Spiritual Circle Journal: A Bible Study Journal for Kids and Teens (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

I grew up in a home that valued Bible study. I went to a Christian school where Bible was part of the curriculum. My family went to a church that was very grounded in reading the Bible and studying it verse by verse. It was not until I was an adult that I realized that this was unusual, that every Christian hadn’t been taught how to study the Bible.

Bible study for kids with the Spiritual Circle Journal

I won’t pretend that I’m perfectly faithful in reading the Bible with my kids, but Bible curricula, Bible study, and regular devotional time have always been a part of our homeschool. Beyond learning about the Bible, though, I want my children to personalize their Bible study. Instead of just reading a passage to answer questions for school, I want them to hide God’s Word in their hearts. We’ve recently been reviewing the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens from Spiritual Circle Journal.

The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens is a paperback, spiral bound book with a plastic cover. It’s meant to be used by kids 8 and up, although the parent/teacher introduction at the beginning gives some guidelines for deciding whether the journal would be right for your child. In our case, it was actually Kathryne, my oldest who is 17, who wanted to use the journal. She’s been looking for ways to do some more focused Bible study, and when we looked at the website, this looked like a good way for her to do that.

The Spiritual Circle Journal

The original Spiritual Circle Journals were created for adults. They consist of nine circles, each containing a prayer prompt. The idea is that as you have your quiet time, you are considering these nine different areas. You’ll jot down sentences or phrases with bullet points in each of the areas.

Using these prompts gives you food for thought and a better way of connecting with God, instead of just skimming through an obligatory quiet time without really knowing what you’re doing because your mind is somewhere else- not that I’d ever admit to that.

Bible journaling for kids

The Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens

The author of the original journals- Liz Lassa- has children and wanted to create a version of the Spiritual Circle Journal that could be used by children and teens. Thus the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens was born.

Like the original journal, this one is meant to focus the user on nine elements. Using the journal can help kids make connections with what they’re reading in God’s word and what’s going on in their lives in order to help them deepen their relationship with God.

The journal has several main elements.

Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens

The Parent/Teacher/Leader Guide

This section at the beginning of the book was written by the author in order to help parents and children’s leaders know best how to use this book with their kids. The author explains the concept of the journal. As with the adult journal, it’s designed to help kids and teens have an effective quiet time in about ten to fifteen minutes, by giving kids nine elements to consider.

The author also gives some tips on recommended ages here and ideas for using the journal. She encourages parents and leaders to actually sit down with kids and complete some journal entries in order to provide an example and prevent their frustration.

Parents and leaders are encouraged to share stories of God at work in their own lives with their kids. I think that this is key in leading kids in any kind of quiet time. When parents provide an example, kids are more likely to follow.

In this section, the author also explains the connection of writing with real pen and ink and the ability to focus. The idea is that by actually sitting down and physically writing the information in each section, kids are focusing more and making connections with what God is telling them.

This guide is very comprehensive and has some really good information for getting started with the journal with your kids. I think that it will be particularly helpful for parents with younger kids who are just getting started with a personal quiet time or for parents who may not be used to this kind of in depth focus themselves and who can learn along with the kids.

A blank customizable cover page

Although the journal comes with a cover, kids are encouraged to decorate this blank page and then rip out the original cover, making theirs the cover of the journal.

A key that explains how the sections of the journal work

Just as the adult journal, this one has nine sections on each page. Instead of circles, these nine sections are drawn as pictures to make the design a little more fun for kids. They key explains the focus of each section.

  • Journal entry– what’s going on in your day; what you’re thinking about
  • Lyric/verse- a line of a song or Bible verse that has caught your attention
  • Message- the most important thing you learned from your Bible reading
  • Confession– anything that you need to confess to God
  • God moving- something you are seeing God do in your life
  • Lesson learned/lightbulb moment– any lesson you’ve learned lately
  • Prayer- what you want to ask God for
  • Thank you/adoration– what you can praise God for
  • Actions- something you think God wants you to do
Bible journaling prompts for kids

A personal page

On this page kids can write their personal information, including some of their favorite things.

A sample journal page

This page shows a sample page with each of the nine sections filled in. More practical than just the key, this page actually gives kids examples of what goes in each section.

Sample Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids page

Blank journal pages

The journal pages each have the nine items drawn on with the inside blank for the child to write information in that section.

Blank Bible journaling page for kids

Summary pages

At the end of the journal are sixteen summary pages to be used after the journal pages are complete. The summary pages each have nine blank circles. There are suggestions for four ways to use these pages.
  • A place to write lessons learned over the time period of the journal
  • A place to record favorite verses to memorize or focus on
  • A place to record “God Stories” or things God is doing in your life
  • As character pages to record Bible characters you want to learn more about

What We Thought

Kathryne has been using the journal along with her personal Bible reading and study. Recommended use at the beginning of the book is once or twice a week. On the days she uses the journal, she reads her Bible and then uses the circles to record her thoughts.
She has liked the prompts because they focus her thinking. Although the example in the book is from a middle-schooler, she’s able to to use the journal effectively, even as a 17-year-old, because the prompts are general enough to adapt for any age.
After her use during the review period, Kathryne has decided to use the journal in a different way from here on out. She doesn’t like using it while reading a set of verses for her Bible study time because the prompts are too general to focus on the Scripture. So many of them are focused on what’s going on in your life in general and not on the Scripture that you’ve just read.
Instead, she thinks the journal would be great to use as a reflection on the youth messages she hears each week at church or the sermons we hear on Sunday mornings. She can use the journal for that, because the general prompts will just guide her in making connections between the message and her everyday life.
I think that the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens could be a good tool to use with your kids. I agree with Kathryne that it doesn’t particularly fit a Bible study. But it does provide a way for kids to think back over a message they heard in church- or perhaps a homeschool Bible lesson- and learn to focus and look for connections and for ways in which the Holy Spirit may be teaching them something or speaking to them. As a homeschool mom, I particularly appreciate flexibility, and the journal is flexible enough to use in the way that best fits your child and your family.
Other Review Crew members have kids who have been using the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids and Teens. You can see what they thought by clicking below.

Spiritual Circle Journal

Find The Spiritual Circle Journal on social media.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizLassa/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spiritualcirclejournal/ @spiritualcirclejournal
Twitter: https://twitter.com/liz_lassa @liz_lassa

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