I've mentioned here in the past - and even recently - that I'm always on the lookout for family Bible devotionals and studies that are in depth and not insulting to a child's or young adult's intelligence. It doesn't need to be flashy or "loud"; it just needs to be accurate and thought-provoking, hopefully helping our children to want to get on their knees and strengthen their faith through prayer, Bible reading, and making godly choices to live for Christ.
And if it happens to challenge my husband and me, then that is all the better!
During the months of December and January, the girls and I have been going through some of the lessons from The Life of Christ: From the Gospel of John, a Bible study curriculum from Positive Action for Christ.
Positive Action for Christ/Positive Action Bible Curriculum has been used in private schools and churches for some time now, and this ministry is wanting to reach out to the homeschooling community.
We unwrapped the large box that we received from Positive Action to find the following:
- Teacher's Manual that includes teaching strategies, background information, quizzes, tests, and other supplemental material
- Full color Student's Manual with activities, lessons, and age-appropriate Bible study questions designed to encourage discussion
- a CD-ROM which contains PowerPoint slides for each lesson
- A scope and sequence with week-by-week details of the material that is covered in each of the studies
The Teacher's Guide/Parent's Guide contained an inserted letter to homeschooling parents to explain how this Bible curriculum could easily be adapted to fit the needs of the homeschooling family. Suggestions are given on how to adapt The Life of Christ: From the Gospel of John as a parent-taught study, for independent study, to be used in a co-op or church group setting, or for in family devotional time.
Jeff and Nancy Ludlow explained in the letter how they had searched for years to find the "right" homeschool Bible curriculum. Here is what they shared:
We have always desired to see our children passionately love the Lord. For many years, this desire spurred a frustrating - and mostly futile - annual search for the 'right' homeschool Bible curriculum. Our children were learning little about the Word of God and almost nothing about the God of the Word.
The discovery of Positive Action Bible Curriculum was life-changing for our family. Through these studies we have learned to seek the majesty and grace of God in everything. The student's manual is full of practical heart applications that challenge students to act upon the truths they have just learned. The engaging format encourages thoughtful discussion about each lesson. What a joy to finally hear my children say, 'We want to do Bible first!' "
The girls and I were able to work through two full lessons and half of the third lesson. Each lesson takes approximately four or five daily sessions to complete, and because of Christmas and other obligations, we were thankful that we were able to work through almost three weeks of lessons.
You know what I liked about this study? It left us begging for more...to continue on even though we had been reading and studying for at least 30 - 45 minutes. That is a good sign! Lesson One introduced us to the Book of John, and then we continued on to study and read about the purpose of John's Gospel. Lesson Three plunged into the geographical and political situation at the time of Christ's ministry. We found the factual information intriguing, and the layout is easy to follow in the student manual. The questions and quizzes brought up a lot of discussion about different aspects of the Gospel of John. We can't wait to get further into the book as the miracles of Jesus - as recorded by John - are studied.
I can't think of anything I didn't like about our several weeks we spent using The Life of Christ. I'm excited to use something that is challenging and engaging, and completely focused on the Scriptures. We may consider purchasing other studies from this company - it's THAT good!
Many of you may be interested in taking a closer look at the doctrinal statement of Positive Action. While you may not agree with everything listed in their statement, I think you will find, like I did, that there was little to object about with this particular study. You may view that HERE.
I would like to mention that even though The Life of Christ is listed as appropriate for grades 7-12, I could see some junior high students not showing as much appreciation for this study, especially if they have had little discipleship in the Word of God. This isn't a flaky, spineless curriculum. I think it's well worth it, and I'm so thankful we were able to review this. I don't know if we would have ever run into it in our area!
This study is designed to be used over 35 weeks, although since it is so in-depth, it could easily be used over a two-year time period.
A sample of the Teacher's Manual for The Life of Christ may be viewed below, as well as a sample of the Student Manual. While it was obvious to us that this kind of curriculum is designed for private schools and group settings, it can be adapted to use in other settings as well.
Teacher's Manual sample
Student Manual sample
An "outline edition" Student Manual is also available for $8.95. For larger group settings, a Deluxe Presentation DVD and a CD-ROM containing Overhead Transparencies are also available, but these aren't necessary to use in the home setting in most cases.