I was having a cup of coffee with a dad months ago when we started talking about his son’s school. It came out that his son has a daily section of homework where he has to read a book of his choosing for an allotted amount of time. This dad has begun encouraging his son to read the Bible during that time. This is a brilliant idea. Over the next two blog posts I am going to list out some academic advantages and then some spiritual advantages.
Here are a few educational advantages of leveraging required reading in this way:
- Reading the Bible can line up with their reading level or even stretch their reading ability. There are a hundred different types of English Bibles. If your child is young or a poor reader, let him read something like The Jesus Storybook Bible. And if your child is a great reader, or if you are trying to raise your child’s reading level, you could have your child read the NIV or even the ESV. They will come across commonly used words in English that they will never find in Hank the Cowdog, Sideways Stories from Wayside School or James and the Giant Peach.
- It will expose your child to different genres of literature. The Bible is filled with different types of literature and literary devices. It contains historical narratives, allegories, poems, wisdom literature, and what amounts to ancient accounting. Your child will come across symbolism, parables, synecdoche, allegory, irony, paradox and a host of others.
- It will make your child more socially literate. American culture is still filled with Christian references and images. Literature, television, news articles, music and even sports commentary are filled with references to the cross, Balaam’s Donkey, the Fall, the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah, the golden calf and a hundred other biblical references.
- It will give your child a helpful foundation when he begins reading advanced works of literature in middle school and high school. Not only are references to the Bible rampant in modern vernacular, but western literature is full of references to the Scriptures. Works ranging from Beowulf to the writings of Shakespeare that were heavenly influenced by Christian history and the Bible. When the majority of the great works of western literature were written, the Bible was the literature that was primarily accessible. Therefore western literature alludes to the Bible constantly.
This father decided to leverage the environment he and his family are in. He made Scripture a priority in his home and encouraged his son to read the Scriptures. I encourage you to do the same. It can help their education. And in the next post we’ll talk about how it can help their souls.