8/11/13

{Crew Review} Bible Study Guide for All Ages: Primary Level

We began investigating home schooling when my oldest child was 14 months old. When she was not quite 3, we were introduced to Bible Study Guide for All Ages (BSGFA).  We were far from ready for it but I filed it away as something I knew I wanted to use. We did use Bible Study Guide for All Ages Unit 1 and Unit 2 with all four girls (well mostly Supergirl just hung out with us) but I didn’t use any of the student pages.  The Primary Level didn’t even exist back then!

Knowing how much I loved BSGFA, and wanting to use it again with Supergirl, I was excited to use and review The Primary Level (with both student pages and teacher guide) along with the Bible Book Summary Cards and Children’s Songs CD.  

What is Bible Study Guide for All Ages?: 

This is a comprehensive Bible curriculum that allows you to teach all ages the same topic.  There are 4 units that each cover 104 lessons.  Lessons are numbered 1-416 which emphasizes, in my opinion, the idea that it is one complete comprehensive program even if it is sold in smaller bite size chunks. If you follow the suggested pace of 2 lessons per week, each unit will last one calendar year! Students cover some of the Old Testament and some of the New Testament each year.

How does BSGFA Work?:

The Lessons focus on a Bible person, Joseph, Daniel, Jesus, or Adam to name a few from Unit 1. (Visit the website to view the complete Order of Study). A Lesson is divided into several parts labeled A-F:

  • A ~ Review: This section contains a few questions that reviews material from previous lessons.  Some questions are true/false.  At the Primary Level some require matching, or labeling or have instructions such as “Draw a box around Jacob’s favorite son.”
  • B ~ Memory Work:  I think this is my favorite section! Also in this section is the Suggested Song. This is the section where your student (or if you’re like me) and you will memorize things such as the 12 sons of Jacob. The Teacher Book for Primary Level will also remind you which Bible Book Summary Card to review.  There are “drills” in this section such as a memory matching game. All the memory work songs and suggested Bible songs are available on the Children’s Song CD.

  • C ~ Things to Know: In this section you will teach definitions or explain background information. It’s ok if you don’t know because the Teacher Guide tells you!
  • D ~ Today’s Bible Text: This is the heart of the lesson.  You read (or if you have a student who can read reads) the text. The student page section D has  numbered boxes that correspond to parts of the text.  The Teachers Guide lists instructions for completing those activities which include things such as matching, underlining, coloring or even filling in letters. At the end of section D are review questions specific to that day’s reading.
  • E ~ Time Line or Map: At the Primary Level section E alternates between timeline work or map work.  The student pages contain the map or time line and the TG gives instruction for those and includes instructions for the optional Wall Time Line or Wall Map (these items were not reviewed by the crew).
  • F ~ Apply It! This is my least favorite section. This section takes one or two verses from the Bible text for the lesson and attempts to find a way to use it to apply a concept. I dislike this section because because it feels forced and unnatural. Some good principles are listed in this section but I would not have chosen those particular verses as supporting text.

There is also a Get Active! Section for each lesson.  These are listed after section C, however, some lessons state to save this section until after you’ve completed F Apply It!.

Using BSGFA:

As home schooling families we have the freedom to adapt any curriculum we use.  Bible Study Guide for All Ages is a versatile and flexible program that lends itself easily to adaption. I started out doing a lesson in one sitting with Supergirl but decided that we preferred to break up each lesson over two days.  This gave us the chance to do Bible most days of the week (I like doing Bible daily) and still complete two lessons a week. Of course some might choose to do a full lesson a day and still do Bible everyday.

My break down looked like this:

Day 1:  Sections A, B, C, and E
Day 2:  Repeat section B then do D and F along with the Get Active if I liked that activity.

By repeating Section B (Memory Work) Supergirl got to spend more time listening to the Children’s Song CD.

Many of the Get Active sections are geared for the classroom.  It is difficult to generate discussion with only one student so I often skipped the activity.  These would be great though in a co-op or Sunday School setting.

I only have one student currently using BSGFA.  Using the Primary Level Student Pages along with the Primary Teacher Guide is working well for us. If you have more than one student that you’d like to teach using BSGFA, I suggest checking out this page that outlines all the options for teaching multiple students.

My Thoughts:

I really appreciate that this curriculum does not overtly teach theology. It teaches Bible facts such as “how many brothers did Joseph have?”, “What are the two parts of the Bible?”,  or “Name the 4 types of New Testament books.” I also appreciate that I can use whatever Bible I want. As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I do have to do some tweaking such as order and number of Old Testament Books in the Bible. Since I use an Orthodox Study Bible, this is not a problem. I can use BSGFA as a teaching tool. One final thought, I do wish that both the Student Pages and the Teacher’s Guide had cardstock or cardboard covers. I just wish they were a little more sturdy.

The Details:

Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew could choose from several different levels. Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about the different Bible Study Guide for All Ages Levels.

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All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

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