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God's Great Covenant New Testament 1 Review by Charlotte GochnauerClaire A. Larsen
Classical Academic Press
515 S. 32nd St.
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Bible lessons are an important part of our homeschooling. I also love teaching the Bible to my children chronologically, so God’s Great Covenant was a perfect fit for us. God’s Great Covenant actually has four different levels that work through the Bible. I received New Testament 1, which covers the Gospels. This is a workbook style course that is meant for 4th through 6th graders. There are 36 lessons, which can be done in one school year.
The book begins with a few introductions. There are a few pages dedicated to going through the history of the Bible and how God deals with his people in covenants. I appreciated how the different covenants are described and defined. There are also a few pages on the historical and political situation during this time period, which really help to give context to the Gospels. It is important to know that it was through God’s providence that the Romans prepared the world for Jesus’ coming. And there are also a few pages on the geographical area, and what type of land Israel was. Finally, there is a short introduction on the religious atmosphere during this time period. I appreciated a chart that compared the Sadducees to the Pharisees. All of these introductions are key to understanding more of what your child will be learning.
Each lesson is laid out the same. There are three sections: Memory Page, Story Time and Worksheets. The Memory Page is the overview of the lesson. Here the scripture references are listed, plus the weekly memory verse, and information about the lesson. The Story Time is a two to three-page text to read. I was also given access to the New Testament Audio Files - these are the text in the Story Time section read aloud. The Worksheets are questions based on the Story Time. Some of these are fill in the blank, circling answers, and at times, crossword puzzles, unscrambled words, and more thought-type questions.
After every ninth lesson there is a review section. Each of the memory verses from each lesson are reviewed in a three-page worksheet. There is also a devotional guide which digs a bit deeper into the theology of the Gospels. And the final part in this review section is a fun one - Simon’s World. Simon is a boy who lives in a village in Galilee. In each review section there is a three to four-page story about life in his world. Throughout the book we learn what his home is like, what things he learns at synagogue school, and also about a couple of trips he takes. I loved this glimpse into life in Galilee at the time of the Gospels.
This curriculum also comes with a teacher manual. This manual contains invaluable information and acts almost like a commentary. Each page of the student book is replicated in smaller font, and then information about each page is listed for the teacher to add to the teaching of the material.
I used this curriculum with my 6th grader. We did Bible four days a week. The first day I introduced the memory verse and we went over the Memory Page. I had her copy the verse each day in her best handwriting. We also looked up some of the scripture references and read them as a sort of introduction. The next day we listened to the story together, using the audio files. The stories worked their way chronologically through the stories of the Gospels. They are in a story-type format, which makes them easy to understand. The third and fourth days we did the worksheet pages and reviewed the verse. I loved the variety of the workbook pages and my daughter enjoyed answering the questions. This curriculum does not go through each gospel, repeating the stories, but rather goes through Jesus’ ministry chronologically as a whole, referencing the story in the Gospel books in which it appears.
I really appreciated the facts on the Memory Page. Many of them were showing how Christ ministry was fulfilling the Gospel message. There is an emphasis on redemption, sin, and our need for a Savior. The workbook pages were appropriate for the 4th-6th grade level. I liked that they made my daughter think about what Christ had done for her by dying on the cross, and in the language of the test, brought it to her level. For example, in the lesson on John the Baptist’s’ ministry, the questions are about repentance, and through them it showed her that true repentance is not being sorry for getting caught but being sorry and repentant because you sinned.
I was really impressed with this program. The theme throughout the book is Christ saving his people from their sins. This is the crux of the Gospels, and such an important truth to understand. And the program is very thorough and covers the major stories of the Gospels. I am excited to finish this program this year and then also go one to do New Testament 2, which finishes out the New Testament. Do give this program a try, you won’t regret it!
-Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018