I just read some news that makes me happy! My cousin Shannon Leibold shared on Facebook that her son has completed the Beginners’ Bible Reading Plan that I first created for my daughter.  (Shannon, by the way, shares helpful devotional and Bible study insights on her blog Sitting At His Feet.)

Here’s Shannon’s post:

So proud of this boy! He finished his Bible Reading Plan for 2015! It was a Bible survey of both the Old and New Testaments with 25 readings per month, from January to December. Love that he’s gotten into the habit of getting into God’s Word! Now tonight we have a celebration: his favourite dinner (spaghetti and apple crisp), a little gift, and a sleepover with his best friend.

He used this Bible reading plan developed by my cousin, Dwight Gingrich. http://dwightgingrich.com/my-…/beginners-bible-reading-plan/

I wish I could share the photo of Shannon’s son, too, but out of respect for Shannon’s privacy settings, I won’t. Just imagine a very satisfied-looking young boy displaying a big smile and an open Bible. 🙂

It pleases me greatly that this Bible reading plan is my seventh-most-clicked page on my entire blog, with over 1200 hits. I know God’s word changes lives, so I suspect that this little reading plan may be doing more than many of my other more “flashy” efforts here online. Praise God!

If anyone else has completed this Bible reading plan and has a story to tell, I’d love to hear from you.

Shannon’s post confirmed to me that I should remind you of other Bible reading helps I’ve shared here in the past. So here’s a simple list. Everything here I’ve shared before, except for the last one, which is a resource that our family hopes to use for our Bible times this year.

And here’s a resource that our family hopes to use for family Bible times this year: The Picture Smart Bible.

We first saw The Picture Smart Bible at a home school convention. It intrigued us the first time we saw it, and when we saw it again this past year we were hooked.

The Picture Smart Bible is a very visual product, so it’s hard to describe it with justice using words. Here’s part of the publisher’s blurb:

“The Picture Smart Bible is a comprehensive overview of Biblical history, geography, important verses, and major themes of each Bible book…

“In this innovative Bible study program, an overview of an entire book is illustrated on a single page. For every book of the Bible you study, you will have a script to follow, a Master Drawing, and a Student Sheet.”

When all pages have been completed, each student will have a complete book covering the whole Bible, hence the title: The Picture Smart Bible.

The Picture Smart Bible comes in a K-3 version and in a Gr. 4 – Adult version. We bought both and plan to use the K-3 version this year. The “senior” version adds a lot more detail, so it would be very useful to do that one later.

Here’s a sample of Exodus in the K-3 version, colored and with optional craft attachments:


(Click here for the teacher’s guide for this page.)

And here are samples of Daniel in the Gr. 4-Adult version. First a blank page:


Then the same page filled in (but not yet colored):


(And click here for the teacher’s guide for this page.)

The K-3 version looks easy to implement—just copy as many Student Sheets as needed, gather pencil crayons, read over the script beforehand (which tells you where to begin drawing and how to explain the biblical content), and you’re ready to go. Most pages (one per Bible book) should take about 30 to 60 minutes. We expect to spread that over about 4 nights a week. If we can maintain this pace, we can complete both Old and New Testaments within about a year.

The Gr. 4-Adult version will take more prep time, since it includes a lot more detail of biblical content. It will also take a lot more “class time” to complete.

Speaking of class time, The Picture Smart Bible would also work very well for Sunday school. (In fact, we’ve thought that it might work well in Atlanta, either in a house church setting for our children or as an outreach tool.) A very generous copyright allows you to “copy sections of TPSB for non-commercial purposes, such as teaching or promoting your ministry, within your church or organization.” So you can make as many copies of Student Sheets as you want for your family, church, or ministry!

The people who created this product worked hard to avoid denominational biases. Their goal was biblical literacy, giving users freedom to tweak the theological presentation as they wish. I think they did a reasonably good job of this, though there will be minor things I’ll likely adapt on the fly.

It’s much easier to talk about Bible reading and Bible study than to actually do either. We’ve had good and bad seasons as a family. Hopefully some of these resources will prove helpful to some of you in the coming year!

What do you plan to do for Bible reading and study in the coming year? (I still need to make concrete plans.) What do you do for family Bible times? Let’s encourage each other. Share your ideas in the comments below.

Disclaimer: We signed up for an affiliate program with The Picture Smart Bible, so if you make a purchase using the links above, we’ll earn a commission. As always, I aim to only sell resources that I think you will find helpful.