I have a confession.
I am a HUGE fan of homeschool mama and homeschool mama encourager Heidi St. John and I devour anything and everything I can from her. So when I got the opportunity to review her Firmly Planted, The Gospels Part 1 (Stories from the Life of Jesus) in which I received both The Family Study Guide and The Student Workbook from her Real Life Press company I was beyond thrilled! I looked at this last year and knew that at some point I would love to have this as a family Bible study. Finances didn’t allow for me to get it at the time, so…I think I jumped up and down when I found out we were going to be blessed to review her products.
This Firmly Planted book is a 10 week series of reading, studying, fun worksheets, devotionals, and more! We are using the downloadable PDF version, I printed both of the eBooks so we could use it. The copyright is generous for families and I am allowed to make extra copies of the workbook pages so each of the kids can have their own page to use. This is extremely wonderful because there are coloring pages, crossword puzzles, word searches, journal pages, copyworb, and more. I am digging this product for real!
The Family Study Guide
This is the teacher’s manual so to speak. This book has the weekly lesson plans all laid out in a very comprehensive way. The overview at the beginning of the book is wonderful, here is the breakdown of how each lesson is structured:
- The Seed – this is the key object or the big idea that is being pointed to for the weekly lesson
- Planting the Seed – this is the Bible verse memorization for the week for youngsters 4-11
- Additional Planting the Seed – this is the harder version of Bible verse memorization for kiddos older than 11
- Watering the Seed – this is the 5-6 minute story that will help the lesson stick
- Daily Study – a daily devotional for the family
- Digging Deeper – is best suited for older students and adults as this will allow for deeper discussion
- Taste the Fruit – this offers everyone the chance to apply the message being taught for the day
Each of the 10 weeks is broken down into 4 daily lessons. This is what a typical week looks like. The daily lesson is started with Bible verse section to be read and then is goes on to discuss and ask questions about those Bible verses. Then you begin to “dig deeper” with harder questions that are filled with historical references, referencing Bible verses, vocabulary words and definitions. Now you get to “taste the fruit” and you are offered up questions that allow you to think more on the how’s and why’s of the lesson.
The Student Workbook
As with most products that children use, I have discovered that if they have busy work while I read out loud, things run more smoothly. This Student Workbook is the brilliant addition to the Family Study Guide. There are so many different types of worksheets in the book that I can hand out pages while I read to the children. Here are some of the many activities that we have done so far:
- memory and comprehension (questions and answers)
- nature study
- in depth handwriting on a certain idea
- easy word search for the younger children
- advanced word search for the older children
- exploring the Bible
- fill in the blank Bible verses
- draw your own pictures
- find verses in the Bible
- map work
- very in depth review for the older children
- coloring pages
- crossword puzzles
The wonderfully refreshing thing I have found with this Bible curriculum is that coloring pages are not just for the littlest members of the family. It tickles me that my oldest (he is 14) decided that he wanted to color his own picture of the Angel Gabriel. Love his heart for the good things!
This is a relatively easy to follow Bible course. It only takes 30 minutes a day for us to complete the daily lesson. And most of that time is due to the children completing their worksheets. The reading, digging deeper, and taste the fruit sections only takes 15 minutes tops. It may take longer for some families, due to the ages of the children, but mine kiddos are 7, 10, and 14.
Our Bible sessions look a little like this:
- I gather everyone to the table
- I pass out some of the corresponding worksheets
- I begin reading, then asking the deeper questions
- We all discuss what I have read as they finish up their worksheets
This program is everything I hoped that it would be. Easy to understand, laid out well with lots of instructions in how to use it with my family, and enough worksheets so that everyone can participate. I like that!
The kids all enjoy doing the worksheets and (again) since the copyright is so generous, there is always enough to go around…especially if one of the kids surprises you and asks if they can color too.
Check out the other products that were reviewed by the crew from Real Life Press:
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I hope you enjoyed this review and I look forward to what I get to share with you next time!
In His Grace.