I have hesitated in writing this review, not because I don't like the product, but because I like it so much that I am afraid any review I write will not do it justice! Please, no matter what I say, if you are interested in your children learning an overview of the Bible and getting the "big picture," so they can see God's story from the beginning to now, then buy this curriculum! It is honestly the best Bible survey I have ever seen, bar none. I know I'm only a homeschool mom who really doesn't know much about Bible history, but I have four children, and have taught Sunday School and youth group to countless others, and I can tell you I have seen much of what is out there - this is better than anything.
Okay, that being said let me tell you about this program. As I said, it is a Bible survey; you start out in Genesis and end in Revelation and along the way learn the overview and focus of each book of the Bible. Not only do you learn the books of the Bible, but also it will help you see the Bible as a total entity, the whole "Big Picture" of God's Word. The very cool thing is in how you learn this overview. It has been said that 70-90 percent of what is seen, heard AND participated in will be remembered, compared to only 30 percent of what is seen only or 30 percent of what is heard only. This course is one that you will see, hear and participate in fully. It is fun and enjoyable, and at the end of the course, you will have a beautifully illustrated (by you) Bible for future reference! That's right, you will DRAW your way through the Bible!
Don't panic here and think, oh no, I can't draw. That's the beauty of this program; you don't have to! The author has done all the work for us. The basic supplies of the program consist of a set of Master Art drawings, which illustrate the major concepts of each book of the Bible. There is one page of Master art for each book. There are student pages, which you pass out at the beginning of each time period. These pages are basically duplicates of the Master Art sheets, except for one major, important thing - they are designed to follow a path, sort of an older person's version of dot-to-dots. The idea is that there are drawings, mnemonics actually, that correspond to the Bible overview; key concepts for each book are illustrated on one 8.5 X 11 piece of paper!
Each class session is approximately 45 minutes in length, but it is easy to stop and carry on from where you left off if you desire a shorter class time. You draw the pictures as you go through the commentary provided and the pictures help trigger your memory to retain the information presented. The commentary page corresponds to each book of the Bible. This is what you read as you teach the lesson. The commentary tells you what to draw and when to draw it, you trace it on your copy of the pictures, and as you're teaching the commentary, the student copies you on their paper. The concept is fantastic! When you are finished with a certain book of the Bible, you will have a page of drawings that outline the key concepts of the book and give you a version, in pictures, for you to keep for future use. At the end of each commentary section there is a section called Applications for Life, which contain questions or discussion points for the book you just finished. There are also maps and timelines included in the guides to show where and when the action takes place. There are other resources available in the guides as well. My kids love to doodle and sketch while I'm talking to them and I'm always telling them to stop. With this program, the whole purpose is to do exactly that!
While I teach the lesson, the kids are following along, copying the pictures while the information is sinking into their brains in three ways - by seeing, listening, and drawing. The program consists of a book for the Old Testament and a book for the New Testament. The master copies and the student copies are in each book and you are given permission to copy the student pages for your families use. The whole program is also available on CD, making it especially affordable if your homeschool already has a laser printer! I printed copies off for my three children at home in no time. It's a very nice option when space is necessary, or if you live too far away from a copy store. In addition to the obvious benefit to the student of getting God's Word deep into their hearts, this course will also become a natural evangelizing tool. The student will be able to recall the key points in every book of the Bible, which will help when the time comes for them to share their faith. I always feel more prepared when I know my subject! Not only will the student get to know the key concepts of each Book, but they will also be able to see the whole picture and understand what to say when they may be asked questions about the Bible.
This is a wonderful all around tool, which now has a permanent part in our home. I plan on going through it with my kids as each of them gets old enough to follow along. Picture This also publishes some very nice devotional books using the same concept to memorize specific verses of God's Word. Each Bible verse has pictures to draw to help memorize the verse, as well as a page for a dialogue with God, where you can write your thoughts about the verse. I cannot overemphasize the value this program will have on your lives and on the lives of the people you teach. God's Kingdom will see growth with the use of this tool, of that I am very confident, and I also have the confidence of knowing that my children will have God's Word hidden in their hearts when they are challenged. I am very thankful to the author of this curriculum for discovering, writing, and sharing such a valuable resource. Check out their website for ordering and more information!