If you asked your children what the Trinity is, what would they say? What about if you asked them who God is? Why God created them? What does Adam’s sin means for them today?
Those are hard questions, right? Can we really expect kids to answer them when the are so difficult for even adults to grasp?
We think so. The Bible DOES have answers to the hard questions. While we cannot expect in this lifetime to exhaust the depths of understanding offered in the scriptures, learning the basics of the faith at an early age is a worthwhile endeavor.
When You Ask Hard Questions
In our family, we just go ahead and ask our kids the hard questions. Here’s how we do it: We open up a conversation with one of those difficult topics and brainstorm what we think we know. Then we discuss what the Bible says. We show them some scripture that gives an answer for the question and often pull in some other resources to help us all explore the concept.
One of our favorite tools for teaching Bible and theology to our young children is to memorize scripture and questions and answers of faith. We ask a question and then we all recite the answer. Many times we’ll also memorize one or more scriptures to back it up.
Memorizing facts is a helpful method for this stage of learning because it provides the building blocks for a solid foundation of biblical understanding. This isn’t a new idea! It has been practiced by many denominations for much of church history.
What is this method? Catechism!
Why Use Catechism to Teach Theology?
The term “catechism” might make you immediately think of the Catholic church, but catechism has been used by many denominations throughout church history. It is simply a Q&A session covering important basics of the Christian faith.
Catechism is an effective and simple tool for families to pass on their faith to their children and give them a good base for future conversations and Bible studies. It helps guard against false doctrine, gives your children a set of tools to help them defend their faith, and serves as a launchpad for future studies and questions as they mature.
There are many resources for teaching your children basic faith facts using the question and answer method. Several different catechisms are available so that you can choose one that fits your denomination or personal beliefs. There are older styles and newer, more kid-friendly styles. There are children’s books that present the same information without the strict Q&A approach as well. You can browse through some of my favorite resources. It is worth it to take some time and explore the options!
How to Use Catechism as a Teaching Tool
We have used several different catechism-type resources in our home. You can do a simple approach (just memorizing the question and answer) or be more involved and draw upon other teaching methods as well, such as copywork and object lessons. You can use catechism as a quick tag-on to your memory verse practice in the morning, make it a part of your daily or weekly family devotions, or include it in your homeschooling activities.
Our personal favorite is to use the curriculum Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology. I developed this curriculum as a tool to teach our kids as both a family devotion and a homeschooling task. Sound Words for Kids uses questions and answers based on the Westminster Catechism for Boys and Girls (after the reformed tradition).
Every morning, the kids and I gather to eat breakfast and then practice our memory passage, our catechism, a poem or hymn, and the family rules. These are all posted on a “morning board” in the dining room. After breakfast, once school has started, we tag some Sound Words for Kids activities on at the end of our Bible study.
Some weeks we just learn the question and answer and read the devotions, using the discussion questions to chat about the idea. Other weeks we add in a craft or activity and do our copywork and notebooking. Since we plan on going through the catechism several times, we don’t stress out too much about whether we do all the activities available every time. The are just tools to help solidify the idea and help the kids remember it!
For example, when the kids learned about the trinity we took some extra time to focus on it since it was such a hard concept. We read the book …. to discuss how the trinity is somewhat like an apple, with a skin, flesh, and core. We did an art project with blue construction paper and chalk pastels to draw a snowman and discuss how the trinity is kind of like a snowman with three parts to make a whole.
Theology is Important and Can Be FUN!
There is no need for catechism and theology to be dry and boring. Our kids LOVE using Sound Words for Kids and all the different crafts and activities included. They love to recite the answers and discuss them around the table. They enjoy the coloring pages songs.
Now, when you ask my kids questions on hard theology issues, they know that the Bible has the answers and they can dig in o find them. The discussions that springboard from our catechism experience are amazing. Not only that, but I expect this learning to be highly useful to our children as they grow in their understanding and truly press the scriptures for a faith that sticks!
Learn About Sound Words for Kids
Find out more about Sound Words for Kids! Each lesson includes family devotions, discussion questions, copywork, a coloring sheet, notebooking pages, and extra craft and activity ideas.
There will be 9 units in all when the curriculum is complete, each unit being published separately for your convenience. You can purchase Unit 1: All About God and Unit 2: All About Creation now, and Unit 3 is on it’s way!
Did you miss a post in our 30 Days of Bible series? Check them all out by clicking the image below.
I’m Tauna! This is me: Jesus follower, wife, mom, [domestically challenged] homemaker, homeschooler, and writer. Join me at ProverbialHomemaker.com, where I work to bring you encouragement and tools for the journey. Let us pursue God’s call on our lives (no matter the learning curve) and rely on Him to equip us for the task!