Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Schoolhouse Review: Draw to Learn

My Gess loves expressing herself artistically but due to her special needs she needs some extra guidance and help in doing so.  Since I am not an artist or creative in that way I also need some guidance. When I had a chance to review Draw to Learn by Notgrass Company I knew we found a great solution.

Draw to Learn is a homeschool art curriculum and a Bible study all in one!  Gess and I both love studying the Bible but adding the aspect of art into it was definitely a new concept for me.  However, after watching how it works my husband and I have attempted our hand at it too.  For the purpose of my review I was given the Draw to Learn Proverbs Book in paper back and the digital version of Draw to Learn - Psalms, Proverbs, Paul, Acts and Jesus


In the first few pages of the book they share their philosophy behind the study and then give suggestions for drawing the pictures.  These are the only real art instruction that you have, but it is enough to give you the basic guidelines to make sure that you are really putting an effort in as you illustrate the lesson.  There are also ideas for how to expand the Bible study into an actual unit study by adding handwriting, art, science, creative writing, history and geography.

There are three key points behind the concept.  Read - Think - Draw

The first thing you do is read the passage selection for that page.  The passages range from a single verse to a larger selection that might contain around 10 or more verses.  You will find this at the top of the page.

After you read the passage you think about the meaning of it. I believe this is an important element and a good opportunity for children to learn how to begin to meditate on God's Word.

Then of course you are to draw a picture about the passage.  There is guidance in this part as the bottom of each page has instructions on what part of the verse to focus on.  It will tell you what to draw and then often gives suggestions for how to do that.

Here is an example of one Gess did from her Draw to Learn Proverbs Book.  I loved it because her instructions were:
"Read Proverbs 1:8-9. Draw your mother. Draw her in a place where you often see her. Pray that God will help you never to forsake her teaching.  Write one of her teachings
around the border of your drawing."


While she forgot to write one of my teachings around the border, she did draw a line around it so maybe she was confused there.   By looking at this you would think that I am a ping-pong champion since that is apparently where Gess "often sees" me.  What you don't know is that whenever I go to do work at the church to prepare for my Wednesday night kids class, the library or my mission group Gess usually goes with me.  We are up there by ourselves quite a bit during the school year.  While I am busy Gess is very helpful and patient.   The reward I give her for being so good is playing a game of ping-pong with her when we are done.  It's something she always wants to do at church but since it's in the high school room she doesn't get to play very often.  Therefore it's a real treat for her to be allowed to play.  So you see, in reality, she sees me at the church a lot which is a great thing.  Having me doing something she loves to do with me makes me feel pretty good too.  At least I know she doesn't consider the time I spend there as time away from her!

We used Draw to Learn as Gess' night time devotional.  I noticed that she always seemed to color at the end of the day anyway, so this was the perfect time to implement some guidance for her while she was already in a creative mode.  She has absolutely enjoyed doing them.


We have also used some of them during the worship service at church.  While they have activity kits for kids to doodle on during the sermon, I have always wanted something more in line with what she should be doing.  Now, instead of just coloring a Bible picture, she is drawing her own after first reading the Word and then thinking about what it means!  Here is one she drew a few Sundays ago.  This was from Draw to Learn Acts.


We really enjoyed this series.  While it might have been nice to have more actual drawing instruction, I felt it was adequate enough to get you started.  It certainly has my daughter engaged in both art and the Bible.  She really does try to work diligently at each picture and considering her special needs I think she does a great job.  Draw to Learn is a wonderful resource for devotions, especially for children but I believe it is good for any age.  Whether you consider yourself an artist or not these are an excellent way to study the Word of God from a different perspective. I hope they continue to come out with even more books, though it will take us a while to complete all of these!

The Draw to Learn Books sell for $14.95 each for the physical copy which is spiral bound to make it easy to draw in.  It's a pretty good deal for the price too considering you get about 150 lessons. The digital versions are $9.95 each.  To learn more about these products visit the Notgrass Company website or you can see what other members of the Schoohouse Review Crew thought about them by clicking on the banner below.  Some of the crew were also able to review the America the Beautiful Curriculum that they offer.


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