Thursday, February 21, 2013

Classical Academic Press - God's Great Covenant Old Testament Book 1

From the Classical Academic Press Website.  (Because they word it best!) 

Classical Academic Press is an educational publishing company located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Press is the product of years of brainstorming, conversations, thoughtful critiques and classroom application. Our mission is to produce and supply the finest classical curricula to the market today.

Our motto “Classical Subjects Creatively Taught”, describes the essence of all that we publish. We seek to produce classical curricula and media with a clear design and structure, incremental and systematic instruction, all with a touch of delight, creativity and flair.

One of the reasons my husband and I chose to homeschool was we wanted to make sure our children grew up knowing the Bible and developing a relationship with Christ.  It's not something we force, but we do make an effort to include Bible history, lessons and devotions in our school day.  We believe that God should be first and foremost in our lives.

Because of that, we try to choose curriculum that has Biblically sound values.  On one hand, you may think it is easy to choose a Bible curriculum.  But honestly, the job can be quite daunting.  I want something that my children can relate to so that they can understand it and absorb it rather than it be material to just memorize.

We received God's Great Covenant Old Testament (Book 1) Student Book and Teacher's Edition to use over the past month.  It is geared toward the middle grades (3-6) which was perfect for Jonathan who is in 5th grade

Within God's Great Covenant are 5 units and 32 chapters in the book.  I like how it is completed in almost a 36 week school period!  This is good for those of us (raises hand) who like to plan our weeks ahead of time and work in vacations.  Each chapter has 4 sections. The Memory Page, Story Time, Worksheets & finally the Quiz.

The Memory page is the first page you come to in your chapter.  It has the lesson scope, theme, memory verse, key facts, things to remember, who is God & read to me (where you read a related chapter of the Bible).  I had Jonathan copy this page down on day 1.  I think that writing something down helps you to retain it better and it has proven to be the case with him.  We also repeated the memory verse together several times the first day and also throughout the week.  I did make Jonathan read the assigned chapters in the read to me section on his own and come to me with any questions.

The Story page (well technically 2 pages) is something I actually read aloud to all the kids.  It is easy enough to understand and if they asked any questions, I would stop and answer.  I like to read aloud to the kids whenever I can and this provides a great opportunity.  Something else the story does is it ties in Jesus to the Old Testament.  It's not too often that you can actually see Jesus mentioned in the OT but regardless, He is there.  What a wonderful way to show your child that and I LOVE how CAP ties that aspect in to the lesson.

The Review Sheets & Quiz are pretty self explanatory.  However,I did have Jonathan re-read the memory and story before he did the review sheets.  For the quiz, I made sure he did the same things as with the review sheets and also reviewed those as well.  The quiz is a great way to see how much your student has retained.  Jonathan did fairly well with his review sheets and quizzes.

Something else I received was the Audio files of the stories.  This is a great addition if you choose to not read them aloud.  They are read by Christopher Perrin.  When Jonathan was told to review the story for his sheets and quiz, I would have him listen to these recordings.  I also put them on the iPod used at bedtime so all the boys (who share a room) could listen to them at night.  :)

I really like how God's Great Covenant is put together.  It doesn't overwhelm the child and if you want to, you can add things to make it more challenging or make it a little bit easier for younger children.  My boys are 10, 5 and 3 and I was able to use it with all of them easily.  For the younger two, I asked questions after we read the story which acted like our quiz/review.

Jonathan really seemed to enjoy the story part and he is asking to read more of his Bible now.  I can definitely see the impact it has had on him in this short period of time.  But something else that has been slightly unexpected is what I am learning as well.  I am enjoying going through this with Jonathan and I am already planning on purchasing the 2nd book for next year. 

We did this with our Bible History class so to separate out the time for GGC would be about 20-30 minutes.  It can definitely be lengthened or shortened depending on the student.  We did this as one of the first things in our morning.  It really helps to set the tone for the day when we focus first on God's Word.

If you would like to take a peek at the God's Great Covenant Old Testament (Book 1) feel free to look at the links below.

Curriculum Cost:
God's Great Covenant OT 1 - $22.95
Teachers Edition - $24.95 (this includes the entire student text with answer key and additional points that may prove helpful in teaching)
Audio Files - $9.95 (these are great to burn on CD or put on your MP3 Player)


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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