I don't know about you, but when I am looking for a quality bible curriculum
I become extra picky. It has to be thorough. It has to be interesting. It
has to teach us how to think, not necessarily what to think, but how to
evaluate and learn from what we read. It has to equip us to study the
scriptures. It needs to be biblical! Lamp and Quill Devotional Studies fits
this profile for us.
So what is it Lamp and Quill? From their website:
"Lamp and Quill develops and publishes Devotional Bible Study material for
all ages. We were blessed to have someone teach us how to look into God's
Word, find answers to life and develop our own personal walk with the God of
the Bible. Our goal is to pass on a method of helping others grow in their
walk with God through the Scriptures and help them train up a godly
generation which is devoted to knowing God and helping others know Him."
This is a good beginning, no? Let me tell you how this program works. As
stated above, the program is a six-year plan that is divided into four
quarters: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Also they add: "Each December
there are lessons about the birth of Jesus Christ. Each Spring, there are
lessons about His death, burial, resurrection and ascension." These are the
books studied and the year in which they are covered:
"Lamp & Quill is not a substitute for Scripture, but rather acts like a
shoehorn, guiding individuals into the Bible. These studies cover most books
of the Bible in six years on a chapter-by-chapter basis, and include the
threads and themes throughout. The focus is on learning to think about
Scripture and getting to know the God of the Bible in a personal way as our
Savior, our joy, our daily hope and our hope for the future. Lamp and Quill
curriculum is not merely a remembrance of historical highlights and heroes
of the past. Each of us is individually important to Almighty God and our
lives are lived daily in His holy presence."
Why these books? This is what they shared with me and I really think it
makes a great deal of sense:
- Year 1: Genesis and Job
- Year 2: Exodus, Matthew
- Year 3: Deuteronomy 1-7, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11, Proverbs 2, 8, Ecclesiastes 1-12
- Year 4: Selected Psalms, John, 1, 2, 3 John
- Year 5: 1 Kings 12-2 Kings 25, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, some Isaiah/Jeremiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, Malachi, Revelation Overview
- Year 6: Acts, Galatians, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 1-2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon
"Our choices have more to do with what we could cover in the way we believed
the Scriptures should be handled. We did not set out to do a comprehensive
study of the whole Bible. Many Bible studies and Sunday Schools seem to
focus on educating students about the Bible. Instead of focusing on filling
heads with facts, our goal has been to help individuals interact with the
Scriptures personally and develop a relationship with God. We have pursued
one study at a time without trying to give it a particular mold from the
beginning. Its present status is where we have been led over the years."
There are study books for every age group in the family from Toddler all the
way up through adult. The breakdown of the books looks like this:
"Understanding the Scriptures involves knowing and understanding its
historical context. So the lessons are arranged chronologically, with a
balance between the Old and New Testaments, even though the studies were not
developed in that order. Whole passages help the students get a complete
picture of the people and God. Many studies focus on "Heroes and
Highlights," or the mighty men of the Bible rather than the mighty God of
the Bible. We want individuals to understand that the "real" men and women
in the Bible had flaws, weaknesses and sin just like us. They were not
unreachable "super heroes" or some type of fairy land characters. They were
ordinary people whom God prepared for daily living, just like He does for
all His children."
This looks a little complicated, but once you see the samples on their
website it will not be difficult to find the book(s) your children will work
best with. I seriously encourage you to view the samples on their website to
decide for yourself which level(s) are best suited for your children. I did
not do this. I chose based upon the age/grade level labels without seeing
the inside and that was my mistake. Some of my children are strong early
readers and some are not. The ones that are not had a difficult time with
the books assigned to their age level and this presented a problem for us
- Toddler - Toddler, Preschool (ages 1-3)
- Preschool - Prekindergarten, Kindergarten (ages 4-5)
- Primary - Early Primary, Primary, Middler (grades 1-3)
- Junior - Junior (grades 4-6)
- Jr. Hi./Sr. Hi. - Jr. Hi./Sr. Hi. (middle to high school)
- College/Adult - College/Adult
- Parent Study - All Ages
- Family Leader - All Ages
I am a firm believer that children, even young children, can learn
theological concepts and latch on to God's word in its rich depth. I believe
that God's word does not come back void when we teach it to our children and
that they are often more capable than we give them credit for. They can
understand well beyond "God loves you!" That being said, pay attention to
the questions in the samples and make sure the books you choose will not be
too difficult for them. Some of the questions were beyond my young ones and
some of them were not. These are meaty studies and it would be a shame to
miss the richness in them due to a miss-purchased level. Their website is
loaded with information to help you choose the right study.
There are separate study books for mom and dad. Mom uses the "Parent Study"
book and dad uses the "Family Leader" book. There are some differences
between the two leader books, but either one can lead the study. Some of you
will not have your husbands around to lead the family devotional during the
day as he might leave for work early and work long hours so you will, of
course, want to choose the book that best suits your needs. The "Family
Leader" book differs from the "Parent Study" in that it offers discussion
questions in the "Summary Worksheet" such as:
1. What lesson focus will you communicate? (Consider truths about God and
2. How will you present the lesson? (Read passage summary for ideas.)
Outline, dialogue, action, sounds, illustrations, etc.
3. What questions will you ask? (Use: who, what, when, where, and how; write
Then they list "Potential Discussion Questions" to use with your family.
Samples of these are:
And the list of discussion questions goes on from there.
- What did God create on Day 4 of creation?
- What does Job 26:13 tell us about the heavens?
- What does God know about the stars, and what does this tell you about God? (Isa. 40:25-26)
- Who wrote Psalm 19, and what does it tell us about the heavens? How was the writer familiar with the heavens?
The "Parent Study" book offers "Activity Suggestions" in lieu of a "Summary
Worksheet." This will give you more hands-on activities to do with your
children from coloring page suggestions (often found in the children's books
or available for purchase separately as support materials), locating verses,
songs and hymns, guided action activities, counting objects, making a mural,
calendar, discussion of seasons and making a "Seasons Bulletin Board,"
toddler activities, snack suggestions, quiet thinking time suggestions, and
review time. This is a thorough page filled with activities and ideas that
is given for every week of the study. This was well thought out!
In both of the parent/leader books you will find scriptures to read for each
day, study/discussion questions to use together with your family and space
to answer in the workbooks, "Passage Thoughts," "Prepare to Share" sections
with extra questions for thought and discussion, and the "Passage Summary."
These are in the same format for every week and using them regularly results
in a nice rhythm of family study for each week. Depending on which book you
are using, you will also have the "Activity Suggestions" to choose from
and/or the "Summary Worksheet" as well.
They also offer many support materials: Activity Book, Coloring Book, Craft
Book, Dominoes, Memory Card Game, Song Book, Verse Cards, and Word Cards.
The Activity Book offers puzzles, word searches, decoding puzzles, coloring
pages, and much more. The Coloring Book is exactly what it says it is. The
Craft Book offers cut-out crafts that coordinate with the lessons. For
example in the Year 1 Craft Book, one of the crafts your children will
make is a roll-up wall-mounted scroll of the days of creation. There are a
lot of neat crafts and activities here. They really have thought of
We discovered several things about this program in its use within our
family. The more people you have using the same book, the easier it is to
have a significant study. This program was initially made as a Sunday school
program and I can see how well it would work there as everyone would have
the same questions! We have found that my older children, ages 10 and 13
using the Jr. Hi./Sr. Hi. books, match up with my own questions and that it
makes for a really meaningful study. These books all have the same daily
questions so we are all on the same concept. My son, age 8 and using the
Middler book, also works well with us as his questions are also similar and
sometimes they are the same. The little one's books though, ages 5 and 6,
don't match up as easily or as smoothly. So what we did for our homeschool
was we decided to use the older books and ask those questions and they jump
in when they can. They also sit and listen to the scripture we read out
loud. This works for our family. If our family was younger, it would be just
as easy to buy several of the younger books and go about it the same way,
but with the younger level books. If I had the time to do two separate
studies with the two different age groups it would likely work just as well
at our home, but I didn't find it particularly successful trying to do all
the ages with each of their books all at once. In my opinion, this does not
diminish the quality of the program, but it helps to understand that the
more family members using the same books the better off your study is likely
The kinds of questions my children are thinking about are excellent. The
Lamp and Quill folks have put so much time - years and years of work and
effort, love and care - into the questions they ask. They really have a
heart to bring families into the saving knowledge of Christ and His word.
His word is powerful and they understand this! Here is a sampling of the
kinds of things your children will be learning:
All these questions are found in the study of Genesis. What I really
appreciated was that it was not necessarily limited to Genesis - though of
course that would have been alright too! I loved that they pulled in other
scriptures that applied to the current study to make it come alive. Genesis
is relevant to what Christ was teaching in Matthew. As any good Bible
teacher will tell you, scripture is all connected and should not be taken
out of context. It should be studied as a whole. Lamp and Quill really works
at this and it shows.
- Read Genesis 2 and make a list of 10-20 subjects in this chapter.
- What does Job point his friends to in Job 12:7-10?
- What do verses 5-6 of Genesis 2 say about rain and a mist?
- What do you think "keep" means in Genesis 2:15?
- Read Genesis 2:15 in your Bible several times. Each time emphasize a different word. What is something new you understand from this verse?
- What does Matthew 11:28-30 say?
- How do you think it relates to work today?
- What do you think Adam and Eve learned from God?
- What would you have liked to talk with God about?
- How do you talk with God as compared to how you talk with your friends?
- What will and will not pass away according to Matthew 24:35 and Mark
As I have stated already, this is a quality study. It is in-depth,
interesting, draws you in and keeps you wanting more of God's word. It truly
glorifies God. I cannot recommend this enough. We look forward to using it
for the next five years and I look forward to growing in God's word with my