When putting together my education plan for the school year, a Bible study has always been included. As usual, for many years, it always consisted of us just reading through the Bible. Certainly, that is sufficient.
As my children have grown older, shared Bible time has become more of a challenge with older children who would want to dig deeper and a younger child who is still just grasping a good understanding of everything. Bible Study Guide For All Ages is a wonderful Bible study that brings everyone together for a collective experience as the family walks through the Bible.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages was created in the late 1970s by Mary Baker, a mother of four, who filled a need after she was unable to find a Bible curriculum that would help her children understand the Bible and learn the lessons that were taught. Baker completed the first teacher’s guide in 1998. Over the years, Bible Study Guide curriculum has been developed and improved with the help of several family members that include Baker’s oldest son, Brian, who is a minister, daughter-in-law Julie Baker, an educator and Lorie Jones, who is also an educator.
One of the special features about Bible Study Guide is that families are able to walk through and study the Bible together using the curriculum regardless of the age of participants. Each level (ages 3 to kindergarten; first to second grades; third to fourth grades; fifth to sixth grades; teens; adults; and families) caters to the competency level of the student in that age/grade level. The curriculum is also widely used in churches for group work (ex: Sunday school) and other gatherings. If you have a group of teens, this would be a great way for them to come together discuss the Bible and learn more about God’s word.
We had the opportunity to review the Advanced Level, which is geared towards children in the fifth and sixth grades.
The pieces of the Advanced Level that we received to review are the Student Pages for Lesson 1-26, Bible Book Summary Cards, Unlabeled Wall Map & Time Line and the Label Book for the Wall Map. You may see everything that comes with the Advanced Level.
The lessons are well laid out as far as progressing through the material. This is a picture of the Advanced (on the top) and Intermediate (on the bottom of pages we also received). You can see the difference in presentation of the material for the two levels. The order of how the material is presented is important. The material covers both the Old and New Testament to give students a chance to meet Jesus, who does not appear in the Bible until the New Testament, at the beginning of the study. This also keeps the material fresh for both the student and teacher, so that they are not spending an unending amount of time in one period of the Bible.
Any version of the Bible may be used with Bible Study Guide, which makes its appealing to all. The company is adamant about presenting the “Bible and the Bible alone.” Stick to the truth!
Canyon was the one who worked through this curriculum. Although the program is one that may be completed with the family, we did it alone (or with Mom). I may consider purchasing the older pages for my older two children, but I enjoyed the Bible time with him.
The schedule we used is the following:
Before starting every day, we prayed together.
Day One – I introduced the lesson and read the Bible passage, completed sections 1-2 (or 3) of the lesson.
Day Two – We reviewed the Bible passages and completed sections 3 (or 4 ) – 5.
Day Three through Day Four – Continued the same pattern.
IT IS REALLY BIG!
I really love the Unlabeled Wall Maps and Time Line, but must admit I was surprised when I saw how large they unfold. I really thought they were smaller. I get that many people who use this curriculum are probably in large settings like at a church or other place with many children. The timeline sheets are large enough for everyone to see at great distances, but for people like me, a homeschool mom with one child and book shelves on every wall, I just don’t have the space. They need to consider that many homeschoolers also have timelines for other subjects on their walls (ex: history). It would be great if Bible Study Guide For All Ages would make a set of smaller timeline maps, so we can easily use the resource.
I will say that I really enjoyed working through the curriculum. I was happy to not get bored reading through the material and completing the lessons.
I did note a few things that I think would enhance the presentation of the material. I do wish the material was structurally laid out differently. I did not prefer the legal-sized like pages that the student pages are on. I am just a standard book size type of girl. They were also loosely bound in the book, which is probably so that they may be easily removed for student use. That would have been fine if the pages were a standard size, where I would be able file them in a binder or folder without having to fold them to fit. I also would have preferred that the student book be bound or on a spiral binding. These concerns are not worthy of not selecting the curriculum, but it is something to consider.
Overall, we loved Bible Study Guide For All Ages and will continue using it through lesson 26, which is the copy we received. You may see more how Bible Study Guide brings everything together for the entire family.