Recently I was sent the new curriculum by Olive Branch Books, Telling God's Story By Peter Enns to review! After reading through the Parent's Manual, I was encouraged and excited to get started! I have used and reviewed so many Bible curricula, and after a while they begin to sound and look a lot alike. This one stood out above the rest for several reasons.
Right away, I loved that this curriculum started with the New Testament, my kids have already heard many of the stories told from the Old Testament but we've never really covered the most important part of the Bible!
As the parents manual says,
"In this introductory volume to studying the Bible, I propose focusing on what the Bible as a whole is about, rather than zeroing in on individual Bible stories or snippets of moral teaching taken out of context. This approach introduces young students to the big picture, encouraging them to understand the entire biblical story—as, I believe, it is intended to be understood."
That is so true! So many times we only teach stories of the Bible, but not the Bible as a whole. And so many times I've started in Genesis (which can be a great place to start, just not STAY!) The Bible seems fragmented and difficult to understand. This is the first time personally, I was able to teach the kids about the Parables of Jesus!
"The New Testament is the climax of a grand story, one that begins in the Old Testament, and it echoes back to the Old Testament many, many times."
What I really loved:
- All the hands on activities! Children learn and work best when they have something concrete to hold onto as we learn! The activities are well planned, creative, and (possibly best of all) easy to get together and do!
- The infusion of science, cooking, art, reading, etc in each lesson! This helps integrate the Bible and lessons through every area of life naturally with ease.
- The list of materials and supplies in the beginning give you a first look at what you'll need for all the crafts
- It can be used in a church or class setting as well. I tried it out and used the daily activities as different activities to do in one class. It worked fabulously and the kids loved it!
- The Parent's manual was encouraging as well as down to earth! It was a a great way to start preparing your heart for teaching and instructing and learning along with your children!
- The language and vocabulary were perfectly written for 4-7 years, and it sounded current! I've read through so many Bible curricula which sounded about as old as the Bible in examples and lessons!
I think the addition of some review questions for each lesson would be nice, but not necessary. If you've used Story of the World, you know how to ask the questions and get some conversation going about what they are learning! Also adding some Scripture Memorization would have been nice, but it is certainly easy to add if that is something you are interested in doing with your kids! They do learn the books of the Bible and that is Memory work.
We've been using the lessons for a few weeks now, and I can honestly say, I love this curriculum. I love it so much I've stopped using our other Bible curriculum and started using this full time. The kids are excited and more importantly they have brought up what we learn throughout the week, not just once a day. Each day I am just as excited about getting into the lesson as the kids. No more sitting, listening, worksheets. It's always new and exciting, and relevant.
~The first lesson we Read the Bible passage and the short lesson explanation, and color the coloring sheet. It's always worked out to have the kids coloring when I read, some how the kinesthetic coloring, the visual picture and the listening all come together and they remember the passage remarkably well! I'll often post the colored sheets or show them the visual a few more days throughout the week, to help remind them what we are learning about.
~The next days (3-4) we will do a different activity. Before we start I ask some questions and get them talking about what we are learning. Then we do the activity! Sometimes I re-read the Bible Passage.
|A melted crayon activity to remind us to keep praying!|