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Discovering Who I Am in Christ, Book 2 Review by Melanie Schemanski

Jan L. Harris, Howard & Bonnie Lisech
Deeper Roots Publications
13 W. Lakeshore Drive
Cherokee Village, AR 72529

Discovering Who I Am In Christ is a middle school Bible curriculum from the Discovering Series, by Deeper Roots Publication. This set includes the student workbook ($21.95) as well as the teacher guide ($30.95). The student workbook is consumable. I do find it necessary to have the teacher guide for additional information as well as answer key, and resources. This series goes much deeper than simply memorizing bible verses, and learning the facts of the Bible. The student will be learning about unreached people groups, and how to pray for them as they are learning about their own relationship with Jesus. The student will study who they are in Christ. They then are walked through being a new creation in Christ when they know Him as Savior, as well as the idea of adoption into God’s family. The student is taught they are precious, and a citizen of heaven. They learn from several parables on sheep, they are like the sheep and God is the shepherd. The vine and the branches is another parable that is explored in the text. Finally, they learn about the Royal Priest in Jesus and how in Him they can bear fruit.

Each of the nine lessons begin with a profile on an unreached people group, then shows a map corresponding to where they are from. The book then has an applicable prayer for the student to pray for that people group. Right from the start this series is having the student be outward focused, and realizing that his world is much bigger than his own town or state. Book 2 in this series recommended for 8th grade level. Each of the nine lessons are broken down into individual days, ranging from five days to 15. Since Bible class is the most important in our homeschool, we chose to do it daily first thing to start our school day off. Each of the lessons include scripture memory, question answering, journaling, creative writing, scripture reading, and review. There are reviews and tests included as well. Repetition is key to remembering and the tests help to encourage that memory.

There is a little bit of prep work for the teacher, and each day’s lesson has suggestions to prepare ahead of time. The teacher does present the lesson, and the student then can work in dependently on the questions in the book. Use of videos, guest speakers, and field trips help to make the study exciting, but not all are practical for a homeschool family. This set is made for a homeschool setting, but some of the suggestions lend themselves more to a co-op setting rather than an individual student.

The depth of study was one of my favorite things about this curriculum. I enjoyed having my son be able to answer more in depth questions, to journal about what he was learning, and even spend a little more time writing than he is accustomed to. I enjoyed the discussions we had with each other as we studied and discussed the lesson. I challenged myself as well to memorize the verses and we worked on them together. His young brain was much better at memorizing than I am. Learning about different people groups was great for my son as well, got us looking at the map and praying for people we may not have ever heard of before. I think it helped branch his mind to realize there is much more out in the world than he knows. Some of the harder parts of the curriculum was on my side, as the teacher. Some of the prep work asked me to do things I couldn’t do. To rent a movie where we have no video rental stores. To interview adults and record their reflection on a question. Find a butterfly cocoon. Locate costumes and props for a throne room. These ideas are the ones that do lend themselves well to a group setting rather than just one 8th grader working on a class. We chose to not to the suggestions that were hard like that. We discussed them and when possibly looked at a book, or online about something similar. I love how it helps branch the student to do more with what they are learning in the Word, it just wasn’t something I could do time wise for one student.

The depth of this study is excellent. It does very well to introduce the student to Christ and talk about salvation, especially if the student is new to the series. I thought the questions and writing were though provoking and helped my son’s spiritual growth. We enjoyed it so much that I am considering Deeper Roots Publications high school books for a high school Bible class next year when my son is a freshman.

-Product review by Melanie Schemanski, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017