Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TOS Review- Judah Bible Curriculum

From the company:  "The Judah Bible Curriculum is designed to enable you to teach your students to research the Bible, recognize the hand of God in the lives of men and nations, and implement the practical and personal application of Christian self-government."

Using the Bible as your textbook, Judah Bible Curriculum (JBC) guides you through the Bible focusing on 5 primary themes:  Creation, The Plan of Redemption Begins, Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of God and The Early Church.  Each theme is broken into weeks, with each week assigned a Key Topic.

Example:  1st week- Creation

2nd week- Creation of Man

3rd week- The Fall

4th week- The Flood

5th week- Tower of Babel

The Old Testament is taught the first semester and the New Testament is taught the second semester of study.  The five primary themes are revisited each new year of study with only the key topics changing to allow for a complete coverage of the Bible over a course of a year.  JBC explains its seed approach; "The seed contains everything that is needed to grow a great tree, adding only time, water and nourishment.  You will be teaching the seed ideas and principles through the whole Bible every year.  Each year, however, you will be studying different keys, adding to your understanding of the whole by studying the parts in detail and in context.  The class will not be required to read through the whole Bible each year but will be studying the high points."

To help you as a teacher better understand the JBC principle approach, there is a rather large instruction manual (100 pages!) and 8 teacher training audios.  If you are not an auditory learner, these may be difficult for you to get through, but they really are a must in understanding this program, as there are no weekly lesson plans and clear cut "how-to'.  Rather than a child-based curriculum, this is clearly a teacher training program aimed to help you teach your child and "become proficient in finding, understanding and applying truth" (JBC)

Included in each weekly guide is the theme for that week, scripture memory, and key sheets, which can be done orally or filled in by the students.  These sheets help you focus on the key individuals, events, institutions and documents referred to in that week's lesson and there are ample examples online to help you navigate them.  JBC also encourages notebooking to allow children to document their studies.  Unfortunately, while many examples are given, it will be up to you to supply any notebook pages you use.

I do love the four main concepts that JBC promotes as they lead you through teaching the Bible:

To teach the hand of God in history,

the hand of God in the life of the individual,

the importance and biblical basis for Christian self-government and

the relationship between individual Christian character and national liberty.

However, this was not as good of a fit for our family as I had hoped it would be.  As we reviewed JBC, I admit that I realized how dependent I have become through the years on a scheduled curriculum.  Since this program does not have one, I floundered more than once with what to do each day.  Since we as a family read and study the Bible nightly together as part of our family devotion time, I felt we were being redundant during our school Bible time.  I have, however, taken several of JBC’s ideas to heart and will put them into practice.  I loved what the author said, "Remember that YOU, not the curriculum or its author, are teaching the students.  Instead of thinking, 'How does he want me to teach this?' seek the Lord for direction, 'Lord, how should I get this across to my student?' ...We must try to engrain in our students the intelligence of following God and the stupidity of sin, so they don't follow God's law merely out of duty, but grow in His love.  We must teach the value of Christian character, not just the 'Thou-shalt-nots' of the Bible"

May we all grow in His love!

JBC may be purchased for $69.00 for a hard copy, including the 8 CDs, or in downloadable version for $44.00 here.

I encourage you to check out what other CREW members had to say here.  Many had quite a different experience than mine and several had an easier time developing their own day to day schedules with the material presented.  As with any product, you have to find what is right for your family!

Disclaimer:  In return for my honest opinion of this product, I received the downloadable material, including the Teacher's Manual and 8 Audio Files.

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