Bible Study with Kids: Esther

We’ve been studying the book of Esther with our children for the past six months as part of getting ready for Bible Bowl at Lads to Leaders convention this year. We have read through and discussed the book three times. Each of my children could tell you the story with all of its gory details, but we were still getting confused with all of the names and dates. This weekend we decided to come up with a visual way to review the book that you might find helpful as well.

WHEN-WHAT-WHO BOARDS

We decided it would help to be able to see everything at once. Each child picked out a piece of poster board. (Their favorite colors, of course!) We made three headings across the top: WHEN – WHAT – WHO. For each chapter, we would identify when the chapter took place, what happened in that chapter, and who the main characters were. Esther has only 10 chapters, so they drew 10 rows under the headings, one for each chapter. You may notice in the pictures some rows were drawn more precisely than others!

Each child had the choice to draw or write out what happened. (This led to some interesting pictures.) Under the “WHO” section, they
could add character details as needed. So, each child’s poster board was as unique as the child who created it.

Creating these was fun. It was interesting to see all of the names on the same page, and to notice that sometimes years passed from one chapter to the next. We found it to be a great way to get a better picture of the book of Esther. If you’re looking for a different way to study the book of Esther, I recommend giving this a try.
It’s good for us grown-ups, too!

 

 

 


Bible study with kids: Job

The book of Job? You have got to be kidding me.

That’s what I thought when I heard our Bible Bowl topics for Lads to Leaders convention this upcoming year.  We will be studying the books of Ruth, Esther, and Job with our children – from now until April 15.

The book of Job would not have been my first choice of study topics with my children, but that’s one of the great things about Lads to Leaders. It makes me dive in, study, and think about something that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. So, since we would be studying these books, I wanted to make the most of it. I don’t want us to just read and memorize. I want us to understand what we’re reading.

I believe that we do better, especially the kids, when we can put a picture with what we’re studying. I could find study material that did that for the books of Ruth and Esther, but not for Job. For Job, all of the kids’ study material I found covered the beginning and end of Job’s story, but skipped all the chapters in the middle. So, we decided to create our own.

Here it is: Job for Kids by Kids.pdf

It’s a PDF file with a one-page worksheet for each chapter.

Chapter 18 page

Chapter 18 page

Making this workbook was a summer project for my family. I’m so proud of my kids for sticking with this. We  sat down and looked at one chapter each day, talked about what was being said in that chapter, and came up with a worksheet to help other kids gain an understanding.

Chapter 9 page

Chapter 9 page

My oldest daughter even created the image of Job that you see because we couldn’t find anything that was Biblically accurate to use (you know – shaved head, wearing sackcloth!).

So, if you’re in the same boat that we’re in, studying the book of Job, feel free to use these worksheets to help you study. If I could have found something like this, I wouldn’t have felt the need to create one myself!

However, like any challenge, my family all grew and learned so much from tackling this. I’m thankful for my kids and their enthusiasm for our summer project.

Kids summer 2016I pray that you and your family will enjoy it and grow together as well.

 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord–that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11


Bible study with kids: Matthew

car picture

I drive my children to school each morning, and most days our morning drive involves us reading a chapter from the Bible together. The kids take turns reading out loud while I drive. Sometimes there’s controversy over who will read first, second, and last, but once that’s settled we spend the next 15 minutes or so listening to and discussing God’s word. I try to read the chapter before they get up in the morning so that I will already have an idea of what they will be reading and know what points in the chapter I want to bring out. Currently we’re reading through the book of Matthew, getting ready for Bible bowl for Lads to Leaders. I have to tell you, though, this is not a chore for us. It is so much fun studying the book. No study questions, no drills – just reading and absorbing. (I wish that I could also instill this principle of learning the content instead of studying for the test into my math students, but that’s another story!)

We will read through the book of Matthew several times during the next few months, and it helps to look at in a different way each time we read it. Our first approach has been to come up with an ABC’s of Matthew list. We give the first chapter some title that starts with A, the second chapter one that starts with B, and so on. Matthew has 28 chapters. The alphabet has 26 letters, so it almost matches up perfectly. We just call Chapter 27 “AA” and Chapter 28 “BB,” and there’s no problem. I had seen this done for the book of Acts, so we decided to come up with a list for the book of Matthew as well.

It is so much more enjoyable coming up with the list on our own. For one, it makes the kids (and parents) really read the chapter with the intent of noticing the main content of the chapter. Secondly, my kids are very creative, so it’s funny to hear what they come up with! Thirdly, once we’ve discussed together and settled on a title, it makes it so much more memorable. My husband suggested the title “Annunciation” for chapter 1, for the announcing of Jesus’ birth. The looks on mine and the kids’ faces caused him to reconsider. We went with his second suggestion – Ancestors – instead. As a result, now I will always remember both. image

One day last week on the way to school, my son came up with another great idea. He suggested that the next time we go through the book we draw a page to represent each chapter with its letter. This is similar to what we had done in the past with the Jesus books, but with a 28-page book of Matthew instead. I love this idea! We won’t be able to do all that on the school drive, so we will read it in the morning, and then make our pages each evening.

Our plan after that is to read Matthew and list in a notebook each time a prophecy is fulfilled. This is also something that we will complete in the evenings. I especially look forward to this one since it is something I have wanted to do for a long time anyway.

Another thought is to make a book detailing just the parables or just the miracles that Jesus performs. We could even get a giant sheet of paper and do a mural of these on the wall.

Can you imagine how well we will all know the book of Matthew by the time we go through the book in all of these different ways? I am really excited about it, because as we come to know the book of Matthew, we come to know Jesus.

There is so much in this world that is bad. There is no way to fix everything. This is one thing that I can do. I can show my children Jesus, giving them the chance to know Him. There is a place for memory work and drills in Bible study, but let’s not forget the purpose of all this – not to win Bible bowl trophies or answer questions correctly, but to know the story of God’s love for us. It’s not a chore. It’s a treasure.