Christian Studies (Gr. 3-6)
This three-year journey through the Bible is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in Salvation History. Memoria Press cites the Golden Children's Bible as its preferred Bible for the course, crediting its readability, accurateness, and the fantastic illustrations, which serve as a valuable teaching tool in these guides. Although you may certainly use other versions and adapt the program to fit, the lessons were designed to correlate with the version noted; thus vocabulary words, the phrasing of discussion questions, and memorization passages are all based on the above-mentioned Bible.
Each grade level is intended to take one year and cover roughly a third of the Golden Children's Bible. This program does not try to cover every chapter of the Bible; rather, it focuses students on the fundamental stories and people that truly reveal God's story and plan for mankind. This approach enables students (and their teachers!) to really dig in to each lesson and gain valuable insights which will strengthen their faith in addition to their understanding of the Bible. Each book holds 30 lessons, each of which is spread out over a week to offer a certain level of detail, yet also ensure that students fully digest the biblical lessons and retain the knowledge and Scripture.
On the first day students read the selected chapters from the Bible. Generally, this includes 2-6 chapters which may be consecutive or drawn from different books to complete the topic. The second day students learn important terms from the reading such as people, places, phrases or things. Teachers are encouraged to discuss each of these terms in depth with students, listing facts known about the character or finding the places on an ancient or modern map, in order to help students remember each article. Students concentrate on committing the memory verse to memory on the third day, as well as reviewing the verses they have learned previously, storing them in their brain for life. Comprehension questions from the passage are given on the fourth day, prompting the student to dwell on the passage and discover the significance of each story. After every five lessons, a review lesson offers students a chance to show what they have learned in the preceding weeks. Review activities reinforce the terms and people, memory verses, geography, and biblical events studied previously and help prepare students for the unit tests available in the teacher book (additional review activities are located in the teacher's manual). Appendices at the end of the student books include drills, mapping, and timeline activities from each individual review lesson into one all-inclusive review.
The teacher's manuals are considered necessary in using the program, as they contain valuable features (including many of the activities) beyond the answers to student exercises. The front gives an overview of the lesson components as well as an outline for teaching each part. For each lesson, the corresponding teacher pages hold copies of the student pages, minimized to fit on part of the page and with the answers written in. In the large margins surrounding these copies, teaching tips provide a background and summary of the passage read, definitions for important vocabulary or expressions from the Scripture, pertinent geographical assignments, and references for other Scripture on the same topic or teaching notes to reinforce the lessons learned. The end-of-the-week activities, which were previously located in the student books have been moved to the teacher's manuals. These include geography and mapping, timeline exercises, discussion questions based on the illustrations, drawing suggestions, and memory verse review. The back of the teacher's manual contains answers to the appendices of the student books as well as unit tests for each group of five lessons.
Grade 3 focuses on the creation, the patriarchs and the exodus; students read Genesis, most of Exodus, and parts of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Grade 4 is also concentrated in the Old Testament, mainly in the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I & II Samuel, and I & II Kings, while students learn about the rise of Israel and the prophets. Grade 5 covers much of the New Testament as students study the main topics of Jesus' early years, the crucifixion, and the early church. Grade 6 offers students a chronological survey of the Bible. This book can be used as a review after Book III, or can be used as a stand-alone survey study. Either way, it will prepare your student for studying early church history in junior high or high school.