I have spent many nights drooling over the products that Classical Academic Press has to offer, as a matter of fact we already use two of their Latin courses they offer and love it! So of course I jumped at the chance to review one of their products. We were given the opportunity to review God's Great Covenant Old Testament Book 1: A Bible Course for Children. The course materials include a Student Book, a Teacher's Edition, and the MP3 Audio Files.
The Student Book includes 32 chapters divided by 5 units. Each chapter includes a Memory Page, Story Time, Review Worksheets, and a Chapter Quiz. One of the things that the kids loved about the Student Book was the Appendix section which offered them a chance to look at a summary of the Memory Verses that go along with each chapter, there is detailed information about The Ten Commandments, The Tabernacle, and Israel's Wilderness Journey. What I really liked about the Student Book was the glossary, Chapter Word Banks, and that the kids were able to use the summary of the Memory Verses to get familiar with finding verses in their Bible. We all loved the Maps located in the back of the book. Click here to read samples of the Student Book.
The Teacher's Edition is formatted the same way as the Student Book and includes all of the answers to the review worksheets and the Chapter Quizzes, also included is Notes to Teachers and Parents giving detailed background information about the chapter and additional scriptures that the Teacher and Parent may use to help the child make connections to the story and in their daily lives. The Catechism for Children Questions made my children want to go deeper into God's Word, it allowed them to wonder and develop an understanding of the scriptures that they memorized according to the lesson. The Maps, Chapter Word Banks, and Appendixes were also included in the Teacher's Edition and there is note taking pages throughout this book. One of the unique features of the Teacher's Edition is there is underlining in the Story time text with a number that corresponds to the Notes to Teacher and Parents, this helped me tremendously! It built up my confidence level in teaching this course to my children and I knew that I was given them correct information on the spot without researching it, which is something I depended on as my children started asking more questions as we got further along in the course. Click here to read samples of the Teacher's Edition.
The MP3 Audio Files can be burned to a CD so you can take it anywhere. The files are recordings of the stories featuring the voice of Christopher Perrin reading two hours of recordings of 27 stories from Genesis to Ruth. Go here to listen to Chapter 1: Creation of the World. My children seriously jumped for joy when they recognized Perrin's voice. They shouted saying that it is the man from Latin, his voice is so cool. So Yes we loved this and used the audio to tell the stories even when I was sitting right next to them not busy at all, because Christopher Perrin has the coolest voice:)
How did we use all of this?
We started out by following the suggested weekly schedule that you can view here.
The First Unit begins with In the Beginning... God's Power. We went over the Memory Page by discussing the theme of the chapter, practicing saying the memory verse, discussed key facts, and things to remember. It was certainly a story they heard before, but a lot of interest was aroused while listening to the story being told by Christopher Perrin. As they listened to the story they would follow along with their Student Book Story Time pages.
On the second day of the chapter lesson we would find the scripture in the Bible, review the memory page and retell the story in their own words.
This course made it very easy for me to incorporate Godly Play into their learning. They would use the story materials to aid them in retelling the story which helped them to remember the Key Facts of Creation and what days God created what on.
After a few days of retelling the stories and focusing on memorizing the verse and me asking them the Catechism for Children Questions they jumped right into doing the Review Worksheets. They absolutely love doing these worksheets! They know that the information can be found within the story.
Surprisingly the Chapter Quizzes were a big hit too. There wasn't any grading or anything like that just an assessment that we would use to check for understanding. I appreciate these as part of the course! During the Quiz Time I was able to refer to the special underlined features in my Teacher's Edition when they came to a question that they may have forgotten an answer to or needed more clarification of God's Word I would use this time for discussion, which through time became a vital part in our way of using this course. So we squashed the word Quiz and replaced it as a Discussion Page which we did together. They would fill in the blanks as we discussed the story and the information I was able share from the Teacher's Edition. When we were finished with our discussion that may have happened over a two day period they would read aloud the completed Quiz page and then they were able to summarize the lesson.
Another reason we enjoyed the Review Worksheets is that it helped them to be able to feel confident of their understanding. After the first two lessons the children are sharing their new found knowledge with their Sunday School Teachers. Their teachers are so impressed with their excitement that they asked me what I have been doing at home. I shared with them this curriculum and they were in awe that there was a curriculum that stirred so much excitement about God's Word with young children. After implementing this course with my children they have been spreading God's Words, taking their Bible to church with them and packing the Godly Play materials to share with their Sunday School classes.
We now understand the Five steps God Created Mankind in, and this my friend I couldn't explain before using this course.
We have made it to The Fall and it has been amazing to see and hear the discussions that have taken place. The Audio has been played over and over again and they just can't believe that Eve bit the apple. It hasn't been a easy story for them to accept. We have reviewed the Memory pages and memorized the verse.
One of the things they have been doing is putting together their own story materials of The Fall.
Still looking for a suitable Adam and Eve to add to their materials.
Most importantly their getting closer to the understanding the theme of the lesson God is merciful and forgives our sins and God has a Plan for Redemption.
I also went ahead and purchased The Maps and Timeline Set that go along with this course. After learning God's Step in Creating Mankind I introduced the time line to them.
Researching the Early Bronze Age
DJ and Ken both have learned what BC and AD means through the use of the timeline and have a great understanding of how dates work now. What we all liked about using the timelines was being able to connect the Bible to history lessons. Once they become more familiar with the Timeline they can use the cut outs of images and events to label the blank timeline that is on the back that comes with the set.
The maps are beautifully illustrated we have not worked with them yet, but the kids are attracted to them and want to know when they will be able to use them. In the back of the Student Book there is a map of Abraham's Journey so it is exciting for them to see it in a 13" by 19" size.
We love maps so this is was definitely a good investment and I can't wait to use them as we delve further into our Ancient Egypt studies.
I wholeheartedly recommend this Bible course for homeschooling!! This course is geared towards grades 3- 6. My ninth grader enjoys it too, and I even observed some preschoolers stop what they were doing to listen to the stories being told on the Audio CD. This is truly a course that you could get creative with and not lose focus of the goal. We are still going to use this curriculum beyond our review period!!
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 post a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All the opinions I expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.