Wednesday, November 11, 2015

GrapeVine Studies {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Until recently, Lauren and I hadn't found quite the right product to use for her Bible study time this year. I was reading the Bible to her daily, but we didn't really elaborate on anything. I felt like what I was doing wasn't quite enough because I know that she doesn't always understand and retain the materials that I simply read to her. She really needs a program that's more interactive and that has built-in reviews for her.

Our latest review product was an interactive Bible program that requires her to participate by drawing and reading the Bible. We have been using the Birth of Jesus Study (Multi-Level) from GrapeVine Studies. Their multi-level studies are intended for elementary aged students seven years old and older.

Our study of the Birth of Jesus began with a Timeline overview. The Timeline week in the schedule was meant to give a brief overview of the specific lesson we would be studying in weeks to come. Since Lauren is already familiar with the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, we were able to complete the 24 stick figure drawings for the timeline over the course of a few days. I was also able to see how much of the story Lauren remembered from previous studies and discussions.

One note: I originally postponed starting this study because I worried Lauren wouldn't be able to draw well enough with a cast on her arm. It turns out that stick figures are easy enough to draw that her cast didn't interfere much at all. (And thankfully, my teacher's manual had example pictures for all the stick figures so that I could give her a decent model to follow.)

The other weeks in the study were even less daunting than the timeline introduction. We divided each week's lesson into three or four days.

On the first day, we completed the Timeline Review and Memory Verse Review from the previous week. (Lesson 1 does not have this assignment.)

One the second day, Lauren used her Bible to look up the verses that tell the part of the story we're studying. I appreciate that the specific verses were given so that she could read them herself in whatever version of the Bible we find most appropriate. I also appreciated that the passages were short enough that she wasn't discouraged from reading them herself.

After reading each passage, I showed her a sample stick figure that could represent that event. She then completed the corresponding section of the student page with her own stick figure drawing.

This day in the weekly study also included a list of words for her to look up in a Bible Dictionary. Not all of the words were in her Bible Dictionary for Kids, but I'm glad she was encouraged to use other sources (like a Bible dictionary) in these lessons.

The third day each week was similar to day two, but included four events and a list of lesson review questions.

On the final day of our study, she drew her favorite part of the lesson and wrote down that week's memory verse.

There are so many things I love about this program. I like that she's using her actual Bible to do the readings and not just reading the verses printed on a worksheet. (There's just something more meaningful in my mind about looking it up in a Bible.) The stick figure drawings for each event means that she's actively participating in the lesson, not simply listening. And, finally, the timeline review and review questions ensure that she doesn't forget the lessons as soon as we close our books.

I love GrapeVine Studies, and so does Lauren. I'm trying to decide which topic we should do next -- Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Moses? There's also one on Biblical Feasts & Holy Days which looks really interesting.

The Birth of Jesus (Multi-Level) Teacher Book costs $12.50 ($10 for a digital version) and the Student Book costs $8 ($6.50 for digital). This particular study included 5 weeks of lessons. The cost and length of the other studies varies. GrapeVine also offers affordable classroom licenses so that the student pages can be copied for an entire co-op or Sunday School class.

Grapevine Studies Review

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