(the girls showing off their Bibles! The NIRV turned out to be the best version for them to understand.)
I've been searching for a real bible curriculum and just hadn't found anything that seemed to meet the criteria of curriculum. Mostly character studies, or devotional type material. Then I found "Bible Study Guide For All Ages." They are non-denominational and simply study scripture. Here is an excerpt from their website:
The Bible Study Guide For All Ages is a comprehensive Bible curriculum for ages 3 to adult. It is designed for Sunday School, Bible classes, homeschool Bible study and family Bible study.This program is amazing and it is truly for all ages. For those of you who are interested, I will try to describe how it works. The program is divided into 4 units, each taking about 1 year to complete. Then the units are meant to be started again.
What makes the Bible Study Guide special?
- With the Bible Study Guide, you don't simply study lessons based on the Bible, you actually study the Bible in a fun and engaging way. Application lessons are drawn from the text.
- All ages can study the same lessons at the same time, promoting family Bible study.
- You cover some Old Testament and some New Testament each year. Part of Jesus' life and teachings are studied each year.
- No isolated Bible stories! Everything is learned in the context of the entire story of the Bible, using our simple time line.
- The Bible Study Guide is not a survey. It is an in-depth study of the entire Bible in 416 lessons (four years if you study two lessons per week).
The 4 teacher's units come with everything you need, (maps, drills, visuals, etc. Minus the time-lines and music cd's ) they never change and are in an adult or advanced format. You use these teacher units for all levels, but the additional (optional) student workbooks (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) help the teacher guide the difficulty. Each lesson in the Teacher unit is divided into 12 sections.
Depending on the age level you are teaching, you may not use every section, for example- for Beginners we only use the Drill, Review, Text, Questions, application, prayer and visuals. The other areas are too advanced at this point. After we complete all 4 units we will start over with the intermediate workbooks and the difficulty will increase and we will add more things like "mapping" and "Time-lines."
Here is a breakdown of each lesson in the Teacher book.
1. Drills: this consists of things like "Name the 4 divisions of the New Testament" "Name the 27 books of the New Testament" They also include a "Use your Bible" section where kids start to locate the Old & New Testament, first and last books, locate chapters and verses. In the "Underline" section each child finds, for example, the 12 sons of Jacob in the text, and underlines their names.
Each drill is progressive, the first one is learning the four divisions of the New Testament for 5 lessons, then they start to learn the 1st 4 books of the New Testament, etc., with review of what they have learned so far.
2. Review: You are asked questions from the previous lessons. Questions will be reviewed for the next 4 lessons, yellow and red level questions will be reviewed in the future months and throughout the rest of the 4 year program.
3. TEXT: This is today's reading. (We've been going through Joseph's story for the last 5 lessons)
4. Additional Scriptures: These are supporting scriptures found elsewhere in the bible that can be used for advanced and adult learners for a broader understanding, and also studies "Midrash" which is how you see Jesus' story and prophesy in the Old Testament scriptures.
5. According to the Dictionary: This section also expands on the text with historical content, etc. For example it would describe the significance of Jacob tearing his clothes, or what Sackcloth is and its purpose.
6. Questions: These are the 7 questions about today's text.
7. Map Work: Here is where you label the significant cities, routs, etc, that pertain to the reading. It also includes simple reviews like- "Locate Egypt"
8. Time-Line: You can use your own or their time-line to help children understand how what they are reading fits into history so they will start to see God's over all plan and hand in history.
9. Songs: You can purchase a children's song cd that puts facts to music, like the books of the bible, the 12 apostles, etc. And they correspond the music with the lessons.
10. Application: in the teachers manual it has a topic for personal discussion and application that pertains to the text. If you use the children's workbooks, depending on the level, it would include a "real life" scenario and questions on how God wants us to conduct ourselves based on what they've learned for that lesson.
11. Prayer Time: Asking God to help us apply what we've learned.
12. Visual: Each lesson comes with a Teacher visual you can use with the kids, this is a wonderful tool to help them remember!
The children's retention of information is astounding with this program, remember- we are only at a beginner level! By the time we finish a lesson, they have heard today's text once and reviewed it 3 times!
1.Reading the Text
2.Review with visuals and they retell the story with help
3.Then we go on to the application and talk about how what happened in the text applies to us
4. Then we move on to the beginner workbook where they now actively participate in the learning (Example in the #3 box of photos: "3. Joseph's brother's hated Joseph because their father loved him the most. With Red, color their faces.") Now they are thinking and responding to the Text.
By the end of the lesson- they know it pretty well!
We've only been using this for a short time, but it is obvious that we will be using this through high school! And because you re-use the Units, we only have to purchase units 1-4 once, and then just purchase the workbooks as we need them. You wouldn't even have to use the workbooks, although I'm finding that the activities help the kids remember the lessons. The added bonus, I'm learning a lot and remembering it too!
I have read reviews that for the more advanced levels, teachers need to break the lesson into 2 days so they can thoroughly study each section.