Sunday, May 13, 2012

TOS Review: Judah Bible Curriculum

About three years ago, I started making with my children Bible Activity Books.  If you have been following my blog at all you have seen these pages from time to time.  Recently, I started to question how well this was working.  I was a little slow at preparing the lessons, so we have been going very slowly.  I realized at this rate, my kids will take their entire school career to get through the Bible once.  On top of that, the activity pages are soon going to be too babyish for Mustang.  How was I going to incorporate the two age (and soon 3 or 4) groups? 

I began to look for a new Bible curriculum for my family to help me with direction.  I wanted a program to tell me when to teach which stories and help me figure out how to help my children understand what they heard.  I looked over a handful of  devotional type programs, which I nixed quickly.  I also looked over a few programs that seemed to have the meat of what I wanted, but were not adaptable for multiple ages.  When I was asked if I wanted to review the Judah Bible Curriculum, I was excited to get to try out another Bible program and see if IT was the program to fit our need.

When I looked over the Judah Bible Curriculum website I read that it is:
  • A Principle Approach to Bible Class.
  • Develop a comprehensive knowledge of the Bible.
  • Build strong, Godly character in your children.
  • Study the Bible together.
  • Study the hand of God in the lives of individuals and nations.
  • For homeschool, Christian school, Sunday school.
  • Teach your children living Biblical principles to guide their lives.
  • Apply God's word personally in every area of life.
  • The Bible is the textbook.

I LOVED the last bullet point.  This is what I had been using myself with the children-the Bible as the textbook.  I was certainly interested to read more.  Then I read that students will get through the Bible (or at least key points) in ONE year!!  Again, happy.  Last I read that the students will get to make a NOTEBOOK.  Uh SOUNDS perfect!

So, I downloaded the program and jumped directly to lesson one.  Yep, I am going to show you my true colors here.  I *might* be the kinda person who reads lesson one and then only goes back to the intro if I don't understand something.  You CAN NOT.  Let me repeat CANNOT!!!  Do that with the Judah Bible Curriculum.  I was so confused and didn't know what to do.  I sat on it, prayed about it, talked about it to a few friends, and decided to start again.

This time, I started at the beginning.  I read the 'why' I read the 'how' I read the 'when' I read, listened, and FELL IN LOVE!!!!

I am telling you my saga because I know if you buy the Judah Bible Curriculum and go about it the same way I did you will come back yelling at me for allowing you to purchase the program.  I think it is a great program, but I want to be sure you understand it from the start.

What You Get:

The Judah Bible Curriculum includes 3 parts:  The K-12 Curriculum Manual, Elementary Notebooking ideas booklet, and and Eight Lecture Teacher Training Seminar.

How it Works:

In each lesson students will study a passage in the Bible, memorize a Bible verse, and make a page for their Bible Notebook.  This notebook is something that they will be able to refer back to for years to come.  Writing down their thoughts will also help your student internalize what they have learned.  The scope and sequence allows you the freedom to study each Bible text, knowing that you will not miss any part of the Bible as long as you follow the program each year.  

Also included in the program are Teacher Training Lectures.  I really enjoyed these lectures!  They are intended to teach you about each of the Biblical stories and people that you are about to teach your children about.  I have read the passages before, but being reminded of them just before teaching my children helps to get me excited about doing so.

My Thoughts:

As I got further into my understanding of the Judah Bible Curriculum, I realized that it is a LOT like what we are already doing.  There is a lot of guidance in the scope and sequence and the weekly lesson manual, but after that there isn't much direction.  This is by design, but can create a lot of work for you the parent.  When working with younger children, you decide what is going on their notebook pages.  There are 'Key Sheets' included for notebooking as an older student, but no forms included for younger students.  There is, however, an entire manual of examples and ideas for you to use in your notebooks.  I really liked that!

If I wanted a hand holding, detailed lesson plan and workbook, I would NOT buy Judah Bible Curriculum.  However, that's not what I wanted.  Judah Bible Curriculum is going to allow me to keep doing what we were already doing, but it will give me the tools and direction I need to continue with it for the next 12 grades if I want to.  

I hope it is enough of an endorsement to say that we are going to be using Judah Bible Curriculum for our curriculum.  It is exactly what I was looking for and I am blessed to have it.  

Judah Bible Curriculum retails for $44.00 as a download or $74.00, shipped, if you want a hard copy.  You only order once and you can use it for all your children for all 12 years of school.  VERY affordable.  

I would certainly recommend checking out their website and reading over the many reviews at the TOS Crew Blog to see if Judah Bible Curriculum is a fit for your family like it was mine.  

Thank you for reading and God Bless!!!

*Disclaimer, I was given a free copy of the Judah Bible Curriculum to use with my family.  I was not required to write a positive review, all opinions expressed are my own.*

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