I am inspired by Joy's example in creating a Quiet Time for my children and have been wondering what that looks like at our stage: 18 months, 3 and 4 1/2 years old. I want to teach my children from their earliest memories how to spend time with the Lord, how to develop and cultivate a relationship with Him and how to worship Him.
Yet, I want to be careful that this is done in a way that is not boring, bland or forced on them. I also don't want it to be over their heads. God provided the answer ~ I have been working hard on a Bible study for preschoolers covering the Fruit of the Spirit. This will take us nine months to complete!
I am by no means an expert on studying the Bible with young children - but this is what God has laid on my heart and provided for us to do this year. If any of you are interested in joining with us, I will share it all here as well.
Please know ahead of time that I am not a very good artist! My pictures are primitive at best and all I can say is that Emily is excited about getting going on this and I hope that the lack in my artistic ability will be made up by the excitement they catch about God and His Word!
Here are a few thoughts on this ~
This study is simply the ideas of a mom desiring to lead her children in growing to have a Quiet Time, develop their relationship with God and build godly character in their lives. Displaying the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives is something I can certainly use and benefit from studying and I hope that by studying this with my children - this will invest God's Word into their hearts in a precious way as well.
A few thoughts on how this is set up:
I designed this for our home, what I knew would work for us. We all do well with some sort of routine, so I plan to begin and end each session with prayer. We'll also be singing one song each day. I have tried to keep these segments to 5-15 minutes a day - just enough to start your day in His Word and also geared towards preschoolers shorter attention span.
I have worked in lots of review - for our children and for me, this is key to remembering what we have learned by reviewing it regularly.
There is one journal page for nearly every week of the study. These should be copied one per child and after they complete them each week - have them put them into a special notebook or folder that is theirs. This will help in review and will provide a beautiful visual at the end of the study of what we have learned together. It is my desire to begin leading my children toward the beautiful discipline of journaling - which is the idea behind beginning this concept at an early age.
One idea for using your journals is to use it in review each week. When you come across review scheduled for that day - pull out the journals and talk through the pictures, have your children explain to you what they learned that day and what each picture means!
Here are a few existing resources I plan on using as part of this study:
* 9 Fruits Alive by Mindy MacDonald
* Music Machine songs
* Steve Green Hide 'Em In Your Heart cd's: Volume 1 and Volume 2
* Fruit of the Spirit card game (found at a dollar store somewhere along the line)
Basically, four weeks will be spent on each of the nine Fruit of the Spirit qualities. And, I’m planning to use the Music Machine song which goes along with each quality for that month. So, for the first four weeks – we’ll learn and sing the song “Love” – you could choose to learn a special hymn about this topic, pick a favorite praise and worship song or whatever works for you! I wanted to incorporate music as it is fun for children and vital for worshipping God!
I may mix in a few of the Steve Green songs as well – since several of them directly correlate to the Scriptures we’ll be using in the weeks ahead.
You’ll also note that I’ve incorporated learning the sign language for each of the nine qualities. This is optional of course, but my children have really enjoyed sign language since they were infants which is the main reason I included it! It is also handy in a situation where you’d like to give a quiet message to your child without embarrassing them by speaking the words – a simple show of the sign for joy could be a great reminder to be joyful and can be presented in a quiet and tactful way that they will still understand.
As with anything – this is just a guide! No one list of suggestions will work for every family out there. This is what I think will work best in our home and if it helps someone else by providing a framework for studying God’s Word – God be praised!
Let’s pray before we begin!
Thank You so much for Your precious Word! Thank You for the instruction we receive from studying it. I pray for my children and our home as we seek You each morning and study this portion of Your Word! I pray that it would come alive for my children in a way that is meaningful to them and that we would be faithful to meet with You each day. Help us to cultivate our relationship with You and guide me as a mother in guiding these little ones closer to You. Teach me how to teach them and I ask You to teach me in the process. I pray in advance for any other mama who chooses to spend this time with You each day. Please bless their time and multiply the benefits in her life and the lives of her children in a way that only You can do.
We commit this time and study into Your care and ask You to be Lord over all that occurs in our time together.
To God be the Glory!
In Jesus’ Name,
AmenThe first section including the intro to the Fruit of the Spirit and Love will be up in the next few days! I'd love to hear from you if you decide to participate!
PS: Did you have any First Day of School traditions? I'm trying to decide if/what to do here and would love to hear your memories!