For many Christian families, the main drive behind their decision to homeschool is to provide their children with a Biblical worldview. Whereas the Bible is completely absent from secular education, a beauty of homeschooling for Christians is the ability to teach every subject from a Biblical perspective. Science, Language, Math, History, and other subjects are all able to be permeated with and flow from the Bible.
In fact, not only can core subjects be taught through a Biblical lens but the Bible itself can be taught as a subject. It can either be viewed as a requirement or an elective. Since you are creating the homeschool environment/schedule that works for your family. Above all, you’re calling the shots and can teach it how you want and the way you want.
But what if you aren’t sure how to do that?
Here are some questions we will answer in this article.
- Elective or Requirement – What’s the Difference?
- Do I Need to Use a Homeschool Bible Curriculum?
- What’s Included in a Homeschool Bible Curriculum?
- If I Decide to Use a Bible Curriculum, Which One Should I Choose?
- How Can I Incorporate Bible as a Subject if I Don’t Use a Curriculum?
- How Can I Help my Child Enjoy Learning the Bible?
Elective or Requirement – What’s the Difference?
The main difference in choosing whether to include Bible as an elective or a requirement is in how it is listed on a high school transcript. Basically, it’s seen as a requirement if it’s listed with your core subjects. On transcripts, electives still should have a description, so in that aspect, they are the same. Naturally, it is just up to you how you choose to list it.
Some think that Bible shouldn’t be included on a transcript, but if you and your child are taking the time to add it to your school day, why wouldn’t you list it? In fact, colleges are used to seeing Bible included on transcripts from Christian schools, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it listed on your homeschool transcript.
This article is great for more detailed information on how to include Bible on a homeschool transcript. Also, if you have any further questions regarding creating a transcript, here are step-by-step instructions.
Do I Need to Use a Homeschool Bible Curriculum?
The short answer is no. You definitely do not have to use a curriculum, but you certainly can. Naturally, many Christian curriculums include Bible, and a lot of parents choose to go that route because of the simplicity of having it all laid out and ready to go.
Using a curriculum can also be helpful if you’re listing Bible among your subjects on your child’s transcripts simply because it provides quizzes and tests for grading. However, if you aren’t including Bible on your transcripts or aren’t worried about testing, you may decide to forgo the curriculum.
Above all, just like in every other area of homeschooling, there is no right or wrong way to do it. In truth, you know your personality as the parent/teacher and your child’s personality as the student, and you get to choose what works best for you and your family.
What’s Included In a Homeschool Bible Curriculum?
While the specific topics included will vary based on your child’s age or grade level, solid programs all have one thing in common: they teach that Jesus died for our sins and that redemption is found through a personal relationship with him.
In addition, you can expect a Bible curriculum to cater to your students’ grade levels.
- Lower elementary: Students at this grade level (preK-3rd) begin learning the very basics of Jesus and His love for them. They’re learning that God created them and everything around them. In addition, students usually learn about Adam and Eve, sin, and redemption. With this age group, a hands-on Bible curriculum often makes the concepts easier to grasp.
- Upper elementary: At this grade level, students begin to understand more about sin and redemption and Christ’s dying for their sins. Students start to understand the basics regarding having a relationship with Christ and being baptized as well as what that means.
- Middle grades: By this point, students have learned everything above with one important additional aspect – they begin to learn that having a relationship with Christ means having a personal relationship with Him instead of something passed along by parents.
- High school: In high school, students build upon their relationship with Christ. At this level, some parents also choose to teach students about other religions of the world. Students can then decide for themselves why they believe everything they’ve been taught up until now.
If I Decide to Use a Bible Curriculum, Which One Should I Choose?
There are so many wonderful faith-based curricula to choose from today with great options for including Bible in your daily or weekly routine. Some families choose to purchase a set curriculum from one company and use that one for every subject. While some families mix and match different curricula to best cater to their individual needs. No matter which route you choose, here are some great options in different learning styles for teaching a Bible curriculum.
- LIFEPAC from Alpha Omega
- BJU Press Homeschool
- Switched-On Schoolhouse from Alpha Omega
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool
- Masterbooks: More Than Words
- Monarch from Alpha Omega
- My Father’s World
- Christian Liberty Press
- Christian Light Education
- Rod and Staff
- A.C.E. School of Tomorrow
- Ambleside Online
- Bible Study Guide for All Ages
- Heart of Dakota
- Connecting With History
- Memoria Press
- Illuminate Bible Series
- Bible Studies for Kids and Teens
- Answers for Kids Bible Curriculum
- Positive Action
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a starting point for you to be able to see and compare some solid Bible curriculum options.
How Can I Incorporate Bible as a Subject if I Don’t Use a Curriculum?
Indeed, the thought of homeschooling even one subject without a curriculum can cause some parents to become fear-stricken over what they imagine as an impossibility, but it isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem. I don’t know of a subject that could be easier to teach without a curriculum than Bible because if push comes to shove, all you really need…is a Bible.
Some parents choose to just read a chapter or two aloud to their children and spend some time discussing what they read. On the other hand, some choose to purchase devotional Bible studies to use in their designated Bible time. For older children, some parents like to read through a book on a Christian topic (i.e. missionary biographies, personal growth, theology, or even a “How to Study the Bible” type of book).
If your children are younger, your Bible time may look like singing some songs, working on a verse-of-the-week or catechism question, reading from a children’s Bible storybook, and discussing the story. You could even listen to a podcast with your children as well.
There are so many great ways to teach children the Bible! Here are a few places to find Bible studies, book recommendations, and songs. (While these books are able to be purchased through these links, don’t forget to check your local library!)
- Not Consumed
- The Daily Grace Co.
- Building Character for Boys
- Bible Studies for Teen Boys
- Bible Studies for Teen Girls
- Saints for Young Readers for Every Day
- The Catholic Children’s Treasure Box
- The Jesus Storybook Bible
- Little Pilgrims Theology
- Big Truths for Little Kids
- The Promises of God Storybook Bible
- The Ology
- How to Study Your Bible for Kids
- Lies Young Women Believe
- Defined: Who God Says You Are
- The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth
- The Case for Christ (Student Edition)
- Pilgrim’s Progress or Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey (for younger kids)
- Christian Heroes Series
- Light Keepers – Ten Girls box set
- Light Keepers – Ten Boys box set
- The Hiding Place
- 50 People Every Christian Should Know
- Tiny Theologians
- ABC Scripture Cards
- Books of the Bible Flashcards
- Free Bible Crafts and Printables
- The Kids Hymnal (book and cd)
- New City Catechism
- Slugs and Bugs
- Kids Christian Songs with actions
- Bible Songs and Motions
- Cedarmont Kids – Bible Songs
How Can I Help My Child Enjoy Learning the Bible?
While, it’s easy to fall into the rut of, “Ugh, not this again,” that can accompany any subject in your homeschool day. Every person has different subjects that interest them, and they enjoy learning about and studying those more than others. Some people are numbers-oriented, and they love math. Whereas, some have a knack for picking up languages, relish the organization in diagramming sentences, or enjoy learning about different eras of our past. Whichever subject your child enjoys best, there are things you can do to help your child be interested in studying and learning the Bible.
Whether or not you choose to use a Bible curriculum, knowing your child’s preferred learning style is key. If they retain information best through reading, then put books in their hands. Or, if they retain better by hearing information, turn on a podcast or read to them while they follow along.
Also, if they need visual stimulation, use flashcards or games or YouTube videos as part of your Bible time. If they love the excitement of hearing true stories of those who took the Gospel to jungles and unknown people groups, reading a missionary biography may be a way to whet their appetite to know more. Knowing they will get to do something they enjoy will help them be more excited about learning the material.
Share Your Excitement
Another important aspect to creating excitement in your child as they approach the Bible is them seeing your excitement. While the Bible should be revered, it also shouldn’t be seen as boring. As you tell the stories, make sure you use expression and animation. Remind them that this isn’t just another book, but these stories are true. These battles and births and miracles actually happened!
While we may not always completely understand certain truths found in God’s Word, we can and should believe them and rest upon them. Remind your children that a personal relationship with God is the most important one they will ever have, and how can you have a good relationship with someone you don’t really know? We learn about who God is through reading the Bible.
However you choose to incorporate the Bible into your daily or weekly homeschool routine, just remember that the “right way” is the way that is best for your family.