Simple. Everyone wants simple.
But simple does not make very much money, does it? And money is what makes the world go 'round.
Full confession: I have a bachelors in music education, taught children's Bible classes since I was 16, and I was a music and pre-school teacher before I became a stay at home mom. I LOVED making beautiful bulletin boards, handwork, decorating my classroom, etc... I poured a lot of time, work and much to my husband's chagrin, money, into teaching other people's children. And if I am being completely honest with myself, most of that work was not for my students. It was for me. Much of it really didn't enhance the actual learning of the students very much. (There are a few exceptions, but sadly, very few.)
I like coloring, cutting, pasting, laminating and making things pretty. So there.
And I still do! But as a homeschooling mom, I don't get very much by way of daily prep time for that kind of thing. And because of the situation in our local church where my kids are the only children that attend our small, just-getting-started group right now, I am their perpetual Bible class teacher. This has caused me to re-evaluate just what is important and just what really enhances their learning and what is just... fluff. Pretty fluff. But still fluff.
My time is valuable. Their learning is important. I have needed to be more discerning to make the most out of what we have.
All those adorable Pinteresty things for homeschooling and Bible class... how many of those projects are really only for the teacher/mom? Be honest. And there is nothing really wrong with that. But I just don't have that kind of time any more.
I need to sleep and take my vitamins. I need to get outside with my children. I need to read them piles of books and cook them healthy food. My husband needs lovin' time. I need to wash the dishes and do laundry. A couple of times a week, I really just need to get a shower.
I'm a thirty-something-year-old mama and I need to keep things simple.
And simple works. It really does.
We don't do crafts in Bible class. We have a simple timeline posted on a wall. We have a bookshelf with Bibles and a stack of white copy paper on it. I have the ESV Family Bible and a set of Betty Lukens felts for a visual aids. If we didn't have that, a whiteboard and some markers would do. We have a box of crayons. And my boys are learning at a tremendous rate!
This is our simple Bible class "program" for two boys, ages 5 and 3:
- We pray
- Sometimes we sing Bible songs that go with the lesson. Nothing complicated though.
- We go through the Bible and read a Bible story. We work in chronological order.
- We find our Bible story in our simple timeline.
- Sometimes we look at things on maps if it is relevant to the story.
- We review the story with the felts.
- The boys "narrate" the story back to me as they draw key events with crayons on the plain paper.
And it is the same for homeschooling. Mostly it is about the books, and when it comes to Bible, it is about THE Book. We don't spend a lot and we don't need a lot. But you won't be able to find this sort of thing at a convention or in a catalog.