2020 Homeschooling Trends
Before we explore our top 10 Bible stories for homeschooling let’s do a quick recap. Over the past two years the number of parents who have chosen to homeschool their children has doubled, and that was before COVID! In the current climate, upwards of 20% of families say that they will not be sending their children back to school. While many homeschool advocates think we are unlikely to see this level of increase, the fact remains that for many homeschooling is an attractive option.
Homeschooling and the Bible
A recent New York Times article explored the unique freedom and fulfillment homeschooling provides. An important reason covered in the article is anchoring a child’s education and socialization around a Biblical faith. In two landmark decisions – Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp – the Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayer and Bible readings unconstitutional. These decisions catalyzed a dramatic shift in the American education system. In response, many parents have chosen an alternative path of education.
The Top 10 Bible Stories for Homeschooling
We’ve put together this list for parents who prioritize the study and application of the Bible for their children. Along the way we’ll highlight some timeless passages of Scripture that are perfect for homeschooling. Additionally, each Bible story features a link to a Sharefaith Kids family devotional where families can watch an animated Bible story video, read Scripture, discuss application, and download some fun activity pages.
The Creation Story | Genesis 1-2
Overview: In the beginning, there was nothing except for God. God created everything, and everything was good because God declared it to be so. Over the seven days of creation God did the following:
- Day 1: God created the heavens and the earth and separated light from dark.
- Day 2: God created the sky, forming a barrier between the ocean & atmosphere.
- Day 3: God created all plant life with the ability to reproduce.
- Day 4: God created the sun, moon, stars and all other heavenly bodies.
- Day 5: God created all sea creatures and birds.
- Day 6: God created land animals and people.
- Day 7: God rested because the work of creation was finished.
Gospel Highlight: The Bible teaches that Jesus was present at creation and that all creation happened through/ by Him (John 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2). In the New Testament, we see Jesus at the center of the new creation where everything tainted by sin is made new by the work of the cross (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Revelation 21).
Family Devotional: Genesis 1-2 The Creation Story
The Fall of Man | Genesis 3
Overview: This Bible story covers one of the most important events in all of human history: the original sin. Everything was perfect in the Garden of Eden until Satan, who hated God, tempted Eve to sin. Eve, in turn, encouraged Adam to sin. Adam and Eve’s sin changed everything for everyone. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed God, resulting in the fall. Even after man’s fall into sin, God provided a hint that He would someday redeem them by sending a savior who would conquer Satan (Genesis 3:15). For those who believe in Jesus, their sin can be forgiven and they can look forward to spending eternity in paradise with God (John 3:16-18).
Gospel Highlight: In Genesis 3:15, we find what is often described as the “first gospel.” This verse declares that, despite the fall, the Kingdom of God will fully return and Satan will be destroyed. This promise came to pass when Jesus came and crushed the Devil and his demons triumphing over them on the cross (Colossians 2:15).
Family Devotional: Genesis 3 The Fall of Man
Abraham & Isaac | Genesis 22
Overview: Abraham and his wife Sarah were too old to have children, but that didn’t matter to God. God fulfilled His promise, and they had a boy whom they named Isaac. Later, when God told Abraham to give up Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham obeyed. As Abraham readied himself to sacrifice his promised and beloved son, God provided a substitute sacrifice.
Gospel Highlight: The imagery of a father offering his only beloved son is central to the Christian faith (John 3:16). In Genesis 22:8 we see Abraham declare to Isaac “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” While this declaration was literally fulfilled in Genesis 22:13, it foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus giving his life upon the cross. In John 8:56 Jesus testifies to this saying “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Family Devotional: Genesis 22 Abraham & Isaac
The Burning Bush | Exodus 3
Overview: Staff in hand, Moses set out on a journey to bring his sheep to safe pastures on what he expected to be another ordinary journey. But when he reached his destination on Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai, God called to him from a burning bush. “Moses, Moses,” He said, “I have seen the pain of my people and I have heard their cry. I have come to deliver them!” Moses was completely in awe but unsure of his calling as he asked, “Who am I that I should lead them?”; and later, “What shall I say to them if they ask me your name?” And God, who rewards those who diligently seek Him, revealed to Moses His personal name: “I am who I am,” He said, “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Gospel Highlight: In Luke 20 Jesus challenged the Sadducess knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures. Jesus called their attention to the story of the burning bush to show them the truth of the resurrection reminding them that God is “not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Luke 20:38). Jesus was the voice in the burn bush! He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)!
Family Devotional: Exodus 3 The Burning Bush
The Story of Rahab | Joshua 2
Overview: This is the story of two Hebrew spies who were received and protected by a prostitute woman named Rahab. Although Rahab belonged to a wicked and perverse nation and lived an ungodly life herself, she was changed by the testimony of God’s power and protection over the nation of Israel. By faith, she protected the spies; by faith, she gathered her family and hung a scarlet cord out the window to demonstrate what she believed; and by faith, she completely left the life she knew to follow the one true God. Because of her faith, she was delivered from the destruction of Jericho and became a part of God’s people.
Gospel Highlight: Matthew 1 gives us the record of Jesus’ geneology. Verse 5 reads “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.” It is amazing that given Rahab’s past she would be listed in Jesus’ family tree! But Jesus came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). He is not a distant God who only comes for the perfect. Instead he is a loving Savior who welcomes all who will open their hearts to him by faith.
Family Devotional: Joshua 2 The Story of Rahab
Crossing the Jordan River | Joshua 3 & 4
Overview: Forty years had passed since God miraculously brought Israel out from under the slavery of Egypt—years of unbelief, rebellion and wandering. But the moment of truth was finally at hand, and the people of God were about to realize the promise they had once refused to believe. God called Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the land, but there were obstacles to overcome first. One was directly in front of them: the Jordan River. During the harvest time, the river was at its fullest and strongest, but just like God had done before when he parted the Red Sea, He held back the raging river so that the people of Israel could safely pass to the other side. Twelve large stones were collected from the riverbed, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and used to memorialize the great event! God had done this amazing work so that everyone in the world would know of His power, and so that His people would fear and respect Him as their God forever.
Gospel Highlight: The crossing of the Jordan river was an incredible story displaying God’s mighty power to save. Many years later Jesus would step into those save waters to be baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3). In this moment Jesus powerfully identified with those he had come to save. He would be baptized into our sin and suffering and then he would call us to be baptized into his righteousness and life (Romans 6:3-7)!
Family Devotional: Joshua 3 & 4 Crossing the Jordan River
David & Goliath | 1 Samuel 17
Overview: The Philistine army had amassed troops on a hillside and were preparing to go to battle with King Saul’s army. Jesse sent his son David to take food to his brothers who were in Saul’s army. When David arrived, he heard Goliath, one of the Philistine soldiers call out a challenge to the Israelites. Goliath, who was nearly 10 feet tall, said that if anyone of the Israelite soldiers could beat him in battle, the entire Philistines would be Israel’s slaves, but if the Israelite soldier lost, the Israelites would be the Philistines’ slaves. None of the Israelite soldiers were willing to fight the giant. David went to King Saul and told him that he would face Goliath. David told Saul that he could do it because God had given him the strength and courage to fight off lions and bears so he could save his lambs. Saul outfitted David in his armor, but it was too big and heavy for him to use. So, without armor and armed with only his shepherd’s staff, a slingshot, and some stones, David went to fight Goliath. David hit Goliath in the forehead on his first shot. Goliath went down, and David cut off his head. The Philistines ran away
Gospel Highlight: While David’s actions in this story are heroic they are meant to point us to the ultimate hero in God’s story Jesus Christ! In Satan we face an enemy whose power is beyond our ability to conquer. Sin has made us all it’s slaves. But Jesus fulfilled the imagery of David and Goliath by crushing the head of our enemy (Genesis 3:15). And like David, Jesus’ victory became our victory. By his death on the cross he has set us all free from our slavery to sin (Romans 6:18).
Family Devotional: 1 Samuel 17 David & Goliath
The Story of Jonah | Jonah 1-4
Overview: God called Jonah to preach to the foreign city of Nineveh, Israel’s enemy and the scourge of the ancient world. Jonah flatly refused and ran the opposite direction. God sent a storm that threatened to sink the ship on which Jonah was sailing. When the sailors discovered that it was Jonah’s fault that they were in peril, they asked him what they could do. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. As soon as they threw Jonah off of the boat, the sea became calm. A huge fish swallowed Jonah, and for three days and three nights, Jonah sat in the belly of the great fish. Jonah prayed, and God made the fish spit Jonah out onto dry land. Jonah eventually went to Nineveh to preach, where the people received his message, and the people there repented of their sin and turned to God.
Gospel Highlight: In Matthew 12 the Pharisees demanded that Jesus provide a sign to prove that he was indeed the Messiah. Jesus responded by saying “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:39-41)” In this response Jesus declared that Jonah pointed to his future crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
Family Devotional: The Story of Jonah
The Fiery Furnace | Daniel 3
Overview: King Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the Babylonian people, had a giant golden statue of himself made. He commanded all the leaders in his kingdom to come worship the statue. A group of men noticed that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not bow down to worship the statue. The king was furious, and demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be thrown into a fiery furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar went to the furnace to look in and was amazed to see that the three men were untied and walking around completely unharmed. And even more amazing there was a fourth person in the fire with them!
Gospel Highlight: Many scholars believe that the fourth person in the fire was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus! Just like the three Hebrews Jesus was captive under a pagan world empire (Rome). Later, he was put to death because of his faithfulness, and then he walked away from death three days later. Jesus walked through the fire of death for us to secure our salvation.
Family Devotional: Daniel 3 The Fiery Furnace
Valley of Dry Bones | Ezekiel 37
Overview: After many warnings from the Lord, the land of Israel was conquered by the Babylonians. The Israelites were taken prisoner and removed from their homeland. While in captivity, the people lost all hope in ever returning. The Lord gave the Prophet Ezekiel a vision of a valley filled with dry bones. The Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy over the dry bones, telling them that the Lord will bring life back into them. As Ezekiel spoke the words the Lord gave him, a rattling sound filled the valley as the bones began to come together, forming skeletons. The skeletons were then covered in flesh, but the bodies had no life in them. The Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy over the lifeless bodies again, this time telling them that the Lord would fill them with breath. As Ezekiel prophesied to them, they were filled with breath. This vision was meant for the people of Israel, dried up of all hope. Through this vision, the Lord was promising to fill them with life and hope again through His Spirit.
Gospel Highlight: The imagery of the dead coming back to life is everywhere in the new testament. Perhaps one of the greatest examples is found in John 11 where Jesus resurrects Lazarus. In this passage Jesus says to the grieving Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” His question is one for all of us to consider.
Family Devotional: Ezekiel 37 The Valley of Dry Bones