Monday, March 31, 2008

The Storied Scriptures

A few years ago, I found a really awesome LDS homeschooling website called The School of Abraham. It is filled with some incredible stuff. The thing that really caught my eye, however was something called The Storied Scriptures. A woman named Penny Gardner created this. I LOVE it. It basically takes the scriptures and extracts some small, short, and simple verses to illustrate the major stories in the scriptures. I loved it so much when I found it that I decided to copy it all down for later, just in case it went away for some reason. I'm so glad I did! Over the past week or so, I've felt VERY prompted to begin earnest scripture study with the boys. I have found a few other sites that I just love. One is called Discover the Scriptures and they offer a CD-ROM of Book of Mormon activities (puzzles, games, entries, drawing pages, trivia, etc.) for 1st-3rd graders for only $15. I am definitely going to get it and incorporate it into the school year next year. In the meantime, I have done a few other things.

I printed a copy of the new portrait of our first presidency. I also found on the Discover site a list of "24 Scriptures Every Kid Should Know". I printed out the first one and put it up on on our desk. Ethan noticed it first thing this morning and read it out loud. He has read it a few times. He even has it almost memorized this afternoon! I'm so proud of him. I am hoping to change these out every week or every other week, depending on how long it takes us to memorize them. If we do a new one every other week, we will have memorized all 24 in a year! Here is the first scripture for this week:

1 Nephi 3:7
"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded."

Next thing...

On the Discover site, they offer a FREE (as in ZERO dollars and ZERO cents) booklet for children about our new prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I printed it out and started going through it today with Ethan. He LOVED it. We read a few very short and simple things about President Monson's past (the fact that when he was a boy he shared his rabbits with a poor child so they'd have more than cereal for Christmas dinner, the fact that he once saved a woman from drowning, and the fact that he was called to be a bishop at the young age of 22!) Ethan wrote in this book and then together we completed a crossword puzzle based on the stories. It was fun! This free packet was a sneak peek at a whole series they are working on about all of our prophets. I'm excited for that to be released!

And last... I began the Storied Scriptures reading. This will be short and simple. I had to cut the reading for today in half because my goal is to just get SOME reading in and SOME discussion. If they start getting antsy or bored, it's time to quit. I don't want this to be a painful experience. I'd rather it be fun.

So today we read 1 Nephi 1:1-4. We started by saying a prayer. We talked about how Nephi had wonderful parents and how the Lord was proud of him. We also talked about the fact that he was announcing that he was going to make a record (or journal) of his life. We decided that we all need to be doing that too and I told Ethan we would get him a formal journal to write in. We discussed Jerusalem and got out our nifty globe to find Israel and Jerusalem on it. They were really excited to see how close Israel is to Turkey, where daddy spent part of his childhood! Then we talked about the prophets who came and told the people they needed to repent - meaning they needed to sincerely tell Heavenly Father that they were sorry for the things they had done wrong.... or else the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. Then the boys drew pictures. I told them they could draw pictures of anything they wanted about today's reading. Is it any wonder they chose to draw bombs and weapons destroying the city? It's funny... they are ALL BOY!

This all sounds like a lot. But I don't think we spent more than about 45 minutes on it. It felt really good to be incorporating that into our school day. And even when school is out for the summer, we can continue to have daily scripture study. I also like the idea of journaling for Ethan. One thing we need to continue working on all summer is handwriting and this will most certainly help. Besides, it's always more fun when you can write what you WANT as opposed to what someone else thinks you should be writing.

Ethan had really good questions today as we were reading...

  • Is Nephi dead now?
  • Is Jerusalem still around?
  • Was this a long time ago?
It was fun having good, fun dialog!

I'll definitely have to write more about this as it evolves! I'm so excited!

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