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Structured Bible study vs. devotions for chldren

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For those that do a structured Bible study as a part of your school day (focusing on facts, maps, memorization drills, reading)....do you also do individual/family devotions?


Sally Clarkson, in Our 24 Family Ways, said something to this degree: Bible study is to learn the Word of God....devotional times are to get to know the God of the Word.


Or something like that :D...but it really struck me/convinced me to try both.

My DD will be doing BSGFAA as her structured Bible study and we'll be doing Our 24 Family Ways for our family devotions (24 weeks long)...may look for something to do afterward...


I'm just curious.... What do you do?

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At 6, 4, and 18m, I just read them a chapter of Proverbs and a section of Luke each day (or most days... I am remiss in this and many other things). We also usually have a Scripture memory that we're working on--no pattern, just whatever jumps out at me (Matt. 11:28-30) or things I want stuck in their head (Pr. 13:20, 1:7). I attend a 30 week women's Bible study, but I do the lessons at night. My main goal for the next year or two is to just read to them daily, pray with them daily, and to grab those opportunities for candid, faith-centered conversations (whew!). I'll probably do a modified 365-day schedule once or twice after we've finished Luke, but keep reading Proverbs each day. After that, a more focused, verse by verse study may be called for. Something similar to the study I'm in; we usually do only one book in 30 weeks. I don't have a specific timeline, though. And I definitely haven't researched specific studies, though I think the company that publishes my women's study also publishes children's studies.

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We did both. Devotions were far more successful for us.

For K, I used a curriculum written by a friend of mine about The Names of God. It was awesome. At the same time, we used Leading Little Ones to God. In first and second grade, we just relied on Sunday School, and did devotions from Little Visits with God (we LOVED that devotional and read it three times, I think). In 4th grade, we did Positive Action For Christ and had a hard time finding a suitable devotional. Now, in 6th, we just read the One Year Bible after breakfast, before dd goes to school. We only read the NT, Psalm and Proverb right now, as we have just picked it up starting in Lent, hoping it will become a habit, and it's taking us a while to remember to leave enough time in the a.m.

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I'm so glad someone posted this question. I wanted to post it, but I've already posted so many questions...


For the preschool years, we've been using

- DK Children's Everyday Bible, and

- The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers by Crystal Bowman.


We're ready for something new, geared more toward 1st grade. I've been looking at Telling God's Story for the Bible study part of it. I love what I've seen of the philosophy behind TGS.


I'm not sure about the devotions part yet. :bigear: for suggestions.

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What is/are devotions?

Prayer, singing and reading a book about the Bible?


For *me*, I would consider a devotion either:

reading a book about the Bible (of a reflective nature) or

reading a verse/short passage with the intent of talking about it's application or

a time spent talking, praying, singing


I consider our structured Bible study to be more for knowledge-building/retention. Our devotion time to be more about the heart and our relationship w/ God. Does that make sense?


I guess the 2 do *NOT* have to be separated. I just see the Bible study time eventually becoming independent....perhaps before I would consider the devotional time becoming so...


(I honestly don't know for certain....I'm still working it all out in my mind. :D)

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We do both. We try to mix it up some. Right now...


Mornings with Mom

Devotional books

Bible reading (Currently in 2 Cor)

Catechism memory work


Evenings with Dad

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds (Study of the Catechism)

Proverbs study

Awana memory work

Singing hymns


Last month we were finishing up Understanding the Faith in the mornings which was a doctrine-based study and were reading a devotion in the evenings. It gets changed up through-out the year.


We did the same thing when the kids were smaller. It helps to break it up into mornings/evenings.

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We do both. We try to mix it up some. Right now...



We do similar to Daisy.


Circle Time (with Mom):

Bible Memory




Prayer together


School Time (with Mom):

Covenantal Catechism at least 1 day per week (Bible Memory, Psalms, specific Bible instruction, Bible songs)


Evening Devotions (with whole family):

Devotional reading (examples include Susan Hunt books, Vos Story Bible, Meade's Mighty Acts of God, etc)


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The girls do Keys For Kids from CBH ministries as a devotional every morning before they come to breakfast. For Bible time we have used BSGFAA, Through The Bible With Your Child, and SCM Hebrews. I consider devotions to be a more personal time with God and Bible time to learn the word.

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We just do devotions, though there is some structured-ish stuff, I guess - I do intend for it to serve dual purposes, though it is primarily devotional in nature - which for us means that the point is for the Holy Spirit to work in us through the Gospel, and we respond in prayer.


Anyway, we do evening family devotions, consisting of:

*Brief liturgy connected to the church year

*Reading from The Story Bible

*Memory work - Bible verses and Small Catechism

*"Thank you" prayers

*Lord's Prayer and Evening Prayer

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My 2nd grader does Explorer's Bible Study independently in the morning. She also practices her memory verse for Sunday School and reviews the catechism. At lunchtime I read to all my DC from Leading Little Ones to God and Apologia's Who Am I?

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