A LADY SHOWED UP on my Facebook news feed a few days ago complaining about people tearing into her for homeschooling her kids.
“I am absolutely done,” she said, “with the ignorant opinions people have towards homeschooling.”
My first thought was to add this comment to her post:
“It’s ‘toward homeschooling.’ There’s no such word as ‘towards.’”
I decided that would be more unkind than helpful.
It is true, though. She was making a common grammatical mistake that I learned about in my journalism classes in college.
“Towards” is, however, correct in Great Britain.
Here’s the Bible Question of the Week. It comes from Cheryl Baranski, who gets a free copy of Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible for Kids for bothering to send me the question. Thank you very much.
How do you teach the Bible to your children, when you aren’t that strong in that area?
- How do you teach your children grammar when you don’t know a “toward” from a “towards”?
- How do you teach your children geography if you don’t know Africa’s a continent, not a country?
- How do you teach your children the importance of reading if they never see you reading?
And the answer is
Do what teachers do.
Teach yourself. Then teach your miniatures.
Or, if need be, teach yourself while you teach your miniatures. Learn with them.
I have a fair number of teachers in my extended family. I have a niece fresh out of college, now teaching music to children in kindergarten through fifth grade in Mobridge, South Dakota. She started teaching just a couple of weeks ago. This is her first-ever teaching job. So I have been worried about her. Not just because she’s a rookie, but because she is 1,200 miles away from her Ohio family. I wrote about her in Feeling a little homesick?
Over Labor Day weekend I spent some time with a nephew of mine who has been teaching for several years. Because of my niece, I asked him what his first year was like.
He said he was able to stay only one day ahead of his students because he had to do his lesson planning in the evening. He had lesson plans that he needed to create for all six of his classes. So he often needed to stay up until around midnight each school night during that first year.
How to teach the Bible to kids
Get yourself a book with stories from the Bible.
Either read the stories with your kids or read the stories ahead of time and then put the stories in your own words. Kids absolutely love to hear you tell stories.
I told my kids stories just before bedtime. We had a 30-minute timeslot before lights out. I called it “Feet off the Floor” time. They would get in bed and read a little. And I’d go in and tell them one story. I generally gave them three stories to choose from, and they picked the one they wanted. We ended “Feet off the Floor” time with prayer.
I don’t usually write books for kids, but I do have one: Who’s Who & Where’s Where in the Bible for Kids. I’m giving a signed copy to Cheryl.
If the kids are a little older, you could try something like the Complete Guide to the Bible, Student Edition.
I’ve seen young people reading this book. One time I walked up to a young lady reading it during a book convention, and I asked her what she thought about it. She said she liked it. We talked a bit about what it was she liked. Colorful pictures, for one.
I’ve heard from other folks that the book raises questions in the minds of some young people and they end up talking about them with their parents. One mom wrote me and said it felt pretty cool that her teenagers were talking to her about the Bible, of all things.
The Bible says we parents should be doing this for our kids. Spell out the headlines of what you believe:
“Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night,” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
There are lots of good books out there to help you ease your kids into the Bible. Printed books. Digital books. Books to buy. Books to borrow. Don’t be stealing any. Or downloading them for free from sleazy websites that slip in malware.
Pick a book that interests you and that you think just might interest your kids. Then spend some book time together with your kids. From there, I’m pretty sure, you’ll head toward the Bible to get the rest of the story.
But not towards the Bible.
Unless you’re British.