Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
The public-school model would have you believe that education can only take place Monday through Friday between the hours of roughly 8:00 AM until roughly 3:00 PM. In fact, when many families begin homeschooling, they often try to follow that very model and wind up simply “doing school at home”.
The good news is that in reality, homeschooling gives you far more freedom than that! You’ll be able to build a schedule that truly meets the needs of you and your entire family, whether on a daily basis, or for the school year as a whole. Once you realize how liberating this educational journey can be, you’ll settle in well.
Most Homeschoolers Overlook Sunday Learning
As Christian homeschoolers, we often view Sunday only as a day of rest. And rightly so. But learning can still take place on this day. If you attend a church service, there are plenty of opportunities to rack up some experiences and information that will count for grades or credits towards subjects you are teaching. On the other hand, you could count the whole experience as religious instruction.
One of the best things about allowing Sunday to count towards homeschooling is that it’s a relaxed day and the learning comes naturally. There’s no rush to beat the clock, no lesson plans to complete, no grades to be averaged or recorded. It’s simply the natural learning process that occurs when one hears information and retains it.
Today, we’re going to delve into some ways to take advantage of Sunday for everything that it is to your family, and everything that it can be to your homeschool. After all, it is your homeschool! What you make of this day can actually impact the rest of your week, as well as your homeschool schedule overall. So, let’s find out a little more about what you can do to take advantage of this often-forgotten homeschooling day.
Sunday Homeschooling for Young Children
In some cases, homeschooling on Sunday might be easiest with young children, from preschool through the third or fourth grade. Thanks to Sunday school, they get a lesson tailor-made for their age level and often with materials that can be brought home and placed in their portfolio. If you know up front what their lesson is going to include, you can discuss the details on the way to church. If not, you can ask them questions about what they learned after service is over. This lets you know how much of the information they actually comprehended, and if you happen to be adhering to the Charlotte Mason Method, this can even count towards narration.
You can also take special advantage of Vacation Bible School for your children at this age. It’s a great way to track even more learning and maybe even utilize those summer months to get a few hours of instruction out of the way. If you’re doing year-round schooling, it should fit right in.
Sunday Homeschooling for Middle-Grade Children
Middle grade children, from grades four or five through grade nine, are also in a great place to still benefit from Sunday school, youth Bible class, youth groups and outings, and sometimes, even regular services. Just as with the younger children, you can use any materials they bring home from these classes while also employing conversation and narration as a part of the comprehension portion.
As children get older, they might be transitioning from the Vacation Bible School setting to something like camps, youth groups, and group activities such as skate night, bowling, movie night, games, or trivia teams. Again, these are excellent opportunities to really take advantage of the learning that takes place during these activities. It’s also a great time to introduce your child to his or her very own study Bible and, if they’re interested, you could include a journal or devotional for their quiet time as they learn how to flesh out their own relationship with God. The Bible calls it growing in grace.
Sunday Homeschooling for High School Children
The older your child gets, the more likely they are to do much of their Sunday reflection on their own. This may be the time he or she decides to start attending regular services with you, and could benefit from a personal study Bible, journaling Bible, or even just a regular Bible and a notebook. Allow them to take their own sermon notes, and you take yours as well. Once you are back home, you can compare notes and let them tell you all about what they learned and what specific Scriptures might have meant to them.
At this age, it’s not uncommon for youth groups to gather more frequently for a variety of activities and study time, and faith-based camps are always a great idea in the summertime. In fact, camp is a great opportunity to let them try out some of their new-found freedom as well as a few life skills, which you can always add to a report card or even a transcript. In everything that they do, look for learning opportunities you can capitalize on to make sure they’re getting the most out of their time.
Homeschooling Using the Bible as a Textbook
Many homeschooling parents use the Bible for more than just faith-based topics. Some curriculum providers even use it as the text for their Bible curriculums. For instance, it can easily be used as an historical text. These days, archaeologists continue to cite the Bible as one of the most accurate historical documents in the world, offering much information that goes along with what they are finding in their work. Locations, dates, and descriptions go a long way in their line of work.
It can be a great companion as well, from a literary standpoint, especially when attempting to understand the Old English style of writing and speaking. The King James version can not only offer insight into word meanings and usages, but it can be an excellent example of how people spoke to one another in those days. Exploring the books of poetry, such as the Psalms, can be an entire Unit Study all to itself as well.
Bible Homeschooling Resources
When you’re ready to put together a lesson plan, or even plan your entire year, be sure to consider all your resource and curriculum offers. Most curriculum providers offer excellent Bible curriculum with all the necessary components such as lesson plans, grade schedules, and everything necessary to teach the subject. If you purchase from one of these curriculum providers, you’ll even have someone to call if you ever need assistance or have questions about the materials.
If your budget does not allow for a full curriculum like the one just mentioned, there are vast options, which you can find through a simple Google search, for free resources, texts, lessons, worksheets, and activity ideas, all based on age or grade level. A search on social media platforms may allow you to connect with likeminded parents through groups specifically geared towards faith-based learning or using the Bible as a textbook.
Don’t forget to make use of Pinterest to search for great ideas and while you’re there, you can create a Pinterest board specifically for Bible classes, resources, activities, or anything else you might find useful, interesting, or engaging for this specific field of study.
To some, homeschooling on Sunday might sound a little over the top. For others, it might sound like a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the learning that’s already taking place anyway. No matter how old your child, or how much they already know about the Bible, there is always more to be learned. For instance, moving from the basics into a more theological or apologetic direction could be an excellent way to renew your child’s interest in the Bible. But as I stated at the beginning of this post, it’s your homeschool. Don’t be afraid to do it your way.