For a while now, I've researched the way Charlotte Mason taught the Bible. Charlotte was a British reformer and pioneer in the field of education in the 1800s. I found a lot of ideas, and a few helpful resources. However, most of the blogs I read lacked practical examples of how to discuss and apply God's Word. Most of the printed study resources I found were designed for grades 7-12.
I know that people who love Charlotte Mason's style of teaching also love the fact that special, expensive purchases are not necessary. So I'm very excited to share a practical Bible study resource for all ages that applies Charlotte's ideas, without requiring any special purchases. The resource is called Simply the Story.
Simply the Story
Simply the Story is an oral study method, which means it is appropriate for all ages, countries and cultures. Literacy is not a requirement; everyone takes part in deep discussion and discovers treasures in God's Word. Simply the Story gives teachers the opportunity to put away their pens and teach the way Jesus taught, through stories, questions and discussion.
STS champions direct contact with Scripture. Participants build relations with each other as they study and share the Bible, using open-ended questions, listening and responding. The teacher is a guide, and not the fountainhead of knowledge--that role is given to God's Word and His Spirit.
Participants also build relations with the real people who lived in Bible times, as they consider: what might we learn about this person's character from the words they speak? From their actions? From the choices they make? Could they have made a different choice? And yet they made this choice. What might that tell us about this person spiritually? Do we see any results of words, actions, choices... Was anyone impacted? Where do we see God in this story?
Does it measure up to Charlotte's standards?
Every requirement that Sonya Shafer (of Simply Charlotte Mason) wrote about in her blog post about CM-style Bible studies is included in Simply the Story: participants hear and then narrate an accurate Bible story (an "episode" in CM language), putting the story into their own words to strengthen comprehension. Discussion is central to STS, as is slow, careful observation, and each study ends with personal application made by the participants themselves. The joy of self-discovery is prized, and sermonizing is strongly discouraged. There are no crutches--the Bible is the only resource needed/utilized. It's exciting to watch the Bible become a living book again!
How can I learn more?
Here is a link to Simply the Story's free PDF handbook, where you will learn everything you need to know about how to tell stories and engage your children in deep discussions.
Simply the Story Handbook
May Truth not become a tool that we hold in our hands, but remain the living Word Who changes us.