve used both a simple page in my Redeeming the Time Journal and a more elaborate Lapbook format for this project.

Sundays we pray for our own pastor and church leaders.

Mondays we pray for other Ministries and Missionaries.

Tuesdays we pray for Government Leaders.

Wednesdays we pray for social and civil issues.

Thursdays we pray for friends and neighbors.

Fridays we pray for extended family.

Saturdays we pray for the salvation of the unsaved.

We pray for immediate family daily.

We have a list of the specific people and issues for each day. Generally, each of us chooses 1 or 2 or more of the people on the list and prays for them during our family prayer time. Sometimes more than one person will pray for the same one. Sometimes mom needs to “take up the slack” to make sure all of them are prayed for.

The goal is to pray specifically for these things, for their current situations and needs. This means we need to be attentive throughout the week to the needs of each of our prayer focuses.

This is just one of the ways we teach our children to pray. Read more of our ways here.

Making a P.R.A.Y. Journal

faveformsOne of the Prayer Projects we utilize with our children is a P.R.A.Y. Journal. This is for them to record their prayers, giving them 4 areas to pray about, using the acronym P.R.A.Y. Daily specifics are written for each area. We want to teach them to think about their prayers, not utter vain repetitions.

P. is for Praise and Thanksgiving. We write our Praise to God and what we are Thankful to Him for.

R. is for Repentance. We ask for forgiveness and help to turn away from our sins.

A. is for Ask. We ask that our needs and those of others be met.

Y. is for Yield. We surrender all to Him, for His service.

We utilize pretty P.R.A.Y. Journal pages that are 1/2 letter size. You can put them in a 8.5 x 5.5″ binder, or spiral or comb-bind them. (Spiral is probably the easiest for children to use them.) Utilizing these journal pages works best, at least until the children are old hats at this, because each page has a section labeled as to what area they are to pray and write about.  There are many styles to choose from, showing the wonders of God’s creation. You can make a whole journal of just your one favorite, or mix and match them for variety.

If you don’t want to print off a page for each day and bind them, you can just print off the instructional page and paste it into the front of a Composition Notebook, to serve as a reminder of what to pray for and write. This works OK with older children who are already doing P.R.A.Y. Journals well, but is not as helpful for younger children or those just starting.

Enjoy this helpful way of teaching your children to Pray through Journaling. It is an awesome tool for both your children and yourself.

See other ways we help our children learn to pray here.


Teach us to Pray

In discipling our children one of the things we need to teach them is how to pray. If we don’t, they will be forever stuck in their vain repetitions. Prayer will hold little meaning if they don’t “get it” that we are praying to a real Person – the One who made us, loves us, cares for us. The ONLY One who is powerful enough to help us in all our needs. He cares for us and wants us to talk with Him. He’s always available to listen.

Our Lord has taught us to pray and we can use that to teach our children. But we must beware that this also does not become a vain repetition. Prayer needs to be from the heart.

In our family we have several tools we use to assist our children in learning to pray.

1. I pray around them and with them. They see and hear mama praying all through the day about all things. As I go about my day and something comes up, I pray. When they come to me with a need – or I go to them! – we pray. Whether it be a skinned knee, or a discipline problem, they know God is interested and is there to help.

2. We all pray together as a family. Each one prays aloud during our morning and evening family worship times. They hear not only mama, but also all the other family members praying.

3. We teach them specifics about prayer, from God’s Word. We take note throughout the Bible as to what He teaches about prayer, but we also specifically study His teaching to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism gives a good summary of this teaching, and we really enjoy the book, Training Hearts Teaching Minds, which gives a short daily devotional that helps explain the questions and answers to children. Although we do memorize the questions and answers, it is not just rote memorization, it is in the context of reading and discussing the questions and answers and the Scriptures they are based upon. We also use other books and resources, especially with the older children. (Read more about Notebooking our way through the Shorter Catechism.)

4. We utilize Prayer Projects, usually within our morning family worship time. One is a Family Journal of Prayer Requests. In this Notebook (spiral bound or Composition) we list needs as they come up. This may be the needs in our own family, or of friends and neighbors, or others God brings across our path in our community, nation, or world. We list the need and the date, then check it off and date it when the answer comes.

5. Another Prayer Project is our Focused Prayer List of those we pray for regularly. We have a schedule to help us remember to pray for various people and areas of need. The goal is to pray specifically for these things, for their current situations and needs. We’ve used both a simple page in my Redeeming the Time Journal and a more elaborate Lapbook format for this project. (Read more about our Focused Prayer List.)

6. I also teach our children to Journal their prayers. It is such a blessing to go back through these and see what God has brought us through. Our P.R.A.Y. Journals help us in this. We write specifics for 4 areas of prayer, based on the acronym P.R.A.Y.  (Read more about P.R.A.Y. Journals.)

Begin using one of these tools today to help your child develop a meaningful prayer life. Add other tools as the Lord leads you. Don’t feel you have to do all of them all of the time. These aren’t a ritualistic format. They are just tools that help us teach.


National Bible Week

National Bible Week ~ Nov. 23-30

Join us this week in studying and celebrating the history of the Bible and its enormous influence on our culture.

Perhaps you’d like to order a historic Bible, like the Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Reformation, that the Pilgrims brought with them to this New World. This was the first study Bible with commentary notes – as well as chapter and verse divisions.

Some of our favorite resources appropriate for getting or giving this week – and using every week! – are:

Geneva Bible 1599 edition – the Bible of the Reformation – also available: 1560 edition

KJV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible – my favorite study Bible, because it contains a Strong’s concordance of key words and a Lexicon (yet still is not a “hefty” Bible) – new 2008 edition!

Giant Print New King James Bible – for beginning readers (or anyone who has trouble with smaller print.)

Bible on mp3 – KJV narrated by Alexander Scourby

How the Bible Came to Us – short interesting story, with many colorful illustrations and some activities.

The Scripture Guide – Uncle Austin, The Bible Man, teaches his 2 nephews about the Bible over their holiday. Great story.

The Child’s Story Bible – by Catherine Vos. Our favorite family story Bible.

What the Bible is All About – Get a good overview of the big picture of the Bible.


Where to Start?

I could go many different places with that title. And many of you probably know my ultimate answer – renewing your own mind. But what I want to look at today is what area of learning should we start to renew our own mind in when beginning to apply a biblically principled education in our homes.

I believe we begin with our foundation, the Bible itself. We need to KNOW the Bible, to have it internalized. Learn how to study the Bible, how to deduce principles – find wisdom therein, and apply it to our lives, and also learn the content of the Bible, its unified message and stucture. This will be completely fleshed out in Freedom & Simplicity™ in Bible, and bits and pieces can be found in the L.E.D. Bible & Worship category of this blog and on the L.E.D. webpages.

The other area I believe is key to begin in is HisStory. Just as the Bible reveals God’s Plan. HisStory demonstrates the outworking of His Plan, in the lives of men and nations. Everything we study will connect to these two things – God’s Word and God’s World. In our studies of HisStory we apply our methods of study through reasoning, to apply Biblical principles, apply the lessons learned to our own lives and the world around us. We first lay down the foundations of the origin, purpose, principles and rudiments of HisStory, and then begin to study through the content of HisStory, looking at it through this Big Picture foundation, and studying it through our reflective methods. Freedom & Simplicity™ in HisStory fleshes this all out, leading you through how to learn and teach HisStory. In addition, you will find bits and pieces on the L.E.D. HisStory category of this blog and on the L.E.D. webpages.

What can you do in the meantime, while you are renewing your mind and learning how to teach by biblical principles? Check out this article.