Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Grapevine Studies (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

It has only been recently that we have added Bible studies to our school curriculum.  While my kids really enjoy hearing various Bible studies, finding a study that they can enjoy without feeling overwhelmed has proved to be challenging.   Recently, we were given the opportunity to review Birth of Jesus: Multi-level  from Grapevine Studies and I think that we have found a Bible Study perfect for my kids.

About the Study Unit

As far as Bible Curriculum go, this is one of the cutest things you will ever see.  Gone are the multiple grey haired men with long beards and robes and instead children draw out cute stick figures to represent various people in the Bible. Children draw or trace scenes that take place in the selected reading which helps in memorization of the materials. Relevant Bible verses and vocabulary are scattered through each lesson for memorization.  These verses are short and simple and even young students can remember them.

The Birth of Jesus study is exactly as it says, students learn about the birth of Jesus, beginning with the Genealogy of Jesus and the Angel's visit to Mary, continuing with Simeon's Proclamation and Anna's Declaration, and ending with the death of Harod and Jesus's return to Israel.

This particular study is considered a "Multi-level" which means that depending on the age of your student, various tools can be used while teaching the lesson.  Younger students who are not yet ready for copy work or memorization can be taught using only the stick figure drawings while older students will be able to look up words in the dictionary, verses in in Bible or places on a map.

Grapevine makes it easy to figure out what level your student might be ready when making a decision as to which unit to use.  Each level is designed with a particular age group in mind and adjust the student pages for that age group. An example of this being traceables for very young students, larger drawing areas for elementary aged students and more complex study tools such as dictionaries for older students.

What We Received:

For our review, we had selected the Birth of Jesus Multi Level Unit.  We were given a digital downloadable copy of both the Birth of Jesus Multi Level Students workbook as well as the Birth of Jesus Multi-Level Teacher Guide.  The multi-level unit is designed for students age 7+.

The Birth of Jesus Student Guide is a 40 page guide that contains the traceable handouts for the students to complete for the study.  There are 5 Lessons in this unit:  The Announcement, Birth of Jesus, The Proclamation, The Wise Men and Harod, and the initial Birth of Jesus Timeline.  There is also a final review as a way to gauge what students have learned through the course of the study.

The Teacher Guide is a 50 page lesson guide that walks parents through this study of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.   It contains teacher's notes that explain important information that need to be covered in the lesson, a Bible Dictionary that contains words where looking up definitions could be helpful, maps to add geography to the lesson and Lesson Reviews.  The guide also contains the answers for the Final Review found in the student workbook.

Both the Student Workbook and the Teachers Guide come in a downloadable PDF format or can be purchased in a physical format as well.

How We Used It:

This particular Grapevine study is broken in 5 lessons which can either be done as 1 lesson a week or 24 daily lessons.  For us, we decided that splitting each lesson between 2 days a week worked best for us.

As my whiteboard recently had a fatal accident, I purchased some white board contact paper to go on the wall to use until I could replace the original board.  This gave me a really nice size surface to work with that my kids could see clearly while they sat with their own copy of the work.

Each week, I would print out a copy of the traceables for the lesson we were going to work on for both Ashleigh and Garrett.  These smaller packets kept the kids from feeling overwhelmed and gave them a weekly sense of accomplishment as they finished them.

I found that loading the Teacher's Guide into my Kindle made for an easy and convenient way in which to access guide.   The PDF is very clear and works well while viewing on tablets.

What We Thought:

First, did I mention how cute this concept is?  It's stick figures!! Anyone can draw a stick figure!!  Meaning even the youngest of students can participate in this study.

Both kids really seemed to enjoy these lessons and had a lot of fun when we did these twice a week. With the fact that my son is a very visual learner, this Bible study proved to be exactly what he needed in order to not only maintain interest in what we were doing but to be able to do the assignments without too much difficulty.  Garrett typically isn't one to like to draw, however, so the stick figure drawings seemed perfect for him and he enjoyed tracing and drawing on his own for each lesson.  Ashleigh absolutely loves to draw and color and tends to draw on almost everything, so anything that allows her to break out the crayons and draw is alright in her book..

The kids had such a time watching mom "write on the wall" with the various colored markers while they copied each of my drawings onto their own papers in crayon.   Never once did I have them complain about doing their Grapevine studies: instead I had several days where they complained because they wanted to do Grapevine as their first subject rather than at the end of the day.

This study is indeed a keeper and I have a feeling Grapevine will become a staple in our homeschool for the next few years for Bible Study.

More information about Grapevine Studies can be found on their website as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google + .  You can also find Grapevine Studies by using @Grapevine Studies on the Periscope app on your smart phone/tablet.

You can also find out about one of the other Grapevine Studies that other Crew members had the opportunity to review by clicking the banner below.

Grapevine Studies Review


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