For the last month or so Homeschool bloggers and Parenting Pinterest boards have been filling with ideas to celebrate the true meaning of Easter. Parents take these ideas because they want to use creative, hands on activities to teach their kids about Jesus death and resurrection. But what do you do with teenagers (highschool students), who have been doing these Easter activities since they were 5 – or younger? Chances are they already know the facts of Easter – they know what happened, and they probably know why.
So why do Easter at all in your homeschool highschool? Or your family devotions?
Religious holidays – for a want of a better name for them – are used for us to pause and remember the good ness of God in our lives. Easter is such a time – we remember the forgiveness and life that has come about in our own personal life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
When it comes to teaching older kids – it is about them remembering what God has done for them, and in their own life.
When my kids were young we would spend a month or so leading up to Easter (and Christmas for that matter) looking at a particular aspect of doctrine around Easter – sin, the cross, forgiveness, resurrection, life. These are topics that older kids – and us as adults – need to reflect on, be reminded of, even though we may know it. As our kids get older we want them to know more than what the Bible says – more than the stories – we want them to think about that and know what that means in their own life, and what they are going to do about it.
When we believe something it changes our life. If we believe someone loves us our life is changed. If we believe something is right then it changes our actions.
Lesson plans for studying Easter for Highschool Students
Because the hands on activities are probably pretty mundane for the big kids we need to think a little bit deeper, and a little bit more for each individual student.
- What do they know, and what do they need to know?
- How is it best to teach that truth to this student?
- How can I challenge them (gently) to apply this truth to their life?
3 different type of Bible resources for highschool students
Just as there are different ways you can teach younger kids – there are also different ways to teach older kids. Three different resources/methods that have worked in our family for this older age group are:
- DVD’s – Teaching DVDs or Adult Bible study discussion starters
- Bible Study – Word or Theme studies in particular
- Books – either as a read aloud, or have the student read it and you read it so you can talk about it together
The lessons are learnt not as they take in the information, but rather, as they talk about it and find ways to apply it to their belief system. For this reason, we don’t leave our kids to this study on their own – there is always some form of accountability and discussion. This not only helps me ensure they are learning, but also strengthens our own relationship with the teen as the discussions often open up to a heart issue.
Resources on my Shelf
We haven’t got to use all these resources yet – maybe we never will – but I share them here to help you see what type of resources I look for when resourcing for highschool students.
Internet – I’ve found many discussion starters from youth ministry websites. Some of the object lessons seem a bit corny sitting around the dining table, but the lesson itself often works.
The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel. Written in a journalistic style this book probes the core issues of the resurrection. Jesus Crhist, risen from the dead: superstitious myth or life-changing reality? The evidence is in. The verdict is up to you.
Next Door Saviour by Max Lucado. One thing is ceratin. We can’t ignore him. If these moments are factual, if the claim of Christ is actual, then he was, at once, man and God.
Dug Down Deep by Josh Harris. Systematic theology like you’ve never seen it before. Readable. Relevant. Powerful. Josh Harris shares his own journey from apathetic church-kid to student with a burning passion to truly know God, you’ll be challenged to dig deep into the truths of God’s word. (Edited update: Josh Harris himself no longer believes what he wrote here – there is two lines of thought about using material when the author renounces it – personally, if I read it and the words were in keeping with what I believe then I’m happy to continue to use it – but I leave this caveat here for you so you can make that decision for yourself.)
The Passion of the Christ (DVD). This movie focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life. Confronting and powerful.
That the World may Know (DVD series) with Ray Vander Laan. Ray’s preaching and teaching ministry is focused on understanding the Bible in light of the historical and cultural context in which God placed it. This perspective on the Bible highlights God’s call for his people to be a transforming influence on their culture. He uses research of the top scholars in the fields of archaeology, history and Biblical study as tools to explore the Biblical text ever more deeply.
These resources are not limited to the lead up to Easter – if you’ve left it too late to plan a study that is in timing with Easter, then just do the study. If it is needed before Easter, and you don’t get to it, it is needed after Easter. Our older children don’t need the date of Easter to pin our lessons onto – they get that bit – what they do need is for us to take time to ensure that they not only know the Bible, but know who God is. It must be more than head knowledge – it must be a heart relationship. And that has to be our primary focus.
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Over to you:
Do you have a resource that’s worked well for Easter and a highschool student? Love to hear from you in the comments.
Celebrating Easter is all about Jesus: Regardless of how others celebrate Easter Christian parents can make it all about Jesus. Take the opportunity of this celebration to teach your kids Biblical truth. Includes bonus download – Jellybeans tell the Resurrection story
Easter Lessons for Older Kids (for Family Devotions or Homeschooling Study) Even though our teens may know the basics about Easter we need to keep taking the opportunity to strengthen their faith.