Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Judah Bible Curriculum

I was pleased to have the chance to review Judah Bible Curriculum over the past month or so. I'm not always terribly confident in leading my children in this area, and I like trying out a variety of resources to see what style fits our family.

I have to say right off though, that the name is sort of misleading. You see, this isn't really a curriculum, but a teaching guide using the bible as THE textbook. In fact, the company itself states that one of its goals is to "break the dependency" that so many have with curriculum, always following a set guide and schedule. No, not here. Their hope is that you the teacher, will learn, and then in turn teach your children to extract the truths from the Scriptures and apply them to life.

I received the download version of Judah Bible, and I have to admit, I was a teeny bit overwhelmed with the amount of information provided to me.
First of all, there are the audio lectures for the teacher to listen to beforehand, and then use the information learned to put together the lessons for the students. Some have listened to all of them and then prepping, but for me that didn't work, there's just too much that I couldn't retain, so I find that listening before I teach a section is better.

The program is divided into 5 themes, and meant to be covered over a period of years, with the Old Testament being the focus of the first semester, and the New Testament in the second semester.
Knowing that it is meant to be spaced out helped ease my anxiety, I know we'll be revisiting themes, and it just won't get done all at once, nor does it need to.

Breaking it down a little further, there is one key topic to be studied each week, with various key sheets to be filled in by the student. Which brings me to the subject of writing. There is a lot of writing involved here, in fact, the student will create and keep her own notebook for the duration of the study. All tests are essay style as well.

This is great if you have enthusiastic writers, I was a little surprised (pleasantly) with the fun my girls have with their notebooks and the writing in general. Now, my daughters are still on the younger side of the grade spectrum, so there's no fancy stuff happening here, but they're learning as they go, and coming along well.

Now to go off on another brief tangent, if using this curriculum with younger students, you will need to expect to do a lot more oral work than written at first, and that's okay. I know that many people have also had success finding coloring sheets to correspond with the theme. A good way to keep up little ones' interest.

So what's the purpose of this style of teaching? Well, I like the way that their website puts it:

The purpose of the Judah Bible Curriculum is to make Bible Literacy the hallmark of the new generation of Christians. The Judah Bible Curriculum is designed to help you teach your student how to study and research the Bible, extract true understanding from it, and apply Biblical principles to his or her own life and character.
Who would find this study a great fit? I would say those who like a lot of flexibility in teaching, are skilled at putting together bible lessons without a guide (apart from the bible of course), and really enjoy writing, notebooking, and researching topics.
On the flip side, those who do best with a detailed manual and step by step directions might possibly feel lost with everything here.

Where our family stands on this resource:

Well, it's a lot. Learning this style is a challenge for me personally. I happen to fit in the second camp above. I tend to prefer a detailed lesson plan that helps me along. I can (and have) get easily overwhelmed and then want to get rid of the whole thing out of frustration. But I also think it's good to stretch myself and to better learn not to rely so much on another person's work. Which is the point of this curriculum anyway.

Are you confused yet? I am, a little bit. I think we'll keep using this, but in conjunction with what we've already been using. Enough to challenge without frustrating me. You'll want to check out what other crewmates had to say about their experience with Judah Bible, and you can read those reviews here .

Judah Bible Curriculum
Price: Download Version - $ 44.00
          Hard Copy - $ 69.00 plus $ 5.00 s&h
Ages: K and up

Disclaimer: I received a free download copy of this curriculum in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

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