Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TOS Review: Because You Are Strong (Doorposts)

It is such a privilege for me to be able to have God’s Word as the center of our Homeschool Curriculum. To be honest with you, that was not the primary reason we started homeschooling. I firmly believe that the study of God’s Word needs to be a part of every Christian’s life regardless of where you go to school or where you work. The fact that I can now incorporate our Bible Study into our school day is just an added blessing. The Bible study habits that Josiah is developing now will only benefit him all his life. 

I had an opportunity to review Because You Are Strong, a Bible study especially for boys. It was written by Daniel Forster who with his family has a wonderful company called Doorposts.  Doorposts provides Bible-based parenting and character training materials.  

What I Received

Because You Are Strong (a workbook style soft bound book) is especially written for young men ages 10 and up. The goals of the study are to help young men gain a Biblical understanding of strength and to learn and practice Bible study skills.
This study runs 14.00 (it is currently on sale through 8/31/13 for 12.00!) and is available as an ebook as well.  Other recommended materials to use with Because You are Strong are a Nave’s Topical Bible and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. It is also recommended that you use a Bible that you are not afraid of marking in. Some of the studies require some underlining and highlighting. The translation of the Bible used in this study is primarily the King James Version, but there are recommendations given on how to use other translations if you prefer. 

How It Works

The Study consists of 10 studies. They are as follows:

    Strength for the Race: Meditating on Hebrews 11-12
    Strength with No Limits A Topical Study on the Omnipotence of God
    Strength and Wisdom: A Topical Study in Proverbs
    Strength and Temptation: A Character Study of Samson
    Strength to be Valiant: A Word Study on “Valor”
    Strength in Our Weakness: A Verse Study on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
    Strength in the Battle: A Chapter Study of 1 Samuel 17
    Strength Serving Others: A Study of Jesus’ Actions in the Gospel of Mark
    Strength and Gray Heads: A Verse Study of Proverbs 20:29
    Strength in the Faith: A Book Study of 1 John.

When it is all said and done it winds up being 74 days of study (if you use it as suggested). The assignments (which are daily) take between 5-20 minutes each. This, of course, depends on your student and how many rabbit trails you might take :<). In addition, there are 40 additional topics of study which could easily give you enough material for a full year of Bible study. 

One thing I really appreciated was this statement located in the front of the guide. “It is important, however, that we study what God actually says, not what we think God says.” I personally think this is the key. Many of us who grew up in church know what we think the right answer should be. But what does God actually say? Do we have the discipline and the skills necessary to study the Word for ourselves? There are some pretty terrific study skills that are cultivated through the course of Because You Are Strong.  

The book teaches students how to study original Greek and Hebrew words. My Dad has his Master’s in Biblical Languages. The importance of knowing what the Scripture really says (straight from the author’s pen) and what the intent was has been drilled into me all of my life. I so appreciate this being a part of the study.

The student learns how to use a concordance. This is not just a brief “how-to” paragraph. Mr. Forster takes the student step by step though the process. 

As the study moves along the student is introduced to different study aids (such as the topical Bible) and practically given opportunity to truly study. In addition to the more scholarly approach of Bible study, the personal and daily application of the scripture is emphasized and encouraged.  

How We Used It

My husband and I both assisted Josiah with this study. It did this mama’s heart good to see her two “boys” studying the Word together. My husband is a minister and we have plenty of resources around the house for a through Bible Study. But just in case, there are resources available on the Doorpost website. In addition, Mr. Forster gives a lot of online resource links and tips. 

I do think that despite my good opinion about this product the study would be too difficult for Josiah to complete on his own. He is 11 and dyslexic. I’m not sure at this stage of the game if he would be able to truly navigate it by himself. I think it would overwhelm him. And he still might be just a bit immature to grasp some of what is being laid out without some sort of live interaction. 

That being said we both enjoyed learning together. His favorite was the story of Samson. To think that someone with so much strength could lack so much wisdom (and judgment) was fascinating to Josiah. I think this study will allow you to have conversations with your son that every Christian parent needs to have. 

I also love the fact that this study teaches practical Bible study skills. I am not sure if I have seen another one like it. I would recommend it to families with boys of a certain age any day.  Just a little note. For those of you who would like to make this a family study, but have girls in the mix…there are alternate questions just for the little ladies in the book. 

You can see sample pages of Because You Are Strong here. I also loved this FREE resource for Making Relationships With Your Children a Priority. I found it very encouraging.

You can read more reviews about this product and Beauty in the Heart (A study of Godly Beauty for Young Women) here.


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