We have been very casual up to this point with our Bible study. We have read the Bible, read Bible story books, attended Sunday School, and done our own thing for a while. We have purchased many bible verse memory CDs and enjoyed them. It’s not like we haven’t done Bible study but we really haven’t done anything as a family.
This year we decided we want to do it together since we will have a 3rd grader and PreK learning together. I had never heard of Bible Study Guide for All Ages, but I thought it sounded like a great way to make our Bible study time something for us all to do together; therefore, when given the chance to review it, I thought it sounded like a good fit.
What we Received
For this review we received the Beginner Level Student Pages (unit 1, quarter 1 – lessons 1-26), Intermediate Level Student Pages (unit 1, quarter 1 – lessons 1-26), the Bible Book Summary Cards, the Beginner Time Line cards, and the Children’s Song CD set.
The Beginner Level Student Pages are intended for ages 3 or 4 through Kindergarten, though they can be used for slightly older students. It is intended for non-readers or those with a beginning reading level. To complete the Beginner Level study, the publisher suggests also purchasing the Beginner Time Line cards, the Children’s Song CD set, and, if teaching multiple Beginner level children, the Beginner Teacher Visuals.
The Intermediate Student Pages are for students in grades 3 and 4 though they can be used for those slightly younger or slightly older to incorporate group learning. To complete the Intermediate Bible learning set the publisher suggests purchasing the Bible Book Summary Cards and the Children’s Song CD set.
The program covers the entire Bible in 4 years in 416 lessons. What I thought was great is that it alternates the lessons between the Old and New Testament. You can see the order of study here. Another great thing about the program is that it allow the entire family to study together while using the student pages that are appropriate for each age. You can also use any Bible version that you and your family prefer, which was also a nice feature to this program. However, the student pages utilize the New International Version (NIV).
There is no doctrinal beliefs taught in the program. There are several parts to each lesson and it is all about learning the Bible together!
The Student Pages are over-sized (8.5 in. x 14 in.) and simple to understand. Though a little busy upon the first perusal, once you understand how they are set up, the information on each page is very well presented. There is a Quick Teacher Instruction section at the front of each set to help you understand the lesson layout.
Beginner Student Pages – The Beginner Student Pages are obviously more simple that the Intermediate Student Pages since each level is set up to go deeper and learn more about what is being studying. However, again, the overall lesson and Bible verse reference are the same so we can all study together.
For instance, lesson 8 refers to Genesis 43, which is clearly listed at the top of the page. The Beginner Student pages lessons are broken down into a coloring picture for the kids to color. The kids colored this while we read the Bible passage, which is explained below.
The “Learn the Basics” section tells you what to review. For instance, for Lesson 8 you are to review Beginner Time Line cards numbered 1-7 to begin the lesson. This section is used to help the student learn basic Bible facts about important people and events. The cards are a wonderful addition to help with this, but we’ll discuss those later.
The “My Bible” section comes up every 4 lessons and replaces the “Get Active” section. This “My Bible” section helps familiarize the child with his or her Bible. It is usually a brief and simple exercise to help the child learn about the Bible, God’s word in general, and important words such as “Bible” and “God.” In lesson 8 the child identifies and colors a big Bible and a small Bible and is asked if God’s word is found in both.
The “Get Active” section, which is replaced by the “My Bible” section in lesson 8, is set up to have the child get ready for the upcoming study (sometimes to sum up the study) in a fun way. It generally has a possible life scenario and then states that the Bible study will teach us about that situation and what God wants us to do.
The “Sing and Remember” section gives the student something to review, such as the New Testaments books, Matthew through Romans in lesson 8. Then tells us what song to sing and play on the Children’s Song CD set, including which disc and track it is on. Then there are several questions about what is discussed in both the review question and the song. The kids loved the CD, which we will talk about below.
The “Discover the Bible” section is a Bible story or lesson for the child to read through. It is illustrated and has the corresponding Bible verse in the upper-right hand corner. In the case of the Beginner Student pages, the story is simplified to help the child understand the story. There is a paragraph to read that corresponds with each illustration that tells the story, not just quotes the Bible verses. The kids seemed to enjoy this section.
The “Apply It” section lists the Bible verse (Genesis 43:16) and the topic discussed in the Bible verse (sharing) and then has questions about the topic in the Bible verse and Bible story. For instance, “In the Bible story, who did Joseph share his meal with?” The coloring picture can be colored at this time as relates to the story being told and the topic being applied. This is when you would read the verses from your Bible while the child colors and then discuss the questions in the “Apply It” section.
Here is a sample of a Beginner Student Pages lesson.
Intermediate Student Pages – These Intermediate Student pages are also over-sized and easy to view and understand. The student pages begin with a Quick Teacher Instructions as well to help the parent understand how to use the book and move through the lessons. The sections are similar to the Beginner Student pages except there are more sections and they are deeper and more involved (more age appropriate).
The “Remember It” section reviews materials previously covered. The “Get Active” section has a task for the student to do relating to the Bible lesson. The “Discover the Bible” section is illustrated and explained like in the Beginner Student pages with the Bible verses printed in the box and are written to be read by the student. And the “Apply It” section has questions about the lesson and scenario to get the student thinking and applying what they have learned. These sections are all very similar to the Beginning Student pages, just on a more age appropriate level.
The additional sections that the Intermediate Student pages have are the “Memory Workout” section which contains a variety of drills and exercises to teach general Bible knowledge, similar to the “Learn the Basics” section in the Beginner Student pages. This section refers to the Bible Book Summary Cards frequently which allows the parent to present a basic and work off that.
The “Guess What” section defines terms, words, and historical information to help the student better understand what is being studied. For instance, in lesson 8, as referred to above, Jacob’s wives and sons are listed. It is also noted how they were loved by Jacob. This can make for great discussion and is put very simply to help the student better understand the context of the lesson.
The “Map” section in each lesson has a map of the area of the world where the story takes place. There are clear instruction on what to label and where things happened that are mentioned in the verses. If you do not have the Teacher Key or the Label Book of the Unlabeled Wall Maps and Time Line you will need a good Bible atlas to help you ensure you are labeling it right (unless this is your forte – which it is NOT mine). If we continue these studies in the future and get more books, I would likely purchase the Teacher Key or the Label Book for this reason.
Sometimes there is a “Time Line” section instead of a “Map” section. The page displays a timelines and gives the student several things to mark on the timeline. Every few lessons also has a “Prayer List” for the student to note things to pray about. We liked this feature a lot.
Here is a sample page with “Time Line” and “Prayer List” from the Intermediate Student Pages.
|First page of the lesson|
|Second page of the lesson|
Beginner Time Line Cards
These Beginner Time Line Cards are a great resource. They are made of heavy, card-stock and full color. They are 8.5″ x 11″ and have one question per card about Bible basics. Since they are made for a non-reader, the answers are right on the front of the card. There are 34 cards included in the pack. We decided to hang up one each week to review. This is a great resource for the little ones to learn Bible basics.
Here is a sample of the Beginner Time Line cards.
Bible Book Summary Cards
These Bible Book Summary cards are just awesome! We thought they were a great resource and a wonderful addition to any Bible study. They are heavy, card-stock weight and full-color. There are 66 cards in a set. They have information on the topic of the card as well as a description and explanation on the back of the card including questions to help with review. The answers are also included, which was helpful to us.
Here is a sample of a Bible Book Summary Card:
Children’s Song CD Set
The Children’s Song CD set is a resource that is suggested for all Bible studies through 6th grade. It is a 2 CD set and contains 90 songs to help children learn the lessons and review Bible basics. It is a great independent Bible CD as well. We have taken in the car and the kids are really loving the songs. Some are old, familiar songs from church and Sunday School and some are new songs to help learn the memory work covered in the lessons. Both kids (ages 8 and 3) enjoyed the CD and its songs. You can see a complete list of the songs on the CD set here.
Overall, we really enjoyed this product and plan to continue using it this year in our school. We enjoyed how easy it was to integrate it into our whole family Bible study with little to no advanced preparation, which is helpful to us and, I’m sure, to many. We look forward to seeing how this helps our family Bible study grow in a fun and interactive way.
You can purchase the products mentioned above from the Bible Study Guide for All Ages website. Here are the prices for these materials:
- Beginner’s Student Pages – $5.95
- Intermediate Student Pages – $5.95
- Children’s Song CD set – $19.95
- Beginner Time Line cards – $24.95
- Bible Book Summary cards – $24.95
There are many other levels available from the Bible Study Guide for All Ages that may appeal to your family. You can see the TOS Crew reviews on various levels of the program on the TOS Review Crew blog. And don’t forget to check out the Bible Study Guide for All Ages website for information about all their products.