We saw the crack of dawn this morning, not something I generally look forward to doing on a Saturday morning, but well worth the effort today. Lukas has discovered something that he loves. Bible Quizzing. Last August, when we first considered having him join a Bible quiz team at our church, he was hesitant as he often is with new experiences. He wasn't sure if he would like this Bible quizzing thing. Neither were we, but we were pretty sure he would. He is bright and competitive, the perfect combo for a Bible quiz team. We convinced him to give quizzing a try as far as the first quiz competition, which he agreed to do somewhat willingly. I figured that the worst case scenario would be that Lukas ended up with a great little Bible study.
That is a colossal understatement. The curriculum used for Nazarene Bible Quizzing is no little Bible study. It is an incredible program. This was our first experience with the program, and I can't say enough great things about it. For the twenty weeks that the curriculum spans, Lukas used it as part of his daily quiet time. This year's study covered the books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth. He knows details about these three books of the Bible that most adults have never even heard, most Christian adults even. The work that the shepherds do with the kids on Wednesday night is phenomenal. I don't really know exactly what they do, but Lukas comes home remembering all the Bible verses as well as the facts that are necessary for him to succeed at the quiz competitions. Whatever they are doing is working, and, most importantly, Lukas is having a blast while doing all this learning!
Lukas stuck out the quiz year.Not only did he stick it out, he excelled. He worked so diligently on the Bible memory work and questions. At first, I didn't know how challenging the quizzes would be, but after attending a couple of invitationals, we began working harder. Lukas never complained. After he qualified for the regional quiz, we reviewed a little each day. He also memorized John 1:1-18 so that he would qualify for the Challenge Round at the Regional Quiz. That was a little bit of a chore(the mama wasn't completely convinced that he wanted to do the Challenge Round until the last week when he really began to put time into memorizing), but he did it successfully! I'm glad I took a rather gentle approach with him. I took Lukas' lead on how much time we should devote to quizzing, and it worked well. It never became taxing, and he learned so much. No matter how he performed this year, the knowledge he gained and the work ethic that we watched form throughout the eight months has been more than worth it.
Lukas did perform well though. He was a blue level quizzer, which means he quizzed with kids who were in grades 3-6(from my understanding, 3rd graders can be either red or blue level, but don't quote me on that one). Twice, his team won a team trophy, and Lukas moved from the zone quiz to the district quiz to the regional quiz. Today was that event. Other than being a little tired from the early morning, it was a fantastic day. The regional quiz included the best teams from each of the Nazarene districts in Ohio and West Virginia. While Lukas' team did not win a trophy this time, they did extremely well. Lukas scored well and received a silver level ribbon and trophy (gold being the highest) as well as a medal for qualifying for the challenge round (in which the questions being labeled as challenging was nearly an understatement). He was so proud of these achievements. As he walked across the stage with his medal around his neck, he was beaming. It was a moment to make a mama proud!
As I said, this year was an incredible learning experience for Lukas. Eric mentioned tonight that there may be a possibility in the future for kids to participate in small groups using the quizzing material while not competing. This did not make him happy. He is a quizzer now, and he loves it!!! He fully plans on continuing to compete for as long as he is able to do so.
Oh, goodness, I must include this little story at the end of this post. Yesterday, while reviewing for the quiz, somehow the conversation moved onto next year's Bible curriculum for our schooling(which is completely separate from our quizzing materials, though the quizzing materials alone would make a superb curriculum for school as well). I pulled out the manual since I already have most of next year's materials to see what we would be covering. Joshua, Judges and Ruth will, of course, be a part of our school year(Creation to the Greeks). Lukas said, "That's okay, Mom. It'll be nice for you to be able to learn everything that I learned this year." Um. HELLO??? Exactly who was asking him all those questions for months and months? I think they should offer a round of quizzing for all the moms and dads out there devoting all this time to helping their quizzers prepare. Heehee!
If you have the opportunity to involve your child in a program like this, I would highly recommend this one. It's fantastic. Lukas had a blast, and we have watched as the Word truly began to grow roots in his heart. That is something that makes me one happy mama.