Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TOS Review: Judah Bible Curriculum

We've all heard never judge a book by its cover. But if you are anything like me, you've done it time and time again. It never fails that when I receive an ebook with a simple cover that I do judge. And this time I judged harshly. Then as I began looking into the meat of the curriculum, I judged again. And then, the light came on. 

Judah Bible Curriculum uses the bible as the textbook. This to me is profound. Using the concepts presented in the program (teacher's book) students learn how to study. Then the students implement those concepts as they learn more and more on their own.

Throughout Judah Bible Curriculum, one phrase that is repeated often is the need to "turn on the light" in regards to learning. Though the title says "curriculum" it is more of program. The program is not really something you, as the teacher, teach. The program teaches the teacher how to teach and how to encourage her students to learn key bible truths on their own. 

I received a digital copy of the program as well as audio files. There is a learning curve associated with the program (read that as preparation needed!!) The audio files include eight hours of training material for the teacher. JBC isn't something you can open up and just start doing. But once you understand how the program works, and the students grasp the concept of how to learn on their own, the program is easy to implement. It is almost comparable to an immersion language curriculum where it is what you do naturally, 24-7.

The program is divided and then subdivided to allow the teacher to choose which aspects the homeschool will cover in a particular year. There is a specific recommendation for the first year the curriculum is used and then the following years allow more freedom to choose in the key themes. The first year is foundational and explains a lot about how the program is implemented through the Principle Approach. 
Principle Approach refers to a philosophy of education whose content and methods are designed to build character in teacher and student capable of sustaining liberty.
The bible is covered in each of the two semesters in a school year: the first semester covering the old testament and the new testament covered in the second semester.
There are five themes of the bible covered throughout the entire year, every year, deepening the knowledge of these themes and their "keys." There is also a weekly theme focus within the five themes.
One or more keys are covered per week (key individuals, key events, key institutions, key documents) depending on the weekly theme.

One challenge we faced with this program is that there is quite a bit of writing involved. This can be adapted to suit the needs of the student younger (which we will have to do even next year.) Students who struggle with fine motor skills and handwriting could even do the writing work on the computer or dictate to an older sibling/parent. And of course, notebooking is a great way to utilize the program for younger one. The teacher has to locate coloring sheets, crafts etc for the younger students but it is well worth having the themes laid out for you in the program.

What to Teach When
Judah Bible Curriculum spans the ages from K-12. If you have read my blog at all, you know that I love, love, love multi-age curriculums. Each year expands and deepens the growth and depth of learning of how to learn the Bible.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
$69.00 (hardbound)
$44.00 (digital)
I paid $15 at my local big box copy center to have my PDF file printed with a decent slick cover and coil binding. 

It is important to note that while I feel this program itself is impressive, what you receive is rather unimpressive in the way it looks. Be prepared to delve into learning how to teach the program and plan ahead. (Do not open this the week before you want to start it. It will overwhelm you and may very well run away from it screaming! If you are willing to learn it though, it is a great bargain for the amount of information and years of use!)

Final Word
I cannot wait for bible class next year! 

I strongly suggest that if you are interested in Judah Bible Curriculum, that you purchase it now and take the summer to grasp the program itself. I only had a few weeks to understand and implement the program. JBC is a program that should not be jumped into lightly. And one that I think has the potential to change the lives of students and their teachers!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Judah Bible Curriculum digital and audio files free of charge from Judah Bible Curriculum for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.


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