Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grapevine Studies Bible Study Review

My latest review opportunity was given to me by Dianna Wiebe of Grapevine Studies. Now, I was a little bit nervous at the start of this review, because I have only done a few Bible studies myself, and never with my children. We read lots of bible stories, and have read children's devotional books, but I honestly have never even seen a children's Bible study. When Grapevine Studies came my way, I thought this would be a great beginning for our family.

I chose to review the New Testament Overview, Level 1 for Butterbean. He is seven years old, and learns right now at a third grade level. He is not a huge fan of art projects, and really he doesn't even like to draw, so I knew this "Stick Figuring through the Bible" study would be a challenge. The Bible study uses stick figure drawings and timelines to teach characters and events of the Bible chronologically. Since we do a bit of Classical Education, and our History lessons are chronological, I thought this would mesh well.

Now, a few of the things on the Grapevine supply list we do not own; a dry erase board, concordance and Bible dictionary. But we easily substituted paper for the board, and thankfully, the library had the concordance and dictionary! We just used our New International verson Bible.

I really like how the book is laid out. The Grapevine Method is detailed, explaining how the overall study should be conducted. "Grapevine Studies teaches the Bible as if it were a puzzle, doing the frame first. Once the framework is in place (the timeline) then individual pieces (Bible passages, characters and events) are much easier to place and understand in the context of the "whole puzzle" (the whole counsel of the Word of God)." Ms. Wiebe also gives extensive details on how to conduct the lessons. It took me a while to get into the swing of it. In fact, I had to read the how to teach Grapevine Lessons section several times! I finally decided to just take it slowly, and complete each lesson the way it works for us. Although my book is written for Levels 1-2 (we are Level 1), I found it a bit confusing which instructions pertained to us.

There are eight sections in my Level 1-2 teacher edition (I received the student ebook and the teacher edition book). Each section begins with Goals and Key Points, explaining the characters and events that those particular lessons will cover. This section was imperative for me, as I said, I'm new to children's Bible studies!

Monday through Thursday, we drew stick figures representing a portion of scripture that we read and discussed. Then on Fridays, I had Butterbean write out his memory verse from the week. Each day took us about 15 minutes; which for us, is plenty of time! After the first day, Butterbean said "Mommy, can we keep doing this after you're done with the review?" Now, that's an A from my 7 year old if I ever heard one! For the first few days, Butterbean copied my drawings almost exactly. Now, 7 lessons later, he has given each of them his own touch.
Overall, we really are enjoying the Grapevine Studies. The New Testament Overview (listed for ages 6-8, first and second grade) was a bit challenging for a novice Bible studier. I highly recommend this study, but I do suggest you check out the levels thoroughly, especially if you don't have much Bible study experience, like me!

Normally the New Testament Overview sells for $25.95 . However, readers of my blog get a 30% discount for the next thirty days. Just enter the code crew9 when you order!

Also, click here if you'd like to read more reviews about Grapevine Studies.

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