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Discovering Christ-Like Habits (Book 3) (Grades 7 or 8 or 9) Review by Tina Rice

Student workbook and Teacher's Guide, Home School Edition
Jan L. Harris, Howard and Bonnie Lisech
Deeper Roots Publications
13 W. Lakeshore Drive
Cherokee Village AR 72529
1.407. 797.8557

Discovering Christ-Like Habits (DCH) is book 3 in the Discovery Series. This is a 7th, 8th or 9th grade Bible Curriculum. Other titles in the Discovery Series are Discovering Who I am in Christ and Discovering our Amazing God. Discovering Christ-Like Character will be available in 2007. Lesson titles in DCH are Growing Faith, Our Ever Present Helper, The Secret of the Will, The Gift of Prayer, Celebrating God, and Feeding on God's Word.

DCH is an in-depth Bible study. In addition to scripture-based study about faith in God, the Holy Spirit, prayer, worship, and the importance of studying God's word, students will learn about unreached people groups and world geography, memorize scripture, and do a lot of writing. Besides the teacher's guide and student workbook, you will need a variety of items to teach this curriculum as it is written. Many of the needed items are not readily available at your local grocery store and will require a trip to a school supply store.

There are six lessons in DCH. Each lesson contains numerous days of work (Chapter 1 has 14 lesson days, one review day, and one test day). Successive chapters require 19, 13,21, 11, and 10 days to complete them. All lessons follow the same pattern; they begin with a history of an unreached people group and contain a prayer focus. Students work each day on scripture memorization (this is my favorite part of the curriculum). Each student workday has a corresponding lesson in the teacher's guide containing extensive teacher notes and answers to written questions. It is possible to edit some of the teaching material and use portions of it so that you can cut down on the amount of teacher time. Use whatever best suits your family (a fact I have to be reminded of over and over each year - I am not a slave to the teacher's guide, but it is a servant to me!). Each chapter ends with a study sheet and test (tests are found in the teacher's guide and are reproducible). If you do one lesson per day, DCH will be a half-year program.

Over the years I have had numerous friends use and enthusiastically recommend Deeper Roots publications. This is my first time using one of their products. After looking over the curriculum, I would not recommend it for most 7th graders because they lack the maturity to grasp much of the material, or for relaxed homeschoolers or unschoolers because of the amount of workbook-type work involved. I was unprepared for the amount of work involved to properly teach the curriculum. I was looking forward to a program that was student-led. This does not have to be a negative aspect, though. If you want to study along with your student, then DCH would make an excellent choice; on the other hand, if you want to have your student work independently, he will miss out on much of the teacher-led discussion and activities if you just hand over the student book. I expect that as you move through the book it will take less teacher preparation time, but the first few lessons each took one hour of my time. This broke down to 10 minutes of pre-lesson preparation, 20 minutes of direct teaching, 20 minutes of being available to my daughter, and 10 minutes for lesson correction.

If I could change anything about DCH, I would make the teacher's guide more user-friendly. The instructions occasionally left me wondering what exactly I am supposed to do, and the tiny font in the teacher's notes section is difficult to read. I would also appreciate it if Deeper Roots added a comprehensive list of required supplies so that I could get my supplies all at once without reading through each chapter looking for required resources (For example, in Lesson 1, Day 1, you need a video that will most likely not be available at your local video store.)

Do I like DCH and would I recommend it to friends? Yes, I do like the curriculum, even though it is a bit more work than I would have preferred and is definitely not a good fit with my daughter's learning style. It lives up to the recommendations I have received from friends as a thorough program that will direct almost any student dig deeper into God's word. My daughter was hoping for a more self-paced Bible study, and she has not liked the fact that she has to wait for me to teach her lesson.

-Product review by: Tina Rice, Contributing Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2006.