Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: God's Great Covenant (OT2)

Last spring Schnickelfritz and I had a wonderful time using a Classical Academic Press New Testament study to read through the events of Holy Week on the days of the week they would have happened (You can read about it here). This year,  I was thrilled to have another opportunity to use one of their Bible Studies.  I requested and received the second Old Testament course covering 1 Samuel to Malachi since this was the most neglected part of my own Bible study.  The course is designed for students from 3rd-6th grades, but I think older kids and even adults can learn from this, especially if they incorporate the side notes in the teacher's manual.  Our God's Great Covenant: Old Testament Book 2 package consisted of three items...

The God's Great Covenant, Old Testament Book 2: STUDENT BOOK ($22.95) softback, 298 pp

The thirty-two chapter/lessons are organized into five units. Each unit begins with an overview and introduction to the theme by Tobias, a fictional character who works as a scribe in the king's palace.

Unit I: The Early Kingdom...The God Who Anoints
Unit II: The Glorious Kingdom...The God Who Blesses
Unit III: The Divided Kingdom...The God Who Reigns
Unit IV: The Remnant Kingdom...The God Who Judges
Unit V: The Exiled Nation...The God Who Restores

The chapters begin with a memory page covering the  theme, memory verse, key facts, etc.  The top will also list which books and chapters of the Bible from which the lesson story is drawn and which chapters are to be read aloud.   Next comes Story Time--but that title is a bit deceiving because it's not always a story.  For example, Chapter 23 is called God's Voices of Judgement to the Nations and the 3 page story time summarizes  Habakkuk 1-3, Zephaniah 1-3, Nahum 1-3, and Obadiah 1.  Another lesson explains the types of poetry in the book of Psalms.  Each lesson ends with Review Worksheets, using T/F and fill in the blank questions to go over the memory verse, key facts and story facts.

In the back of the book, you'll find Chapter Quizzes, a Glossary, Appendices, and Maps.

The God's Great Covenant, Old Testament Book 2:  TEACHER'S EDITION ($24.95) softback, 298 pp.

It shouldn't be surprising that the Teacher's Edition has the same number of pages as the Student book.  This landscape formatted book has a reduced copy of the student manual on each page.  The remaining space is filled with notes providing further insight into the text.  Pages of the Worksheet reviews have the answers filled in.

Page taken from Teacher's Edition Sample (available online)

The God's Great Covenant, Old Testament Book 2: AUDIO FILES ($9.95) MP3 format

This downloadable product has separate files for story time portion of each chapter.  They can be burned to a CD, loaded to a music player, I even put the audio on my Kindle.  It can be a great resource for students too young to read to themselves when Mom is working on other things.  For this particular volume, it's also handy to hear the pronunciation of names because none of these kings and prophets are called "Joe."  You can find an audio sample on the web page linked above.

The Teacher's edition has no helps as far as scheduling lessons but I found a suggested five-day lesson plan on the Classic Academic Press Website. 

The 20 minute time frame didn't work for us, especially on the days when we were supposed to read from the Bible.  The lesson on Esther assigns us ten chapters to read!  Not only does that take more than 20 minutes but it exceeds my son's attention span.   Instead I developed my own schedule...some lessons we finished in a week and some took longer.

  • The night before a new lesson I would read the notes in the Teacher's Edition, marking those I wanted to be sure and share with my son. 
  • Day One Schnickelfritz would read the story out loud. For him, this was the fun part of each lesson. It fits his reading level and the "action" of the story moves at a good pace.  I sat nearby with the Teacher's Edition so I could help him with pronunciation of names and bring up the interesting facts I'd marked in my notes.
  • Day Two Schnickelfritz would tell me what he remembered about the story and we would go over the Memory Page and Key facts. 
  • Day Three through .... We would read one or two chapters of the assigned Read to Me scripture passages and continue this for as many days as needed. 
  • We moved on to the review worksheets when the scripture reading was done.  This was an open book review so Fritz could refer to the Student book and the Bible as he needed.
  • I didn't make Fritz take the quiz.  Christianity is more about our relationship with Christ than about the facts we memorize.  I was more interested in having discussions about what we were reading/learning and how we could apply it to our lives. I could tell from our conversations what he comprehended. 
I felt that the pace of this study went much faster than the New Testament one we did last year but that only makes sense.  The new testament had 36 lessons covering only the four Gospels.  This had 32 lessons covering more than half the Bible.  But I'm at a different place in Bible study than my son so this overview was probably enough introduction to the Psalms, Proverbs, divided kingdom, major and minor prophets.     Along these lines, there are some real gems in the Appendices that shouldn't be missed: How to use the Psalms, How to understand the Proverbs,  and a timeline chart of the Kings and Prophets for Judah and Israel.  There is a glossary with succinct descriptions of each person as well,  I only wish they had included a pronunication guide for all their names.

Before I end this review, I'm sure there are some parents wondering how some rather sensitive issues are handled in the lessons--David & Bathsheba and Amnon & Tamar for example.  My son is still an innocent in that area and while it's in the Bible, I'm not ready for a discussion on adultery or incest.  The Story Time mentions that  David "wanted to love [Bathsheba] as only a husband should...What David wanted was against God's law, but he didn't turn away from his own desires." Amnon, on the other hand  "fell in love with his own half-sister, Tamar.  Instead of loving her properly, Amnon sinned against her and hurt her badly."

 I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.


1 comment:

Leslie said...

We also go to review this one and enjoyed learning more about God's Word together as a family.

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