teaching your child the bible in your homeschool

Teaching Your Child the Bible In Your Homeschool

What should every child know about the Bible? Christian parents want their children to have a good foundation in Biblical literacy. They want their kids to understand basic theology, to hide God’s Word in their hearts, and to be able to quickly find their place in the Scripture.

But the Bible is so big…where should we start? What are the most important things every child should know, memorize, and understand about the Bible?

I hope this post provides a helpful starting point as you plan your Bible memory work, Bible lessons, or religious curriculum studies in your homeschool! Even young children can be encouraged to know and love their Bibles well.

These key elements of Biblical literacy would also be a great addition to your family devotions. homeschool Morning Time, or even your children’s Sunday school.

teaching your child the bible in your homeschool

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Key Passages of the Bible Everyone Should Know

  • 15 key passages from the Old Testament
  • 15 key passages from the New Testament

Resources for Learning the Books of the Bible

Memory Verses Everyone Should Know

  • Learning Bible verses thru song
  • Key verses to memorize from each book of the Old Testament
  • Key verses to memorize from each book of the New Testament

Learning Biblical Doctrine

  • Systematic Theology
  • Church History

Key Passages of the Bible Your Child Should Know

I think there are a few key Bible passages that Christians should be able to turn to quickly. You don’t necessarily need to have the entire passage memorized, but it’s good to be able to find it right away!

As you learn these key Scripture passages as a family, remember to discuss how each of them points to Jesus Christ!

There are certainly even more key passages from the Old and New Testaments that would be good to familiarize yourself with, but here are 15 key passages to know from the Old Testament and 15 key passages to know from the New Testament:

15 Key Passages of the Old Testament To Teach In Your Homeschool:

  • Creation (Genesis 1-2)
  • Fall and Protoevangelium (Genesis 3)
  • Noah, the Flood, and God’s Rainbow Promise (Genesis 7-9)
  • Call of Abraham (Genesis 12)
  • God’s Covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15)
  • 10 Plagues (Exodus 7-12)
  • 10 Commandments (Exodus 20)
  • David Anointed King (1 Samuel 16)
  • Dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8)
  • The Psalm of the Good Shepherd (The Lord is my Shepherd) (Psalm 23)
  • The Psalm of Confession and Forgiveness (David’s Prayer of Repentance) (Psalm 51)
  • The Psalm of the Word of God (Thy Word is a lamp to my feet) (Psalm 119)
  • Isaiah’s Vision of the Throne Room of God (Isaiah 6)
  • Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53)
  • Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37)

15 Key Passages of the New Testament To Teach In Your Homeschool:

  • Birth of Jesus (Luke 2)
  • Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3)
  • Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4)
  • Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)
  • Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer (John 17)
  • Great Commission (Matthew 28)
  • Pentecost and Coming of Holy Spirit (Acts 2)
  • Jerusalem Council (Acts 15)
  • Summary of Salvation: Justification, Sanctification, Glorification (Romans 5-8)
  • Love Chapter (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)
  • Armor of God (Ephesians 6)
  • Promise of the Second Coming (1 Thessalonians 4)
  • Faith Chapter (Hebrews 11)
  • New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21-22)

**Please note: Romans 5-8 helpfully summarizes and details both the historical events of the crucifixion/resurrection as well as the theological implications of those events, so I decided to go with that reference for the sake of this “key passage” list. I further made that choice since all 4 Gospels include a record of the crucifixion and resurrection, so it would be hard to pick just one. (In contrast to the record of Jesus’ birth, where Luke clearly chose to include the lengthiest account.) I also assume that all of us would know to turn to the end of any of the 4 Gospels to find the record of Christ’s crucifixion/resurrection, while we might not know right away where to find the passage in Romans that clearly lays out essentially a full explanation of the Gospel. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of our eternal hope, so I certainly didn’t leave off those passages due to thinking them unimportant! I’ll add those references as an addendum to the key passages list for clarity:

Crucifixion: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19
Resurrection: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20

Do You Know the Books of the Bible?

There are 66 books in the Bible. The Old Testament consists of 39 books. The New Testament consists of 27 books.

Foundational to good Biblical literacy is a basic understanding of the books of the Bible!

Help Your Child Memorize the Books of the Bible in order

The first step is to memorize the list of books in order. I think this is most easily accomplished in song. Here are a few of our favorite musical versions listing the books of the Bible:

How to Find Any Book of the Bible Quickly

Another helpful exercise is to quickly find and open to any book of the Bible. You can even do this as a fun game during Morning Time or family devotions! Which kid can find a specific book of the Bible first? Can they identify the books immediately before and after? Can they tell us something important that occurs in that book or a key theme of the book? Do they know a verse from the book by heart?

How to Understand the Genres of the Biblical Books

It is also important to understand the genres of the books of the Bible. There is, of course, overlap. Some books of the Bible contain multiple genres. How to Read the Bible as Literature by Leland Ryken can be a helpful resource to understand the genres contained in the Bible.

  • History and Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts)
  • Poetry and Wisdom Literature (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Song, James)
  • Prophecy (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Revelation)
  • Epistle (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 2 John, Jude)

Memory Verses Every Child Should Know

This list is limited only by the Scriptures themselves: “Thy Word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

What is more important than hiding God’s Word in our hearts?

It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

The Holy Spirit is faithful to bring Scripture back to our mind as we fight sin, face trials, or experience joy.

Knowing the Word of God for ourselves also helps guard us from heresy.

Some passages of Scripture are more difficult to understand than others. Encourage your children to bring their tricky questions to the Lord, to you, and to trusted leaders in your church. We don’t have to worry or be ashamed when we don’t understand!

teaching your child the bible in your homeschool

Learning Bible Verses Through Song

I find that when it comes to short passages of Scripture (a verse or two), the easiest way to hide it in our hearts is with song. Here are a few of our favorite ways to sing the Bible and memorize God’s Word:

How to Learn Longer Passages of the Bible In Your Homeschool

In our homeschool Morning Time, I generally focus on longer passages of Scripture. I especially like to print them out with alternating bold and light print, and then we read them aloud responsively. It helps us stay focused, and it really is amazing how quickly we memorize Bible verses simply by reading them aloud together consistently!

In our family devotions, sometimes my husband will pick a key thematic verse from the book of the Bible we’re currently reading to recite each night.

There’s really no wrong way to go about memorizing the Bible. The most important thing is to actually do it.

Don’t wait until you pick the perfect list of Bible verses; just pick one and memorize it with your children today.

When you know that one?

Pick another one.

The best time to start memorizing Bible verses is now.

The Best Bible Verses to Memorize With Your Children

Here are some of the best Scripture passages to memorize from the Bible with your children. I’ve picked at least one passage from each book of the Bible. Where more than one passage is listed, I’ve bolded my top choice for that book.

If you memorize even a few of these verses, you will not only gain an understanding of the key themes of each individual book of the Bible, but you will also gain a deeper insight into the overall story of Redemption communicated Genesis thru Revelation. The Good News of the Gospel is proclaimed throughout the entire Bible!

The passages selected of course also reflect my personal preferences. To be clear, these are not the only verses one could or should memorize and recite from any of these books. At the end of the day, this is a subjective list. So please let this be a tool for your family’s Bible studies, not a legalistic chain!

 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you want to print these passages out for individual members of the family, BibleGateway is an excellent free tool to search for particular verses in different Bible translations and even different languages. I also use BibleGateway’s Bible app free audiobook feature while on the go!

Best Old Testament Memory Verses

Genesis

·         Genesis 1:26-31

·         Genesis 2:7, 15-25

·         Genesis 3:13-15

·         Genesis 12:1-3

·         Genesis 15:1-6

Exodus

·         Exodus 20:1-21

Leviticus

·         Leviticus 19:1-4, 9-18

Numbers

·         Numbers 6:22-27

Deuteronomy

·         Deuteronomy 6:1-25

Joshua

·         Joshua 24:14-28

Judges

·         Judges 2:16-23

Ruth

·         Ruth 1:15-18

1 Samuel

·         1 Samuel 2:1-10

2 Samuel

·         2 Samuel 7:18-29

1 Kings

·         I Kings 3:3-14

·         I Kings 8:22-61

2 Kings

·         2 Kings 6:8-19

·         2 Kings 19:14-19

1 Chronicles

·         I Chronicles 29:10-22

2 Chronicles

·         2 Chronicles 7:11-22

Ezra

·         Ezra 9:6-10:4

Nehemiah

·         Nehemiah 1:1-11

Esther

·         Esther 4:13-17

Job

·         Job 28:1-18

·         Job 42:1-6

Psalms

·         Psalm 1

·         Psalm 2

·         Psalm 15

·         Psalm 23

·         Psalm 51

·         Psalm 119

·         Psalm 139

·         Psalm 150

Proverbs

·         Proverbs 1:1-7

·         Proverbs 3:1-35

·         Proverbs 31:10-31

Ecclesiastes

·         Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

·         Ecclesiastes 12:1-8, 13-14

Song of Songs

·         Song of Songs 8:6-7

Isaiah

·         Isaiah 6

·         Isaiah 9:2-7

·         Isaiah 11:1-9

·         Isaiah 42: 1-9

·         Isaiah 43:1-7

·         Isaiah 53: 1-12

·         Isaiah 55:1-13

Jeremiah

·         Jeremiah 10:1-10

·         Jeremiah 23:1-6

·         Jeremiah 31:31-37

Lamentations

·         Lamentations 3:19-33

Ezekiel

·         Ezekiel 36:22-32

·         Ezekiel 37:1-14

Daniel

·         Daniel 2:20-23

·         Daniel 3:14-18

Hosea

·         Hosea 1:10-2:1

Joel

·         Joel 2:12-17

·         Joel 2:21-32

Amos

·         Amos 4:11-13

·         Amos 5:6-15

·         Amos 5:18-24

·         Amos 8:4-14

Obadiah

·         Obadiah 15-21

Jonah

·         Jonah 2:1-10

·         Jonah 4:10-11

Micah

·         Micah 5:2-5

·         Micah 6:6-8

·         Micah 7:8-20

Nahum

·         Nahum 1:2-8

Habakkuk

·         Habakkuk 2:1-4

·         Habakkuk 3:17-19

Zephaniah

·         Zephaniah 1:12-2:3

·         Zephaniah 3:14-20

Haggai

·         Haggai 1:12-2:9

Zechariah

·         Zechariah 1:2-6

·         Zechariah 2:8-13

·         Zechariah 3:1-10

·         Zechariah 7:4-24

·         Zechariah 8:11-17

·         Zechariah 9:9-17

Malachi

·         Malachi 1:2-5

·         Malachi 1:9-14

·         Malachi 3:1-7

·         Malachi 3:16-4:6

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@rodlong?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Rod Long</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/bible?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

Best New Testament Memory Verses

Matthew

·         Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)

·         Matthew 10:27-42

·         Matthew 11:25-30

·         Matthew 13:1-23

·         Matthew 16:13-28

·         Matthew 25:1-46

·         Matthew 28:18-20

Mark

·         Mark 2:23-3:6

·         Mark 10:17-22

·         Mark 14:32-50

·         Mark 15:21-41

Luke

·         Luke 1:26-38

·         Luke 1:46-55

·         Luke 1:68-79

·         Luke 2:1-40

·         Luke 7:36-50

·         Luke 13:22-35

·         Luke 15:11-32

·         Luke 24:1-12

·         Luke 24:36-53

John

·         John 1:1-18

·         John 3:1-21

·         John 5:19-47

·         John 10:7-18, 24-30

·         John 11:17-27

·         John 13:1-17

·         John 14:1-6, 15-18, 25-28

·         John 15:1-25

·         John 17

·         John 20:24-31

Acts

·         Acts 1:1-11

·         Acts 2:1-4

·         Acts 2:38-47

·         Acts 4:18-31

·         Acts 17:22-34

·         Acts 26:1-29

Romans

(these are the passages we recited for several months in our Morning Time in order to learn the overall themes and outline of the book of Romans)

·         Romans 1:16-17

·         Romans 2:4-5

·         Romans 3:19-26

·         Romans 4:16-22

·         Romans 5:1-11, 18-21

·         Romans 6:1-4, 22-23

·         Romans 7:7-12, 22-25

·         Romans 8:1-4, 14-18, 31-39

·         Romans 9:14-24

·         Romans 10:9-10, 14-17

·         Romans 11:33-36

·         Romans 12:1-2, 9-16

·         Romans 13:7, 13-14

·         Romans 14:13-14

·         Romans 15:5-6

·         Romans 16:25-27

1 Corinthians

·         I Corinthians 1:4-9

·         I Corinthians 1:18-31

·         I Corinthians 3:5-23

·         I Corinthians 6:12-20

·         I Corinthians 8

·         I Corinthians 9:24-27

·         I Corinthians 10:12-11:1

·         I Corinthians 11:23-34

·         I Corinthians 12:12-31

·         I Corinthians 13

·         I Corinthians 15:1-28

·         I Corinthians 15:42-58

2 Corinthians

·         2 Corinthians 1:3-11

·         2 Corinthians 2:14-3:3

·         2 Corinthians 3:7-18

·         2 Corinthians 4

·         2 Corinthians 5:6-11

·         2 Corinthians 5:12-21

·         2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Galatians

·         Galatians 1:6-10

·         Galatians 2:17-21

·         Galatians 3:5-14

·         Galatians 3:26-4:7

·         Galatians 5:1-6, 16-25

·         Galatians 6:7-10

Ephesians

·         Ephesians 1:3-23

·         Ephesians 2

·         Ephesians 3:14-21

·         Ephesians 4:1-6

·         Ephesians 4:25-5:2

·         Ephesians 5:15-21

·         Ephesians 5:22-6:9

·         Ephesians 6:10-20

Philippians

·         Philippians 1:12-26

·         Philippians 2:1-18

·         Philippians 3:7-14

·         Philippians 4:4-9

Colossians

·         Colossians 1:9-29

·         Colossians 2:6-15

·         Colossians 3:1-4:1

1 Thessalonians

·         1 Thessalonians 2:4-12

·         1 Thessalonians 3:11-4:12

·         1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11

2 Thessalonians

·         2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

·         2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

1 Timothy

·         1 Timothy 1:3-11

·         1 Timothy 2:1-7

·         1 Timothy 3:14-16

·         1 Timothy 4:12-16

·         1 Timothy 6:3-16

2 Timothy

·         2 Timothy 1:8-14

·         2 Timothy 2:1-13

·         2 Timothy 3:14-17

·         2 Timothy 4:1-8

Titus

·         Titus 2:1-15

·         Titus 3:1-8

Philemon

·         Philemon 1-25

Hebrews

·         Hebrews 1:1-4

·         Hebrews 2:10-18

·         Hebrews 4:8-16

·         Hebrews 6:13-20

·         Hebrews 7:26-8:2

·         Hebrews 9:11-22

·         Hebrews 10:1-4, 11-18

·         Hebrews 10:19-25

·         Hebrews 11:1-12:2

·         Hebrews 12:18-29

James

·         James 1:2-8,12-18

·         James 1:19-27

·         James 2:14-26

·         James 3:13-18

·         James 4:13-17

·         James 5:13-18

1 Peter

·         1 Peter 1:3-21

·         1 Peter 2:4-10

·         1 Peter 3:18-4:6

·         1 Peter 4:12-19

·         1 Peter 5:5-11

2 Peter

·         2 Peter 1:5-11

·         2 Peter 3:3-18

1 John

·         1 John 1:1-2:2

·         1 John 2:3-17

·         1 John 3:1-9

·         1 John 3:16-23

·         1 John 4:7-5:5

2 John

·         2 John 4-11

3 John

·         3 John 5-8

Jude

·         Jude 3-4

·         Jude 20-25

Revelation

·         Revelation 1:4-8

·         Revelation 1:12-20

·         Revelation 4:2-11

·         Revelation 5:8-14

·         Revelation 7:9-17

·         Revelation 19:1-16

·         Revelation 20:1-15

·         Revelation 21:1-27

·         Revelation 22:1-21

A Study Of Biblical Doctrine

Theology is the study of God: who He is and what He has done. We must guard our hearts and minds from heresy and the fluctuating winds of doctrine. Studying theology with your children is a vital component of Christian family life.

Here are a few key tools to use when teaching your children theology:

Learning About Church History

It’s impossible to understand Biblical doctrine without at least some grasp of church history. Church history is a key aspect of Biblical literacy that is often overlooked.

Church history is the story of our spiritual family tree. We see how God’s people have wrestled with the same theological issues for generations. We see how the same errors return dressed up in different garb.

To learn more about church history, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Church History here. It includes easy ways to learn the history of Christ’s church even with young children.

Make Biblical Literacy a Priority in Your Family and Homeschool

God has graciously revealed Himself to us in His Word. What a joy it is to read and study the Bible alongside our children! My prayer is that this resource will be a helpful tool as you seek to hide the truths of God’s Word in your hearts. May this be the continuation and beginning of a lifelong love of God for each of us!

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