We have homeschooled our children for the last four years. The Word of God has been a major part of our homeschool day, starting with quiet devotions in the morning and spilling over into every subject – handwriting, history, language arts. If someone asked me about how we spend time in the Word with our kids, this was it – here and there throughout our day, but mainly as a part of our school day.
This fall, our older two boys will be attending school for the first time since preschool. We know this is where God has led us in the education journey and honestly, we’re all really excited for this new adventure! But it did get me thinking about how we will make time in the Word together a priority once they are in school most of the day.
We have let the Bible be our guide for how to use the Word in our family:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Having time in the Word with your kids doesn’t have to involve flannel graphs and songs with choreography. In fact, in Deuteronomy we are taught that God wants us to simply keep His Word always at the forefront of our family life – as we walk and talk and go to sleep and wake up again. Every part of our day as a family is an opportunity to spend time in the Word together, whether the Bible is in front of you or not!
Let’s focus today on those four times mentioned in Deuteronomy 6 to help us be intentional about sharing Scripture with our kids:
Sit at home
Well, there isn’t a whole lot of explaining to do with this one, but there are a few scenarios that are perfect for this. One would be dinner time. I know we have busy families, running here and there for activities at all hours, but coming together for dinner and actually talking as a family is so important and healthy. Maybe breakfast is the one meal where everyone is home. Whatever meal it may be, include the Word in your discussion by opening or closing the meal with a devotion. In our house, my husband and I are always done eating (way) before the kids, so while they continue to eat, one of us could read a Bible verse or devotion and open up some discussion about it! If a meal time doesn’t work for you, many families have a weekly family devotion at a time when they know everyone will be present. Use the time you have all at home to get in to the Word!
Walk along the road
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for a walk, but that is a great idea! I interpret this instruction as talking about Scripture as you go about daily activities. You don’t have to be sitting down at home with a Bible in front of you to talk about the Word with your kids! I’m currently helping our nine-year-old train for his first 5K (at his request), and our time running together is great for discussing Bible verses and even memorizing them! You can talk about Scripture with your kids while you do chores or bake or play a game. As Hebrews 4:12 states, “The Word of God is alive and active,” and it can be a part of our active lives!
When you lie down
Bedtime is a tried-and-true time to read and pray with your kids. I know putting your kids to bed isn’t always relaxing, but there really is nothing better than ending your day with your children focused on the most important thing in your life – God. Choose age-appropriate devotions or Bible stories – both in subject and length of time – and spend the last hours of the day talking about how you’ve seen God at work in your lives that day. Read & Share 5 Minute Bible Stories are so perfect for this time of day with little ones. They are tired and have such short attention spans (I have a three-year-old and know this VERY well), but five minutes is doable for everyone!
When you get up
I think this is my favorite one that we will start to implement with the new school year. I want us all to start the day focused on Jesus and going out into the world with that mindset. We all do quiet Bible time separately in the morning, but I’m stealing the idea from friends of doing a little car-ride-to-school Bible time together and praying just before they get out to tackle the school day! It’s easy to have some worship time with a song or two, have a verse for one of your readers to read aloud to the whole car, and pray together – sounds like the best way to share the Word in the morning!
Deuteronomy 6 encourages me to be creative and intentional about spending time in the Word with my kids, but it also reminds me I don’t have to do anything elaborate. The Word of God needs to be part of our daily comings and goings together. That’s how He’s always wanted it.