Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: God's Great Covenant

Classical Academic Press has a wonderful Bible Course titled God's Great Covenant that we had the opportunity to review this past month. We reviewed God's Great Covenant, NT 1: A Bible Course for Children which "teaches the Gospels to students in fourth grade and up, using stories, worksheets, memory verses, devotional guides, quizzes, and a little boy named Simon."

Now you know that my Gess has Down Syndrome and is only in what I consider the third grade, but she is an excellent reader and very knowledgeable in her bible lessons so I felt that this would be easily adaptable to her needs even though she is not yet in the fourth grade. For our review purposes we received the God’s Great Covenant New Testament One Bundle which included the student text, teachers' book and audio files.

Before you get into the gospels there are a few sections that help set the stage. There is a Historical and Political Introduction, Chronological Introduction, Geographical Introduction, Religious Introduction and a Daily Life Introduction. Then the first chapter explains who Jesus really is and how he is the eternal God who became a man. It also introduces you to each gospel by comparing them and explaining some of their distinctions such as which audience each author was writing to and what specific purpose and key points each author was emphasizing.

At first I was overwhelmed with how much the children were supposed to know and then I reminded myself that this was for fourth grade and up and that my daughter does have special needs so it was OK if Gess did not have the time to memorize all those facts. So then we went on to chapter two which was the lesson about the birth of Christ and Gess followed along just great and was able to successfully answer the review questions. I was quickly put at ease and began to enjoy just how easily adaptable this material was for Gesserine's special needs.

After we were introduced to the lesson structure I decided to jump ahead so I could both get a broader scope of the material in the month I had for review as well as hit the lessons that we were on. This was Easter season, so we jumped ahead and read about The Triumphal Ride Into Jerusalem, The Last Supper and Gethsemane, Jesus' Arrest and Trial, The Crucifixion, and of course The Resurrection and The Ascension. I have to say I was impressed with the quality of the text and how true to Scripture it remained. In fact as you read along there are footnotes all through it so you can look up the exact Scripture that it comes from. The Teacher's Book also adds in much more detail so if you are not as familiar with the text or it's background or want to explore further with older students all the information you need is right at your fingertips.

I absolutely loved how appealing and easy to read the text was. That's a personal thing for me, because material for children at this age is usually so small that Gess has trouble reading it, even though she has the skill to do so. This text is large, appealing and reads easily. It has a child friendly tone without losing any important theology and facts. The review worksheets are also made to be fun as well as informational and vary from multiple choice, fill in the blanks, true or false, matching and often have some sort of puzzle, game or maze you work through to come up with the answer. Here is a sample page.

Here is Gess doing a word search to find the answer to the question. They would ask a question and the answer would be in the word search box. They even had the first letter highlighted to make it easier for you to find.

I also loved the maps. They were large and marked so that you could easily find all the appropriate places and just had a "fun" feel to them. Gess loves maps and she particularly loved these since they were much easier for to read and follow than the maps in her own bible.

I also found the audio portion particularly helpful, especially for Gess since she has special needs. I usually do most story style lessons at least twice with her before asking her to do any review questions. With her special needs she sometimes needs a few times to get all the aspects of the lesson. Well, having the audio files made it real handy for her to review on her own. We would read the lesson together first (sometimes she read it independently) and then the next day she would listen the lesson, often while coloring a picture. Then she would do her review worksheet and she was usually able to get most of the answers correct.

If you are looking for a solid bible study for children in the fourth grade and up I believe this course is a great place to begin. It will not only introduce your children to the New Testament gospels, but it will introduce them to the one about whom it is all written, our Lord Jesus Christ. I think that is what I love the most about this study. It takes all the lessons your children has probably learned both at home and at church and then begins to make it more personal, encouraging them to "Think About It." It also comes with Devotional Guides and Memory Work for each unit.

You can get the God’s Great Covenant New Testament One Bundle at the Classical Academic Press website for $56.95 or purchase the materials independently. The God's Great Covenant, NT 1: A Bible Course for Children student text is $26.95, the God's Great Covenant, NT 1: Teacher's Edition is $29.95 and the God's Great Covenant, NT 1: Audio Files are $9.95. You can check out sample pages of the student text, teacher's book, and even listen to a sample of the audio file. To learn more visit their website or see what other members of the TOS Crew thought about it.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received the God's Great Covenant New Testament 1 Bundle for giving my honest opinion and assessment of this product in my review.
Note: All pricing is current at the time of posting and is subject to change

1 comment:

Modest Mama said...

I also thought the work-load was incredible for the program. And my son is fifth grade and a gifted learner! But that is the joy of HSing, no one is there to tell us we have to do this or that. We can just adjust it to our family's needs.


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