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Clapham Blog

Clapham Curriculum: the Ultimate "Living Book"

Posted by Admin on Jan 21, 2011 12:29:24 PM

By Julie Reynolds, Director of Curriculum

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

 

 

open book

 

 

Hebrews describes the Bible as an active weapon the Lord uses in our lives and in the lives of others. In Ephesians, Paul, too, describes the “sword of the Spirit” as the Word of God.  To this point, a pastor suggested to me that without the Word of God, the Holy Spirit has little with which to work. This is the reason why using the Scripture itself as the Bible curriculum is so important at Clapham.

 

Many programs or other schools use a curriculum to instruct about the Bible, and, at Clapham, we too use storybook Bibles in our Explorers classes that expose the children to the stories of the Bible in easy to understand language. In Class 1 students begin to read the Bible directly using the Bible reading curriculum. This curriculum takes the entire Clapham community through the Bible in four years. The students begin to learn about the Bible through the words of the Bible. Not only can they describe the plagues of Egypt, but they read that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. They can tell the details of Joseph’s coat of many colors, describe his journey through prisons to riches, and also repeat the faithfulness of God in Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Clearly, they are learning not only about the Bible, but about God.

 

The modern classical and Christian movement describes the elementary years as the grammar stage, the years where the power of memory is keen. This then is the time to fill minds with the stories, characters, and places of the Scriptures. We find this is indeed descriptive of our students; even more, as children with the capacity to think and reason, time to discuss and ask questions about God and His Word is particularly important as well, and you will find this happening in Clapham’s classrooms at all levels. The questions change as the students get older; for example, in the middle years, discussion in Genesis will include a deeper discussion of the curse of Genesis 3:15 and further illustration of the Fall may be explored in the stories and characters that follow. God’s promise to Abraham can be traced through to the New Testament. Personal application and discipleship become natural outgrowths, and application of Biblical worldview connections become clearer in the analysis of literature and history as students mature.

 

On the community level, the practice of reading the Scriptures as a family sends a powerful message to our children. In Deuteronomy 6, the Lord commands us to have the Scripture always to hand, to literally wear it. Regular family Bible reading provides a basis for the cultivation of a habit of grace, the idea that our children can be nourished and encouraged by God’s word. As a family “previews” the next day’s in-class reading, a child’s heart is prepared to share in what the Spirit might teach him or her in the classroom as well. Parents are edified as well as they prepare and talk with their children about the most important words they can ever read.

 

In summary, Clapham considers the Bible to be a complete curriculum in and of itself, as it says in its own words: 

 

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 

2 Timothy 3:16, 17

 

Topics: Bible, Curriculum, Living Books