If you’re looking for a Bible study that your 8-12 year old can do alone, the Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids are a good choice. Written by Kay Arthur of Precepts Ministries, these studies are solid introductions to forming a lifelong Bible study habit.
There are many titles in the series covering the gamut of Old Testament and New Testament books, people, and big ideas. My daughter has already completed the God, What’s Your Name? and the Joseph, God’s Superhero titles. She enjoys writing her answers and thoughts in the consumable workbooks.
Because each book has from 25-30 lessons, it generally it is a five to six week course. And each day’s lesson can be completed within 15 minutes. Since the books are not terribly expensive and they cover only a short period of time, they are easy to try out. If you like the format, then you can buy more titles. Although you can see some chronological progression, you don’t have to do them in any particular order. They are each a stand-alone Bible study.
- How to Study Your Bible for Kids
- God, What’s Your Name?
- Genesis 01-02: God’s Amazing Creation
- Genesis 03-10: Digging up the Past
- Genesis 11-25: Abraham God’s Brave Explorer
- Genesis 26-36: Extreme Adventures With God
- Genesis 37-50: Joseph, God’s Superhero
- Wrong Way Jonah
- Daniel 01-06: You’re a Brave Man, Daniel!
- Daniel 07-12: Fast-Forward to the Future
- John 01-10: Jesus in the Spotlight
- John 10-16: Jesus: Awesome Power
- John 17-21: Jesus: To Eternity and Beyond!
- James: Boy, Have I Got Problems
- Revelation 1-7: Bible Prophecy for Kids
- Revelation 8-22: A Sneak Peek into the Future
Each Bible study has a narrative theme that ties the book together. For example, in the Joseph, God’s Superhero study, the theme was creating a comic book and having it published in New York City. The theme of God, What’s Your Name ? was a secret agent mission. The daily lesson opens with the narrative and leads into the Bible study. My ten year old daughter finds the theme a bit childish and a distraction from the meat of the Bible study. In fact, she says the themes have too many characters that are hard to remember. Despite that criticism, overall she enjoys these Bible studies. Sometimes she just skips the story part and jumps right to the Bible part.
There are a few black and white line illustrations in the books, some related to the theme and others to the Bible stories. The student is meant to write his answers directly in the book. In fact, one of the things I really like about these studies is how it teaches students to study the Bible by marking up Bible passages. For example, in one lesson Genesis 22 was printed in the Observation Worksheets at the back of the book, and the instructions were to mark key words accordingly:
- The LORD Will Provide – underline in blue
- Love (draw a red heart around)
- Obey (circle in orange)
- Worship (circle in purple)
Once the passage is marked in this way, it’s easier to see the principles in the text and then answer the fill in the blank questions about the passage. These marking assignments are quite common in the Discovery 4 Yourself Bible studies.
Sometimes there are puzzles to work such as crosswords, scrambled words, or ciphers. Other times the assignment is to sketch an illustration. Many of the questions are open ended applications to the student’s life, “When have you felt this way?” or “What does God want you to do?”
Despite their being many Bible passages printed in the book, you will still need a New American Standard or New Inductive Study Bible to complete the studies. We tried with other translations and found it most frustrating. So make sure that you’ve got one of those versions before buying a Discover 4 Yourself Bible study. Besides colored pens or pencils, there’s nothing else you need to complete these studies.