Charlotte Mason believed in using the Bible directly with children, and not through paraphrases, but through what she called ‘Bible English.’
She also wrote that children:
“Should know the Bible Text.––Children between the ages of six and nine should get a considerable knowledge of the Bible text. By nine they should have read the simple (and suitable) narrative portions of the Old Testament, and, say, two of the gospels.”
She recommended going through the stories (and the gospels) by ‘episode,’ and then narrating.
As with other books, the Charlotte Mason method does permit teachers to add such little helps as might be necessary, so long as the ‘helps’ don’t come between the Book and the children, and don’t drown out the lesson through the flow of overmuch teacher (mom) talk.
Here’s a sample Bible lesson for Acts 1: 1-9, the KJV
Notes are for parents’ use at their discretion.
Treatise- When somebody wants to write down an explanation of something, and that explanation is very detailed and tells us almost everything about it that we need to know, that is called a ‘treatise’ Luke has written a treatise to his friend explaining the beginnings of the church.
Theophilus- (The with a soft th, as in the-ater), ophilus ‘awful-es- listen to it here)
The name of Luke’s friend. It means ‘friend of God.’ Luke wrote the gospel book we call Luke and the book of Acts to
Theophilus, telling him about Jesus’s life and the deeds, or acts, of the apostles after Jesus’ return to Heaven.
infallible- something certain, true. It cannot be wrong.
Passion has several meanings. The meaning here is another word for the crucifixion story
Baptize/baptized: Theological minefield.
There is an interesting discussion of the meaning of this word here. (regrettably, the link is gone. This link is just to Vine’s Expository Dictionary page on the word)
Introduction: Ask the children to tell you anything they know about Luke.
Background: Luke was a doctor who believed in Jesus. He went with Paul on many of his missionary journeys. When he wasn’t able to be with Paul, he talked to Paul and other Christians about what they did and what happened to them. Then he wrote about it to a man named Theophilus. Whenever we hear the word “I” as we read, that is Luke talking to us about himself. Whenever we hear “We,” that is a time that Luke was with Paul. When Luke stops saying ‘I’ and ‘We’ and starts using ‘they,’ those are the parts of the journey that Luke learned about from others.
The first book, or treatise, he wrote to Theophilus was the book of Luke. Do you remember what happened at the end of that book? Jesus had risen from the dead, and then ascended to Heaven while his disciples watched. They had to stay behind. Now we are going to find out what happened to them next!
The former treatise (or explanation) have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Narration questions: These are just for examples, you may think of other, better ones, and you should not do all of these- just pick one. If you like, have your child pick a number between 1 and 6, and that’s the narration he’ll give:
- Tell me what we read about.
- Draw a picture of something from this story.
- Use your blocks or legos to set up a scene from this story.
- What can you tell me about Jesus, Luke or Theophilus from this story?
- What did Jesus tell His disciples to do?
- What do you think Jesus meant when he said that his disciples would be witnesses?
Mapwork (also optional, more for older children): Find Jerusalem, Judea, and/or Samaria on a map.