Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bible Reading with Children

While were are on the topic of Bible reading this week, I'd love to hear your tips for Bible reading with children.

Like anything else worth doing, we have found it challenging to read the Bible with our children. As they grow and mature, what worked needs to be adapted. When they were younger we read various Bible story books. Now we usually choose a passage and each person takes a turn reading a verse.

We've tried various plans. We've read through the Proverb of the month. Two years ago we used the Beginner's Bible reading plan which has short readings from every book of the Bible. Last year we started reading through the New Testament and we plan to finish up this year.

We have tried Bible reading before bedtime, but we miss too many nights when we are away from home. Also the younger girls are often cranky and disruptive at that time of day.

What works best is reading before breakfast. The two youngest are usually in bed which makes it less crazy, thought I don't like that they don't get to participate.

But the biggest challenge is making Bible reading meaningful. I know how easy it is to just pay attention to which verse to read when it is my turn and not really be thinking about the meaning of the passage.

Recently Ed has been telling the children to look for an unfamiliar word in the passage. If they say they can't find a word then he'll probably do an impromptu vocabulary quiz so they are motivated to find a word. This has been especially helpful while reading through the epistles where there are numerous terms and concepts that the children are unfamiliar with.

Ed reads the Bible on his phone using the free a Tecarta app. He bought the Strongs Concordance app so it is super easy for Ed to give us the definition of a word. If something is simple, we are much more likely to continue doing it.

I liked hearing in the comments the numerous ways that you all are using our modern technology to encourage your Bible reading. Do any of you have more tips for Bible reading with children?


  1. My grandaughter has been going to a Christian Academy now for a few years. I've been impressed with their Bible study each day, which includes the children sitting on the floor with pillows, while Teacher reads a scripture. The children are encouraged to talk about it, give examples and ask questions. My grandaughter says its her favorite part of the day next to Chapel (quiet time, with some quiet music). I was thinking if your family isn't already doing something similar, this might be something to try with the older children.

  2. Our church has Bible reading for a year listed on the back of the bulletin each week. I decided, that I would read the Bible through this year to my seven year old daughter. I just follow the schedule from church. She is homeshoooled, so we usually do our Bible reading after school is done for the day. I know you said you've done Bible story books before, but have you ever tried the Bible story books by Arthur S. Maxwell? It's a ten volume set, and it also gives scripture references where the Bible stories are found. I read my daughter one story out of those books, before we start our school day. Your younger children might like them? Thank you for sharing.

  3. We fit Bible reading into our school day. Usually in the afternoons.
    We read the proverb that correlates with the date.
    Everyone takes turns reading and then afterwards everyone chooses a verse that is meaningful to them or that they don't understand and we discuss.
    We also discuss while reading if I feel a verse needs to be lingered upon.
    We all then kneel down and pray.
    My kids are ages 19-9, six of them. (0:

  4. Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson is a very good book we are going through right now. I will email you some pictures of a couple pages in it.

  5. I read through the Hurlbut's Story of The Bible for young and old. A Continuous narrative of the Scriptures told in one hundred sixty -eight stories.
    By Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, D.D. My book is an old one (1952 copyright) that I found cheap at a garage sale. From the Creation to the Last Judgment the stories are all there in easy to understand language. I was 60 years old when I read it and found it fascinating. I checked out Amazon and they have several Hurlbuts books but make sure you get the "continuous narrative told in one hundred and sixty eight stories."

  6. We love using the family devotional books by Howard Bean; Fruitful families, Worshipful families and Faithful families, available through Christian Light Publications. If you haven't already tried then I would strongly recommend reading them. In your specific circumstances you could do the main bible reading and devotion with your older children in the morning and then read the accompanying story section later on when the younger children are awake.
    Personally we find it excellent to do after evening meal as a family.
    A simpler/quicker book I've been going through with my children in the mornings (when i remember!) is also from CLP, Light for your path by Mary Ellen Beachey.
    PS I have 6 children also, ages between 10 and 1 :)

  7. The first thing I would say is don't stress over reading His Word. The Lord will prompt them in His consider this or that...let Him teach, you just read! I'm a 67 year old preachers wife and back in those days I would read to our 4 daughters "The Bible for little eyes" very simple and 3 or 4 simple questions. You're doing a good job...and like I would tell our girls..."do your best and let God do the rest".I'm sure they got tired of hearing that, but it takes the pressure off of you and the younguns'! I pray for you all......

  8. I have been so blessed reading your blog over the last year. My family have enjoyed many of your great recipes.
    When our children were little we read through the Uncle Arthur series of children's books after dinner. When our children were old enough to read themselves, they read out loud from children's Bibles during our devotion time in the morning (we are homeschoolers). As they grew older we had them choose a book of the Bible and read a passage each morning until they were finished the book. We have three boys (now 12, 14 and 16) and they choose various books, and you would think that it would be scrambly and disjointed, reading from all over the Bible, but it comes together so well most mornings. I (mom) also read a book of the Bible. We have been reading the Bible together this way now for about 6 years and it is by far my favorite method.


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