Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bible Study Guide For All Ages (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Very often, I find it difficult to find a good Bible curriculum for the kids that is age appropriate, both kids like, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, as well as sound in the scriptures. We've tried various different curriculum with the kids with various degrees of success.  There have been a few that the kids liked but that really didn't go quite in depth as I would have liked.  There has been one that Ashleigh liked but Garrett didn't.

When we had the opportunity to review Bible Study Guide for All Ages, I had hoped that my search would be over.  With lessons available for students in Kindergarten all the way to 6th Grade, it looked very promising.  We elected to start with the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) level for this review, and the company was generous enough to include a second set of pages so that both kids could work on the study together.

The Bible Study Guide for All Ages was designed to teach students to know what's in the Bible so that they can actually use the Bible in their own lives.  This study of the bible is completed over the course of 416 lessons, learning both Old and New Testament each year using a timelines and maps to understand the historical sequence as well as the geography of the Bible.  By the time students complete all of the lessons, they will have covered the Bible in it's entirety, rather than focusing on particular stories.  Instead, students focus on applying what they have learned in applications in their everyday interactions throughout the rest of their lives.

For this review, we received:

2 Copies of the Intermediate Level Student Pages

1 Set of the Intermediate Level Teacher Key

Wall Maps and Timeline set

1 Wall Map & Time Line Label Book 

1 Set of Bible Book Summary Cards 

When our package from Bible Study Guide for All Ages, I had to admit, I was pretty shocked how much was included.  As mentioned, the company was very generous and had given us a second set of the Student pages so that both Ashleigh and Garrett could each have their own set.  These are the worksheets that contain the activities that the students work on.

We had elected to receive the Intermediate Student Pages, designed for grades 3-4th.  However, Bible Study Guide for All Ages has options for Beginners (PreK/3yrs- K), Primary (1st and 2nd), as well as Advanced (5th-6th). There are also options available for teens and adults but these materials were not offered for review at this time.

The curriculum consists of 416 lessons which are broken up into four years consisting of 4 quarters each with 104 lessons each year.  Pages are purchased by quarter which includes 26 lessons each.  For Quarter 1, We were given the pages for lessons 1-26.

Throughout the course of the Unit, students are introduced to a mixture of both the Old and New Testament.  For the first quarter lessons, students learn the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50),  the story of Daniel, and about Jesus' early life and 1st year of ministry (Matthew 1:4-11, Mark 1:3-19, Luke e1:5-11, John 1-5).

Each lesson is one page, front and back.  This worked great for us to fit into our schedule twice a week.  We could work on the front on Tuesdays and then work on the back of the page on Thursdays.

The pages are glued together and are easy to tear away from the pack, which would probably be very helpful if you were using these with a Sunday School or Vacation Bible School class.  However, for us, it was easier for me to staple the pages together to keep them all together.

Each lesson includes a large variety of activities including memory work, map work, time line activities, discussion questions, as well as games and art activities to help reinforce what they student has learned.  Lessons also include review questions to help the student remember the previous lesson.  Many activities require special actions - students must read the instructions to properly answer the activity.  For example, students might be asked to use a specific color to mark an answer.

In addition to the Student Pages, we were also given the companion Teacher's Key  - While not absolutely necessary to teach the Bible study, it provides the answers for each of the Student Pages for Lessons 1-26 as well as additional resources to use with each lesson.

Like the student pages, each lesson is printed on front and back of one page per lesson.  Teachers pages show a markup of the student page with the correct answers shown, as well as an addtional grey area around the border that includes timeline instructions, helpful information that can be shared with the student, and additional scriptures from other books of the Bible that re-iterate or expand on what the students learned in the lesson.

This particular item came in extremely handy for figuring out where to place the labels we were using for the wall maps and timeline.    Each lesson had a section that specifically said for Map 1, use these labels, for  Map 3, use these labels, then place these particular labels on this particular section of the timeline.  I found this extremely helpful.

We were fortunate enough that we were also given the Wall Maps and Timeline set for review.  This is a set of three maps and a two piece timeline poster that is displayed on the wall.  By using the timeline and maps, students can understand how all the events of the Bible fit together and where they took place.  The size of the time line is 76" x 25". The sizes of the three maps are 38" x 25", 19" x 25" and 19" x 25".

We have a hallway that the students have to walk through several times a day, which meant the perfect place to hang our maps/timeline.  (The two smaller maps are on the adjacent wall).  These maps can be used for the entire 416 lesson program.   

This small three ring binder contains instructions and printed keys for the maps and time lines as well as the cardstock labels to be used on them for the first 104 lessons in Unit 1.  These labels are to be cut out as needed and then placed on the timeline or map using a reusable adhesive such as tack-putty.  The labels can also be laminated for longevity.

Each label is marked to let you know what lesson you will use them with.  These marks are located on the left side of each page and are easy to spot.

Also included is key pages for both the timeline and the maps, both in a visual format (as seen below) as well as a list that shows the correct date where the label belongs as well as the lesson number for each label to help quickly identify and place labels.

These large full color  8.5" x 11" cards contain summaries of all 66 books of the Bible.  These cards use pictures to help students to recognize the key points of each book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.  

An explanation of the key points of the book are described on the back of each card, along with discussion questions that can be asked to the student while they are looking at the front of the card.

How We Used It:

Since it is summer, I have been using this curriculum with both Garrett and Ashleigh twice a week.  (Once summer is over, we will try to do a full lesson per day, twice a week).  We work on the front page of the worksheet on Tuesdays and then complete the lesson as well as adding to our timeline and maps on Thursday.  Both kids take turned reading the scriptures for the day's lesson and then we all work together to work through the sheets and discussion questions.  

The sheets are simple enough and the text large enough for Garrett to read independently.  Each half of a lesson takes us about 30 minutes to complete (mostly due to Garrett reading) which has us spending a good hour a week in God's word.  The comic book style graphics are really cute and the kids enjoy them, and each frame is numbered so the kids can keep track of what order to progress to, so they are less likely to work them out of order.

Ashleigh has really enjoyed doing these studies, more so than Garrett, although Garrett likes them well enough.  Ashleigh use to get upset because I have my private Bible study in my room at night and I tell her that it is my alone time with God.  Now, Ashleigh has her own time with God and she's really enjoying that.  I hope that it is a habit that will continue with her and that she will enjoy it as much as I do as she gets older.

I really liked that the "APPLY IT" questions, which are designed to have the kids take the information they learned in the lesson and apply it to their own lives, are open ended questions that make them think about the answers.  Simple yes or no doesn't cut it, they actually have to think about it. For example, one of our questions was "Jason and his friends were skating and Jason's little sister was with them.  She fell down and scraped her hand.  Tell the rest of the story.".    This particular lesson focused on caring and helping others, so the kids were expected to answer along the lines that Jason was kind to his sister, helped bandage up her scraps, dried her tears if she was crying, and generally comforted her.   In that same lesson, the kids were also asked to write down the name of someone who was feeling sad or alone and then think about what they could do to make that person feel better.   The kids picked Grandmaw (actually, my ex husband's grandmother whom we are extremely close to) and called her and talked to her, which made her day - she's 93 and cannot see and spends most of her days alone in her home.

We have really enjoyed using this curriculum. For starters, it goes way beyond just basic Bible stories.  As each lesson builds upon the others, the kids are truely learning the material and not just the "feel good" stuff.    And with each quarter costing roughly 20 dollars for both kids and the teacher's guide, it's a program that I can see us continuing with even after we complete the first 26 lessons.  (Note:  There is a package to purchase the entire first year for a deep discount if that is preferred.)

#HSReviews #BibleStudy #HomeschoolBibleLessons

For more information about Bible Study Guide for All Ages, be sure to visit their website.  You can also find them on the following social media sites:

Also, be sure to read the reviews of my fellow Crewbies to find out more about the other level studies available.
Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}

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