**Here is a complete curriculum from Calvary Chapel for the entire Bible. Each mini-lesson covers one main topic, such as Adam and Eve, and offers a Bible selection to read, a memory verse, a coloring page with the verse on it, questions (true or false, fill-in-the-blanks), and puzzles (mazes, word searchs, etc.) for a variety of ages. Here is the link for the Old Testament. Here is the link for the New Testament. You could add a song and an activity that ties it all together (craft, demonstration, skit, outreach, etc.) and you would have a great curriculum for the whole family! It is very user friendly and easily downloadable. It may be reprinted for use in classroom settings, just not sold.
Here is a series of Bible Lessons from the book of Genesis from DLTK. They are geared toward younger students. The lessons each cover one main topic and then go on to draw in ideas from all over the DLTK site to support that topic. For example, the story of Noah's Ark lesson is accompanied not only by a take-home Bible memory verse sheet, but it also offers an activity booklet, a making animals out of craft paper and having the kids re-enact the story in pairs craft, coloring pages, puzzles, songs, and even a dog biscuit recipe with a suggestion to make the treats and donate them to the animal shelter (now that's creative!). If you have younger children, this site might make for a fun introduction to Bible study time.
**For the child who loves to get mail, here are TWO great mail-order Bible studies. First, we have a study from Child Evangelism Fellowship. It comes as often as you mail your completed lesson back and is even hand-graded with personalized comments. You can read about it at the provided link, then click on the red "To enroll in the CEF Evangelism club click here" words in the center of the page.
**The next mail-order study is a from the folks who produce Your Story Hour called Adventures in the Holy Bible and this one has a BONUS freebie. Every time you mail in two completed lessons (they come in pairs), you will receive one of the cds from the 13 cd set about Jesus' life. When your student has completed all of the lessons, they will receive the final cd, as well as a case to store them in. How can you beat that?! There is a limit of one cd set per household, no matter how many students you have participating. Both studies have varying levels of difficulty and will send you multiple copies of the studies so you can do them as a family.
**Go to BibleClassBooks to find numerous thirteen-week studies appropriate for middle schoolers and above. They are very detailed and each group of lessons is downloadable in packets of approximately fifty pages. Topics vary from The Patriarchs to The Parables of Jesus. These lessons look like they would work well for a family study if a parent were to fill in the blanks. Question format varies from matching to fill-in-the-blanks to multiple choice to short answer. All questions are backed by scripture references to make it easier for seekers to find the answers to their questions. I did not see where answers might be provided, so a parent would definitely have to oversee the studies.
For a change of pace in your homeschool, why don't you try making a lapbook with the kids? Visit Lapbook Lessons for a collection of available resources ranging from Books of the Bible to THe Fruit of the Spirit. You will find the components to the lapbooks, as well as links to various other items such as mini-books, bookmarks, and activity pages. It's a bit complicated (at least it was to me) to start, but once you get rolling, you will will be glad you put in the extra effort. Some lapbooks include video instructions.
I like these Bible coloring pages because they offer some good topical selections, such as pages that illustrate the entire Lord's Prayer or the Armor of God.
Here are some excellent Bible coloring pages based on an alphabet theme from First-School, with topics such as cross, lamb, and prayer. Each coloring page has a well-done picture with upper and lower case letters to fill in. Each letter also has a handwriting sheet (using standard block letter, but D'Nealian is available) AND linked Bible references.
Open Hubbard's Cupboard for a large collection of Bible Memory verses set to common childhood tunes.
Thanks to DLTK, here is another collection of memory selections set to common tunes. I love the Fruit of the Spirit Cadence. It's great! Each selection comes with a printable pages, and you can usually find supplementary activities within a few clicks.
I found one mom's suggestions of what Bible verses you should strive to memorize with your children at Walls of Books. Walls of Books...that sounds like my house!
Choose a Bible Reading plan for the year from NavPress and print up one of these sheets to tuck inside your Bible cover to keep track of your progress.
Have you ever participated in Awana clubs? Well, here are some online links to two classic Awana books: the Bible ABC book (there is a Bible verse for every letter of the alphabet) and the Bible Bees book (be thankful, be kind, etc.). Either of these would make an excellent start for an early childhood Bible program. Print these books up on cardstock and slip the pages in protector sheets to make a durable resource. Both books explain how much to expect children of different ages to memorize and how to go about having them recite their memory work.
Try letting your kids read and/or hear this daily devotional from CBH Ministries, the producers of Gilead Lane. Each devotional covers at least one Bible verse and/or story in the framework of a story about a child's everyday life. You can also read through the archived studies and search for a devotional topically or by Bible verse. The devotioanls are available in both audio and written format.
Looking for a Bible Devotional? Check out this page from Back to the Bible and you will find your choice of ten. One click takes you to your suggested reading for the day and the devotinal. I enjoy the Elisabeth Elliot devotional, but the Prayer, Praises, and Promises devotional which is based on Psalms is a great one, too.
Wonderzone.com is a website designed for kids offered from Child Evangelism Fellowship. Once you complete a very brief sign-up process (it did not ask for an email, just to create a log in name and password), you have full access to stories and games that to me, seemed like a lot of fun. I read a story about Hudson Taylor (about 3rd grade level), then got to play a game, before I went on to a section that asked sincere questions about my faith and taught me about salvation. The site said to check back tomorrow and there would be a message for me in my "in box." I would think this could be something you could have your child do once or twice a week for fun as an alternative to a Bible lesson workbook. They might just enjoy it and learn a lot. To sign up for CEFs mail-order lessons, see the Bible Curricula section above.
**Christian Communicators Worldwide has offered this collection of Bible Stories retold by Grandmother and Bible Teacher, Joelee Chamberlain. These are downloadable for personal use.
**Adventures in Odyssey is a permanent family favorite in our household. I can't think of a more pleasant way to while away the miles on a long trip than to join the well-rounded characters from Odyssey on a new adventure. This charming Christian radio drama is produced by Focus on the family. Your kids cannot spend time listening to these stories and not gain a tremendous amount of Bible knowledge.
**Down Gilead Lane is a wonderful radio drama from CBH Ministries centered around small community life. My kids have listened to it for year and higly recommend it. Your kids are certain to engage with the interesting characters and story lines, and will build up their own character in the process.
**Your Story Hour is a classic Bible-based broadcast for kids of all ages. These lovely broadcasts help develop strong Christian character with mrmorable stories from the Bible, famous people, and folks just like you and me. The motto of the ministry is: "Making boys and girls of today, better men and women tomorrow." *Interested in a Bible Study program for your kids? This ministry offers a program through the mail, and every time your child returns two lessons, he receives a new CD from the Life of Jesus Series. By the end of the study, he will have the entire 13 CD set. Now that's a freebie I will look forward to receiving!
Paws and Tales is a broadcast from Insight for Living that teaches Biblical principles to children through stories of friendship and adventure. These stories incorproate music and lovable animal characters, so they will be especially appealing to younger children.
Karen and Kids is new to me, but I checked it out and what I heard was very sweet. It seemed to me it would be especially appealing to the younger ones in our families as youthful voices sing, give Bible readings, and interact with Bible stories. Give it a try...I plan to go back soon.
**Wow. Check out BiblePreaching.com and scroll down to the collection of SM Davis sermons. One of my all time favorite preachers, he speaks on timeless and invaluable subjects in a child-friendly manner (kind of like a grandfather). If you go to his site, Solve Family Problems, you can download worksheets for each of the available FREE sermons for FREE. These make great family studies. You must listen to his anger sermons. They are great.
**Jeff Pollard is another favorite of mine. I love his sermons on the family and they are all available at SermonAudio for free. This is a Reformed site, so if you are not, do avoid any sermons focusing on that doctrinal stance. You will find other good preachers here as well, such as John MacArthur. These sermons are good for those Sundays the kids are ill and you can't make it to church.
**Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries is a wonderful man of God and I enjoy watching his sermons online with one of my sons as a change from our usual Bible Study. He has printable Sermon Outlines and Expanded Studies to go along with most of his sermons, and some Life Principles Study sheets to go along with his more recent ones. The buttons for these downloads can be found directly above the video screen. You can also listen to sermons online from all the way back to 2005. That's a lot of sermons! In 2010 he is preaching through all of his Life Principles. These would be an excellent springboard for a weekly Bible-study or family worship time. If you have to teach a Bible class at church unexpectedly, my husband has found that you can't miss by listening to one of these, then going where the Lord leads you. There is always something to learn, for student and teacher.
Andy Stanley (Charles Stanley's son) of North Point Church has an excellent collection of sermons you can listen to or watch online. Choose one topic from the sermons available here and watch the entire sermon series. I am really enjoying the one called "Guardrails." It is about setting boundaries of behavior in your life to protect you and support your efforts to live by your Christian beliefs.
Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee is a thorough and thought-provoking commentary of God's Holy Word. Here is a link to Blue Letter Bible's page of audio commentaries by J. Vernon McGee for EACH book of the Bible, verse by verse, line by line. Listen as a family, or listen separately to prepare for presenting a particular piece of scripture.
**My all time favorite character training resource (other than the Bible) is this simple Operational Definitions of Character Qualities sheet I downloaded from the SolveFamilyProblems site. It lays out the character qualities, defines them, tells of each one's opposite to be wary of, and lists a Bible verse to support the need for the quality. Print this one up on card stock, laminate it, magnetize the back, and hang it on the fridge. Then the next time you are feeling overly critical of one of your children, find a quality they are living out well and praise it. They will appreciate the specific compliment and start living it out even more. If they have a bad day in a certain area, use the chart to help them pinpoint the reasons why the unwanted behavior is bad and then point them in the right direction. These qualities are kind of like your Family Rules: you can count on them because they never change.
**I find these Character Quality Studies from Homeschool Helper to be very useful. Each one very simply guides you into defining a character quality, identifying a Biblical Story to support the need for that quality, memorizing a verse about the quality, answering some guided questions interpreting the importance of that quality, and leads you to some possible activities demonstrating the quality. Some of the qualities studied are attentiveness, humility, obedience, and diligence. If you paired these studies with some additional resources, such as a few coloring pages or puzzles, a memory work chart, and perhaps a song or hymn, you would have a very effective Bible program that not only teaches the Bible stories, but develops an understanding of why God chose those stories to include in His instruction manual for us and how we can apply them to our own lives. Pretty awesome any way you look at it, but even more so since it is FREE! (Just like God's gift of salvation through Christ...aren't we blessed?)
**I love this Character Curriculum from Joyful Heart. It is geared towards young children (ages 4-6), but I find that older elementary kids who are moved into a teacher's helper role get something from it, too (well, so do I!) It covers 38 weeks and as such will work for your whole year. Planning done! Some topics studied include: Attentiveness, Kindness, Orderliness, Respect, Self-Control, and Thankfulness. Here is a link to the wonderful collection of songs that focus on each of the studied character traits. Each of the songs is sung to the tune "If You're Happy and You Know It" and comes with a printable page for your child's notebook.
For family devotions, I find these character quality studies from BibleClassBooks to be very thought provoking. While there was no link to isolate only the character studies, I wanted to put this up anyway, figuring you can locate "Teaching Values" on the left and click on it to find a pop-out menu of the available topics. Kindness was my favorite, so I linked to that one. Scroll down to the list of fifteen things kindness is. I love it. Be warned that the study on chastity is plain speaking, but not offensive.
Sowing Seeds of Character printable cards from Notebooking Pages. These free habit training cards can supplement your own character study and help you start your own personalized set.
Lapbook Lessons offers a lapbook on the character trait of enthusiam. The lapbook has video instructions and additional resources. Lapbook Lessons says it is aiming to produce lapbooks on more character traits in the future, so check back often.
**This is one of my all time favorite books to read aloud. It's called A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie Mae Hency Williams is a true character-building classic. I have it in its print version and was happy to hear that it is available on Project Guttenberg for those who do not care to purchase the entire book. Each chapter covers a different character trait. Some of them are: Bee Honest, Bee Gentle, Bee Grateful, Bee Polite, Bee Kind, and Bee Obedient. You will love these sweet stories about two children who spend the summer with their grandparents and the invaluable lessons they learn from two wise souls who use everyday happenings to teach eternal truths.
Warnings, Addresses to Children by Richard Newton sounds heavy, but it is a readable collection of admonitions written in a very conversational tone that would be highly useful for family devotions.
Bible Stories in Verse for My Children is a collection of poetic retellings of stories from the Old Testament..
Bible Fruit for Little Children by Rev. E. Mannering is a book worth reading to your family during devotions. It touched my heart immensely, especially the first several chapters focusing on books, specifically God's book, the Bible. I just love books and these old ones are something special.
Bible Stories Told for Children By a Teacher is a good resource for family devotions.
Short and Simple Prayers, With Hymns, for the Use of Children is an excellent resource for pulling memory work, such as poems for your children. The poems are so sweet and pure. You will like them for sure.
Mamma's Bible Stories for Little Boys and Girls is a charming old tome written with simple language which was intended for use as a reading text. I am thinking it might make a good source for copywork...the words are large and plainly printed enough for young folks to use.
Register your homeschool group or co-op for the Bible Bee. See how all those hours listening to Odyssey, daily devotions, Awana memory work, and persistence pays off. But really, the big payoff to all that is when a child of God has the Rock to stand on and the tools to make Godly decisions. But a little freindly competition never hurt anyone, either! Good luck!