Do you homeschool? Do you try to do educational activities with your children in the summer? Do you have pre-schoolers? Have you ever tried to combine Bible lessons and secular subjects into one lesson? It’s easier than you think.
Today we went out to work with some immigrant children in a poor area of our city. Many of these children are struggling in school. My time with them is limited, so I wanted to connect the things they need to practice for school with a Bible lesson.
The result? We explored Noah and the Ark while integrating the Bible lesson with various school subjects. What did Noah need to build the Ark? Gopher wood, but how much? Math was easily reviewed as we discussed the size of the Ark and concepts of measurement like inches, feet, yards and cubits. We discovered how important it is to have standard measurements.
What did the Ark need to do? Float on water. Enter science as we discussed buoyancy and displacement. After learning the basic principles of buoyancy by experimenting with which things would float and which ones would sink, the children competed (in a very loose sense of the word!) in building foil Arks. We tested the Arks for sea worthiness and to determine if they could hold the weight of all of the animals and still float.
Want to review geography? Where did the Ark start and where do historians think it landed? What are the bodies of water in the world? What are the names of the various oceans and seas and where are they?
Need to review English? What about vocabulary building by learning the names of unfamiliar animals? Practice spelling the names of more familiar ones. Research what the various types of animals might have needed for food or read a book about boat building.
What did God put in the sky as a promise after the flood? We took plain cd’s and made our own rainbows, reviewing the colors and why they are always in the same order. If we had more time, this could have expanded into an art project of some sort.
At each point in our lesson, we reviewed the Bible story about Noah’s Ark and how what we were learning applied to the story. The children were engaged in the hands on activities and drawn to the story of Noah and the Ark. In fact, although much if not all of the academic material we covered was new to them, they left reluctantly while still asking questions about Noah.
The next time you want to do school work with your children, try connecting all of the activities back to one Bible story or person. Or pick a Bible story or person and see how many academic activities you can link back to it. You and your children will have a lot of fun making the Bible and their academics more meaningful.