Learning Together...This is something I'm learning more about and seeking to do with my girls. I still want them to have their own age-appropriate studies for history, science, math, and language arts, but in other areas I am starting to appreciate more and more the benefits of corporate learning. Corporate learning in a classroom environment is completely different than in our home environment...thank goodness! I was a full-time classroom teacher for a couple of years and there were so many things which made me dislike corporate learning. What is beautiful in our homeschool is we are already learning corporately. I now have the opportunity to do it intentionally rather than haphazardly.
Bible is one area where corporate learning just seems natural, especially with my youngest turning four in just a couple of months. Bible Study Guide for All Ages is a wonderfully simple and easy way to start doing this if you are looking for something more in depth than just family devotions. We have been starting our homeschool day with this a few times a week. It took some time for me to adjust to using both the Beginner and Intermediate levels at the same time, but I quickly worked out the logistics of the process and found this to be a very enjoyable part of our day!
Considering the range of uses and ability to reuse of many of the products (with the exception of the student pages) the prices are very reasonable.
$5.95 per set of 26 lessons
$5.95 per set of 26 lessons
Studying the Bible more in depth than family devotions is something the girls have been doing individually, but not together. This was a really fun way to start doing this all together. It took about 20 minutes to complete a lesson if we did it all at once, but it could easily be broken into sections. Each of the pages is divided into smaller boxes with Scripture references and activities which are age appropriate.
I love that the core was actually reading Scripture instead of just a Bible story. I think Bible story books are wonderful and incredibly helpful for beginning to teach children about the truth of God's Word. However, they frequently fall short of getting into the deeper understanding and theology learned when studying God's Word directly.
One fun aspect with the Beginner Student Pages is the inclusion of the age-appropriate Beginner Timeline. This timeline starts with a picture of the Bible and explanation of the two parts of Scripture. Foundational teachings such as these are often neglected at the youngest ages, but why? Children at a very young age can understand and comprehend things on a much higher level than we often give them credit for.
Grace really liked learning what her sisters did and having her own page to work on rather than just looking at her sisters' papers. I loved the inclusion of other skills such as color recognition and counting. These pages are very well-written in way even the youngest children can understand, but also challenges them to think critically. She also was very good about waiting patiently while her sisters finished their more challenging pages.
Instead of a timeline the older children have Bible Book Summary Cards. Wow! I can't say enough about how much I love these. Each card summarizes a book of the Bible so fully, do in depth, even adults will find themselves learning from them. I feel like the word summary really doesn't do them justice. Something more along the lines of In Depth Understanding of Theological Highlights and Biblical Truths would be more accurate...but I suppose it would be a bit much!
I chose to go up a grade for the Student pages for my older girls even though Beth is technically only in 1st grade. Her reading level is well beyond her grade-level as is her biblical knowledge and understanding. The latter is because we have been teaching the about the Bible from the time they were just infants. Some would say it is because my husband is a pastor, but no matter what his vocation we would still have trained our children in God's Word from an early age. Beth was saved a year ago and has continued to grow in her faith. I love how these pages disciple and train more than most material for this age.
Rose is the one of my girls who shows a great love for the Word of God. She would do Bible studies all day long if I would let her! She has such a sweet spirit and sensitivity to Scripture. She is always up for trying new things. She is right in the target grade range of 3rd-4th grade as she has just entered her 3rd grade year. She said her favorite part was, "Everything!" You can't beat that endorsement!
The last item we reviewed was the Children's Song CD Set which is intended for use with all of the levels. I am a huge advocate for teaching through song as much of my knowledge, biblical and otherwise, comes from tunes I learned as a child. These are simply written songs, some familiar and some new, which will aid with memory of many biblical lists such as Jacob's sons and the apostles. Also included are some of the classic Sunday school songs I grew up with like Climb Up Sunshine Mountain. These are songs I have taught my girls, but it is getting harder and harder to find them recorded.
For the future I plan to do one page a week and just do one-two boxes on that page a day. Our days are already full and I don't want to rush through this great teaching tool. Going at a slower pace will allow for more discussion and for the truth of God's Word to penetrate more deeply into their hearts.
Click below to see reviews of these and other levels from my Crewmates!