As we venture into this world of #homeschool2020, I wanted to be sure to get in some Bible Study time with the kids. I am seeing this as a positive thing, as it will, prayerfully, get us into better habits.
I am familiar with the SOAP method, because I use it myself. It was taught to me by our teaching pastor, Andy Hale in Sunday Morning Bible Study.
What is it? In a nutshell: Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
There are LOTS of articles you can read to learn the method. Here is what is printed on the Bookmarks – feel free to use them and create your own, or download mine, found below. The printable sheet has 3 bookmarks per page.
S for Scripture: Take your time reading today’s scripture and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it down.
O for Observation: What is God saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Write the scripture in your own words.
A for Application: How does the scripture apply to your life? Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation, or correction. Write this down.
P for Prayer: This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
I went online looking for something simple I could print out for my children to remind them of the steps, didn’t really find what I wanted (I don’t want to ‘print’ a full journal – we have plenty of notebooks and journals around here), So, I made a quick one myself…it’s nothing amazing, but it gets the job done.
How to ‘teach’ this method to your children
There are many important steps in teaching – but it’s a pretty basic four step process:
- Tell Me
- Show Me
- Help Me
- Let Me
You may, of course, need to bounce back and forth between these steps as needed, depending on your child. Let’s break them down a little further:
Explain the process step by step. Walk through each ‘letter’ and what it stands for, and how it will completed. I would recommend starting with a familiar scripture. A few very common scriptures you can use are listed below – please take to read them in context prior to teaching from them.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.1 Corinthians 13:4-8
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.Psalm 46:1
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galations 5:22-23
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
Take the scripture of choice, and walk through each step, verbalizing your thinking process and what the scripture is saying to you. Do this as if you were doing it yourself, even if that seems too advanced for your child. You might simplify some of your language for younger children, but I think you’ll be surprised at what they can understand and observe from you. When I say, each and every step…all of them…even take the the time to pray. This is the most vital part of the process, and teaching our children that they can talk to God is so critical.
Now, you do it with them. Walk through it together. At this point, depending on how your getting along so far, you might want to use a different verse, or use the same verse. This is often called ‘Guided Practice’. You’ll want to nudge them through the process…’That’s a great insight.’ ‘I love what God is telling you.’ ‘What else speaks to you?’ ‘What other truths can you find?’ Think brainstorming.
This is where your child will SOAP on their own. Keep in mind, this is not about what YOU gain from Scripture and what God reveals to you…it’s about what your child gains. They are likely at a very different place in their journey. There are really no wrong answers. The only time you might want to intervene is if they have interpreted something that is not bionically accurate, make sense? Their thoughts may be very complex, or they may be very simple. And this may vary from day to day, or verse to verse.
That’s all I have for you today, and I’d love to know if you found this helpful. I’d also love to know which scriptures you are currently studying with your children. I hope that it encourages you. Don’t forget, that you don’t have to be perfect. Just the best that you can be today. God loves each and every one of us, and will see us and our children through this time in history.
Much Love, and Many Blessings,