The first few weeks of our Timeline covers a number of important Biblical events. Maybe your children already know all the stories of the Old Testament, but I’ll be in honest in saying that mine don’t, at least not my younger children. They know bits and pieces, but as we memorize a timeline of the history of the world, I want this to be an opportunity to help my children make those connections.
How do I help my child learn about the pieces of the Timeline? Not just memorized as a part of the song, but in a way that they can explain some of the terms.
1. First I must familiarize myself with the historical Biblical events.
This may mean reading Genesis and Exodus along with my children or I study ahead of time and summarize it to my younger ones, maybe with the aid of coloring pages or a picture story Bible or some other visuals.
Here are some quick references to help you get started:
(There is additional info on the back of the Timeline cards.)
Creation and the Fall – Genesis 1-3
Flood – Genesis 6-9
Tower of Babel – Genesis 11
Patriarchs of Israel
- Abraham (also known as Abram)
- Jacob (known also as Israel)
Israelite Exodus – Exodus 3-15
Israelite Desert Wandering – latter part of Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (a little history is also in Leviticus, but this book is primarily laws)
Israelite Conquest – Joshua
Israelite Judges – Judges
Israel’s United Kingdom – Kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon, found in 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11
2. Define some terms for your child.
For example, “Patriarchs of Israel” means Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You may already know this and it may seem obvious to you, but your child might not. When I defined that to my third grader, a light went off for her. She has heard of Abraham, but didn’t know what is a patriarch is. So, now part of our reviewing memory work is to add in questions such as “who are the partriachs?” It’s sort of a catechism approach to learning: reciting with questions mixed in.
A funny story: I recently taught my toddlers Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” My two year old didn’t know what “parents” meant. So, now, I say “children” as a prompt and he says the verse; then I say, “and who are your parents?” He answers “Mommy and Daddy.”
So what terms may need defining or what questions should I add to our review time? Here are a few that are possibilities:
- Where in the Bible is Creation? Genesis
- Who is the Creator? God
- What does “the Fall” mean? when Adam and Eve sinned, all sin afterward
- What was the Flood? Who was spared? God sent a flood as judgment over sin; God spared 8 people: Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives and also 2 (or 7) of every kind of animal.
- What happened at the tower of Babel? God confused the languages to stop the people from building the tower.
- Who are the patriarchs? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
- What does exodus mean? Leaving (it’s when the Israelites left Egypt and were no longer slaves)
- Who led the Israelites during the exodus and desert wandering? Moses
- What does Israelite conquest mean? The Israelites fight against the pagans living in the Promised Land of Canaan and take the land as their own.
- Who were the kings during Israel’s United Kingdom? Samuel, David and Solomon
Note: asking these questions and answering them with your child is only a short conversation, but makes huge connections for your child. You don’t need a fancy Bible curriculum or a workbook or craft supplies or songs or anything. (This assumes that you and your child do take time to study the Bible in some form, through church, devotions, etc. These questions build on the Bible knowledge already present to make connections.)
I have created some Timeline Conversation Starters. These are printables with some of the above questions, with Scripture to go along. There are 3 pages, with 4 each page. Cut them out and put them into a 4×6 photo flip book. Then, you have these handy for Timeline/Bible discussions.
Also, have your student try the online Timeline related Bible quiz.
3. Go into more depth on one (or more) of these Bible topics.
You want to learn all the judges names? Try this song from “What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver?”
For another resource, check out my blog post from when my kids were preschoolers on using a coloring book that walks through the Old Testimony.