Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Bible Study Guide For All Ages

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Over the years we have used many programs for our Bible time. Some we liked and some we didn't, but the thing I noticed about most was that there didn't seem to be a continuous building in the program. I think most had the plan to do so, but it didn't feel that way to me. Issac also enjoys more interactive work, so when I read about the Bible Study Guide For All Ages it seemed a good fit for Issac.  I chose the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) for Issac to try as well as the  Wall Maps and Timeline set.  The Intermediate set is suggested for 3rd & 4th grade, but after comparing the amount of writing to that in the Advanced set I felt it was a better fit for Issac.  I think I was most excited for Issac to see the Wall Maps and Timeline Set because he greatly prefers more interactive work. Thankfully we had a wall with enough space to put up the maps and timeline because it does take up a fairly large area on the wall.  I have to say it was pretty exciting opening up the box with all the goodies in it! We received the following: 

** Intermediate Student Pages
** Intermediate Teacher Key
** Bible Book Summary Cards
** Wall Maps & Timeline
** Label Set

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
The first day I spent pretty much going over the materials that we received in the mail and reading the website again about how the program works.  I also scouted out the best place to put the maps and timeline. I wanted them to be easily accessible and they are pretty large, so I needed a good spot.  The maps are 38"s*25"s, 19"s*25"s and 19"s*25"s.  The Time Line is 76"s*25"s.  I was able to take a wall in the living room and put the time line up and the maps underneath.  There are certain labels that need to be put on the timeline before the first lesson, so I went ahead and put those on. We are currently in the process of packing up our house for a move, so all I had was tape to put the labels on with it.  It's recommended that you use a reusable adhesive putty, but I just couldn't find mine. I then looked through some of the information in the teacher's guide as well as skimmed the instructions for the Bible Book Summary Cards.  
Issac seemed pretty excited to try out the new program. I think it helped to have the large time line and maps on the wall :) When you have maps and a timeline that large you can't help but see them multiple times a day. I found that even in the first few days he was looking at them trying to figure out what was what. That's always a positive sign for me when I catch him looking at items without me telling him too! :) 

Each lesson starts with the "Remember It" section. This is basically a review section and by reviewing at the start of each lesson it's really setting up a firm foundation for learning.  The next session is the "Memory Workout" section.  This area is for teaching general Bible information such as the 12 Sons, Books of the Bible, etc.  This section also goes hand-in-hand with the Bible Book Summary Cards. Those teach basic content and themes in the Bible as well.  The "Guess What" section teaches definitions and historical information that helps the student better understand. After doing these sections the student flips to the back side of the lesson where they move on to the "Discover the Bible" section. Here is where the student delves into the Bible.  The student can read to themselves or the parent/teacher can read the Bible text. I chose to read the Bible aloud to Issac, so that we could both be involved in the lesson.  As the Bible is read there are activities to further that learning. One of my favorite parts of the program is the timeline.  To me being able to post those labels on the timeline helps me to further understand what I'm learning. Issac is the same way, so we both found that part of the learning to be extra fun.  The timeline and map activities are alternated in the program, so that your child is getting to do both without feeling like they are doing too much in one lesson. If you don't have the large wall timeline/maps that we have there is information on the inside of the student guide about free time lines you can print to use.  A fun little section called "Get Active" has been added that gives the student a little different activity each time. And last, but certainly not least is the "Apply It" section. Without learning how to apply the knowledge it doesn't do much for our kids.  The students reread the verses and learn how to apply them to their daily lives. There is so much information packed into each lesson, but it's not overwhelming.  I dare say it seems the perfect setup for learning!

We have spent quite a bit of time in Genesis with this review! My youngest needs LOTS of review and the Bible Book Summary Cards that are used in this program are great for him. There is information about Genesis and then review questions that can be gone over daily. This is the type of review that truly is helpful for Issac! Here is a neat little video that gives more information on these cards. These cards come in three different sizes, but I have found that the small size for us is perfect! I'm amazed at what I'm learning just from reading these cards.  

The range of questions and activities in the lessons has really been a good fit for Issac. He struggles with writing even at his age, but by choosing the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) he's still learning so much and doesn't feel stressed when doing the lessons. To me the grade level isn't as important as him enjoying doing the lessons and learning. Learning what the Bible says is truly the biggest gift we can give our kids!

This book is so great.  It's a nice, sturdy notebook that has all the labels 3 hole punched and organized by lessons. 

Here is a page of labels that shows them listed by lesson and are easy to cut. 

This is one of the "keys" that are included in the book. Shows where all labels should be for this particular map.  

One of our first lessons was completed while spending the day at our new house working. Issac took a piece of wood and made a desk for himself to work on his lesson.  

I have really enjoyed working in the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) lessons of the Bible Study Guide For All Ages with Issac over these last few weeks. I feel that we are both learning together and I always enjoy those times. He's remembering things that I wasn't sure he would and is really enjoying the large maps and timeline. If I had one complaint about this program it would be that our papers fell apart and I had to staple them back together again. Issac can be super hard on papers and we often have to tape, staple or hole punch things to keep them together. There are a total of four units and 416 lessons with this program! Having them divided up by Beginner (3-K)Primary (1st & 2nd grade)Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) and Advanced (5th & 6th grade) gives families lots of options.  This program isn't strictly for families.  It's a wonderful tool for churches and youth groups. They have a great FAQ section to help make your decisions easier.  The crew reviewed lots of different lessons this time. Some have previously used this program at church or in their home and wanted to continue where they stopped. Some are using it with just one child, like I did, and others are using it with multiple students on multiple levels. Head over and read what everyone thought.  

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
You can also read and learn more about the Bible Study Guide For All Ages on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.  

Sunday, July 8, 2018

5th Grade-End of Year Review

Wow, I can't believe that I no longer have any children in elementary grades! On one hand that seems SO cool and on the other it makes me sad. It feels in some ways that just yesterday I started homeschooling and now my 3rd child will be starting 6th grade. It feels like we'll be done homeschooling sooner than I'd like. That said we had a great 5th grade year. Lot of stuff happening and lots of patience required :)

I think we used so many different programs, books, etc this year that at this point I'm not even sure I remember what all we used! I started my second year on the review crew and there are always LOTS of great things to be reviewed. Some of the things that stand out for me are that Issac really loved CTC Math. I had looked at this program previously for my daughter, but for some reason we didn't go with it.  He loved this program from day 1. He's really only used Teaching Textbooks, but he prefers CTC Math and I think we'll stick with it for now.  Issac has really started to develop a love for geography and really enjoyed Lets Go Geography.  Some of the activities seemed young for him because of the grade level, but he still enjoying learning about the countries.

He's also really enjoyed reading books on history.  We read several of the Rush Revere books and he really enjoyed those. We have co-op classes on Wednesdays and he started reading the books on his own because he heard the other kids talking about them! That was a first for him and I was so excited. For him to pick up a book and start reading it on his own after all his delays was such a happy day for this mama!! From there we just started reading any and all books on history we had at the house. One series he really enjoyed was the Who Was Series. We've been reading every one of those books that we own. He really likes hearing about some of the historical figures and how they were as children too :) Issac likes hands-on activities and really learned quite a bit from the Home School in the Woods-Time Travelers WWII

We tried the Wordly Wise Book 4 and I realized those are NOT a good fit for Issac. I thought it probably wasn't going to be a good fit, but it was a struggle. We also worked on grammar a bit this year, but still struggling to find a program that reviews enough for him.  Art has become another "class" that Issac enjoys. A friend did a once a month class that he really loved. They did pottery, painting, seed art etc.

We purchased a home back in November and Issac was really excited due to the land. It's been months of having patience because my husband got a concussion the same month. We have had lots of stressful times and it's been hard on Issac. I keep trying to teach him that family is forever and everyone needs to jump in and help. I'm hoping one day he'll fully grasp that concept :)

I can't believe that it's already early July and I have done ZERO planning for his 6th grade year!! I hope to get some ideas in the next few weeks and start planning. I really want to have a great year and focus on his love for history.

Review: What's New? What's Missing? What's Different?

Homeschooling is hard and often times I've found my kids just need something fun to break up the day.  Even though Issac is in 6th grade...