Monday, August 11, 2008

Scripture Study for Children

This year I’m teaching ages 5-8 at a private LDS school here in Cache Valley. It is very important to me that we read from the scriptures often as these are the tender ages before the age of accountability. I feel that if children can gain a love for the scriptures in these early and teachable years, it will stay with them forever.

Before my children could read I’d tell them scripture stories at night as they held their scriptures near their hearts. When scared, they were more comforted by holding their scriptures than their stuffed animals.

In our school and family scripture study we mark special passages as we come across them. The older ones help the younger ones mark. This makes it more meaningful and personalized to them. For those that can’t read we help them find passages by page numbers. If they can’t do that then we find the page for them and help them underline or color the correct passage and then we read and discuss it together. With inexpensive copies of the scriptures (about $2.00 at church distribution) the children can practice marking passages special to them. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do it. They can color the names of the books with different colored pencils, make small drawings of special characters in the margins, highlight all the words that Jesus spoke, or simply color what they are feeling as the read the passage.

Another suggestion is to have little people, characters, chess pieces or cut-outs that represent the people that we are talking about. As I read, a child places the object (or person) in the proper place. As certain groups are destroyed we take them off the table. This part has really helped the children visualize both the events taking place and understand the reality of the people we are reading about. They are also more engaged in the story-line and anxious to know what happens next.

In my own personal scripture study I often draw a small heart above passages that discuss the condition of the heart. This simple visual reminds me to think about the condition of my own heart and the consequences of such.

How blessed we are to have the scriptures and to be able to really sup from their pages. As we truly learn from their messages our lives are blessed and our hearts are changed.

4 comments:

  1. These are such wonderful ideas for studying the scriptures with our children.

    I am so impressed with each of my own three daughters, and how they are so very diligent to read the scriptures daily, with even their very youngest children.

    I cannot think of a greater legacy for my own grandchildren to be given, than to have been trained up - in such a righteous way.

    tDMg
    LdsNana-AskMormon

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  2. I so agree. There is power in developing that love early.

    I have come to find comfort even in the smell of the leather cover of my scriptures. I am sure that sounds strange to most!

    As we taught our children to read, there was always a distinct turning point where their abilities took a quantum leap forward. It always happened as soon as they could read in the scriptures. At first we would let them read the easy words and help them with the harder. It was always astounding to see how they blossomed at that point.

    I attribute that to the great power in the scriptures.

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  3. Thank you both for those great comments! It strengthens me to hear of others' positive experiences adn feelings. Thank you for sharing!!!

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  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on the Uganda report. Your efforts in sharing a love of the scriptures, not just a "duty" to read is commendable. Obviously, effective as well. It's a pay-day when you see your children turn to the scriptures on their own for comfort.

    I can't imagine being a single parent and shouldering the responsibilities every day. But look at you doing all the good things that actually make life bearable. Your attitude is infectous and admirable. Good for you!

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Thank you for your comments.