One thing that I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to go with the flow when inspiration strikes, and sometimes that springs from the scripture I read during my own early morning quiet time.
A few months ago, when I was reading the Psalms, I was struck by the repetition in Psalm 103. I liked the detail, the way that David listed what he was thankful for, and it reminded me of parts of the New Testament and how we are to give thanks always. I decided that this would be a great way for us to recognize just how many blessings God showers upon us, and so the Psalm 103-Bradsher-style began.
We started with a roll of easel paper and our favorite smelly markers. We chose to keep the first and last stanza of the psalm but to make our own list in between. We also kept the sentence “May we never forget the good things He does for us.” I acted as scribe so that the kids could think creatively and not worry about spelling or grammar.
They soon were shouting out things they were grateful for, and as their list grew longer, their sentences became more poetic. After writing a full door-length worth of blessings, we ended our psalm as David did.
Then the kids took the smelly markers and drew small pictures near the nouns in their psalm. They made it colorful, and by the time they were done, it was a great visual reminder of God’s provision.
We’re definitely going to do this again.
Want to see the real Psalm 103? Here it is – the parts in bold are what we kept in ours.
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Have you ever written your own psalm?