For the past several years, our three children participated in a wonderful Awana program in Virginia. I was very impressed with how much they studied their Bibles each week and the amount of scripture they memorized so that they would be able to complete their books each year. (Addison actually completed four of the books in just two years so that she could catch up with the rest of her friends.) Because they were learning so much through that program, I didn't feel the need to add an additional Bible study curriculum to our school days. Unfortunately, this year we haven't been able to find an Awana program that will work with our schedule, and I've been looking for a good Bible study that will work for our family.
For the past few weeks, Brennan and I have been trying one of the Bible study programs offered by Soli Deo Gloria Resources. We received their Young Hearts Longing For God Bible study in e-book form. It is intended to be used with third through fifth graders, students that are reading fairly well on their own and are ready for their first independent Bible study program.
Each week covers one Psalm (or a portion of a longer one). The student reads through the Psalm each day that week. By reading it several times over the course of one week, you gain greater insights into its meaning and application. I have been using the daily reading to help Brennan with his oral presentation skills. He reads it aloud to me each day, similar to the way he'd read a passage of scripture during a church service.
Each Psalm also has 8-10 questions to answer. These questions can be divided throughout the week or completed all at one sitting. I really like the way that these questions encourage the student to dig into the scripture, not merely to find basic facts. For instance, yesterday Brennan was working on Psalm 46. He underlined some passages in black (what things could make a person afraid) and then put a yellow star around the phrases that showed what God does to counteract those terrible things. Later he found the words and phrases that show us how God is our protection.
The last question for each passage is a journal entry topic. This is not meant to be a lengthy writing assignment, but rather a way to encourage the child to communicate with the Lord in a written way. Even though Brennan is not a strong writer, he does not complain too much about the 2 or 3 sentences that these assignments require.
All in all, I'd have to give this study a big thumb's up -- it is practically perfect for Brennan to use this year. Each day's work is fairly short, but I can see where he can gain a lot from doing a study that requires him to dig into the scriptures on his own.
Soli Deo Gloria Resources has one other Bible study available -- a study of Proverbs 31, also for upper elementary aged students. They also offer unit studies for history, geography, and science. If you'd like to see what other homeschool families thought about the materials offered by Soli Deo Gloria Resources, be sure to check out The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog.