I believe very much in the value of Bible study for all ages. Yet I also acknowledge that it can be challenging, to say in the least, when the youngest is three and the oldest is twelve. There are so many different materials out there; there are different ideas and concepts about how to teach our children and some of them are very complex. This can be great for those of us who are super organized, but for this rather scatter-brained momma, I acknowledge it, I need something that is ready to go right away. I kind of dread those things that come with a list of additional materials needed, or charts full of details on how to prepare for each lesson. I admit it. I am not good at using these types of resources. That said I was excited, and a bit nervous, about the opportunity to review the Bible Study Guide For All Ages. With over 400 lessons and student pages for every level, this was a real blessing for us! For this review we received student pages for the following levels: Beginner Student Pages, Intermediate Student Pages, Advanced Student Pages and also the Teacher Key for the Advanced Level. Also included was the Beginner Timeline, the Unlabeled Wall Map & Timeline (this included a timeline, three maps, and figures. These are really big; great to display if you have the space. The size of the timeline is 76″ x 25″. The sizes of all three maps are 38″ x 25″, 19″ x 25″ and 19″ x 25″.) as well as a set of the Bible Book Summary Cards.
My children all know that the first thing we do each day is study a bit of the good Word. This isn’t just about learning what the Bible says; this is a guide that helps you really experience it for yourself. Full of practical applications and activities you can easily use this to study the Bible for years to come. But the best thing is that all of your kids can study together. Over a time period of four years, we study a combination of Old and New Testament, learning how to apply it to our own lives. Both of our boys have chosen to be baptised in Jesus name; this show of faith, a declaration of their belief, leaves me certain that there is much more which must be done in order to encourage them to continue growing in their faith and to daily add to their understanding and relationship with Jesus.
I really was so excited when this got here; I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but as you can see, we got more than enough to keep us engaged and active in our studies! This is an amazingly thorough, yet simple, way to study history from a Biblical perspective. Using a timeline helps our younger ones especially, to really see, how it all comes together. And as they all study together, at their own level, they learn and encourage one another to have a closer walk with the Lord. There are four units, each one with over 100 lessons; this is easily something that can be enjoyed again and again. As we grow in our understanding, gaining new revelation. You can see the order of study here. It’s amazing, all that is covered in this one program!
For my younger ones, the Beginner Timeline was perfect. These are durable, large cards (34 in all) that help our little ones (like my 3 and 6 year old girls) to remember major events and people within the Bible. These are colorful, eye catching and each card has a question. Who gave Joseph his many colored coat? What are the names of three of the kings of Israel? There is also a CD available that goes along with these; I know we have learned that music is a wonderful tool to help our kids remember all sorts of things. We did not get the CD for this review but we are going to get the CD to include in future lessons because we just love those sorts of things. And my girls are always singing (their language of learning I call it). My littlest one (who is three) loved these and really enjoyed sharing stories about them, as she remembered them. She often reminds her siblings, “Jesus says to love one another.”
There are also Bible Book Summary Cards; you can get these as small or large cards. We received the large ones. Again these are firm, durable cards that are designed both to be visual aids and also to be a resource to help our children recall details from every single book in the Bible. I love how each card incorporates so much information, in a way that is simplified.
There are typically at least five questions on the back of each card too (great for review or just some fun quizzing) These could also be used as flashcards; since the front of the card shows images that relate to the topics covered in each book. For the Book of Exodus you see Moses and the Ten Commandments. For numbers, you see numbers and a map of sorts that shows the wandering of the Israelites.The visuals really are very appealing, big enough to catch your attention and definitely good representations of what we want them to remember.
Each of my children had their own Student Pages to use as we went along and the teachers key walked me through each lesson in clear and concise detail. This is where all the answers are to the activities in the student pages, making it every easy to teach all four children, each lesson. NO stress. Makes this momma really happy. There is also background information and more scripture references to really help pull it all together. Since we received the Wall Maps and the Wall Timeline, we also paid close attention to what needed to be applied each day (although we did struggle a bit with them not sticking – love that hot, humid weather).
Each day before beginning our lesson, we would pray together and then review what came before, so we could go into the day’s lesson fully prepared. Some of this was a bit more difficult for my younger ones (I think most lessons were about half an hour in length) so some days we would take a break in between to sing or color or just get the wiggles out! (There is a Get Active section in the Student Pages book to help with exactly this too!)
Within the Student Pages there were a couple things that we really liked. I always like to think that God has chosen something like this just for me, when we sit down and the very first lesson is exactly what we need. As we struggle with some bad attitudes, some rebellious spirits (mostly in our oldest son), the first lesson, all about hate, was a wonderful way to begin these studies together. Each lesson starts with the timeline; simple facts, people and time, to help build a foundation and understanding as our children are able to see it all coming together, one at a time.
We love timelines and while this one is SO big – we were super blessed to have the space for it! It has become something our children love to study and talk about. There are songs to sing also; again we did not have the chance to use this for the review, but we definitely plan to get it since we will be continuing to use this program.
In Get Active, we act out, an example of the lesson being taught. We then end the lesson learning to Apply It. We were created for good works; we were created to be in relationship not just with God but with one another as well. And these lessons, interactive and engaging, help us to understand what it means to be honest, to be wise, to share with others. We learn what it means, we see an exmaple (even act it out) and then we see what it looks like so we can go out and be that light He calls us to be.
Simply put, this is a most amazing program! With simplicity it weaves everything together helping even the youngest little one to see God’s plan and purpose from the beginning. My little ones loved the coloring pages while my boys both enjoyed the timeline and map work; Discover the Bible and Guess What were two other favorite pieces that they enjoyed (these are great for encouraging our kids to dig into the Word themselves and also to see some of those simple, little details, that really are a big deal!) And the comic style form in some of the pages was lots of fun for my oldest son who is rather artistic, loves his comics and is always doodling. When he sat down to work with us, no matter the attitude in the beginning, at the end he was joyful, peaceful, working hard and really talking, excitedly about all that he felt God sharing with him in our lessons. Who and why?
These are questions that are posed to our students as we read through and strive to go deeper in these stories, which God has given us, to help us learn and grow in His way. I am reminded again and again as we work, as we come together, where two or three are gathered, that we were created for good works. To do them. This is the sort of resource that not only helps us to do them but helps us desire to do them. 🙂
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