As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we recently have been offered the chance to review Grapevine Studies. As their website states, this is "a Bible study curriculum that engages the intellect while stimulating the imagination!" This series of Bible studies exist to engage and disciple children age five to adult!
The studies teach foundations and leave the application up to the teacher. Because of their approach, Grapevine Studies are used by a variety of denominations and on five continents! They are "serving through stick figures", as the author says.
Grapevine Studies uses stick figure drawing to help the daily studies come to life. As your child chronologically studies the major events and characters of the Bible,
they will gain a deeper understanding through discussion,stick figure drawing, projects and more! For more information on these type studies for children under 13please be sure and see the Grapevine Website at www.grapevinestudies.com and the many reviews from families like yours at the crew website (just click on the icon to the right).
Because I have a child entering college with Liberty Online, and another starting Middle School, we chose to review Level 5 studies, which are for Independent Study. We thought that with our daughter majoring in Religion, using Grapevine Studies Old and New Testament Overviews would create a good family study. Both our children have been using Tapestry of Grace and have grown up in ministry, so they too felt they were prepared for this level of study. We will be using it at family devotion time, and using it as a review of their comprehension from their other studies. We are sure to gain some new insights as we all share what we have experienced in our daily lives and as we dig even deeper together into the Word of God!
These studies are available for purchase at www.grapevinestudies.com or by clicking on the title at the top of this post! The student books contain timeline pages, lesson pages, review pages, hands-on activities, research projects, and final reviews. These are $28.95 for hard copy or e-book format. You will also want some Bible study tools ( more on this below ). These too, as I mention later, are available at the website. Be sure your student also has a good set of colored pencils. Other than the New Testament and Old Testament Overviews, there are titles available, such as: Level 5 Biblical Feasts and Holy Days, Level 5 Birth of Jesus, and Level 5 Esther! These vary in price.
We received the studies by e-book format. We print out just what we need. There is no teacher guide for this level. A timeline is filled out and we printed just one for all of us to use together. Our first activity was to go through the timeline and write down the general information about each event or character. I was amazed as my children shared all they recalled from our our devotions and TOG studies over the years. As they filled in the chart it was easy to for them to wander why we would go forward with these studies all year long. After all, the chart was filled! What an amazing time we had as I snuggled them close and asked them to tell me "why"! We discussed how as Christians, we continue the journey of life-long learning. This not only applies to the way we Homeschool but to all of life. We are never at a point where we "know it all". Being a Christian for thirty-five years, I am amazed on a daily basis how the Holy Spirit brings new light to His word! I am excited to embark on this study! My shovel is ready to dig and I am ready to bring in the harvest!
Our knowledge of Scripture is going to be increased as we do these two studies this year. Our love for God will always continue to deepen. Another benefit of using the Level 5 Overview Studies is that the skill of using Bible Study tools is taught. Students will use an atlas, a concordance, a Bible Dictionary, and a topical Bible.
These skills will be of benefit as students continue on into higher learning institutions. These tools can be purchased at the website, www.grapevinestudies.com
(or you may click on the title at the top of this post). As I mentioned earlier, students also master the timelines of Scripture and how characters and events relate to one another. We have found through the years that this greatly helps in grasping the comprehension of scripture and the historical significance.
As a family we have used media, puppetry, drama and music to share the Gospel around the world. Never have we thought how simple stick figures would easily translate the Gospel to all ages! How awesome to learn this method of sharing the Gospel. Our daughter is traveling as a Leader in Training to Guatemala in the Summer.
She will have a new tool to use and share with her team! I am sure our weekly projects will also come into use this year as we minister locally.
I urge you to visit the website and take a look around. Download a few samples and see if this might be a good fit for your family! You will definitely be challenged in your walk, touched as you watch her older children digging deeper into understanding and increasing in knowledge. Taste the fruit and and see the beauty of God's word, you'll be deeply nourished!
SPECIAL OFFER: Dianna at Grapevine Studies is "Serving Him Through Stick Figures" and has offered all my readers a 30% discount upon placing your order! All you have to do is type in the code 'CREWS' to receive your discount! This special offer expires Sept. 15, 2009. Order today!