Friday, August 9, 2013

TOS Review: Bible Study Guide for all Ages

I let my son select the order for all our subject in school except one.  Bible study is first every day to remind us who should be first in our lives (and it doesn’t hurt that we pray for our schoolwork and getting along as part of the lesson).  I was very pleased to have the chance to try the  Bible Study Guide For All Ages .   As Schnickelfritz is now a 5th grader, we’d be using the Advanced Student Pages (5th-6th grade).  We also received a set of   Bible Book Summary Cards which can be used with all ages.        

The Advanced Student Pages ($5.95) come in a landscape oriented, legal size format.  The pages are loosely glued in so I’m assuming Mom keeps the booklet and removes the pages for the kids as needed.  Each lesson covers the front and back sides of one page.  There are 26 lessons in a book, representing one quarter.   There are 16 books, all priced the same, so a complete study of the Bible would take four years (doing 2 1/2  lessons per week or one page per day).


This Sample is the front side of the lesson.  The studies alternate between timeline and mapping activities.  The Remember It section is a refresher of all the prior lessons.  I don’t know if the Get Active suggestions are the same for all the levels since I just have one child but it would make sense for the kids to do the activities together since they will be covering the same topics each day (just with different student pages).  There were several activities that called for more than the two people we had available.

The back side of the lesson is always in cartoon format.  My son would fill in blanks, draw pictures, choose the correct dialogue, etc.  He loved the very visual format (and frankly it didn’t seem to him like he had to write much – always a good thing).  The lessons jump around in the Bible.  We started with Joseph, but then jumped to Daniel, and then the life of Christ.  You would need to stick with the lessons for all four years to cover the entire Bible.

Occasionally the lessons would ask us to learn the Bible Book Summary Cards ($24.95 for all 66).   These 8 1/2 X 11 cardstock pages have colorful clip art on one side to remind us of the book’s key points.  The back side has a narrative summary and questions to check retention.  The cards are not required but highly recommended.

Here is the one for Luke.

You can see some of the key points are the genealogy is begun with Adam and  Luke is one of the Gospels (signified by the center clip art).   At first I thought I’d used these cards as a game –guess the book from the picture.  I’ll be the first to admit there were a lot I couldn’t identify (like the minor prophets and Paul’s letters).  Better to study each picture and read the back summaries first.  You may be able to play the game with books you’ve already studied and just want to review.

My son did like the very visual nature of the lesson pages and he was able to do the work on his own.  He was definitely covering a lot of Bible facts – placing events on the timeline, finding cities on the maps, memorizing Jacob’s 12 sons,  learning the divisions of the New Testament books, etc.  My only concern was that the lessons were heavy on facts and light on critical thinking and apologetics.   For example, lesson 21 covers the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke.  The requirements ask what man begins the genealogy for both gospels, asks you to circle the king in both pictures, find the names of the 4 women mentioned in a word search, and put names in chronological order. But the genealogies can be a real sticking point for non-believers.  Many people question why the names don’t match up or even use this as their proof that the Bible contains errors.  There is no mention of this controversy or the fact that the genealogy in Matthew is recording Joseph’s family tree and Luke covers Mary’s. 

 I think we will continue to use the Bible Book Summary Cards, but will go with something meatier for our family study.


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