Review: Self Paced Bible from Veritas Press

Veritas Press Logo_zpscccfxnibRecently our family has had the opportunity to review a new course!  It is the Self-Paced Bible from Veritas Press.  Oh how excited my kids are!  We’ve been big fans of the Veritas Press self-paced courses for a couple of years now.  They are always so much fun for my boys and incredibly in-depth.  Our expectations for this course were high and we couldn’t wait for the review to begin so we could dig in.  We were fortunate to get access to Old Testament 1: Genesis to Joshua which is a full year course.  Other Self-Paced Bible course currently available are Old Testament 2: Judges to Kings and New Testament 1: The Gospels.

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We were so exited to dig into this course that I wanted to make sure both of my boys had access so I paid for the course for my 2nd son Ezra.  That means both he and Noah, age 10, have been using the course for several weeks. We used this program 3-4 times per week.

Veritas Press self-paced classes center on the Classical Christian model to education.  The Bible is taught in order and children are encouraged to memorize all of the key events of the Bible in order.  To help that process a long the children learn a catchy song bit by bit.  I’m always amazed at just how much my children really remember and take away from each of the Vertias Press courses they’ve taken.

Veritas Press Self-Paced Bible is a web based interactive course designed for grades 2-6. The programs are work on most devices with an Internet connection including iPad and Android tablets.

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The Old Testament 1 course includes 128 lesson which includes 32 events from the Bible.  Lessons are usually pretty quick. My boys are finished within 10-20 minutes.  Each of the Self-Paced Bible courses are present by actors who play the role of teachers of historic times, and a mascot.  The mascot in Old Testament 1 is a cat.

After information is presented by the teachers/actors the children usually have a variety of activities such as games and quizzes. Multimedia such as maps and timelines help children interact with and understand the material All grading is done automatically and children get instant feedback.  Reviews and tests are done in a multiple choice question format.  If something isn’t done right they have to complete the questions again.

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If you are new to Veritas Press you’ll need to create a parent account as well as your student’s account.  The parent account lets you follow along with your student’s progress and keep tabs on how they are doing.  It is easy to use and very handy, especially if you have multiple children using Vertias Press Self-Paced Courses.

The program is very open and go.  While I enjoy watching the lessons and tossing in my own discussions as the children proceed it really isn’t necessary.  Most students can complete this course completely on their own.

Overall 

We adore this program as much as all of the other self-paced courses.  My boys already have a pretty good working knowledge of the Old Testament so as result they aren’t finding this program as challenging as other Veritas Press courses they’ve done.  That means they are enjoying it all the more.  And this momma doesn’t think you can every learn enough about God’s word.  I’m sure they are making connections they’ve never made before.  We will be moving on to the other Bible Courses in due time.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
 

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Review: Grapevine Studies Resurrection

Grapevine-Header-Logo_zpsugumvrotEaster is coming very quickly this year.  I always struggle with the most Christ centered way to study and observe this holy day.  I have a great suggestion this year!  Recently my children and I have been using these very unique Bible studies the Resurrection: Beginner for my five year old and Resurrection: Multi-Level for my two older boys ages 8 and 10, from Grapevine Studies. You might remember that we were also blessed to have reviewed other Grapevine Studies.  You can read my previous review of Old Testament Level One.  

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The Resurrection study begins with Judas’s decision to betray Jesus and continues on through the trials, crucifixion, His Resurrection, Jesus’s actions after he rose, the ascension, and then finally describes what the disciples did once Jesus left this earth.

These studies are unique in that the children illustrate the major points and events from the Bible using stick figures.  My children LOVE this.  It is so simple and easy that all of them can do these studies together and feel very successful.  I read the scriptures from the Bible and they draw.  Most scripture references are pretty short so all of the kids stay focused and working.

Our particularly favorite part of this study are the timelines.  Each study begins with one that you add to as you move through the events.  Major events are obviously highlighted well and discussed thoroughly.  The timeline helps the children visually keep track of where we are in history.  The review questions the end each lesson are fantastic and they help Mom too!  Though I study the Bible for my own purposes all of the time it seems these studies also add to my knowledge.  Or, even better, God uses my children’s questions and conversations to teach me more about His ways and His word.  I’m a student here too.

Teacher’s Book

Often times I feel like I can get away without using a teacher’s book but in these Grapevine Studies it is complete necessary.  This is where you’ll find lesson notes, stick figure drawings done for you, timeline drawings done for you, a map, your lesson goals, the memory verses, and the comprehension review questions.

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Sample page from the Teacher’s book.

The Student Books

These books are very simple and totally functional.  You’ll find easy to draw in boxes, the short memory verses, vocabulary words, and the review questions as well.  If you have the download like I did you can print and place these in a binder or use a plastic binding machine.

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Sample page from the Multilevel Book

What Else You’ll Need

You’ll also need a Bible of course, a dry erase board (we have one on the wall already), a set of 8 colored dry erase markers, and a Bible dictionary.  The kids will also need colored pencils or crayons.

How We Use It

We try to begin each day with our Bible study.  We can easily complete an entire lesson each and every day.  They take maybe 20 minutes if you work diligently.  However our conversations can often go down the rabbit trail and take up considerable time.  These conversations are probably the most important thing that happens in our day and I don’t want to limit them.  So I often break up the lessons into two or three days.  We do just a page or two a day.  It’ll take us longer to finish the curriculum and that is entirely OK with me.  The most amazing thing about this curriculum?  I can do this with all of my children together no matter their level.

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Sample of the Traceable Book. If you look closely you can see that the stuck figures are already lightly drawn on the pages and the children just need to trace them.

Overall

The Resurrection Bible study from Grapevine Studies is excellent.  There is just no other way to say it.  My children love it and so do I.  It makes studying the events of the Bible and discussing them a breeze.

Grapevine Studies has a wide range of Bible Studies.  Check out the graphic below to see your other choices and how you might like to move through the Bible with your children.

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You can also follow GrapeVine Studies on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

 

Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry {Grapevine Studies Review}
 

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Review: GrapeVine Studies Stick Figure Through the Bible

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Bible studies!  I am so blessed that we homeschool and I’m able to participate in daily Bible study with my children.  It is vitally important to me.  If we accomplish nothing else in a day besides Bible study I call it a good day.  My family has tried everything.  During different seasons we have studied a book at a time, we’ve used a variety of programs, we’ve read devotionals, you name it.  I always have my eyes peeled for the next Bible Study to try.  So Bible studies from Grapevine Studies became available for review I knew I’d have to try this one too. We were blessed to review the Old Testament 1: Level 1 Creation to Jacob the traceable version good for 3-6 year olds and Old Testament 1: Level 3 Creation to Jacob geared for 10-12 year olds. These are a chronological study of all of the characters and events in the earliest books of the old testament.  

Grapevine Studies have a huge variety of Bible studies to offer your family.  Their style of Bible teaching involves learning the timeline of events and characters followed by more specific details. They provide a broad and then a more detailed picture of God’s story.  

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For this review I received the Teacher books for level 1 and level 3 and student books as downloadable pdf ebooks that I then printed and bound myself.  Part of the beauty of these studies is that they are entirely open and go.  There is nothing to prepare and you do not need to have any craft supplies on hand.  A dry erase board and a variety of colored markers are all you really need.  This is a very fun yet low tech/low key approach to learning all about God’s word.  It is great for young and sometimes wiggly children too.  The simply easy drawings make they feel successful as they learn and participate.

It is also quite easy to teach multiple levels at once.  While my two boys were ready for level 3 and my daughter was using the traceable level 1 we were able to do our Bible study together all at the same time. One entire lesson can take us about a half an hour per day.  If you have your children look up the scriptures and read them aloud on their own it may take you a bit longer.

Creation to Jacob is made up of 12 lessons.  We easily completed a lesson a day most days however it is very easy to break down the lessons into shorter chunks and spread the study out.  It is really quite adaptable to whatever works for your family.  Each lesson starts with a review of the timeline and memory verses.  The previous three characters studied are discussed and drawn out on the timeline using stick figures.  Yes, simple stick figures.  More on that in a moment.  You also review the memory verses that were previously assigned.  They can be written out or spoken aloud.

Once the review is finished you move on to the lesson for the day.  The lesson is typically broken into a couple of parts (which is why it is easy to do just a portion at a time).  Your children will draw using stick figures to depict what happened at that time to that character.  They drawings are done inside of their student book.  You will read aloud various verses that tell that character’s story and discuss what happened.

The stick figure drawing is genius.  It is just so simple!  Any child can be successful.  Whether they are creative and artistic or not.  The act of drawing also helps children more fully engage and remember what it is they are learning.  I said it before but I’ll say it again. It is so simple and everyone feels like they are successful.  The simple drawings also serve to keep study time short and to the point.  My children really look forward to Bible study time where they get to draw their stick figures.

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My five year old daughter used the traceable version of level 1.  The drawings were already there for her and she just simply had to go over them with marker or crayon.  This feature kept her on track and enabled her to keep up with her bigger brothers.  It may not have been necessary for her age but it was a convenience I appreciated.

Over All

I really appreciate this Bible study.  It is very simple to implement.  My children are memorizing Bible scripture.  They are reviewing the God’s story as he laid it out in His word.  It also gives me a great jumping off point for discussion.  I like to focus on the big picture.  God loves us so much and he has had a plan all along to draw us close to Him.  We can see evidence of that plan in every story of the Bible.  He provides for all of our needs, he forgives us even when we sin, he calls us close to Him, and he sent Jesus to save us from ourselves.  These themes ring true in pretty much every Bible story.  This study helps me drive those points home.

Grapevine Studies Review
 

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Review: Firmly Planted, Books of Moses, Part 2


Great Bible studies are a treasure.  They feed your soul, bring you closer to God Himself, and equip you to face the challenges of this fallen world.  Bible study time is our favorite time of day in our family.  I was excited and privileged to be chosen to review a Bible study called Firmly Planted, Books of Moses, Part 2 (Family Study Guide and Student Book) by Real Life Press and written by Heidi St. John.  

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Firmly Planted, Books of Moses, Part 2 and all of the Firmly planted books are 10 week family studies that conveniently target both younger children and older teens and adults.  This study begins at Genesis 37 and covers through Numbers 14.

  • Week 1: Joseph Sold Into Slavery
  • Week 2: Joseph Saves His Family
  • Week 3: Moses and the Burning Bush
  • Week 4: The plagues
  • Week 5: Crossing the Red Sea
  • Week 6: The Ten Commandments
  • Week 7: The Tabernacle
  • Week 8: The Golden Calf
  • Week 9: Choosing the Levites
  • Week 10: Exploring the Promise Land

We recieved this review as ebooks that I easily downloaded into my iPad under my Kindle app.  I enjoy the ebook format.  I tend to take my iPad or my Kindle just about everywhere I go.  This makes importu read alouds or Bible study quite doable.  15 minutes while waiting at the bank to see a manager can turn into productive time.  Plus, ebooks don’t take up any space on my shelves and they are never lost.  However if ebooks aren’t your think you can also purchase this study as a traditional paper book.

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Each week you cover just one lesson and that lesson is stretched out over 4 days.  You begin with a Bible passage found in the study guide. Every lesson features a Seed which is a summarization of the main point of the lesson.  The next section is Planting the Seed which is where you will find the memory verse. This is broken up into two parts with a simpler memorization for children ages 4-11 and a more difficult challenge for anyone over 12 years of age.  You’ll find something called Watering the Seedling which is a short story lesson.  This was always my children’s favorite part.  You’ll find a daily study with discussion questions which are great for the younger children.  However if you have older children or kids who are ready to go further you’ll find help in the Digging Deeper section.  The final section, Taste the Fruit gives your family opportunity to apply God’s word to your own lives.

Obviously this is a pretty detailed study.  I won’t hesitate to say it is very well written and easy to follow.  It can be challenging, especially if you strive to apply the teachings to your family life.  It is engaging and appropriate for just about every member of your family no matter the age.

Student Book is an awesome full color book.  Printing pages was easily done from my computer.  This is one place where personally I prefer to just buy the workbook instead of printing.  Something about it coming already bound and ready to go just makes life easier for me.  Printing however works just fine too.  This book is full of fun stuff for younger children as well as challenging sections for older children in what is called the Upper Class pages.

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Every week as you move through the Student Book you’ll have your children writing definitions for vocabulary words.  There is a recommended nature study.  An opportunity for oral responses to questions. There is copywork, coloring pages, mazes and such more.Firmly Planted.1JPG

How We Used This

I used this with my 3 oldest children ages 4-9.  We sat together each morning as I read through the lesson and readings for the day.  We practiced our memory verse.  Then we moved on to whatever activity or workbook page we needed to complete.  When we were out and about I often pulled up the study on my iPad so we could rehearse our memory verse or review a concept.

Final Thoughts!

If you are looking for a great study that the entire family can take part in then you’ve found it.  This resource does a fantastic job of parsing things out so young and old can discover God’s word together.  I can’t think of anything a family could do that isn’t more rewarding.  I’m looking forward to working through the entire series with my family.  I think we are going to make one big change though.  We are going to move this particular study into the evening so Daddy can join us too.  In fact, I may even see if he is interested in leading us in this one.

A fun and engaging whole family Bible study, thank the Lord for this one!

Real Life Press Review
 

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