As a Christian parent it is not enough to just take your kids to church and expect them to get all their instructions and understanding about God in Sunday School. Even the adults don’t get all they need just by sitting in the pews listening to a sermon being preached from Sunday to Sunday (as well as any other days during the week you my attend services). We need to be serious students of God’s Word to grow in understanding of what He’s asking of us. We need to hear from God daily for that to be the case. Thanks to the TOS Crew I had the opportunity to review a curriculum that will help parents dig deeper into God’s Word along side their children.
Judah Bible Curriculum is a Principle Approach curriculum for Bible class. It can be done with students grades K-12. “It is designed to help the parent or teacher build into themselves and their students a practical knowledge of God, His Word, and His ways”. With JBC you will not just teach your children to study about the Bible but to study the Bible itself. “They will learn to utilize the reference materials and outside resources in their study. They will also learn to reason from the Bible basis and then apply Biblical principles to every area of life”. You can read about JBC purpose here.
There are two ways to order JBC. The online version can be downloaded for $44.00. The hard copy for $74.00 ($69.00 plus shipping and handling).
For the download version you get:
* The Judah Bible Curriculum- 100 page K-12 manual (e-book format)
* Audios with 8 lectures of teacher training (Mp3 format)
* Notebook Ideas- 60 page PDF
With the hard copy version you will receive:
* a hard copy of the manual
* notebook ideas
* 8 lecture Teacher Training Seminar on CD's
For our review we received the online version. First I had to register on the website. Once I was in I had to create a user name and password for my account. After you log in it takes you to the full website so you have access to all the curriculum materials and resources they have to offer. You will want to start with the button that says “teacher walkthrough”. This is where you download your materials to get you going. You can also download the steps of how to go about doing the lessons. I highly recommend you listen to the teacher training audios and read through the manual before attempting to try and get started with this curriculum.
There are a total of 40 lessons which center around 5 weekly themes. Only one theme at a time will be the focus of study each week. This is also broken up into 2 semesters or 1/2 Quarters. You will want to look for the lesson based on what grade(s) your child(ren) are in. Now this is where it got confusing for me as to it being a “curriculum”. You are being taught how to study the scriptures for yourself then you have to prepare your own plans for the lessons. No, the lesson plans are not laid out for you like with so many other curriculums you may be used to. That’s why I was confused by the use of the word curriculum here. Since I was not familiar with the Principle Approach I had a hard time trying to figure out how to begin this with my son. Don't get me wrong we are eclectic homeschoolers and I do put together a lot of my son's lessons for the year. This was just more different and intense than that. The teacher training audios didn’t help a whole lot because I couldn’t stay focused on what he was saying. To be honest I kept yawning and getting antsy. I may have done better if they were videos rather than audios. Then I would have been able to see the examples of what he was talking to the people in the seminar about. I was determined to figure this out though so I did lots of digging around the website. There was a PowerPoint presentation and lesson helps but I still wasn’t sure how to go about planning out our weekly lessons. I just didn’t have the time to digest it all and really plan this out on such short notice. I may do better once I’ve taken time off for a bit to really focus and have it all mapped out. So what did I get from it?
First you are to read the scriptures given on the weekly theme guide in the manual. For the rest of the week you are to expand on the study with maps, commentaries, concordances, and other reference materials. Depending on your kids age or abilities you can have them draw timelines, color pictures, do some journaling, do writing activities, write essays, take quizzes/tests, ect to go along with what you have been talking about and learning. You will have to come up with all of this somehow because none of it is included in the package. The notebook download only shows examples of things you can do. JBC does provide some “Key Sheets” (in the manual or you can download from the website) where your child will fill out a chart about key events, key individuals, key institutions, and key documents surrounding what’s being talked about in the scriptures you read. It also suggested that you have the kids make a Bible Notebook (examples of one are the notebook download). All these things your child(ren) have done for the week will go into that notebook. So as you can see it’s not really a ready made curriculum. This is very time consuming and training the teacher how to go about this on his or her own. Like they say on the website “you and your students are becoming more dependent on God and less dependent on a curriculum or workbook, and more dependent on the Scriptures and less dependent on an external textbook or author. The Bible really is the textbook”.
What is JBC hoping to instill in learners? On their website it says:
The Judah Bible Curriculum is designed as a means to help you build through your Bible study these Godly character traits into your student(s):
-A greater depth in his or her relationship with God
-Increased desire to do what is right even when no one is looking
-Increased patience, kindness, and love for others
-Intrinsically motivated work ethic
-An increased importance placed on relationships with others
-An increased resistance to peer pressure
-A desire for Biblical holiness
-Being a blessing in every sphere of life
-Long-term thinking and an eternal perspective
-Faithful in the little things
-Self-educating character before God
-Strong self-governing character under God
That’s what I loved about this curriculum.
I had my son copy the memory scriptures each week to put into his notebook. We went over that weeks scripture every day that week. He enjoyed doing some drawings for me and we made a few timelines. He loves looking at maps and pictures too. The daily discussion went okay but we’re not able to go too deep with those because he needs lots of time to process his thoughts because he can get off topic or miss the whole point entirely. I didn’t have him fill out the Key Sheets because I knew I’d get resistance from him to do that. His hand writing is not legible when he doesn’t want to write and there would have been non-stop complaining that I didn’t want to hear. Although JBC is not working out for us at this present time I will set it aside for use later because this type of study of the Bible is great. I just need time to really think through the process and plan it out for a full school year. Now that you have heard my thoughts on JBC head over to the crew blog to hear what others though of it.