Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: God's Great Covenant

Two years ago my son volunteered to run sound for children's church on Sunday mornings.  Part of the agreement in being accepted for the privilege/responsibility was to commit to a daily Bible study.  We were both excited by the opportunity to review Classical Academic Press' Bible course for kids--God's Great Covenant.



Our text says New Testament 1: The Gospels on the cover which leads me to think at least one more volume is in the works (there are already two Old Testament volumes in their catalog).  We received paperbacks of the student and teacher's editions and a download of the student text audio files.
The complete student text actually appears miniaturized in the teacher's book--the surround space is used for notes and space for note-taking.  Pages showing student worksheets have the answers filled in.


Teacher's Edition
 The one thing the teacher's edition does not provide is any guidance in how to present the material to the student, which put me slightly out of my comfort zone.  I decided to spend a week going through all the aspects of the introduction and then jump to the chapters covering Palm Sunday through the Resurrection.

Can I just say how much the introduction helped me?  It shouldn't be skipped.  Each section helped explain a different aspect of the setting of the Gospels:
  • Historical & Political
  • Chronological events of Christ's life & ministry
  • Geographical
  • Religious
  • Daily Life
I've been a Christian for 40 years and no one has ever explained to me how we went from priests and prophets in the Old Testament to Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes in the New.  When Jesus was born, King Herod was on the throne in Jerusalem but by the time he was a man there was a Roman procurator in charge.  How did that happen?  (Answer: Herod the Great's kingdom was divided between his three sons.  The one in charge of Palestine caused so much trouble he was banished to Gaul by the Roman emperor who then appointed procurators to oversee the region).

Each of the 36 Chapter/lessons follows the same format.  Page one lists the Theme, Scripture referenced, Memory Passage, Key Facts, and Prophecy Fulfilled.  Next is Story Time--events from the life of Christ written as a narrative compiled from all the gospels.  There are usually two pages of Review Worksheets with fill-in the blank and multiple choice questions.


The lessons have been organized into four units.  After 8 lessons in the format described above the 9th lesson has a brief review and then several more detailed worksheets, including a place to write out the memory passages and what they mean.  Then comes Simon's World--insight into daily living as told by a fictional young boy living in a fictional town in Galilee. 

With 36 lessons, God's Great Covenant could certainly be a year long Bible Study--although I don't think there's enough material to make it a daily study.  There's no syllabus or calendar however so you can cover the lessons as quickly as you desire.  I wanted to get through the events of Holy Week so I actually read the Story Times for all those lessons on the day they would have occurred.  I usually read from the Teacher's edition so I could check the notes and see if there was any information I wanted to add.  Then  Fritz answered the review questions orally.  We didn't go into the depth available by also reading the Key Facts or the Bible passages.   


Schnickelfritz always enjoyed the lessons that included maps and I was particularly pleased that he was able to do well on the review questions (sometimes I wonder how well he pays attention when I'm reading aloud).  In the event that I couldn't read the stories myself I was able to download the MP3 audio files to my Kindle and Fritz could listen to them on his own.  The course is written for students in fourth grade and up, but you could certainly include younger students by reading aloud or letting them use the audio files. 

The prices for God's Great Covenant are:

  • Student's Text  $26.95
  • Teacher's Edition $29.95
  • Audio Files Download $9.95
Or you can save about 15% and get all three bundled for $56.95.  There are samples of all the products available at the Classical Academic Press website.   You can read what other Homeschool Crew members thought about God's Great Covenant by clicking here.

Disclaimer:  I received free copies of the products described above for the purposes of completing this review.  I received no other compensation for my honest opinions.

3 comments:

Modest Mama said...

What a great idea to cover the Easter parts at Easter. I wish I had thought of that~ but it probably would have been out of my comfort zone to skip ahead. Ha ha!

Great review, btw.

Under the Sky said...

This is an excellent thorough review! Thank you so much for sharing all you did here. This is really great work!

Warmly,
Kate

Jenn said...

I'm a rural Ozarks girl, myself! I wonder if we're near each other. I'm about an hour east of Springfield. Followed over from the TOS Crew; nice to "meet" you!

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