I recently recommitted to using Discipleland with the children.
We were first introduced to Discipleland by Walk Through the Bible, more than 10 years ago, when CJ was 7 years, Heidi-Mari 4 years and Josua a baby.
I was so sold out on Discipleland, we became the distributors in the Western Cape and well known churches in the Cape used it as their Sunday school curriculum. Over the past few years, like many other things, I only did Discipleland periodically between difficult pregnancies and new born babies.
The past few months I recommitted myself to wake up early for my children and having regular, first-thing-in-the-morning quite time with the Lord through the Hello Morning Challenges. I also longed to do more in raising disciples in my home and I still think Discipleland is the best Bible curriculum to raise disciples.
What sets Discipleland apart from any other Bible teaching curriculum is the colourful worksheets, hands-on approach and how it perfectly fits in with a homeschooling environment. CJ and Heidi-Mari’s first encounter with Discipleland was with Level 1‘s God at work for ages 6-8 (CJ 6years). They studied 12 different types of work in Bible times (eg. a farmer, potter, weaver, fisherman, metal worker) which encouraged them to have the proper attitude towards work, because work is a part of God’s plan for their lives.
The builder was a very significant lesson during which we studied Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. We lived in a newly developed area and all around us homes were in the building process, which made the lesson very practical.
In one of the activities CJ had to write down words to describe how God was building his character. He was very much convinced to speak the truth and being obedient. The extend learning activities was building a wall with biscuits, bread sticks or straight pretzels. I made them some chocolate icing and they had so much fun building their walls and then ate it.
Christo and CJ also built a Bible time house out of matches.
During the Potter lesson, the Bible story was Jeremiah and the Potter (Jer. 18). The extend learning activities suggested we visit a pottery class and made their own clay pot. I arranged a once off pottery class at an Art studio, during which the lady showed them how clay is worked and she helped the children mold clay on a spinning wheel - lots of fun! It was so practical to understand how we are clay in the Potter’s Hands and the importance of a soft heart.
One of the activities was to draw a picture of yourself that shows your with a ‘soft heart’ toward God. This was in our first year of homeschooling and we did a lesson a week and didn’t need anything else. We discovered not only God’s work, but real life. Though Discipleland is English and our mother tongue Afrikaans, CJ, who was the only who could write at that stage, wrote in Afrikaans in the spaces provided, as far as possible, and I told the stories all in Afrikaans and read out of the Afrikaans Bible.
Since 10 years ago, the curriculum exploded and they now have an amazing range available. It starts from as early as birth to 15/16 years old. For my little group of 2-8 years old, I’m currently using the Pre School Curriculum for ages 2-5.
In this curriculum they don’t need to write anything. Each quarter’s workbook has interactive worksheets in 12 lessons and an additional 13 lesson for reviewing.
Each of the 12 lessons includes four pages of colourful, age-appropriate activities, including fun with stickers. The Teacher Guide has a wealth of ideas of guiding you through prayer, lesson summaries, suggested beginning activities, even snack ideas to fit the theme of the lesson, suggestions on how to rehearse the lesson memory verse,
a session on Act-it-out/dress up and multiple additional hands-on activities to choose from if you need some more ‘learn by doing’ activities.
In the back there are even colouring pages for each lesson.
In the Pre School Curriculum you can choose between the Old Testament and New Testament series. Each will take at least 2 years to work through. In the Old Testament series children will learn who God is, what He is like and what He can do, additionally they will acquire an overview of the Old Testament in more than 100 stories. In the New Testament series they will discover Jesus in His love, His powerful messages and amazing abilities. Through the more than 100 Bible stories they will gain a basic understanding of the New Testament. Something I only got to know in my adult years while doing the Walk Through the Old and New Testament seminars.
I didn’t start at the beginning of the Pre School curriculum, but with Quarter E about the last few days up to Jesus’ death on the cross, his resurrection, walk with His friends and sending Peter to teach other People.
It is not necessary to do the quarters chronologically, as they all stand alone. Although that way it will have the most lasting and complete effect on their knowledge of the Bible. PreSchool, through 16 Quarters, as well as Core Bible, through 6 levels, covers the complete Bible which ensure a solid knowledge of the Bible, and a sure personal encounter with the Fullness of God and His plan for their life, by the time they are 15 years of age.
The level 6 series (age 11-14) is all about Walking with God and developing essential disciplines to sustain spiritual growth.
We chose the quarter on Jesus Triumphs for Us, since it was now Easter. When this quarter is finished we’ll do God Leads Us, starting with Moses in the basket, through the plagues, the Passover, the miraculous opening of the Red Sea, the ten commandments, up to exploring Canaan. This way I can link the Passover with Easter and make them grab the significance of Jesus the True Lamb for our sins.
This week we did the story about The Two Coins and Jesus watching people giving money in the Temple.
On the first day we did the ever popular dress-up, and had so much fun. I told them the story and they then acted it out.
The next day I told the story again and we did the first activity in the worksheet, playing with stickers.
The third day we did a fun activity with coins. We talked about different coins and they learned to distinguished between rand and cent coins. They could recognized R1, R2 and R5, as well as 20c and 50c. Following that we did a crayon/coin rubbing.
We also finished another fun activity on the worksheet of how their offerings can help God’s work.
The fourth day we did an additional activity of carrot stamping, while I make sure they:
Know - a poor widow gave small coins to God, all the money she had;
Feel - eager to give money for God’s work;
Do - cheerfully bring an offering to help with God’s work
In every lesson you’ll find the Learner Target in Know, Feel and Do, which helps me identify the key Bible truths and response goals for my children.
Currently there are no distributors for Discipleland in South Africa and I had to order my Discipleland on line, but it arrived within 14 days, in excellent condition! I would encourage you to visit their website and see for yourself what a great tool this is to raise disciples in your home!
With much love
"You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way,
when you lie down,
and when you rise up."