Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: God's Great Covenant, OT 1: A Bible Course for Children

“Everyone loves a story.” Indeed.

Listen to this.

"The Bible tells you God's story. It has many parts, but from beginning to end it's one story. In this story God made a promise, saying, "I will be your God, and you will My people."

 This little bit (taken straight from the text itself) introduces us to the delightful Bible Curriculum God’s Great Covenant, OT 1: A Bible Course for Children by Classical Academic Press.

Those of us who have taught the Bible to children (or adults, for that matter) understand the temptation to isolate each story into a separate moral or lesson. Sometimes, remembering the “Big Picture” of God’s redemptive plan can get lost within those lessons of character building. 

Classical Academic Press  promises to help our students make those important connections using a classical education model.

I am not an expert on Classical Education, but I can tell you that I am always impressed with the kids and parents who employ this method of education. I was anxious to see how this curriculum could fit into our more eclectic schooling.

What we received

How They Work

The Student Book (and the Teacher's Edition, as well) is an attractive, softbound book. This particular course (there are more!) covers the Old testament from Genesis to Ruth. It is broken into 32 lessons within 5 Units.  
Unit I: In the Beginning -God’s Power. 
Unit II: By the Patriarchs - God’s Promises. 
Unit III: Out of Egypt - God’s Redemption. 
Unit IV: Through the Wilderness - God’s Provision. 
 Unit V: In the Promised Land - God’s Faithfulness.

Each unit has an theme. For example; Unit 1: In the Beginning - God has a Power. Within that unit each lesson has a theme theme and a key event. In the very first lesson (Lesson 1) the lesson theme is "God creates by the power of His words." The key event is "God's speaks...and it happens."
The chapter lesson begins with a Memory Page.

It contains;
  • Read to Me (Scripture reference used)
  • Theme
  • Memory Verse 
  • Key Facts
  • Things to Remember (vocabulary, Latin, Greek or Hebrew words)
  • Who is God? (discusses the very nature and character of God)
The Story Time section is the "meat" of the lesson. The "story" itself is told in a very engaging way and within the story are nuggets of truth contained in that bit of Scripture. What does this mean for God's plan? What does this tell us about God? How does this lead to Jesus? . 

The Review Worksheets section of the lesson are a variety of review devices, such as; fill-in the blanks, ordering and Josiah's favorite, The Yes and No Questions.

The Chapter Quiz within the lesson chapter are just a repeat of the Worksheets. 

The book also contains a good number of appendixes in the back of the book. These include Memory verse summaries, word banks, a list of important things to memorize (The Ten Commandments and more) and a few well made maps for all of us visual learners.

God's Great Covenant OT 1 is recommended for grades 3-6.  Josiah is 11, but is dyslexic. He really didn't have issues with the reading (I'll discuss more of that on down). The book is available for purchase for $22.95.

The Teacher’s Edition contains everything that is within the student’s edition, but with extra commentary and a fairly good section for notes. 

Just a word about the commentary before I move on. I loved it! I learned so much myself. It really enriched the lesson.

The Teacher's Edition didn't provide a suggested schedule for the curriculum. I looked. And hunted. And searched. And then remembered I had seen a suggested schedule online. It is not necessary to my life that I have a schedule, but I do like to know what the authors suggest.

The Teacher's Edition is $24.95. It is not absolutely a must have (the Student Book) is very complete, but I have to say that I found the commentary to be a blessing. It gave us (me!) so much more insight concerning the lesson.

Okay. Even before I get into the description of the audio files I have to say that I loved, loved them. They come in a downloadable MP 3 files.

The voice used is so pleasant. I'm considering asking Christoper Perrin to record my "to-do" list every day. Too much?

Just imagine the kind of motivation I would have to start a load of laundry!

 The Audio Files are a reading of the lesson text and well worth every penny at $9.95.

How I used the Products

Nothing like a little Bible Study in the morning wearing a blanket on your head. One thing I enjoyed so much about this particular curriculum is that it did feel like Josiah and I were "studying." We were really digging in and getting to the heart of the matter. I like to do our Bible Study first thing in the morning. It helps our day get off to a great start.

Even though Josiah is dyslexic I had no qualms about trying out this God's Great Covenant, OT 1. The reading is broken up into nice chunks. It contains large print and has plenty of white space on the page. It isn't distracting with too much clutter. Instead, the illustrations are interesting. They didn't draw Josiah's attention away from what he was reading. 

I loved having the appendix located in the back of the books to use. The word bank was especially helpful for us. Any words that I felt might be challenging I could introduce early. Another section I really love is Appendix G. It basically is a summary of each lesson. I could reinforce (by summarizing every morning) what was being taught. 

I did worry at first about the Worksheet section being a little much for Josiah. His handwriting (as with many kids who are dyslexic) is pert near atrocious. It's easy for him to get overwhelmed. But despite my mommy issues, he loved it. I think he loved having clear direction and enjoyed completing each page. He even liked taking the Quizzes! Go Figure!

I promised to spout effusively about the Audio File Downloads. They just are so stinkin' wonderful (and I mean that in the most flattering way possible). Not only did we read on our own, but Josiah could read along with the audio book or just listen. I wouldn't bypass purchasing these. They are fabulous! Can you tell I really, really liked them?

First and foremost, I loved that the God's Great Covenant, OT 1 wasn't simple a lesson of facts. It truly dealt with the character and nature of God. And how we fit into it. Despite this being Old Testament curriculum Jesus was front and center. The way He should be.

This was my first experience with Classical Academic Press. Based on my experience with God's Great Covenant, OT 1 I am excited to try more of their products.

Additional products to use with this curriculum are; God's Great Covenant Old Testament Timeline and Map Set  and God's Great Covenant OT One Bundle (teacher, student, map and timeline set).

I encourage you to go check it out!

Go check out what other members of the TOS crew have to say about this product and other Classical Academic Press products!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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