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Go Through the Bible with Art and Memory Work Review by Melanie Schemanski

Janet L. Fennessey
Turkey Roost Publishing
4500 S Calloway Drive
Hardinsburg IN 47125

The Bible has long been our focus in our homeschool day. We start the morning with Bible reading all together, ages 2-18, and use a variety of products to help us dive in further. Go Through the Bible with Art and Memory Work fit nicely into what we were trying to achieve in our Bible knowledge, and added an element of drawing as well. The curriculum comes in a three-ring binder and serves as the Teacher’s Workbook. It includes 198 pages and covers Genesis through Revelation. There are 87 lessons, and they are complete in covering every book of the Bible. The curriculum is meant to take two years to complete. Additionally, there are 44 pages that can be photocopied for each student for notes and drawing on, each titled at the top for ease in keeping track of them. I also received a CD with instructions in Powerpoint that you can use for larger class sizes. All that is needed to add to this is a Bible, paper, and drawing tools which can be as simple as colored pencils or markers. A folder or three-ring binder is recommended for each child to keep their art work in.

You can purchase directly through the company for $52 or through Amazon for $54 for the curriculum.

Go Through the Bible with Art and Memory is written for use with all ages. Geared more specifically toward ages 5-13. Younger children can still listen to the reading and get some drawing in, though their skills won’t be as honed as the older children. I used this with my nine-, twelve-, and fifteen-year-old, with my two-year-old jumping in when she felt like it. First, we would read the verse in our Bibles; I would read it and then would have one of the kids read it. We would discuss the key words in the passage and the theme of the verse as well as the times going on around the verse. I would say if you aren’t well versed in the Bible to read it ahead of time and get an idea of what the surrounding verses are saying as well. It helps to put it in context when discussing it with the kids. There is a fheology portion on each lesson that gives the teacher some ideas of what to discuss. All of that should take under fifteen minutes to discuss. We are currently working in Samuel in our Bible study so I chose to just do a couple lessons in Genesis to give them a feel of the study, and then we went on to Ruth and Samuel after that. There are a few drawing lessons in the beginning of the study in Genesis to learn things like basic shapes and drawing people. When we got to Ruth, we looked back for some of the basic lessons on drawing boxes, to use those ideas along with the ones in the lesson for drawing a cross. It didn’t feel like we had to start in the beginning, as each lesson is its own teaching. She includes the finished sketch as well as some intermediate steps of drawing. We didn’t finish our drawing in one sitting. I want Bible to be a part of each morning; we read in the Word, then we incorporated Go Through the Bible with Art and Memory to go over the key verse. The drawing portion we then would do over several days, again going over the verse each time. I didn’t let the drawing go for over 20 minutes per lesson, and because there is only one drawing for 1 Samuel, we kept reading in our Bible time through all of Samuel, but then could come back and work on this particular drawing assignment.

This worked great as an addition to what we were already doing in our Bible time. I love to add in different aspects with the Bible, and the art is perfect for the kids to learn with. It is well laid out and easy to teach even if you aren’t much of an artist. The focus is on reading the Word, and then drawing it so that a different part of your memory is in play. I love that the kids could get the Word in picture form in their minds. I liked how it is was simply drawing, and we need not get any massive arts and craft supplies out during our Bible time. We made the drawing part of Bible, rather than the arts and crafts portion overtaking what we were trying to learn.

I also liked seeing the rough drawings, and the stages of drawing with notes. This helped show me how to draw and realize it didn’t need to be perfect. Not sure the kids will want to do it for two years. We will be reading the Bible for over two years, so a part of me thinks they won’t mind, but it is hard to plan two years of school time.

I do think it is reasonably priced, especially if you are using it for two years as recommended. I love the guidance it gives in not only drawing but in memorizing scripture and discussing it with the kids. I think it has been an excellent addition to our morning Bible time for each of my kids.

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