Monday, April 23, 2012
As a homeschooler, both my biggest thrill and highest priority is teaching my children to know and understand the Bible, and to make it a real part of their lives. Every year I look for a new Bible curriculum, but always stick with the one that I have been using for a few years now. My biggest frustration is that it seems (to me) that the best ones are based on the King James version. I know that some believe this is the best or only true version, and my intent is not to start a debate. However, my preference leans toward the NIV or NASB. I find that my children get more out of the lesson when they're not struggling with the language.
That said, I was pleased when I discovered that the writer of God's Great Covenant primarily used the NIV when putting together these lessons. The materials are meant for children in grades 2-6, which seems about right to me, after looking it over. It is divided into "36 weekly chapters", each one consisting of a memory page, a story section, and review work - a handful of different types of book work. However, I think that a student at the older range of this curriculum would have no problem completing a whole lesson in one day. The only way I would stretch the lessons out further would be to have the student read over the memory work and story section each day - which would not necessarily be a bad thing, as they are sure to get the gist of the Bible passage ingrained that way!
My biggest concern with this curriculum came when I saw a section in the introduction about a character named Simon. I do not mind historical fiction, but it has always bothered me to read fiction that inserts characters directly into the Bible, having them interact with Biblical figures. I was relieved to see that is not the case with "Simon". Instead, there is a section at the beginning of each unit which tells more about the times through the eyes of Simon, a Galilean boy who helps the student to understand better what a child might have experienced during the days of Christ's ministry. The narrative helps to paint a mental backdrop for the scriptures without adding to the Word of God or becoming the focus of the material.
God's Great Covenant, NT 1 is from Classical Academic Press, which also produces The Art of Argument. It is a part of a Bible curriculum series for elementary aged children. All of the parts can be found at www.classicalacademicpress.com. There are two Old Testament sets, timelines and charts, as well as audio files of all the story sections of the materials. The audio files are great - they are in a man's voice which is smooth and soothing, and is at a pace which makes it easy to follow along in the book. I think they make a great alternative to having a child read the material every day on their own. The bundle I received - God's Great Covenant, NT 1 student and teacher book, as well as audio files - retails for $56.95. I think this curriculum is a great option for anyone wanting to help a child hide The Word in their hearts, whether it is in a homeschool setting or even Sunday School!
***Disclaimer: I received the God's Great Covenant, NT 1 bundle in exchange for my review through TOS Homeschool Crew. All opinions are my own.