So, we've progressed with our Bible Bee Study. I don't know if we were just gung-ho to begin with, or if the lessons were easier, but the further along we've gotten, the more challenging things have become. Even if I'm standing over the kids, we can no longer make the "twenty minutes a day." I'm confident the change has not been in us -- at least not in anything we've changed or the way we're approaching the study. I think it's just a deep, progressive study that requires much more discipline than we realized (or wanted, at least during the summer). It also doesn't seem to allow any wiggle room for the things kids to in the summer, like go to camp or on vacation. We still haven't caught up from their recent week away!
The kids are troopers, not complainers, and so while the lessons are taking two or three times as long (even before drilling the memory verse cards), they're still enjoying it for the most part. Gracie says the lessons are long and there's a lot of writing to do, but they're still fun. I'm having less fun, though. I'm so busy helping -- and encouraging -- them do their work, then James and I spend time in the evening drilling stacks of memory verses. To me, this level of work is way more than I wanted for a summertime program. Maybe that seems awful to say about the study of God's word, but we generally approach studying the Bible in a bit of a different way.
We typically read aloud or do individual reading for personal study, but we go deeper by doing a bit of expository study, breaking God's word apart by understanding how it defines and describes itself. We don't struggle with reading God's word, or even understanding it. Where I struggle personally is teaching the kids how to hide the Word in their heart, or teaching memory tricks. I was hopeful this program would help me do that for them, but I don't think it's helped really. I think the program has just further exposed my teaching shortcomings, and has added pressure where we didn't want any. I haven't passed these frustrations along to the kids, though. We're still working with them, but we all feel grossly unprepared for a competition of any sort, and we don't know what to do to change or improve. I'm hopeful we can find some help at the upcoming local event, either from the event host or from other parents.