Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grapevine Studies ~TOS Crew Review!

"Stick Figuring Through The Bible"...peek your interest? Did, mine! I recently had the delightful opportunity to review Grapevine Studies Bible curriculum and I like it...a lot!! Grapevine Studies is an easy-to-teach, FUN Bible curriculum that incorporates visualnesthetic learning into Bible study by 'drawing' your way through the Bible. They offer multiple studies, ages 5-adult, that cover the Old Testament, New Testament, Biblical Feasts & Holy Days and Bible geography. I chose to review the Old Testament Overview (Level 2) and the Catechism course: Old Testament Basics. All of the studies are available in ebook or hardcopy form. I received both the teacher books and the student books in the 'ebook' format...I could not wait to get started! :)

The Old Testament Overview has 50 lessons that cover characters and events from Adam to Nehemiah. Each lesson takes a week to complete [4-day schedule], so this will last approximately 175 days. Each lesson begins with a review of the Old Testament timeline [taught in Lesson 1] and then 'dives in' to that week's topic. For example...Lesson 2 covers Creation. Each lesson has four parts: Bible Reading, Drawing, Lesson Review & Memory Verse. After reading the Scripture from your Bible [the translation you desire], you 'stick figure' the Scripture on a white board and your children draw in their student books [they can copy what you draw or be as creative as they want]. My VERY creative 10-year old Kate takes a lot of time to draw her figures. My 7-year old Cason copied my drawings at first, but now is becoming more creative as well. Each lesson ends with a set of questions to check comprehension and review the learned material. One of my favorite questions that the author includes in each review is “What do we learn about God from these verses?"...the answers are priceless.

I'm using the Old Testament Basics [Catechism] in conjunction with the Old Testament Overview. The two studies compliment one another and I like that it adds a little extra review to our study. The teacher book includes 225 questions, Bible verses and answers. It is flexible and easy! You ask a question, read Scripture, and 'stick figure' the answer. We are doing one lesson a week. All questions deal with biblical facts (not doctrinal issues) and compliments any of the studies.

In graduate school, I learned quite a bit about 'visual learning'. The statistics are fascinating... written information is 70% more memorable when combined with visuals and actions. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than words alone. Retention & comprehension soar when information is learned both verbally and visually! As a public school teacher, I had my students 'draw' their vocabulary words for better was both fun & effective. Grapevine Studies values this approach as well...
"Grapevine Studies believes that students who are taught using reading, hearing, and drawing will have a higher retention rate than those who are just lectured"
The proof is in the pudding...I'm seeing very positive results in my kids! They LOVE the lessons [beg to do more each day] and they are retaining the information! About a week after we studied 'God' [OT Basics, Lesson 2], we were eating dinner and my 7-year-old boy held up his triangle shaped tortilla chip and announced, "Look! It's the 'God sign'!" My husband gave me an odd look... "The 'God sign' is a triangle shape", I explained, joyfully. :) This is a definite 'keeper' in my curriculum line-up. You will LOVE it, too!

For my readers, Grapevine Studies is kindly offering a 30% discount for a limited time on ALL of their studies! Use this code: crews when ordering. Good until September 15th!

The author of the studies, Dianna Wiebe (also a homeschool mom!) was very helpful in assisting me with deciding which studies would work with the ages of my children and she would be happy to help you as well...just send her an email or call.

If you want to read reviews on one of the other studies offered...Go here!


No comments: