“A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:6
For the past two weeks, we’ve been going back through ancient world history and reviewing how the Israelites continue to battle the Canaanites of Mesopotamia all in an effort to help your middle schooler see history through a Biblical lens.
Now, I could sit here all day and spout history to you and your kids (‘cuz that’s my jam), but I’m realistic enough to know that can get pretty boring.
So, how can YOU, Mom and Dad, bring Bible history alive for your kids? What can you do to help them ace World History but still understand it from a Biblical perspective?
You can go to some online stores and order any number of books, but kids tend to learn visually, especially with complicated subjects like Mesopotamia. So, here are a few ideas for you to try that might help your confused middle schooler.
(It’s okay, nothing here is an affiliate link)
Maps are a great way to help us understand where we are and what’s going on around us.
Get a big wall map of the Earth (I found one at Walmart) and hang it up somewhere your child can easily access it so she can compare the Bible to where everything is now. You can also do the reverse: Get a large Bible map from your local Bible bookstore, hang it up, and compare your child’s textbook maps to where the Israelites were throughout history.
Then and Now Bible Maps is a handy map I personally use. I found it on Christianbook.com for only $4! You can’t beat that. It folds up small enough to fit inside my Bible, and it’s been amazingly useful more times than I count. Several maps show how the Holy Land has changed over time.
Finally, whether you homeschool or not, the Abeka curriculum has a great map and activity book that covers world history that I’ve heard several people recommend.
Don’t have room to hang a map? Get a globe! They’re not only educational, but they’re also rather decorative (I think).
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a globe. Anything that’s big enough to read is good enough. Check out eBay, Facebook marketplaces, Goodwill, flea markets, or even garage sales.
Videos are a great way for kids to visually explore Bible history.
Dave Stotts has a DVD series called Drive-thru History that does a great job educating kids about the Bible. Volume 1 called “Holy Land: Conquest, Canaanites, and the Holy City” of Stotts’ Jericho to Meggido series covers the fall of Jericho, Gideon and the Midianites, battling the Canaanites, and much more. Christianbook.com has it for sale right here (again, not an affiliate link).
YouTube and Khan Academy both have good stuff about world history for free (we all like free, right?). They’re fun videos that kids can quickly understand.
You can find Khan Academy’s video right here.
Hip Hughes’ Mesopotamia video on YouTube is super fun and perfect for students.
Of course, books are always useful even if your child isn’t a big reader. You can find books with lots of handy pictures and maps that help kids get a better sense of historical geography.
DK Eyewitness Books’ Mesopotamia is super illustrated and easy to understand for kids.
For older readers, the Crossway ESV Bible Atlas is a great resource full of beautiful photographs and rich details of Biblical history.
Talk, Talk, Talk
You can use all the books, videos, and maps all you want, but they won’t mean much if you don’t talk to your child about what he or she is looking at and how it compares to the Bible.
Sit down with your child and go through your resources together. Make yourself available to meaningfully answer the questions he comes up with. And, keep your Bible handy in case you don’t have the answer. Make it a special time to bond with your child as you learn together how God formed the Holy Land.
Get an A in World History
Though the boundaries of Canaan are gone and the land goes by a different name (Near and Middle East), its people have had a tremendous impact on Israel. Not just when they claimed the Promised Land, but for thousands of years afterward. Even right now, today.
So, if you have a child learning about Mesopotamia or any world history, put their secular lessons into a Biblical perspective. It’s a great way to bring the Bible alive and grow your relationship with the Lord.
And maybe, just maybe, your child will be so incredibly impressive with all that amazing knowledge that his history teacher can’t help but give him an A.
How do you make a connection between Bible history and modern life your kids? Even if it’s not about history, how else do you bring the Bible alive so your child discovers a personal connection to God? I’d love to hear your ideas so I can share them with my own kids.
Let’s never stop showing our kids the love and relevance of God in their lives.
I always have your back. So, in case you missed it, you can go back and read about our walk through ancient history exploring who the Canaanites are, why Israel was to “utterly destroy” them, and where they are today. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 right here.