The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
|With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.||
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!
Bible Quest Old/New Testament Kit Review by Kelly BurgessNathan King
The Old and New Testament Deluxe Kit includes both the Old and New Testament curriculum books containing 80 weeks of lessons (which contain the Equip, Empower, and Expedition Phases), listening CDs, timeline posters, review card games, digital downloadable songs, and maps. This kit is for children of all ages and costs $98.
Each phase of the program has a plan laid out. The Equip Phase is supposed to take thirty minutes the first day and fifteen minutes each day for the rest of the week. It introduces the drill and memory work and gives the details of the bible story. If you have young students, those up to age five can conclude their participation after completing the “who” and “what” sections. Kids up to age seven or eight can conclude their study after the Equip Phase is complete. This section includes the who, what, when, where, and why of a bible story. The corresponding song on the listening CD has the quoted scripture verse set to music to aid in memorization. I have never made my kids memorize scripture verses. I just like them to read and discuss scripture regularly, so they are familiar with what the Bible holds. But since my son likes things set to music, we did use the songs twice a week. I liked that when the lesson explained where something took place, it referenced the corresponding map provided in the back of the book. It helped tie things together. We do our scheduled bible study lessons twice a week for school, as we have other bible classes and studies that we do on other days. We did our own thing with this program, and it was easily adapted to our schedule and desire to take or leave the parts provided. We completed the Equip Phase on our first day of study where we went through those five “W’s” together and made sure we read aloud any referenced scripture verses.
The Empower Phase is supposed to take forty-sixty minutes the first day and fifteen-twenty minutes daily for the rest of the work. You get to choose an “exploration” (twenty-forty minutes one day) and an “exercise” (fifteen-twenty minutes daily) that you would like your students to complete. These are generally hands-on activities where you might build a model, make a lapbook, or complete a craft of some kind. This is appropriate for students ages nine and up. My son is not the crafty type and does not have the patience (because of his ADHD) to make lapbooks, so we just skipped this phase.
The Expedition Phase is supposed to take thirty minutes per day for at least one week. This can be used with students ages twelve and up. My son is newly twelve, and I liked the nature of the “deeper questions” section. It prompted a further discussion between us and got him thinking more on his own. I had to guide him to some of the deeper thoughts, but it provided a wonderful opportunity for us to talk more about the topic. You have the option of choosing an activity from the expedition list in the back of the book, such as creating a parable, retelling a bible story, talking about the character of a person in a bible story, refuting or confirming choices based on scripture, or one of many other choices. Since my son is barely twelve, we just stuck with the “deeper questions” section and used that for day two of our studies, allowing us to complete one lesson per week in two days of study.
Step-by-step, day-by-day instructions are outlined at the front of each curriculum book for how to implement each phase of the program. More discussion ideas, as well as ideas for projects and activities, are listed for each phase in the back of the book allowing you to expand the study for older, more mature students who are capable of greater insight. As a result, this program could be a shorter study with younger, less mature students, or it could be expanded to the full suggested length of study for those capable of more in-depth study and discussion. For that reason, I think this program is great for all ages, is easily adapted to individual needs, and provides a lot of optional activities so students can engage in either light or deep study of scripture, as desired.
My son and I have had some wonderful discussions with this program, and we plan to continue using it going forward. Since we’re mainly using the Equip and initial Expedition Phases along with the songs and the cards for review, we may even condense it into one day of study so we can complete two lessons per week instead of one. This program is so flexible that you can use just the parts that suit each child and make it as long or as short of a study as you wish. That is wonderful for my son with ADHD, as his attention span is short, and programs with lots of writing or projects lose his interest. We teach with oral discussions, and we can adapt this program nicely to match his needs and abilities so that he gets the most out of it that he can.
-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2020