GrapeVine Studies is a company that has created a simple way to study the Bible. Their tagline is “Stick Figure Through The Bible.” That kind of sums it all up. Their curriculums have you reading the Bible and drawing simple representations to summarize each section of scripture. It is designed to make planning simpler, to help students engage, and to help families grow disciples.
GrapeVine has something for every level of student, allowing your family to all learn together, whether you have a youngster who can just copy stick figures or you have an amazing artist. We have been reviewing Old Testament 1: Level 1 Creation to Jacob, Old Testament 1: Level 2 Creation to Jacob, and Old Testament 1: Level 4 Creation to Jacob . This is an Old Testament Overview series.
In each lesson, we would do a small timeline review for the section of scripture we were going to work in. Then we would read the scripture through. We would read the few verses that each box related to and the girls would them draw a scene to go with those verses. There was an example in the Teacher’s Guide and I always drew that for the girls but they were free to draw their own representation. After all the verses had been covered, there were some discussion questions. We did these out loud but both of the older girls wrote their answers. E would then go back and do the Quest page for that lesson and L would do the summary box of her favorite part of the lesson.
The pacing in the teacher’s guide suggests a four-day schedule per lesson. For our family and our familiarity with this material, this was terribly slow. We ended up doing one lesson per day and doing a couple of lessons per week. If your family is unfamiliar with this material, the four day schedule might work. If it is a review but you are not really familiar with it, you might turn it into a two day schedule. It is quite easy to adjust the schedule on this program.
J started out with the Level 1 book. It worked okay for her but really, the boxes were too big and so she was not doing her best work. Since we already had Level 2, we moved her up to it. There appears to be absolutely no difference between these two levels except for box sizes and an added review page in Level 2. The smaller box sizes worked much better for her. Also, it meant I was having to print half as many pages since the boxes were half the size. Win-win!
L worked on Level 2. It contains the same information as every other level as far as I can tell. It doesn’t have the Quest Page of Level 4 and it has smaller boxes than Level 1. It also has a page to draw the favorite part of the lesson.
E has been using Level 4, which is the exact same scripture as Level 1. They answer the exact same questions for the verses and do the same memory work, though there might be an extra memory verse added once in a while. This level does not do the favorite part of the lesson but it does have what is called a Quest Page.
The Quest Pages have the student learning to use Biblical resources that will be of great benefit to their personal Bible study through the years. They learn to use a Bible dictionary, a Bible Concordance, and a topical Bible. We had easy access to all of these printed materials, though they are family books and so have been passed down through the years. The copyright dates on them are early 1900’s. I didn’t think it should make any difference but we have found that many of the items asked for on the Quest Pages are difficult to find or are non-existent in our resources. Even when using the recommended resource for the topical Bible (Nave’s), we have had difficulty. The teacher’s guide gives answers and where to find them in their recommended resource but those don’t line up for us. This was pretty frustrating for both E and me.
I found the Teacher’s Guide to be helpful. They give good examples of how to draw for each box and that is helpful if the student can’t think of anything. The color coding is neat and combining two different levels into a single guide saves clicking when working with several levels. I would love to see the Table of Contents in the guide be clickable. It would also be helpful to have notes in the guide as to what student pages the information relates to, as there were several items in the guides that I could not find on any of the student pages so we ended up skipping those parts. Overall, I thought the guides were a good resource and helpful.
This is a neat idea and I think it would be a good study for a family that is not already fairly well versed in the basics of the Bible. It is a good idea for students who struggle with other Bible curriculums that require a lot of writing. This does not. It is an overview and the work is very factual.
The girls really did enjoy the stick figuring and the simplicity of the drawings. They like memory work so they enjoyed that part of it. The Quest Pages were a neat idea and it was good to get E started on learning some of the Bible study resources that are out there and available for her. Overall, this is a neat curriculum that will certainly be useful for many families out there.
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