Many parents have suddenly expanded their parenting resumé to include the role of homeschool teacher. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells parents they are to teach their children about God throughout the rhythms of the day. What if you could combine teaching and discipleship to make disciple-making at home a natural part of educating your children whether they are at home or away at school? Here are some practical tips on how you can use the internet to help with the process.
Arts and crafts
There are many websites with art projects for kids. One of my favorites on Facebook includes lots of crafts involving animals, plants and more. Almost every craft idea in this post could be used to teach an aspect about God, like God as creator or new life in Christ. Add Christian music in the background to set the tone for your own creation station!
For more focused times of Bible study, check out LifeWay’s Digital Pass. New study materials are uploaded on Thursday nights at midnight, and LifeWay will continue to add new lessons until churches can meet again on site. You will need to register for a free account.
A fun channel on YouTube for preteens is the Loop Show. The videos include sketches, songs, teaching and challenges that address topics pertinent to preteens. For the next few weeks, the channel has added a special “Church at Home” series to aid in family worship.
During extended time at home, it can be tempting to binge watch Netflix. Consider using your streaming service to burn some energy and calories together with your child. YouTube has multiple channels with exercise videos for kids. When you exercise with your child, it adds motivation and probably a lot of laughs. What a great time to remember what Psalm 139: 13-18 teaches, “I am remarkably and wonderfully made.” As God’s creation and workmanship, we have a responsibility to stay active and healthy.
Turn off the TV and pull out some board games. If you have preschoolers, you may discover they have their own ideas on how to play the game. Consider playing a game with one person’s set of rules, and then play the same game with another person’s set of rules. Finally, play the game with the rules provided by the game maker. What a great lesson on living life by the commands and principles set forth by God in the Bible. Also, remember that younger preschoolers are more self-focused by their nature and stage of development. A great way to express the need to share is by using the phrase “take turns.” “Taking turns” is a concept they can understand because it is more concrete than “sharing.”
Get you dancing shoes on and dance to some children’s music that is Christ-centered. Many children’s music videos with movements can be found on YouTube. A list of suggested music for children for listening as you work and play can also be found on Spotify.
Children love animals, but zoos are currently closed to the public. However, during these closures, many zoos are providing fun and educational content online. For example, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens is presenting a daily “Home Safari” through Facebook Live at 3 p.m. daily while the zoo is closed to the public. Consider watching these livestream programs and pointing your children to the God who created these fascinating creatures.
Some potential questions and ideas to discuss as a family include:
- Genesis 2:20 says that God allowed Adam to name the animals. What would you name this animal?
- Matthews 6:26 says that God feeds the birds although they don’t plant or reap. What is your worth to God? What does this Scripture teach us about worry?
- Jonah is the story of one man’s attempt to run from God’s plan for his life. Tell the story of Jonah in your own words, remembering that God used the fish that swallowed Jonah to rescue him from drowning, and God was with Jonah even as he lived out the consequences of a poor choice. When was a time you had to face the consequences of a bad choice? How was God with you during this time? Psalm 139:7-12 is a beautiful reminder that God is always with us.
Discipleship can become a natural process for your family by intentionally infusing faith conversations into the regular parts of life. Pray for God’s insights and prodding as you live life as a disciple who makes disciples at home.
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