Several years ago when Peanut was a preschooler, I used the Bible Study Guide For All Ages curriculum with my kids. We had the whole setup, including the wall maps and timeline. We loved it, and did it for a couple of years, but then I got pregnant and tired. Somewhere along the line, we took a break from it and until now, hadn’t gone back.
When the opportunity to review it came up, I knew I wanted to try it out with my younger two now that they’re older, and share it with y’all! It really is a wonderful curriculum. The company generously sent me:
- 1 Primary Teacher Guide (click here for a sample)
- 2 sets of Primary Student Pages for Peanut (7) and Monkey Boy (4) (click here for a sample)
- A Bible Book Summary Cards set
- A Children’s Songs CD
I already owned the Beginner Timeline, so we incorporated that into our lessons also. The Primary program, which is aimed at 1st and 2nd graders, is described as being appropriate for a range of reading abilities, from those who can barely read to those who are proficient readers. I decided to go with it since this is the level Peanut would need, and let Monkey Boy follow along as much as he could (the Beginner level would be ideal for him and I’ll be getting it very soon).Each lesson has 6 parts, labeled A through F, in both the Teacher Guide and the Student Pages.
- Section A: Review. This is a review of previous lessons, reinforcing important concepts from them. For example, in the lessons on Joseph, this section might ask students to circle the item that Jacob gave Joseph, match fathers to sons, or trace a certain word.
- Section B: Memory Work. This is more than just a verse to memorize. It covers important facts, like learning the two parts of the Bible (Old and New), the names of Jacob’s twelve sons, and important concepts about each book of the Bible. The Bible Book Summary Cards are often used here, as well as songs on the CD.
- Section C: Things to Know/Get Active. Here students learn cultural and historical background at an age appropriate level and unfamiliar terms are explained. For example, in the first lesson, the three promises God made to Abraham are taught (many descendants, the land of Canaan, that the world would be blessed through his family in Jesus). Another lessons explains what a cupbearer is, while another highlights the way Joseph’s family got water compared to how we do today. The Get Active portion consists of a tangible object lesson that relates to or illustrates the story. Many of these require 2 or more children and will need to be adapted in some cases.
- Section D: Today’s Bible Text. Now the actual Bible story is introduced. The student page for this section has visuals for each section of the story in boxes, almost comic-book style. Each box is numbered. The numbers correspond to the parts of the story in the teacher’s guide (the script for the story is also printed on the left side of the student page). The teacher reads each part of the story and tells the students to complete the corresponding task on their page (circling a certain item, coloring an object a certain color, etc.).
- Section E: Timeline & Map Work. A small reproduction of the wall timelines and maps is included in the student pages for them to label and color as instructed, and instructions are given in the teacher’s guide for those who own the full size ones also. The timeline helps students visualize when the events took place compared to Jesus’ life and our own time, and the map activities familiarize them with the places related to them.
- Section F: Apply It! The lesson wraps up with a practical example students can apply to a real-life situation that illustrates a principle from the story.
My little guys are loving this program as much as my older kids did, and so am I! I’m so glad we’ve gotten back to it! If you know me at all, you know that I think it’s absolutely crucial that our kids (and us too!) understand that the Bible is one big story of God’s plan of redemption, not a collection of unrelated stories that each teach us a truth about God or a moral or principle. Of course, they DO teach those, but if that’s all we’re getting out of them, we’re completely missing the big picture.
This is where the Bible Study Guide For All Ages (BSG for short) program excels. So much of what’s available out there only covers what it has in the last two sections of each lesson: a story, some map work, and an application. Move on to the next story, wash, rinse, repeat. Nothing ties it all together. BSG begins with the big picture and shows how each lesson’s events tie in to it, while still providing the practical application.
The variety of activities in every lesson makes sure that students of all learning styles will grasp the concepts, and keeps them engaged! Colorful illustrated visual aids, discussions, tangible object lessons, stories, coloring activities, and songs all imprint the lessons on hearts and minds from multiple angles.
The concepts introduced are impressive! I absolutely love the Bible Book Summary Cards for this especially. This is a set of 8.5 x 11 cards, one for each book of the Bible. The front of the card has a colorful illustration that offers a visual of the major events and themes of the book, while the back gives a short summary of them, along with questions to reinforce them.
I love the timeline too, and how it shows how everything in the Bible is tied to Christ’s coming.
The CD is something new that wasn’t available when we used BSG before. It has over 90 songs on it that help reinforce the concepts in each lesson. The songs are well-done and catchy, often set to familiar tunes, and we’re enjoying them, although they’re not essential to the program, especially for those on a tight budget.
Peanut is thriving with these lessons, and Monkey Boy is picking up more than I could have hoped for, although I think I’ll go ahead and get him the Beginner level pages soon. They’re both retaining concepts that I didn’t really grasp until I was an adult!
The lessons begin in Genesis with the story of Joseph. The first thirty lessons outline the major framework of Biblical history, examining the lives of Joseph, Daniel, and Jesus, then goes back to fill in the details (you can see the order of study here). There’s also a great detailed explanation on the website about why the lessons are in the order they’re in. There are 416 lessons in all, so at a pace of 2 lessons per week, that’s a full 4 years of study, covering the entire Bible in depth.
The lessons are sold in sets of 26 and are very affordable! Each set of Student Pages is $5.95, regardless of level. Corresponding Teacher’s Guides are $9.95 for the Primary level, $7.95 for other levels. The Bible Book Summary Cards are $24.95 and the Children’s Songs CD is $19.95. There are also starter packs available for the various levels that bundle student pages, teacher’s guides, and other resources for a discounted price.
The Bible Study Guide For All Ages is an impressive program! I love how comprehensive it is, how it ties everything into the One Story, and how it can be taught to multiple ages at once, all at their own level. Their website is full of sample pages and in depth information. I highly recommend checking it out and considering this program for your family!
Linked with Better Mom Mondays.