Memory Work For Home Study — I Am

Monday begins our 20th year of home schooling.  I have a 15 year old, a 10 year old and an 8 year old still at home.  This year I wanted to work on some Bible memory work with the two younger boys.  I decided we would memorize passages from the gospel of John where Jesus states that “I am…”  The method I’m using is similar to what I have used in Bible class but at home we get the added bonus of working a little everyday.  Each day we will read the entire passage together and then they will:

  • Read the entire passage on Monday
  • Copy a portion of the passage on Tuesday.
  • Illustrate that part on Wednesday.
  • Either write the portion for the week by memory or copy it again on Thursday
  • Recite what we’ve learned so far on Friday.

There are boxes to either put a check mark or a sticker when a task is completed.  Each page is intended to last one week.  The title page will go  in the front pocket of a 3 ring binder until that entire passage is memorized.  Then it will go in the binder in front of the pages used to memorize that passage.  The final page is a special challenge.  The boys will be encouraged to write the entire passage by memory.

So far I have completed the 1st three “I am…” passages that we’ll be doing.  Click on the links below to print out a pdf so your child can work on it as well.

I Am The Light — 2 weeks

I Am The Resurrection — 4 weeks

I Am The Way, The Truth, The Life — 6 weeks

Since these will take about 12 weeks to complete, I have a little while to work on the others.  I plan on doing:

  • I Am The Good Shepherd
  • I Am The Door
  • I Am The Vine
  • I Am The Bread

A Lesson On Being Prepared

This is a lesson for me.  Last Sunday AM, I was not prepared to teach my Bible class.  I could go on and on about the reasons (excuses) but the reasons aren’t really important.  What is important is to be reminded (and believe  me, I was reminded) how important it is to be prepared when teaching a Bible class.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m now teaching the baby class.  I teach the same subject for 1 month.  Since last was the first Sunday in August, it was time to change lessons.  I had all the materials I needed because they have been stored in boxes from times that this lesson was previously taught.  What I hadn’t done was re-familiarized myself with the material.  I hadn’t become comfortable enough with it to go in and teach with the enthusiasm and confidence I needed.

Tonight, I get another chance.  Am I prepared — yes!  At least much better prepared than I was Sunday.   So, bring on the sweet little kids and lets have a good class.

Teaching The Little Ones

I’ve been teaching the “baby” class again for the past month. I haven’t been in this class for several years. I have really missed teaching them. We are in a baby slump at our congregation so we just have a couple in this age range. I have 2 in class on a regular basis. We are blessed with frequent visitors in this class due to young families coming back home for a visit.

I started teaching a baby class before I ever had children. My oldest is now 25. At the time, we had 3 little boys all nearly the same age in our congregation. Their parents thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to start a class for their age. We had a great time but those poor little boys got a very novice teacher. I got to see one of them for the first time in probably 20 years this summer. It was good to hug his neck.

Not long after starting that first class, I had a baby of my own. While visiting family at Bellaire, I took him to their baby class. Kelia Ballou was the teacher. I was amazed at how she taught that class. She had 10-15 babies in that class. Each baby sat on the floor in a semi-circle with a mom or dad right behind him/her. Those babies were captivated by her teaching the entire time. I went home that day with a new enthusiasm for teaching.

Kelia was using To Toddlers With Love by Palma Smiley. I soon began using it as well. This curriculum, while not perfect, is wonderful for this age group. If you’re not familiar with it, check out their website: Early Childhood Curriculum.  This curriculum teaches one lesson for a month and has plenty of activities/songs to keep teacher and students learning the entire class time.  The lessons are independent of each other so you can use them in any order.

This last month we studied David.  I chose this lesson first mainly because I had such a nice full box of activities all ready to go.  Palma Smiley recommends that you (and anyone else you can get to help you) make the activities and store them in boxes so they are ready to use whenever they are needed.  I have my personal set of boxes that I have used over the years and at each of the congregations we’ve attended I’ve helped them get a set of boxes to keep at the building.

For years, I would scour the clearance aisles, buy the baby kids’ meals at McD’s and confiscate toys out of my kids stash to supply my boxes with.  It’s amazing the things you can find to fill these boxes.  I have really tried to stay away from toys that represented a movie character to the kids or a toy that looks too cartoony.  Even though Nemo is a real looking fish, in most kids’ minds, he is a movie character.  Some of the fast food restaurants put their best toys (at least for my boxes) in their baby kids’ meals.  You have to ask specifically for these but they are worth it.  I have had my whole family buy happy meals with the baby toys so I could get enough for my class.

There is an interesting thing I noticed years ago and it happened again just Sunday AM.  These lessons are expected to last 1 month — that’s both Sunday and Wednesday classes.  Here in Huntington, that means 7 or 8 classes a month (we have a 1st Wednesday night singing each month).   With the older kids (around 2 years old) you can always tell when it’s time to move on to the next lesson.  They will get bored.  Sunday, Luke got bored.  He started out the month a little unsure of what all these activities were I was showing him.  Then, after a couple of weeks, he was really getting into them and feeling quite confident.  Then, Sunday, he was showing a lack of interest.  Time to move on to the next box.  Seeing as that was July 31st, it was perfect timing.  Sunday, August 7th, we’ll start our Baby Jesus box.

Color/Activity Book

Worship In Spirit & Truth — Lesson Book

The lesson books were added to throughout the week. The words on the top right hand side are their memory verse (John 4:23) were done with a dashed font so the students could trace them. Each day they traced a little bit of the memory verse and on the last day got a picture to put on each part of the memory verse they memorized. If they memorized it all (and they all did with a little help) they would get a full picture.

5-7 Year Old Class

Aren’t they just the sweetest things. This is the first time in many years that I have not had one of my own kids in my VBS class. These are the only pictures I got of them all week. It’s hard to take pictures and teach at the same time.

Pictures of the Wall Decorations in our VBS

Two of these were left up from last year and were in good condition so we kept them this year. I don’t know if you can tell it or not from the pictures but the I’m Happy Today wall is supposed to look like pictures in very large picture frames.