Monday, October 23, 2017

Kid Niche Christian Books ( A Homeschool Crew Review )

Up until last year, we always tried to include a daily Bible study into our school day.  However, that changed when Ashleigh began AWANA, which meant that each day, Ashleigh and I were working through her book to help her memorize and understand the scriptures she needed for the week.  This also meant that Garrett, who wasn't interested in participating in AWANA, was not working on Bible studies and left me with feelings of guilt.

When I was given the opportunity to review Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1, a Bible and prayer study for tweens aged students from Kid Niche Christian Books, I was interested.  I had already been thinking about adding a weekly Bible study for just Garrett to work through on the days the girls were gone to AWANA.

About Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1

Weave Your Word in Me--Part 1 is the first half of a two-part Bible study written by Susan Case Bonner that revolves around the
Lord's Prayer. It is targeted for students 4th-6th Grade or for family devotionals.  Designed to be placed in a three-ring binder, the study consists of 72 loosed leaf, full color illustrated pages pre-punched for standard three-ring binders on heavy 70# paper.

The study consists of 36 lessons. The first half focuses on "God the Father" while the second half of the study focuses on "God the Son" (part 2 of the study continues with "What God Wants" and "God the Holy Spirit").  Each lesson consists of scripture to read, fill-in-the-blank style passages, illustrations, and activities that help the child to focus on the topic and to reflect on what they are learning.  Additional activities that can be used to look deeper into the lesson can be found online.

This study is designed around a prayer (My Whole Self Before You) which is modeled after the Lord's Prayer.  I'm not familiar with this prayer but it seems like it uses the ideas behind the original into a more simplified, child-friendly version.  For example, instead of "Give us this day our daily bread",
My Whole Self Before You states "Please give me those things, God, you know that I need".

How We Used It

Garrett noticing the word "tween" on the cover
Garrett just turned 11 this month and we made a big deal out of the fact he was now considered a "tween".  So he was very happy to see that this study made mention of being designed for Tweens right on the cover.  That immediately helped him to make a connection to this study being just for him and would not be something that he would have to share with his sister. It also thrilled Garrett to know that this was a study he and I would do together, while the girls were away at Chapel so that we could share alone time - just him, myself and God.

Each lesson is between one to three pages in length. The scripture readings and the text of the study are not overwhelming for him so it was very easy for him to complete even the longer lessons in one sitting without much struggle.  Garrett was also happy to find that the blanks for him to fill his answers in providing plenty of room since he tends to write big and often gets frustrated when he lacks space.

This study is designed to be used with following Bible translations:  King James Version (KJV), English Standard Version (ESV), New King James Version (NKJV), New International Version (NIV), New American Standard Bible (NASB) and New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE). While not one of the recommended translations, we used the Holoman Christian Standard Bible to complete our lessons, as that tends to be the version Garrett seems most comfortable reading from due to wording and print size. Although I did keep my own copy of New Living Translation (NLT) beside me as well as BibleGateway pulled up on my Kindle just in case. So far, however,  we have not needed them.

Here's a video of Garrett reading one of the scripture selections from the study.

I really like the larger font used in this study.  My eyesight is not what it was when I was younger and the larger print meant that I did not have to remove the study from in front of Garrett in order to help him with a word - I could simply read it from beside him. Garrett also liked the larger font because it was easier for him to concentrate on the words on the page. He tends to trip over words while reading with smaller text.

Extra space to write - and can you tell my son thinks with his stomach?
Since the text made it easier for Garrett to read, this meant that I was able to let him sit with the study and his Bible in front of him and he would work his way through the day's study.  Then, we would sit together and discuss what the material covered so that I could make sure Garrett was grasping the information.

We really enjoyed accessing the extra activities on the website as well.  These are small tidbits of information accompanied by songs, prayers and other information that goes a bit more into the topic of each lesson.
Also included on the website is actual physical activities that the child can do.  This might be visiting a pottery to observe how the potter molds the clay, designing and coloring their own stained glass, or learning about and writing their own acrostics.  While we didn't always do the actual activity, we still found ways to talk about the material on the website. For example, Garrett had already had the opportunity to watch and talk with a potter who spent much time telling Garrett how clay was made and how the pottery wheel worked.  So he was easily able to relate that experience to the discussion about how God made us with his own hand and shaped us just as a potter shapes the clay.

After doing an activity about the stained glass window depicting Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, we took the time to study and talk about the stained glass window that's in the chapel at our church.  Garrett has always liked the stained glass at our church, but we only recently noticed that it depicted the base that we live on, with Joshua Trees, mountains and even jets flying through the sky.
Garrett's depiction of Jesus Praying at Gethsemane
My only small complaint is that I think the targeted age group (4th-6th grade) are old enough to understand the Lord's Prayer and I prefer Garrett to learn it over My Whole Self Before You. However, the front of the study contains a page that shows a verse/stanza comparison of the two side by side, making it easy for Garrett to read the two and get a better understanding of what Jesus meant in the original.

Garrett's opinion of Weave Your Word in Me?  - "The Bible study is awesome."

Overall, I really do like this Bible Study and I am really appreciating the time that Garrett and I have been spending together with the Lord and will continue to spend our weekly time letting Garrett get to know God better while we spend special time together.

"I really do like this Bible Study and I am really appreciating the time that Garrett and I have been spending together with the Lord and will continue to spend our weekly time letting Garrett get to know God better while we spend special time together." #hsreviews #tweensbiblestudy #prayer #biblecurriculum

For more information about Kid Niche Christian Books and the Weave Your Word in Me series by Susan Case Bonner, visit their website at  You can also find more information at the following social media sites:

Weave Your Word in Me {Kid Niche Christian Books Reviews}

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