When you are raising your kids to love Jesus and learning to spend time with Him building a relationship, it usually comes down to helping your child discover a Bible study method that works for them.
There are many simple and complex ways to dive into the Bible, but you need a Bible study method for kids that will engage them at their age level, keep them interested in reading the Bible every day, and help them grow in their relationship with Jesus.
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How to Study the Bible for Beginners
While your child may or may not be a beginner learning about Jesus, they are certainly beginners at learning to study the Bible for themselves. As you encourage them to take the Bible to heart and develop their own Bible study habits, you are helping them shape their routines, daily practices, and discipline for life.
When you are deciding how to help your child study the Bible as a beginner, you have several things to consider. How long is their attention span? What version of the Bible will be easiest for them to understand and engage with? What other tools will help them develop a Bible study habit?
Choosing a Bible Study Method for Kids
There are many different Bible study methods that can be adapted for kids. The main thing to consider is their level of understanding is. You want to be careful not to expect too much when children are learning to study the Bible for themselves. Their knowledge about life is still growing, and so will their knowledge and understanding of the Bible.
You may have attended church your whole life and done Bible studies that have helped you understand certain topics, contexts, and historical or cultural norms that help you understand different verses or stories. Your child, on the other hand, will need some direction and expanded knowledge to understand some of those things.
But, on the other hand, Jesus told his disciples that unless they became like little children, they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Children have an open heart to Jesus and can also learn and understand things that we may have forgotten or long since grown beyond.
It is an exciting time when your child shares something they have learned or understood from the Bible or their prayer time.
Soap Bible Study Method for Kids
When children are learning and developing a Bible study method that works for them, it is important to give them some guidance to help them make this a daily habit. There are many different prayer journals and Bible study journals that can be helpful for both children and adults.
One method of Bible study is using the SOAP method to study the Bible. This can easily be adapted for kids who are able to read and write on their own. You could still use the method together as a family, but if your child is able to read and write, they can begin to apply the lessons and things they are learning and write them in their own journals or notes.
The SOAP Bible study method includes four parts:
- S – scripture – write down the actual scripture verse or passage that you are reading.
- O – observation – who is the audience, what words are repeated, what stands out to you as you read?
- A – application – how can this Bible verse or passage apply to you? Is there something new that you understand that can help you or encourage you?
- P – prayer – write your prayer to God and use the things you’ve learned in the verse or passage to ask God to help you.
Introducing your child to the SOAP Bible study method does not require them to have an in-depth understanding of the Bible already. They will simply be writing down the things they observe in the text and applying those observations to their own life.
You may want to try the SOAP Bible study method together as a family and see how different your applications are when you compare notes on the same Bible verses. You may need to model this a bit with your child to help them understand and help them feel comfortable studying the Bible on their own.
Inductive Bible Study Method
If your child is nearing teen years, they may be interested and ready to dive deeper into their Bible study. This could also be something you do as a family for family worship time to help your child learn how to really dig into a Bible text or passage.
Doing an inductive Bible study may also take a little longer than simply focusing on a specific Bible verse or passage and applying it to your life. The inductive Bible study method includes some research to help you understand the background and explanation of the text or passage.
An inductive Bible study includes the following 7 parts.
- Personal paraphrase
- Questions and answers
- Personal Applications
- Title and summarize
The Navigators have some great information on how to do an inductive Bible study. This type of Bible study will take a bit more time and may be something that you want to do with your child once in a while to help them learn how to learn more about the Scriptures.
RELATED: Family Worship Ideas with Kids
Fun Bible Lessons for Kids
There are tons of ideas for fun Bible lessons for kids to use at church and you can of course adapt those for your family worship, but trying to find engaging Bible lessons for kids to do at home on their own, can be a bit more difficult.
This is where a topical Bible study or a kid-friendly Bible reading plan can be helpful to guide your child to reading different portions or topics in the Bible.
The way to make these fun Bible lessons engaging for your child is to add some extra things to simply reading the text or passage. Get some Bible-safe highlighters and help your child develop a method of highlighting the Bible verses they are reading.
Choose a different color for things like words of Jesus, promises, verses about faith, verses about love, etc.
Kid Friendly Bible Reading Plans
If your child likes to check off lists, finding a Bible reading plan for kids could be just the ticket to helping your child develop a daily Bible reading habit. You can find year-long Bible reading plans for kids, monthly Bible reading plans for kids, or create your own Bible reading plan for your kids. Bible reading plans for kids are often simplified or selective to help your child enjoy what they are reading but they may not be a true read the Bible from cover to cover plan. Bible reading plans for kids may be topical and cover topics such as Christian character traits. Or they may cover different topics such as faith, promises, courage, etc.
Faithfinders has a ton of information and Bible study resources specifically for kids. Click on “Bible Studies” and then “Day by day with Jesus” to get a free printable daily kid-friendly Bible reading plan designed specifically for kids.
The Purposeful Mom has several different Bible study plans for kids and also has a free Bible study printable to help your child journal about what they are reading and learning.
Wildly Anchored has a bunch of free daily Bible reading plans that you can print out in this post.
Bible Studies for 10-12-Year-Olds
If you are looking for specific Bible studies for 10-12-year-old kids, this is one of my favorite resources. This site has a ton of resources for kids and adults, but my favorite Bible studies for 10-12-year-olds are the KidZone Bible studies. Your child can do them online, or get them mailed to them.
The lessons are designed in an engaging way for kids, and the level of understanding is just perfect for this age group.
Check out the Kid Zone free mail-in or online Bible lessons designed specifically for kids.
Daily Bible Study for Kids
Daily Bible study for kids is like any other habit, it takes practice, encouragement, and effort. As you work with your child to develop a habit of daily Bible study, talk to them about what they are reading, what they have questions about, and help them find those answers. Talk to them about what YOU are reading and the questions you wonder about.
Help them understand that daily Bible study is more than just a daily item on your to-do list and talk to them often about your answered prayers, Bible verses that have helped you, and encourage them to find their own promises for certain situations.
Encouraging a Habit of Daily Bible Study for Kids
As a parent, you have an incredible ability to encourage your child to create a daily habit of Bible study.
Be an example. The best way to encourage that is to show them that you spend time daily reading and studying God’s Word. Your example is powerful! Talk about the Bible study method you use and show your child your prayer journal. Talk about what you are learning and what you are praying for.
Expectation. You can also help your child by creating an environment of expectation. By this, I mean that you expect them to be reading their Bibles so you help them create a time and place that works for them. Help them find a Bible study method that is engaging for them and then ask them often about what they are reading.
Provide them with tools. Help them find or get them a Bible that is easy to read at their level. Print out a kid-friendly daily Bible reading, or find some topical Bible studies that are interesting to them. They may need a journal or a notebook with the printable pages for Bible study and special pens or highlighters that won’t bleed through their Bible pages.
Pray for them. This is the last suggestion on this list but it’s the most important way to encourage a habit of daily Bible study for your kids. Pray that God will open their eyes to understand and their hearts to long for Him. Pray that the distractions that might draw them away from time with Jesus will be diminished and that God will fill their hearts with love for Him.
You may also like these Biblical parenting links…
- Tips for Sitting in Church with Kids
- Bedtime Prayers – Creating an Evening Routine
- 52 Memory Verses for Kids to Memorize
- Family Worship Ideas with Kids
- Morning Prayers for Families
- Teaching Kids to Pray
- 9 Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter
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