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While we integrate our faith into everyday life as best as we can, I often feel like the boys and I should be spending more time reading and reflecting on scripture. P started on an Old Testament study last year for part of his religion, but when things got especially busy around Christmas and continued for a while that study got set to the wayside. R is my lover of scripture as well as stories of the Saints, so I wanted to encourage this love to grow.
So, it was with some excitement on my part when asked by Grapevine Studies to pick one of their studies to review. I chose the Old Testament Overview Levels 3 and 4 so I could work with the older boys together. While much of the content is the same for both levels, Level 3 adds some Bible geography and Level 4 has the student learning about other resources such as a concordance and Bible dictionary. Even though the material is geared for grades 4 and up, I’ve had D sit in on our lessons to pick up what he can.
(NOTE ~ GrapeVine Studies now sells the Old Testament Overview in sections rather than a complete package as when this review was written.) Our family enjoyed this so much, that we are now affiliates with this company. Click through to learn more about Grapevine Studies and what they have to offer.
One things that is appealing to me in this particular study is the use of stick figure drawings to record what you have learned. Now, since the boys (especially P) are always wanting to draw things, I have found that they are not sticking to just stick figures. But, as a somewhat artistically challenged teacher, I am grateful for the easy to duplicate drawings. And, I remember how well R retained his Bible story studies in 1st grade by illustrating each one after we had read it.
The other feature about Grapevine Studies is that the author has written it in such as way that each teacher can customize to fit their own faith. I find this a wonderful approach as some Christian material out there is written with one particular denomination in mind which leaves others having to do a lot of apologetics with the kids.
The only complaint I’ve had from the boys so far in our studies is that they already know the stories from Genesis. I suppose it’s not a bad complaint to have and I’ve taken the approach that we are building upon each previous story as we come to the next one in the study. I know that by the time we finish the Exodus from Egypt that the boys will find themselves in less familiar territory.
For anyone interested in what units Grapevine Studies units offers, take some time to visit their site. You can purchase many of the units either as an ebook or in bound format. For this review of the OT Overview Levels 3 & 4, I received the instructor guide in bound format ($48.95 retail) and the student guides in ebook format ($28.95 retail.) This particular combination fit our family well as I do not have to juggle a bunch of papers or read off the computer for lessons. Yet, I can print just the pages the boys need as they are required and then place them into a folder as we go along.