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The Picture Smart Bible K-3 New and Old Testament Workbooks, and CDROM and The Picture Smart Bible 4th-Adult New and Old Testament Workbooks, and CDROM Review by Jennifer Smeltser

The Picture Smart Bible K-3 New Testament Workbook
The Picture Smart Bible K-3 Old Testament Workbook
The Picture Smart Bible K-3 Old and New Testaments CDROM
The Picture Smart Bible 4th-Adult New Testament Workbook
The Picture Smart Bible 4th-Adult Old Testament Workbook
The Picture Smart Bible 4th-Adult Old and New Testament CDROM
Picture This! Ministries

The opportunity to share God’s word with your children is one of the many benefits of homeschooling. Walking through and grasping the meanings in each book together is a great time for fellowship as well as “training up your child in the way he should go.” Finding a Bible study that allows you to include all members of your family, kindergarten through adult, makes this experience one to truly cherish.

The Picture Smart Bible (TPSB) curriculum is published by the “PictureThis!” Ministries, which was created by husband and wife team Dan and Juanene Peters. The curriculum is a compilation of their 20-year experience teaching in Christian ministry. The curriculum provides the opportunity for people of all ages to walk through the Bible and gain an understanding through drawing. Since homeschool families typically have children of varying ages, TPSM is one that would work well as a family study. Even the parents will not be left out with lessons geared towards their comprehension level.

The complete Bible study begins at Genesis and finishes with Revelation, with one study book each for the Old Testament and the New Testament. Book levels are broken into grade levels to ensure the content is suitable for those audiences. The levels are kindergarten through third grade and fourth grade through adult. The curriculum is written to be used in a home or classroom setting.

It goes without saying, but I will, that this is a Bible-based study. Teachers are even encouraged to follow class preparations that include not only getting all of the paperwork together, but also preparing spiritually and emotionally for the teaching experience. It is even suggested planning for the study is done by all members of the family. Spending time, learning about God is something that should be done as a family.

The lessons are scripted, making it easy to teach with little lesson planning required. They are available in printed format or on a CD-ROM. Photocopying privileges are granted to the original purchaser for the curriculum to use the material in a teaching setting or for ministry promotion, within their church or organization. The entire program, and all of the student sheets you need to teach the lessons, are included in both formats. There are also instructions for setting up the student notebooks, teaching tips, and notes of needed supplies in each lesson. Other resources include maps and timelines.

Some of the teaching tools presented in the lessons are the Good News Starburst (i.e. a reference to Jesus Christ, throughout the Old Testament) and Power Symbols, key characters, and key concepts from each book of the Bible. There is also an orientation (or overview) of the book that is covered as well as the drawing instructions for the student sheets. The teacher uses the Master Drawing and the step-by-step instructions to guide the student through completing the illustration sheets. Every image that appears on the illustrated sheet has a purpose and explanation for its place on the student sheet. Although the teacher has scripted commentary, there is plenty of room for parents or teachers to insert and share their own points about the covered material with their students.

Pulling out the coloring crayons (or colored pencils, pens, etc.) adds to the fun of learning about God’s word. The opportunity for creativity in coloring and illustrating is nice. The teacher may want to color their drawing before going over the material with the student. It may be used as an example as to what the illustrated sheet should look like when it is finished. If you have a child younger than kindergarten, they may enjoy coloring the sheet while the Bible study is read to them. If your child enjoys “coloring/drawing outside of the lines” or just free-hand drawing, they may draw their own picture using the Master Drawing as a guide. Either way, students do not have to be skilled artists to complete the drawing portion of the lesson. Adults may also find some pleasure and a sense of relaxation in drawing on and coloring the student sheets. The drawings are used to best help the Word of God be remembered by each student.

There is a noted difference in the presentation of the material in both levels of lessons. The fourth through adult level is written in a more detailed manner that makes the material more interesting to an older student.

The lessons may be conducted at your own pace. It is possible to complete both the Old and New Testament studies over the period of one school year (or shorter, depending on the age and comprehension of your child). Because of the relaxed presentation of the lessons, your student may be apt to ask more questions about what you are reading as well as share personal experiences. That can lead to a lesson taking longer than one week to complete. There are also review questions at the end of each lesson to cover the presented material.

If TPSB is your first walk through the Bible with your child, I suggest not rushing through the material with a specific timeline of completion. TPSB allows you to take the time to not only mentally, but visually retain the Word of God. By the time you and your student complete TPSB curriculum, both of you will have a wonderful resource that you will be able to refer to for a reminder of God’s Word.

-Product review by Jennifer Smeltser, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2016