Sunday, June 9, 2013

TOS Review: Christianity Cove

During our recent Bible times, we have been trying out new (to us) lessons from Christianity Cove.  Before this, I had never heard of Christianity Cove, but I really wish that I had!

Christianity Cove is an online resource for Sunday School lesson plans, crafts, games, activities, and more.  They have over 700 free lessons on their blog, and over 25 great lesson plan ebooks for sale!  I love their mission statement:  "We strive to make Jesus real to children.  Jesus is a real guy-he's not a concept, a list of rules, or an imaginary friend."

Some of their products include:

Super Bible Games
Bible Quick Skits
100 Simple Service Projects
20 New Testament Life Lessons
Make & Take Bible Lessons
And many more!
You can view the complete list of Christianity Cove products here.

For our review, we got to choose 2 of the Christianity Cove products.  We chose Bible Science Experiments and The Divine Dozen: 12 Parables of Jesus Every Child Should Know.

Let's start with Bible Science Experiments.  This pack included 25 simple science experiments used to learn more about science, and also point out Biblical truths at the same time.  The experiments used everyday household items such as glasses, water, crayons, pennies, and flashlights.  They were VERY easy to present and only took about 5 minutes-tops.  Along with the experiment, there was an explanation for how it was working.  Then, there was a Biblical truth and Bible verse to go with it.

Here is an experiment that we did.  To start, we put crayons in a glass.  We observed how they looked (like crayons in a glass-he he he).

Then, we added water (please excuse my glass!  It is clean, but the water softener leaves marks).  Notice that the crayons look broken?  The Bible lesson explained that it is because the speed of light slows down in water, so it appears differently.  

The Bible lesson to go with this pointed out that people are not always what they 'look like.'  God does judge our outward appearance, but He looks at the heart.

We really enjoyed the Bible Science Experiments.  It brought out lots of discussion about the things they saw, and they enjoyed recreating the experiments themselves.  It was also a fun change to our Bible time that is usually just reading and singing.  I didn't notice an age range, but I can say that my 5 year old and 7 year old both enjoyed the experiments.  They were a little above my 3 year old.  

The cost of Bible Science Experiments is $25.00.  It is a download-able eBook.  It seems a little high for a home school situation, but if I were looking into lesson plans for our Sunday School, I would certainly think this was a competitive price.  I love that it wouldn't matter who was teaching the lesson, it would be simple to bring an exciting object lesson to the Bible time.  You can listen to author, Mary Kate Warner, explain her product, and order it, here.

For this book, there are 12 lessons.  Each one is designed to take about 30-45 minutes.  It contains Bible passages (the actual parable told by Christ) a story designed to help the students understand the parable, and then an activity or two to go with the story.  Some also include printables, if needed.

For one story, there is an outside bird feeder to make.  Another, there is a game to fill each classmate's cards with smiles.  Yet another has a work page with word finds and letter scrambles.  Many different creative ideas to keep the Sunday School class interesting from week to week.  

For each lesson, the kids and I read the Bible passage, and then I read the Christianity Cove adapted story to them.  We found that we weren't able to do all the games due to the small family setting, or due to the age of my children (too young), but I still think they enjoyed the lessons.  In a Sunday School setting I think the games would have been a lot of fun.

I think that these lessons are also easy to present.  Laid out in an easy to prepare and follow way, and were certainly a good program.  However, when it comes to presentation, as with any Bible story, it can become kind of subjective.  I didn't think there was anything wrong or unbiblical with what was said, but I was disappointed with the first lesson about the Good Samaritan.  Instead of focusing on being a Good Samaritan to other people, the author decided to give an object lesson on how to be a Good Samaritan to animals.  While the lesson was well written and the kids were very interested in helping the birds in our backyard, I was left wondering how to convey that the original parable wasn't about animals at all.  

On the other hand, I thought The Wedding Feast & the Unwilling Guests and also Faithful Servants and the Thief in the Night were pretty good.  So, I would say my feelings on this one are mixed, and honestly it's only the part where I say if I liked it or not, because it's a good solid product even if I don't love every part of it.  

The Divine Dozen: 12 Parables of Jesus Every Child Should Know is an 88 page eBook and costs $24.00.  I don't see an age range on this one, either, but I would say probably 1st-6th with ideal being 2nd-4th grade, mostly due to the games at the end.  Being able to read, write, and decipher scrambled words are a must.

Because this is a religious product, be sure to read Christianity Cove's statement of faith, and also get to know a bit more about this great company!

Now, I mentioned that Christianity Cove has 26 products for sale!  Each member of the crew that reviewed Christianity Cove got to pick two products.  So, I'm pretty sure all the products got at least one review.  Be sure to head over to the crew blog to help you decide which of these great products you might want to use in your Sunday School or home school!  

Thank you for stopping by!!
God Bless,

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