With 5 kids ranging in ages from 8 years to 10 months, finding a kid's Bible study that allows them to study together can be a challenge. We recently had the opportunity to try out the Beginner (3-K) level Bible study from Bible Study Guide For All Ages. So how did it hold up against such a wide age range?
Materials You Need
First, let's look at what materials we used. As I mentioned, we opted for the Beginner (3-K) level across the board. We also received the Beginner Time Line cards. These cards are geared towards little ones who aren't reading yet and each one teaches one fact about the Bible. They're simple in nature but I think this makes them effective in getting the point across. Each card laser-focuses on one fact and these facts are reviewed consistently over the course of the study. They help to build a solid foundation in biblical truths.
Then, of course, we use our Bible's alongside our Bible study pages. I do appreciate how easy they've made it to reference the correlating scriptures. As we go through the "Discover the Bible" sections, we read the scriptures that correspond to each point. While you could totally do it with just the study (and still get the gist,) I definitely suggest reading the scriptures in context.
I usually just read the scripture to them as they work on the activity for that point. It allows them to see the story, piece by piece, as it plays out in the Bible. I really like that the "Discover the Bible" sections are broken down into multiple points. It allows the kids to mull over key point and even builds up anticipation as the story progresses.
Bible Study For All Ages also offers an audio CD to go along with this curriculum. I kind of wish we had used it in conjunction with this Bible study because ALL of my kids are auditory learners. They learn best through song so this would have been a great addition for them. If you have auditory learners, you may consider adding this option to your curriculum. (If you do, let me know how you like it!)
How It Works
The beginner level Bible study is broken down into 5 sections: Learn the Basics, Sing and Remember, Get Active, Discover the Bible, and Apply It!
"Learning the Basics" is where you review the Beginner Time Line cards I mentioned in the previous section. 34 cards are covered and reviewed throughout the Bible study.
"Sing and Remember" is where the audio CD I mentioned comes in. Like I said, we're using this study without it. So, it is possible to do it without it but I do think it would be a great teaching aid and addition to the curriculum. This section also has review questions that go over material previously learned.
One of the things about this kid's Bible study that I think works really well is the variety that's offered within the lessons. You have the hands-on, visual, and auditory application that offers something for all different learning styles.
I've found it to be beneficial to both my visual and hands-on learners. The engaging graphics and Beginner Time Line cards work really well for my visual learners. For my hands-on learners, the "Get Active" sections are, of course, a favorite because they love doing activities. These sections are super simple and don't require a lot of time or materials.
For example, in lesson 6, we learned about Joseph and the wisdom he was given to prepare for a great famine. The activity for this lesson was to judge whether certain actions were wise or not. It was a great precursor to the lesson and really helped them to see the wisdom in Joseph's decisions in regards to Egypt.
I talked a little bit about the "Discover the Bible" section already but it's worth mentioning again. This has been my favorite part of our Bible study time. I really like the way this section is set up. Whatever Bible story we happen to be covering that day is broken up into a sequence of pictures. Each picture represents a particular scripture. The correlating scripture is listed at the top right-hand corner of every picture, so, it's super easy to reference. I love that the scriptures are broken down and covered individually. Having the picture reference has been extremely helpful in memorizing key details and understanding the context of the story.
On the left-hand side, you'll find several different points that discuss each picture. It explains what's happening in kid-friendly terms and ends with an activity for your child to complete. It's usually coloring a part of the picture or tracing something but it does it in a way that helps children to correlate what they're seeing with the text. This has been particularly useful for my 5-year-old who has a photographic memory. Doing these "Discover the Bible" activities has really helped her recall and memorization of key details.
The "Apply It!" section is an important piece that allows kids to see what they just learned and what it would like played out today. It tells a story about kids experiencing the concept covered in that day's Bible study. Some of the topics we've covered so far: Hate, Telling the Truth, Running Away from Doing Wrong, Helping Others, Remembering to Do Good Things, and How to Become Wise.
All of these topics have been covered over the course of Joseph's story in Genesis. In fact, Joseph's story is covered over 14 lessons! While that may seem like a lot, I actually really like that it takes time to thoroughly cover every detail. There's so much to be learned from Joseph so I'm grateful that this Bible study takes time covering it scripture by scripture.
How We Use It
Obviously, our 10-month-old doesn't fall within the 3-K age range and neither does our 3rd grader. But I figured using the beginner level was most appropriate for us because the majority of our children do fall within this age range. Plus, I figured my 3rd grader could assist in teaching lessons since she's an advanced reader.
For our Bible study time, we all sit at the kitchen table. We have our Bible study guides and each of us has our own Bible to read from. My eldest daughter and I usually take turns reading as we work through the lesson for that day. One thing I find helpful is to keep coloring crayons on the table for little ones that start to get antsy. I'll usually let my 2nd youngest color her page while we discuss the lesson questions.
Our Final Thoughts
Ironically enough, I think my 8-year-old enjoys this Bibles study the most out of all her siblings. And, as I assumed, she enjoys being able to help out with teaching lessons. It allows for some variation in our study time and the younger ones seem to enjoy it.
While my almost 3-year-old didn't engage as much as I had hoped, I'm confident that as time goes on, she'll begin picking more. She's already identifying details from the pictures on the cards and in the studies so she's well on her way.
My 4-year-old is my quiet one, so he sits back throughout the lesson and listens intently to what everyone is saying. Every now and then, he pops out with some profound piece of wisdom lol. He enjoys coloring the pictures and will occasionally ask questions about something we read or discussed.
I'd have to say my 5-year-old has probably benefited the most out of them all. She's always engaged and constantly asking questions. She's even discussing what we've learned outside of our Bible time, which is awesome! There are times when she just not feeling it and says she doesn't want to do Bible study but she always ends up jumping in and participating.
As for me, I'm loving the outcome so far. Seeing how much my kids are engaging and learning from Bible Study Guide For All Ages is so encouraging. I'm optimistic that, as we learn and try different things with this curriculum, we will find our flow and get even more out of our Bible study time together.
Want to check out their primary, intermediate, or advanced levels? Read more reviews for Bible Study Guide For All Ages here!
Until next time, Be encouraged!
Hi there! My name is Brittany..help meet to T.J. and mom to 5 little blessings. My passion lies in helping other women to see their value through the eyes of their creator. Be Encouraged...YOU are a Good Thing!