How We Do It: Family Worship

Every morning and evening our family gathers for a time of  Bible reading, prayer and singing.  This a priority in our home because our family’s first goal is to glorify God in all aspects of our lives and this provides an opportunity to instruct our children in God’s Word and to worship God together as a family.

We have done many different things over our years of family worship, but the basic structure for our evening worship has remained the same. Mark opens with prayer and then reads a passage of scripture and we have a time of teaching and discussion. We close with singing and prayer often encouraging the children to pray and using this as a time to instruct them how to pray.

Here are some of the things that Mark has done during the time of teaching:

  • Read through and study a specific book of the Bible teaching on each section as we work our way through. This past year we purchased Balancing the Sword Vol 1 and Vol 2 and have used those questions to quiz the children. Some of the questions are quite challenging to recall and the children enjoy showing up their mommy in answering.
  • Followed The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History suggestions to read through the historical passages of the Old Testament in order to give our children a better feel for the flow of Biblical history.
  • Topical studies on areas that we or our children seem to be struggling. (i.e. diligence, kindness)
  • We have occasionally used How God Used a Thunderstorm and others. These are collections of true short stories that have been paired with scripture passages to create short devotionals.

The time of singing is a favorite with the children. We have purchased hymnals and  Psalm books for each of our readers, so we are able to sing anything that we sing in church. We generally pick one Psalm and one hymn each month and sing those every evening. I mentioned how we use Psalm singing to help the children memorize scripture. It is wonderful to hear the 4 year old shout out, “Please may we sing Psalm 148?” and then be able to sing it from memory. Sometimes Mark takes requests after we have sung the two songs that we are learning.

After our time of singing in the evening Mark and/or the children pray to close our day and the children get hugged and kissed and put into bed.

Our morning times of worship are a little more simple. Most mornings Mark makes time to read to and instruct the children. We go through our memorization box,  spend time reading the Bible and one other book (currently Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends), sing (the songs that we are learning and sometimes requests) and then we pray.

We begin and end the day with worship together as a family because it is important to us and we pray that, by God’s grace, it will be important to our children.

Other posts you may be interested in:  Our Schedule helps us to evaluate what is most important to be certain that it has a place in our daily lives.  Before the Beginning explains some of the trials that God brought us through to teach us that while a lot of things are good, we must try to pick the BEST. Our Hot House tells about how God blessed us with friends and family to teach us and help us to grow and Why We Homeschool: Family Goals tells our reason for evening and morning worship.

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17 Responses to How We Do It: Family Worship
  1. Missy Parris
    May 12, 2009 | 8:52 am

    I emailed you a while back through the quiverfull site and didn’t have a chance to get back with you. Our family is in Cleveland (very close to Chattanooga) so we are almost neighbors. I have enjoyed looking over all your stuff. Especially the posts about clothes for kids we are starting to not get so much even if it is through hand me downs. My girls have both recently decided on their own that they want to wear skirts and dresses only. It was a big step for them to do this even at our church. For Awana game time one of my girls was called skirt girl. I found this rude but she had a better attitude and took it as a compliment. They have asked me when I will be wearing skirts, of course I dress very modest, but at 8 months pregnant I said I would wait and join them after the baby came. Right now I am just HUGE!! So are you enjoying the book Making brothers and Sisters Best Friends. I keep meaning to get this boook but it just slips my mind till I here about it again. Have a great day! Missy in Cleveland

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  2. Smockity Frocks
    May 12, 2009 | 3:43 pm

    I would love to know what you think of the “Brothers and Sisters” book. I have been tempted to buy it a few times, but honestly some days (today, for instance) I wondering if that would be a stretch and I should look for “How to Keep Brothers and Sisters From Scratching Each Other’s Eyes Out”.

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    Kimberly Reply:

    We love the “Brothers and Sisters” book. We have been going through it very slowly at breakfast, for several months now. (I did mention slowly, right?) We read a few paragraphs and then get to talking about it. That is the type of book it is, very thought provoking. It also has lots of little cartoons, stories and funny extras in it. The children always beg to read more and are disappointed when we don’t get to it.

    Oh, and since we began reading this book, we never even look for our copy of “How to Keep Brothers and Sisters From Scratching Each Other’s Eyes Out” anymore, so you could borrow it if you want. (I totally could not resist that and I hope you realize that I’m completely joking. :D )

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  3. Jessica
    May 13, 2009 | 11:35 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for this wonderful post about family worship.

    I’ve been a psalm singer since my youth and we love to memorize them too. Our children definitely have their favorites. Do you know about this DVD from Crown and Covenant?

    http://www.crownandcovenant.com/Kids_Sign_Psalms_DVD_p/ym420.htm

    It has been so fun to learn to sign the psalms as we sing them. I have found that it also helps us really mediate on the words too as we’re singing and signing together.

    My 2 1/2 year old is a very late talker and still only speaks a few words, but he is able to sign right along with us and better participate in family worship and our Sabbath activities. It’s really a great dvd and I highly recommend it, if you don’t already have it!

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  4. Nikki
    June 23, 2009 | 8:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. Beth
    January 6, 2010 | 9:04 pm

    Just wondering- do you read stories to your kids at night also, or is your family worship time your bedime routine? We are struggling to make family worship a consistent practice every night and just wondering how you do it. Thanks!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Don’t think that we don’t still struggle with consistency. :) Our family worship is our bedtime routine. Usually everyone is ready for bed and we snuggle together on the couch and in rocking chairs and listen to daddy read.

    I read stories to our little ones in the morning, just after I finish my personal Bible reading and also before naptime. (As well as various and sundry other times throughout the day, but those are our regular story times.)

    Blessings to your family as you work to become more consistent with your family worship times.

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  9. cayce
    July 10, 2010 | 11:14 pm

    Wow I ran across your website linked from another and so impressed. I have young children and looking to start homeschooling a preschooler this year. I am inspired by your family worship time so much I have not thought of before. I think i will start with personal bible time each day and add a small bible activity with my little one and slowly add praise with me and the kids. Do you sing with taped music or are you blessed with a musical person? Any ideas for a non musical person with not much praise music knowledge. Thanks for your website i will be reading lots.

    [Reply]

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  14. Patty
    January 19, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    HI! I love everything on your blog! I have 3 preschoolers – Twins age 4 and a son age 3 – Do you think the Brothers and Sisters book would be good for their age? Also I am teaching them preschool at home right now we were looking for some sort of family devotions to do with them at home – morning and evening would work great with us and I love the singing with it as well- my husband is learning how to play a little on the guitar and does a few songs with them in the evening but not like what you are talking about- do you have any suggestions on family devotions books for this age to start with – Thanks so much! Patty

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks Patty.

    I think that your children would receive more benefit from the Brothers and Sisters book when they are a little bit older.

    A couple of our favorite resources for Bible study with preschoolers (other than the Bible itself) are:
    Leading Little Ones to God: A Child’s Book of Bible Teachings and Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children as well as other Miller books. We’ve also enjoyed Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching Your Children to Live for God. We also used the Greenleaf Press guide when all of our children were small. I hope those give you a good place to start.

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