Monday, April 23, 2012

A Chronological Walk Through the New Testament - A New TOS Review!!

I have been really impressed by Classic Academic Press' offerings.  We've really enjoyed their Latin (Song School Latin) and I am very intere sted in their Greek and logic programs.  Then I heard that we were going to be reviewing their Bible program and I knew it would be a winner.
The Product:
God's Great Covenant is going to be a 4 volume Bible curriculum with 2 volumes for each the New Testament and Old Testament.  We were given the opportunity to review the New Testament 1 bundle ($56.95) which included the Teacher's Manual ($29.95), Student Workbook ($22.95), and the mp3 audio download ($9.95) of the 32 stories from the Gospels.

God's Great Covenant is taught chronologically to teach young children the Bible from a big picture aspect as opposed to just individual stories.  It was created out of a Covenantal and reformed theological perspective rooted in the Scriptures.  The New Testament 1 curriculum, created for 4th graders and above,  begins in the beginning with the birth of Jesus and follows His life until his sacrificial death.  There are 4 main themes Son of Man, God's Servant, the Messiah, and Son of God, which are the emphasis of the 4 units the book has been divided into.  Each unit has 9 lessons (total of 36) that use a variation of stories, worksheets, devotionals, memory verses, quizzes, and even a story about a little boy named Simon.
The  Teacher's Manual  has a full copy of the student text as well as lengthy and detailed teacher's notes and answer key.  The notes include a lot of factual information that you can use to expand on a variety of areas including culture and theology.  The Student Workbook has all the same text and can be read by the child or be used to just follow along.  You can see a sample of the student and teacher texts through these links.
Each chapter includes a Memory Page that includes the Memory Verse for the week, a key facts chart as well as a fulfilled prophecy section.  There is also a "thought-provoking" question as well as some worksheets and at the end of the unit a quiz to ensure retained knowledge as well as a short story about Simon's life. Oh and there are some great maps too!

Our Experience:
We have been using this as a family Bible time.  I only have one who is about 4th grade so we try and help our younger ones with understanding the concepts a little bit more, knowing they won't be answering most of the questions.

The beginning of the book has 6 "Introductions" that you will do first before you get into the 'meat' of this book.  The introductions cover the following areas:
General, Historical and Political, Chronological, Geographical, Religious, and a Daily Life Introduction which gives us our first glimpse into Simon's World.
These introductions will take you at least 2-3 weeks to read through and discuss, especially if you have younger children doing the study with you.
 Then there is mp3 audio you get with the bundle.  The audio is read by Christopher Perrin who has a natural reading cadence which is both entertaining and engaging for both children and adults alike. We haven't yet, but I am planning on burning this to a CD to be taken along with us when we do "car-schooling."

My Thoughts:
I have been searching for a while for a whole Bible curriculum which would include questions while not being too overwhelming for young children. I know that we have found that with  God's Great Covenant .  This is a great curriculum for both family or group learning as well as individual study for older children.

You will need a separate workbook for each child due to copyright, but then each child will have the opportunity to answer the questions with their own answers instead of a "peer" answer, so to speak. Since my oldest in finishing up 3rd grade and my middle still in 1st, I have let Arianna use the workbook and then Audrie just answering questions aloud.  As she gets older we can get a workbook for her too.

I do plan on continuing on to New Testament 2 and then go back to Old Testament 1 and 2 after that.  I'm very happy to have found a curriculum that is so thorough and chronological (even though we'll be starting half way through the story).  I think reading the Bible in chronological order helps build the WHOLE story just like tackling history chronologically.

My one critique would be is that there is not a detailed explanation on how you would implement this into your daily or weekly school schedule.  What we ended up doing with each lesson is breaking it down into about 3 sections - first the Memory Page, then the story time and then last the review questions.  When we reach the end of the first unit we will probably take 2 weeks to do a review and go over the Memory Page and the story on Simon's World.

Classic Academic Press would love to hear from you and you can contact them directly by phone, fax, or send them an email.  They can also be found on Facebook.  Be sure to check out what other Crew members are saying.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

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