Sunday, April 22, 2012

God's Great Covenant or I Changed My Mind! A review.

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the products with my boys and share my honest opinions with you.

Today's review is another product from Classical Academic Press. I have previously reviewed two other great homeschool resources from this company, The Art Of Argument and Latin Alive

I have always believed the Bible should be studied in the younger years as a family time with the Bible, prayer, and discussion. In our personal Bible time, my children listened, colored, discussed, memorized and studied the lives of missionaries. I am generally opposed to teaching Bible doctrine and history with a workbook until the older years. I entered into this review with a negative view of turning learning God's word into an academic subject.

With my personal convictions aside, I would like to share my unbiased opinions about God's Great Covenant with you.

Classical Academic Press is committed to teaching children the Bible. Below is their approach to teaching the Word of God to children.

Teaching the Bible to young children can be a large task, and is often divided up into many small stories. However, if you would like to teach your students the truly big picture of the Bible, and show them how God has been at work in his people since before creation, you will find God’s Great Covenant to be a unique, surprising, and excellent Bible curriculum. The Bible, taught chronologically, by means of simple and direct stories, chants, and meditation on God’s character define God’s Great Covenant. Even many adults find themselves learning new facts, making surprising connections, and being blessed by reminder of God’s faithfulness, and how he always keeps his promises. Taught from a covenantal and reformed theological perspective, and rooted in Scripture, you will find this series to be a blessing to your classroom or family.

God's Great Covenant, New Testament 1 is a Bible course for children in grades 2 through grade 6 covering the life of Christ. This biblically sound study is broken down into four themes and contains 36 lessons designed to last a whole school year. The New Testament is taught classically, using a variety of methods to solidify the student's understanding of the life of Christ. The student workbook is very appealing with larger print, various short exercises and great illustrations. The author introduces 'Simon', a Jewish boy from Jareth during the time of Christ. This story helps bring the students into the lives of those people who were anxiously waiting for the Messiah. This is what hooked Little Guy, he loves to hear about other children, fictional or real.

The student first reads the introductions and learns the memory work. The next day they read the story or better yet, they listen to the MP3 audio. Next, they complete the exercises in their own workbook. The activities vary greatly. There is map work, who said it?, key facts, think about it, important truths, story facts, crosswords, where did it happen? and other questions. I love the simplicity, yet the thoroughness of the study.  The teacher's guide is so full of commentary and details, I am amazed at how much background, I don't know. You can see the index and a sample of the student book here and the teacher's guide here.

For the early grades, I would suggest doing most of the workbook orally, but from third grade on, this is an excellent program. I wish I had known about this program when Paperboy and Random were younger. It's structure reminds me of an excellent history program we used. But this is not just Bible events, there are personal challenges and application of God's Word throughout the lessons.

For someone who was opposed to Bible seatwork, I have definitely had a change of heart. God's Great Covenant is an appealing program that would work well in a home school or Sunday school setting. Once again Classical Academic Press lives up to their motto; Classical Subjects Creatively Taught. We're looking forward to other Bible courses such as God's Great Covenant, the Old Testament.

You can purchase God's Great Covenant Student Guide for $26.95, the Teacher's Guide for $29.95, and the MP3 download for $9.95 at Classical Academic Press. I recommend the bundle package for $56.95.
Of course, don't take my word for it, see more reviews at the crew blog.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions in this post are my own.   

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