Saturday, October 5, 2013

Curriculum Series {Christian Studies}

There are SOOO many great bible studies and curriculum available today, this (surprisingly) was one of the hardest for me to choose.  I wanted an actual curriculum, not just a bible study.  We have plenty of time for that in the future, so for now I wanted them to learn the bible stories....the classical way; from the beginning.

They have a wonderfully laid out schedule for all their curriculum.  This specific book is suggested for their 3rd grade year.  I have my 3rd and 5th grader starting together.  We will finish this book, and hopefully through the Christian Studies II, as well, this year.

Most of Memoria Press' curriculum is laid out very similarly.  There is a section on Fact to Know, Vocabulary (Bible Verse in this case), Comprehension Questions, and Activities.  They are broken down into 5 lesson, then a review throughout the book.  The further we get into MP books, the more I'm tailoring them to our needs.

SIDE NOTE: (The beauty of homeschooling.  I'm the teacher.  I make the decisions about what we do and don't do.  The single hardest thing for me to get into my noggin.)

There are a few different ways you can attack the "how to" with these.  You can do the whole lesson all in one shot, or break it down throughout the week.  We've done both ways depending on how our week looks.  For me, this is helping my girls learn more independent study.

This is our (idea) week:
Monday - Copy the bible verse into their spiral
Tuesday - CC day (no extra schoolwork)
Wednesday - Lesson day
Thursday - Activity
Friday - Review facts on Quizlet

This is our third year homeschooling and each year I'm learning to be more flexible and roll with "life" when it happens.  Some days we get all wild and crazy and cover the whole lesson on Monday, instead of breaking it down.  Some days, we do two lessons a day.  It just all depends on what our week looks like.  As long as the whole lesson get covered by the end of the week....we're good!

Modifications I've made for us...

We don't do the memory verse memory work.
I know, I know...but we do read it and they do copy it into their spiral.  (We have other bible memory work that we are doing.  For me, its more important they they are memorizing the verses we are working on that builds their character.)

We don't always do the Activities.
My priorities are reading the bible and getting through the questions.

I don't always make them answer in complete sentences.
Its funny to me that my 5th grade asks every. single. time! She is my one that does NOT like to write.  How the question/answer is worded helps my decision.  It goes on a question by question basis.

We don't do the review sections in full.
These I might just ask them about.  Or we work on in a timeline.  Or they work them on their own.  Or they do half of it (up to mom's discretion.)  You are the teacher.  You make the call.  (Embracing the power! :)

Quizlet review
I set all the "Facts to Know" up in Quizlet by Unit.  Once a week I have they play a game, do a matching quiz, use the flashcards...something to review all the facts for that unit.  Once we get further in, I'm sure I'll spot check and randomly have them do earlier units.

 Golden Children's' Bible

Buy this bible for the study!  (Don't make the mistake I made.)  I had already ordered the Jesus Storybook Bible for my kiddos, thinking this would cover it.  MP recommends Golden for a reason.  They lessons give you specific pages for this bible AND have extra activities using the pictures IN the Golden Children's Bible.  Don't settle.  Get the book.  Its a great book.  Stories are well written and pictures nicely done.  The Jesus Storybook Bible is not as thorough more for younger kids.  Still a great book, but I use it for my 3 year old and 1st grader.

This is an area where we tried a curriculum (God's Great Covenant) that didn't work for us.  We only got a few lessons in, but I just couldn't find a comfortable stride with it.  I can count on one hand the number of curriculum choices I've made that haven't worked and that I've changed.  This is the only one so far that I didn't finish, and dumped mid use.   

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