Friday, June 15, 2012

Telling God's Story

I bought Telling God's Story, Year One, a month or so ago, to use this coming school year for the main part of our Bible curriculum. I got the electronic pdf files from Peace Hill Press, which is the store front for the Well Trained Mind material. Telling God's Story is written by Peter Enns, and is planned to be a full 12 year Bible curriculum for 1st-12th grades. So far, he just has published years one and two. Even though my oldest is starting 2nd grade, I bought year one, for one reason, because year two hadn't quite come out yet. And for another reason, I wanted to start at the beginning of the series. And for yet another reason, I want to try and do it together with all my kids, and thought year one would be a good compromise for combining a 2nd grader and a kindergartner (my youngest, who will be 4, may just have to tag along).

I've been going through the lessons recently, writing out a lesson schedule to input into my Homeschool Tracker software. And I really like what I see in this material. I can see similarities to the Well-Trained Mind teaching style: some memorization (books of the Bible, names of the disciples), and some narration-type questions. I was very happily surprised to see some nice art history tied into the lessons too, with some beautiful religious art paintings to study. There's a little bit of music study too. But there are also a wide variety of other activities to go along with each of the 36 (plus 3 supplemental) lessons. Some activities are more suited for larger groups, but most are suitable for a single student, and even most of the larger group ones are going to be easy for me to use as is or to modify slightly for 3 students.

I plan to use this curriculum 3 times a week (with some reading from Leading Little Ones to God 1 day a week), so I've been picking out which activities for each week that I want to do - ones that I think will be suitable for my children's ages, and my inclinations (I don't really want to do many of the cooking ones, for example). For many of the weeks, I want to do all of them! We'll see if we have time. Most of them will be fine for all 3 of my kids, though my youngest might need a little help with some things, or some slight modifications. None of them will be too childish for my oldest either. So I think it was a good level to pick for my kids' ages.

I think they will enjoy most of the activities too. There are a lot of craft ideas (which my oldest really seems to like), the art and music history I mentioned, hiding or scavenger hunt type activities, mazes, secret messages, model building, prayer and service/ministry ideas, and even science experiments. They probably won't like the memory work, and my younger 2 may not be up to that, but I think it will be very good for my oldest to try. The wide variety of activities should keep my kids' interest, and I think will also drive in the message from the story. I plan to read the story part (in the instructor's guide) and let them color the story picture on day 1. Then we'll do 1-2 activities each on the other 2 days.

I plan to start the beginning of August, so I'm sure I'll write more after we've been using it a while.

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