Monday, May 14, 2012
Review: Judah Bible Curriculum
Every once in a while, I get a review product that really, really challenges me.
Judah Bible Curriculum challenged me as a person and as a teacher. It is based on the principle approach to Bible study. According to their materials, "The purpose of the Principle Approach is to restore Biblical Christian scholarship to God's people. This Christian scholarship includes learning to research the Bible, developing the ability to reason cause to effect from the Bible basis, understanding every area of life from the Biblical world view, and learning to write effectively to communicate these ideas to others. Christian scholarship also teaches the student to think governmentally, that is to recognize who or what is in control and the relationship between God's sovereignty and man's character, between God's government and man's responsibility to govern under God."
These are lofty goals. In fact, those goals are in some ways so lofty that I'm still trying to wrap my mind around them and their implications for our homeschool. I have a feeling that if I truly understood the Principle Approach that I'd want to turn our homeschool days completely upside down.
Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to figure out how to make Judah Bible Curriculum and their way of applying the Principle Approach work for our homeschool. Judah Bible Curriculum is more of a teaching training program than a curriculum that spells out exacatly what to do when. The bulk of the materials are audio downloads -- more than eight hours of audio downloads. I found the lessons to be encouraging and inspiring, but I unfortunately did not find the hand-holding that I would have liked to have. (I should note that I am not a strong auditory learning, and I struggled with grasping the materials in this format.)
The written curriculum materials consist of a bare bones outline as to topics and major themes that should be covered as your family studies the Bible. A theme focus and associated scriptures is given for each week of a six year cycle. The materials also include blank Key Sheets for the student to use for making notes of individuals, events, institutions, and documents that they study. The idea is to create a notebook that reflects the student's understanding of the weekly theme. After digging into the scripture and discussing the theme, you can expand the study by adding in your own materials, looking up ideas or themes in a concordance, etc.
I've blogged before about the way our crazy days are filled with doctor's appointments, therapy sessions, and other activities. Unfortunately, I am often pressed for time when it comes to teacher preparations. The Judah Bible Curriculum might eventually simplify our homeschool days and our Bible studies, but it has a steep learning curve that I'd have to overcome first.
I also struggle when I am not given specific directions as to what to cover, what outside resources to refer to, etc. These materials would perhaps work better for a parent that is more confident in their ability to prepare lessons, find outside information, and explore Biblical themes with their children without a lot of directions.
Judah Bible Curriculum consists of the Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, the Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet, and the eight lecture Teacher Training Seminar. The electronic version costs $44, and the hard copy costs $74.
If you'd like to hear what the other members of the review crew thought about Judah Bible Curriculum, please visit The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog here.