Friday, August 2, 2013

Teaching the Bible at home - no seminary degree required!

Week 1 of the 2013-2014 school year has come and gone, and we are off to a great start.  I'm very pleased with our curriculum choices so far (most are a continuation of what we used last year), but I just ordered some additional things for my Kindergartner.  I think she'll enjoy some extra challenge.  :)

If you have read this blog or followed me on Facebook for any length of time, you've probably heard about one of my favorite things: Grapevine Bible Studies.  This is our second year to use them, and I'm still very happy.  In the picture above, you see yesterday's lesson on Jesus Calming the Storm (from the Beginner Level of New Testament Overview).  The children each have a page on which they draw the same pictures (using colored pencils, crayons, or just pencil).

Here are some of the things I love about it:
1.  Simple to prepare, and simple to teach.  I didn't make up those drawings.  They are shown in the teacher's book along with instructions on how to teach the lesson.
2.  Scripture references for everything.  With the exception of stories that cover a really long passage, I start by reading straight out of the Bible.  Then I can explain and answer questions.
3.  It's strictly Bible - no doctrinal "issues."  I think this would be equally suitable for Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Church of Christ, etc.  You, the parent, can add in additional information and context as you see fit.
4.  It's fast.  Although I usually try to get some sort of discussion going, the lesson could be taught in about 10 minutes in a pinch.
5.  Works well for multiple ages.  As I mentioned, we are finishing up the Beginner Level.  (We did the Old Testament Overview last year and part of the New Testament Overview.)  After that, we're going to start on the Level 1 Old Testament Overview (for my 2nd grader) along with the Traceables version of the same (for the Kindergartner).  I anticipate that we will spread those lessons over two days each.

Obviously, we use these as part of our homeschool day, but they could be used at home by any parent as a devotional time.  I believe they would also work well in a classroom setting (at church or a private school).  There is also a Spanish version available! While we may switch to something else when the children are several years older, I love that they are getting a strong background in basic Bible passages.

The New Testament studies have recently gone through a revision, and there's a 30% off sale on all of the NT books and e-books.  (I recommend the e-books if you have more than one child.  You can choose a family license or a classroom license.  Then you can print the pages as needed.)

Additionally, I have a special code for my blog readers!  Use the code AUGBLOG to get 20% off of any item not already on sale.  Still not convinced?  You can check out a free e-lesson here.


Note: I have not been compensated for my review of Grapevine Studies, but this post does contain affiliate links.  If you're going to buy anyway, I'd be delighted if you entered through this blog.  :)  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Real Men Drive Kias

Today is my 15th anniversary.  It's hard to believe it's been that long, and yet, I can still remember each year distinctly - the newlywed years, the student years, the residency and test-taking years, the baby-birth years, and now the homeschooling years.  Each era has had lots of ups and plenty of downs.

I could spend many blog posts writing all about my husband, but I can sum it up in one sentence: he drives a Kia.

We sold one of our two cars before moving from Washington to Florida, and we bought the Kia from my father-in-law while passing through Alabama.  It wasn't the car that we had intended to buy, but after discovering some mechanical problems with the planned purchase, it was the one we ended up with.  It was supposed to be mine after I learned to drive a stick, but one brief lesson involving lots of yelling (by me) made it quickly apparent that wasn't going to happen.  So I kept driving my paid-for-and-dearly-loved Mustang, and David started driving the Kia.

Then after the Mustang was totaled when I (pregnant with Nathan) got rear-ended, I drove an Altima, and he drove the Kia.

Now I drive an Explorer, and he still drives the Kia.  Ten years later.

He hates that car.  Loathes it, actually.  And I don't blame him a bit.  It's beat-up, makes strange sounds when it moves, and seems to be held together by some sort of invisible duct-tape.

But he keeps driving it.

Because his family is more important than a car.  Because he wants his wife and children to be in the safer vehicle.  Because he's not willing to put us in an unnecessary financial bind.  (All vehicles purchased since we've been married have been used and bought with cash.)  Because he loves me dearly.

Because David is the kind of man who puts others first.  Fiercely loyal.  A servant-leader.  A husband worthy of great respect.

He hates the sight of that thing.  I think it's beautiful.

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
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