Normally Lauren and I read a Bible story together for the Bible portion of her school day. Lately, though, we've also been able to use Primary Level Bible study materials from Bible Study Guide for All Ages.
Ten Reasons we love using Bible Study Guide For All Ages:
1. We spend time digging into the story. So far we've spent 12 lessons (nearly a month) learning about Joseph, and Lauren really knows the scriptures we've been studying. In the past, I've worried that she forgot what she had heard shortly after I closed the Bible story book.
2. Each lesson includes review materials. We talk about the previous lessons, the books of the Bible, etc. Often we refer to our Bible Book Summary Cards which are hung on the wall as we study them. Our Genesis card shows us that Genesis is the book about the beginning. It's divided into three sections -- the part that includes Adam, Eve, and Noah; the part about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the part about Joseph and his family in Egypt.
3. Lauren says that her favorite part of this Bible Study is the songs. The songs are scheduled in the lesson materials and are included on the Children's Songs CD (now loaded on my iPod for easy reference). I am amazed at how much Lauren learns and retains when we sing the information. She can now name all twelve of Jacob's sons because we've been singing them during her lesson time.
4. The Student Pages hold Lauren's attention throughout the lesson because she has to follow directions and work as I read the materials. Sometimes she has to circle an answer to a question, sometimes she has to complete a word that is missing a few letters, or sometimes she has to cross out something that was written incorrectly. The activities for each lesson are varied each day so that it doesn't seem like we're doing the same thing over and over.
5. The Primary materials do a good job of allowing young readers make the transition to reading the Bible for themselves. Each lesson has a single verse that the student either reads from a Bible or off of the Student worksheet.
6. The lessons encourage students to use a Bible, both to look up the verse of the day and to look up other things in the Bible. For instance, we discussed the gospels the other day and the instructions asked the student to open their Bible to the section that includes the life of Jesus.
7. The mapwork activities in the lessons help the student learn geography that is relevant to the passage we're studying. Lauren has drawn the route that Joseph and then later his brothers took from Canaan to Egypt.
8. Other lessons include timeline activities that lay a foundation for children to understand the order in which Bible events occurred and where that is in relation to today's events. Lauren likes being able to write the current year and her name at the end of every timeline that we complete.
9. Each lesson includes a modern day application cartoon for us to discuss. Sometimes the applications are more relevant than others, but I appreciate the way that the materials relate the lesson to something practical that children this age could be facing.
10. Each lesson also includes active or hands-on activity suggestions in the Teacher's Guide to make the lesson appeal to different learning styles. I don't always use the activities as written because I'm working one-on-one with Lauren. I do appreciate the ideas, though, and I sometimes find ways to relate our lesson to things outside of our school day because of the way the concepts were covered in the active learning section.
Lauren and I are using the Primary Teacher's Guide ($9.95), Primary Student Pages ($5.95), Children's Songs CD ($19.95), and Bible Book Summary Cards ($24.95 for all 66 cards in the set). The Teacher's Guide and Student Pages are sold as sets of only 26 lessons, which would last us about 2-3 months. The Primary level materials are designed for first and second graders.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages has similarly designed materials for preschoolers through sixth graders, and other Schoolhouse Review Crew members have been using different levels. Be sure to click the button below to see how the materials work for students of different ages or abilities.