I am always looking for ways to actively engage my boys in Bible Study. We read the word together, but finding creative ways to get them to dig deeper is challenging. For this review, we got to check out the New Testament Overview Part I Level 4 from Grapevine Studies. Aimed at teens, it is a chronological study that focuses on the time period from the birth of John through Jesus’ baptism and His temptation.
Grapevine’s studies incorporate fun stick figure drawings that any student can do. They take about 12 weeks to complete, if you do them every day. The teacher’s book includes a convenient 4-day schedule, which gives you one flex day, but you can certainly tweak it if you want to. Resources you need (which we already had on hand) include a dry erase board and markers, colored pencils, and a Bible dictionary and Atlas. The cool thing about the teacher’s guide is that it includes a full script that you can use for teaching if you wish. I think this is especially helpful for new homeschoolers who might need the extra support until they feel comfortable creating their own lessons. You can also use the script as a guide and teach the lesson in more of a discussion format.
After reading the scripture, students draw a stick figure their version of it onto the lesson pages. This is helpful because it allows them to interpret the lesson on their own. You can also draw your own interpretation on the whiteboard, but I just allowed my son to do it himself, but with younger children, or if you are working with multiple levels, I think it would be helpful if you drew some stick figures yourself to get them started.
Lessons also include review questions that I mainly used for discussion. You don’t have to follow these exactly, but I like to use them as starting points. For example, if a certain question leads to other questions, or encourages your kids to think about a certain point of the Bible passage, then go ahead and follow that tangent. Perhaps the Lord is leading you on that path for a reason, so follow it.
The final question in each lesson involves some type of application, and this was the part I felt was the most important. This is where the rubber meets the road in Bible study. We can read and discuss all we want to with our children, but if we don’t get them to understand how to actually apply it to their lives then we aren’t really getting that far. Some application questions ask students to take passages and apply them to life today, while others ask them to connect one passage of the Bible to another. I feel like, at this level, the Grapevine study can lead to some very deep discussions.
The study also includes timeline activities, regular reviews, and final reviews. On the whole, I feel like the studies from Grapevine encourage students to look at the Bible in a different way. For my son in particular, the stick figure drawing technique was engaging and an effective way to get him really involved in thinking deeply about God’s Word. The Level 4 New Testament Overview is available in a variety of forms from eBook to PDF. Grapevine also offers multi-level studies for families who want to teach students of different levels at the same time.
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