Engraving Heavenly Truths – the Beginning Tuesday, Apr 14 2009 

We started the new curriculum, Engraving Heavenly Truths. We are studying a Survey of the Old Testament. The flashcards have been more fun than I expected. Of course, I believe that may have something to do with having hubby to study with. We have tested each other using the flashcards and I am beginning to see how this program can help home bible study. The cards often lead to questions and further study on the subject. I think it is important to emphasize using the cards as a jumping off point. We must look further than the facts to find the meaning. Also, we have started the Teacher Training class on Wednesday nights. In this class, we are studying the New Testament in order to prepare ourselves for teaching a Survey of the New Testament. As you can see, my husband and I are quite busy. It has been a bit overwhelming. Naturally, if one isn’t teaching this would not be the case. One would only be studying one subject at a time, instead of two. I have been surprised to learn just how much I learned as a child and how much I still remember. One of my concerns at the beginning was the idea that we not use crafts in class. I enjoy crafts and believe that they can be used as teaching tools. However, we only have a limited amount of time in class and that can make crafts difficult. This material does, however, encourage the use of pictures, games, props, and even puppets. The main idea to keep in mind is to keep as much time as possible focused on the bible study. I believe I can work within these parameters and I am looking forward to learning more and seeing the program unfold. I will share my thoughts and insights as we go along as well as any ideas for games, etc.

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With Childlike Wonder Friday, Nov 21 2008 

I wanted to share some thoughts with my fellow teachers.  I attended a workshop for bible class teachers a few weeks ago and several statements were made that really stuck with me.  I grew up going to church and bible class.  I have been a student or a teacher all of my life.  Some of the stories I’ve heard or told often enough that I’ve stopped thinking about them as much as I should.  Let’s take a closer look at Noah’s Ark.  How often do we sing the song and show pictures of the animals entering the ark two by two?  If we go back to God’s Word and read the story we find in Genesis 7 that there were seven pairs of clean animals as well as seven pairs of birds.  How often do we tell the little ones in our charge this detail of the story?  We should never become complacent.  It is important to prepare our lessons and know the details.  We want to teach truth to our children.

Before little ones learn to read we give them picture books. Why do we do this? We are using the pictures to teach our young. Have you thought about the pictures you use to teach Bible class? I admit until recently I have given this very little thought. The workshop leader pointed out the importance of using lifelike pictures when illustrating Bible stories. She talked a good deal about the pictures we are putting in the minds of our children. I want my Bible students to know that the events and people we are talking about were real and not cartoons. In a world full of TV, movies, computers, and video games it is more important than ever to teach our children the difference between reality and fiction. Where is that more important than in the Bible classroom? In my efforts to find more lifelike pictures, I have been using images made available by La Vista Church of Christ. They have scanned in illustrations from vintage Bible story books and made them available for free use. I have also been on the lookout for my own set of vintage Bible story books.

One last note: This came from one my 4th graders. Finding crafts is sometimes a bit of a challenge for this age group. My students were a little disappointed one Sunday because I had been unable to locate a craft for the chronicle of Jeroboam. This one particular girl then suggested that we could always draw pictures of the story. I believe this to be a wonderful idea. The kids enjoyed creating their pictures and it was evident by their drawings that they had not only listened, but also understood the chronicle. It was a good test for me of how well I had communicated the events of the account as well as what we can learn from Jeroboam.