For several years, I've been on a hunt for the perfect Bible study to do with my family. I've found a couple devotionals that I really liked, but we breezed through them and I was left looking for another and ended up sampling many duds along the way. I've spent the last couple months reviewing a program called Judah Bible Curriculum and I'm strangely torn between saying, "Yes! This is IT!" and "I absolutely cannot stand it!"
You see, I really wanted a Bible program that I could open and read, spend about half an hour on each day and have it change us from the inside out with minimal effort on my part. Judah Bible Curriculum is not that kind of Bible Program. And what kind of Bible program does the Bible say we should give to our children? According to Deuteronomy 6:7, we should be diligent to talk with them about the Word when we're sitting in our house, when we walk by the way, and when we lie down, and when we rise. We should talk with our families about the Word.
The Judah Bible Curriculum requires much discussion. It can be completed within half an hour each day, but it requires a LOT of preparation work from the teacher. Please note the emphasis on the word LOT. It really isn't a curriculum by any definition I've ever seen used. Instead, it is a combination of intense teacher training seminars and a general outline to refer to.
It uses something called the Principle Approach, which requires an entirely different research session to fully understand. Once implemented, the outline takes families through the Bible from beginning to end each year, not verse-by-verse, but through more general themes. The 5 Themes covered are:
- Creation - Genesis 1-11
- Plan of Redemption Begins - Genesis 12-Ruth
- Kingdom of Israel - 1 Samuel - Malachi
- Kingdom of God - Matthew - John
- Early Church - Act - Revelation
Several week are spent on each theme, as students explore Key elements in what is read. For example, when studying the first theme, Creation, you spend 5 weeks delving into the "keys".
- Week 1: Key Institution - God is a Trinity
- Week 2: Key Document - We were created in the Image of God
- Week 3: Key Individual - Cain and Abel
- Week 4: Key Event - Ark, Salvation
- Week 5: Key Event - Tower of Babel
I like that it is intended for whole families. Younger children work on notebooking pages while older children can work on maps and charts and essays. As your family grows, you are able to study more deeply each year. It is intended to be used for the entire family for all grades. These pages are all up to the teacher to find; they are not included in the program.
I love the idea and I want to see it fully implemented, but the amount of teacher training is overwhelming. The purchase of the program includes an ebook, 8 hours of teacher audio training sessions, and many more advice articles on their website. The audio files make reference to charts that are not easy to follow along with in the manual. The manual contains a lot of disjointed thoughts and the scope and sequence outlines just seem much more complicated than they need to be. Also, the examples of completed notebooking pages and key outlines are poor photocopies. I mention this because it could be an unpleasant surprise if you decide to purchase the download for $44.00. However, if you are prepared to invest the time in learning the teaching method, and if you consider that it is a Bible study that will last you 12 full years, the price is very worth it.
You can also purchase a hard copy of the book, which comes with CD's instead of downloadable audio files, for $74.
For more thoughts on this product, visit The Old Schoolhouse Crew.