Recently when our family was fighting a lot of colds, and life was especially busy, we got a bit behind in our schooling. I was lying in bed one morning, trying to figure out how to keep school going even during busy times. I remembered the words of the Shema, and I started to think about how these verses could help give my kids an excellent education, even when life was crazy.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:7-9, NKJV).
My mind wandered to a typical school classroom. A teacher has many students to work with in a day, so she gives the rest of the class assignments to do at their desks. Meanwhile, she fills the walls with colorful charts and bulletin boards because she knows eyes will wander and brains will be engaged with what the children see.
My eight-year-old daughter is especially drawn to things on the wall. When we place a verse on the wall, she will recite it quietly — over and over and over — and learn it without even trying!
My house is small, and I have a husband who likes it to look pretty, but I began to brainstorm ways I could place more than just verses on our walls.
- Hang the verse of the week.
- Display illustrations your children make about the verse, or drawings about what they are reading this week.
- Make a chart showing all the “Bible Drill” verses. Children can mark when they find each verse with stickers, or by placing a number next to the reference. (For example, if the word being searched for that day is “trumpet,” and “trumpet” is the 5th word in the verse, your child could write a “5” next to the reference.)
- Hang maps of Israel in Bible times.
- Draw pictures illustrating a favorite verse from today’s copywork.
- Show examples of good handwriting, or a strip of the alphabet in cursive.
- Hang a poster of the entire aleph bet.
- Label items in your house with Hebrew. I have used this Usborne book to get ideas.
- Ask your children to design posters with short Hebrew phrases, such as “YHVH is my light,” יהוה הוא האור שלי. (I use an online translator and type them up in Lexilogos.)
Poetry, Music, and Art
- Copy the poem for the week into a Word document, then print it for your wall.
- Hang a poster that shows the musical staff.
- Hang pictures of famous composers and artists.
- Hang maps on your wall, of course, but also consider placing them on your table and covering them with a clear plastic tablecloth.
- Choose one part of the world to decorate your walls with each week.
- Make a large timeline for your walls, like the ones shown here.
- Print pictures of people you’re reading about. You can find many images here. Decorate around the images with facts, dates, and interesting trivia.
- Hang maps from places you’re learning about. We enjoy the markable map sold by Sonlight.
- Hang a paper showing the new letter of the week, with clip art of words that start with that letter. My First Picture Dictionary has many ideas.
- Hang this week’s spelling list.
- Write a Bible verse at the top of a large piece of paper and have your children try to diagram it.
- Hang grammar rules and charts.
- Display new vocabulary words, roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Try to think of other words that are similar.
- Make a chart showing this week’s oral language rule.
- Hang a chart showing where fingers go on a computer keyboard.
- Hang addition and subtraction facts.
- Show pictures of coins.
- Show a hundreds chart.
- Show conversions of measurements (especially in the kitchen).
- Show a multiplication chart.
- Here is a list of other charts you may want to display.
- Hang a poster of the periodic table of elements.
- Other great posters would include constellations, birds, trees, wildlife, rocks and minerals, and other topics you’re studying about right now.
There are so many creative ways to display posters without your house looking like a school classroom. I found Pinterest was a great place to get inspiration.
I’d love to hear your ideas! What have I missed? How do you display things on your walls, so your house doesn’t look cluttered?