I love Bible Studies, especially ones that we can do as a family together. As my children get older, it is so important to me, for them to also spend time studying the Word of God. After all, we are commanded to “train up a child in the way he should go” and certainly this is of great importance. For what shall it profit a man if he loses his soul? We must make sure these arrows of ours are sharp.
When I learned about these amazing materials designed by John and Heidi St John, co-founders of the Real Life Press I was so excited. There is no doubt that they recognize the need and the value of Bible Studies that are able to be used for all members of the family, from youngest to oldest. And together they developed the Firmly Planted Bible Study Series; this is a series of 10 week courses using a variety of activities that allow all family members to be involved in the study of the Word of God. I myself received for review the digital version of the third volume of this series, The Gospels Part 1- Stories from the Life of Jesus, which included a Student Workbook. It warms my heart how they say in the very beginning of this book:
“As parents, this is our heart’s desire: that our families would be “Firmly Planted” in the fertile soil of God’s Word, and that as families, we would become students of the Bible. We are told in Timothy that the Bible should be our primary reference tool for life—that “All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16- 17 NIV).”
My boys who are 9 and 5, actually noticed and thought it was so cool that “Firmly Planted” is a reference to Psalm 1 which was one of many chapters and verses they learned last year in their Bible Quizzing program. It warms my heart to know and hear them repeat:
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. “
Part 1 of The Gospels is broken down into 10 weekly lessons that cover various aspects in the early life of Jesus life, before the Crucifixion. Each week uses scriptures from various portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to help paint a picture of Jesus’s birth, life, his teachings and his compassion. The study guide starts each week with a brief reading from one of the scriptures that sets the mood for the rest of the week. This is a study of the prophecy, the birth, and the early ministry of Jesus. This was quite exciting for my older son and even my littler ones, to go through with me.
We received the Family Study Guide and the Student Workbook as PDF downloads and have both them both on our iPad so we can access the files easily whether we are at home or on the go. With a new baby in the house, we are home more often than not but still have appointments to keep and I like for our kids to have something good to keep them busy while we are about. I know I cannot get enough of the Word as of late and so being able to have something like this, on the go, its so much easier than the ton of books I usually lug around. haha
I really love how The Family Study Guide is put together. Each week’s lesson is spread out between four days. There is a Bible passage each week for study, the Seed (which focuses on concept/application, Planting the Seed (memorization- my oldest’s favorite part of any study), and Watering the Seedling (which is a short story). For each day, there is also Devotional or Daily Study, Digging Deeper (for older students/adults), and Taste the Fruit (application). These are simple yet fun and full of activities that are fun for all ages ! There are so many fun ways that all they are learning is being reinforced as we go along. Ranging from word searches, crosswords, mazes and “mystery word” puzzles, these are all favorites of ours and my oldest son loves the challenges that these offer. I love that they make you think about what you are learning further encouraging those key concepts for each lesson!
Have I already said how much I LOVE this study? Really, these are great and we will use these again in the future I am sure. The multi-age approach is a perfect fit for our family since our children range in age from a newborn to a three and five and nine year old. I love how each child has their own activities that they can enjoy while also working and learning together too. And from handwriting to mapping to coloring and lots of fun puzzles this really engaged us all in some great discussions too. No doubt as our little ones get older, as we grow in our understanding of the scriptures – there are so many other levels that this can be enjoyed on. And I definitely am looking forward to reviewing every one!
All of the Firmly Planted Bible Study series (both the Study Guides and Workbooks) can be purchased at the Real Life Press website. These are all available as a PDF and many of the series are also available in a physical book format (always my preference personally). ❤