Started Joshua – Malachai…not going well

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  • mamajamiah

    I really need some encouragement. I started two weeks of Joshua – Malachai with my 9 year old and 7 year old and they were bored beyond belief. What do I do? Will they learn if I push them through the Old Testiment curriculum being bored and not understanding? They have no problem with new testiment being read directly from the Bible but the Old Testiment seems WAY over their head. Honestly, it is way over my head at times. Doesn’t Charlotte Mason recommend learning it before hand…are there any good resources on these books that I can get my hands on to read first?

    Anyone else having or had this problem?


    Okay Mamajamia, I confess, many of the things I teach my children I am learning along side with them for the first time, and I have not heard of them before:-)

    I just want to understand it straight, it is the OT readings that are a trial, not the Story of the Greeks book, the other books or the read alouds?  Is that correct?  It’s the Bible portion?

    What version of the Bible are you reading, and do you add or use the Catherine Vos, or other Children’s Bible story book, such as Egermeier’s  at all?

    Perhaps before you get discouraged we can dig a little deeper to try help.

    Reading directly from the Bible does take a while for children to get used to and I agree that a lot of the OT style is challenging in particular.

    The KJV version will be even more of a challenge, and though I love it, I opted for a more child friendly version.  Once, I googled the various Bible’s and their reading levels, and I chose accordingly. (we can’t get American versions here)

    How engaged are the children, as in physically, whilst you do Bible?  Are they just sitting listening?  My girls were 2nd and 4th grade at that time, struggled with many of those sections, so I added and adapted.

    Do you let the children read a piece out loud?  Do they look up the reading of the day?  Do they ever act it out, sketch it on a white board, or do an oral narration on it?  Could you use felts, or pictures, or legos? Could you perhaps let them color/sketch/doodle a picture of what you are reading.

    I look forward to hearing more so that the forum can assist you better.



    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and give some words of encouragement.
    I will keep trying with the Bible reading. Did you find the Story of the Greeks to be too much as well? I am finding the boys don’t care for it. Is it too crucial to the curriculum to stop it? They don’t mind “Our little Spartan Cousins of long ago” because it has the story style they like.

    Thanks again.



    Last August we began Joshua-Malachi.  My children were ds7 and dd6 and it is working for us, but we will finish the Bible lessons this fall (13 lessons).  We have completed the history and geography lessons.

    Here are some things we did to make it a little easier for my young children:

    1.  We only did 1 Bible lesson/day, but if that was too much reading for us we were flexible and we would only do 1/2 lesson.

    2.  We used maps and made charts (sin cycle in Judges, kings of Israel) whenever possible for visual learners.  We also enjoyed activities such as racing around the house finding items that reminded us of the various judges when we studied the book of Judges.

    3.  We usually took turns reading the Bible passages.  Some days we would each read 1-3 verses at a time.  Occasionally, I would read the entire passage or I would let one child read a whole chapter aloud.  Each child used their own Bible.  We read the KJV.

    4.  I am sure that you have noticed that the each book is not read in its entirety.  I think we might have skipped over a few verses here and there because of time; however, many times my children asked why we didn’t get to read the whole book of the Bible that we were reading from.

    5.  We used a dictionary and Bible commentaries alongside our Bibles.

    6.  We memorized the books of the OT song (from the Wee Sing Bible Songs CD) to assist us in finding our daily readings.

    7.  I tried to encourage my children when the readings were hard.  My attitude can either help or hurt their attitude.

    I think the beauty of reading directly from God’s Word to young children is that they will not “get” everything, but they will learn the importance of reading God’s Word.  They usually learn more than you think they will.  My daughter didn’t want to read the book of Jonah because she already knew that story from Sunday School.  It was amazing to watch her learn all kinds of details she didn’t know from that wonderful little book as we read it aloud.

    By the way, my son really enjoyed all the danger and adventure in the book of Judges.

    I hope this encourages you.






    I often take long to reply because our time zones are different.  It’s morning here now 🙂

    To answer your question, yes, I did find Story of the Greeks went over the younger children’s heads.

    I read all the other suggested books in the guide, and tried to find other Greek related books, more on their level,  to add to it.  I know one was The Spartan Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins.  I am not sure how “Living” some of these books were.  Then there was an easy reader about the Trojan War, and an Usborne one which told simplified Greek Myths.  And I purchased a coloring books (Dover) about the Greeks. (Sorry I cannot tell you other titles now, we moved and school stuff is all packed up)

    I feel we have to do what works for us with the SCM plans.  We know our family.  Although a child must learn to attend and apply themselves to difficult material, at times they simply do not have the maturity to deal with certain texts.  And the age/grade guidelines are suggestions, I am sure SCM knows every child is SO different.

    We did not read all that was suggested in one sitting.  (see my comment further down) If we got to a difficult Bible story, I would often read it in the Ergemeir’s (we don’t own a Vos unfortunately).  The girls so seem to have retained a lot of what we learned, and to me, most importantly, have an overview of the Israelite Nation, the cycle of sin, and where it all took place.

    I honestly do not know if CM would approve, but, the activities really did help us.  I would mostly just Google “Deborah judge activity” for example, and lots of coloring/activities will come up.  Another idea, I found a chart with pictures of all the different judges,  and we colored a different one each time.  We also found a Judges lapbook.  We filled in our time line for when each thing happened, and when the kingdom divided, and such. We also did a chart for the Israelite and Judah Kings, they loved to find out which one would be good at last!

    Just for interest, I deviated from the Bible reading plan and actually did read more coverage than the the readings suggested, for certain books.  I found the flow and amount of reading per day suggested by The Greenleaf Guide to the Old testament suited me better. It is actually been free on Lulu

    To my mind, the Bible is the most important part of history that I would like my children to learn.  It can take us an hour some days.  Second time around in the cycle, I believe my girls will be able to handle more mature books, and then learn more about what was happening in the rest of the world and mesh the two together.

    I hope that helps.



    Catherine Vos’s Children’s Bible is a life saver for difficult Bible passages! I highly recommend it! We used it quite a bit when reading about all the kings. Sonya’s lessons lined up perfectly with this Bible too.


    Lindy, I so loved your reply.


    dear frustrated momma, I just loved Genesis thru Deuteronomy with the Bible commentary. Our church was giving away older Bibles, so I got one each schooler in our family, the 6 yr. reads his scripture, ( I whisper it in his ear while on my lap). Each child reads 3-5 verses, atleast3 and more if they want, and then they are encouraged to play legoes, playdough, color, anything they want quietly as long as they are in the same room listening. some days I encourage them to picture narrate while I read and then we add an oral narration to the top of the sheet. I provide illustrated Bibles for them to copy or trace their pictures from. theyhad traced in the beginning of the year, but just mostly use illustrations as points to add them in drawing. So shake it up. This is the part where your creative juices will inspire your students.

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