Monday, April 16, 2012

God’s Great Covenant (TOS Review)

God’s Great Covenant is a Bible curriculum published by Classical Academic Press for kids in 4th grade and up. We have been using the NT1 course for the past month.  This course teaches the four gospels through stories, worksheets, memory verses, devotional guides, and quizzes.
Prior to the actual lessons is a quite lengthy introductory section that teaches the background to the New Testament with historical, political, and geographical information. It also gives a chronology of Jesus’ life and teaches about the Jewish religious practices of the day. I was impatient to get to the “real” course, since the introduction took us about a week to read through, but it included excellent information that even fit in with some of what we have recently covered while studying ancient history.
The teacher’s book includes the entire student text with answer keys as well as a plethora of explanatory notes that flesh out the topics further. Actually, there were more notes than student text. Frankly it seemed like too much information, reminding me of the notes in a study Bible. They might be useful for a parent who wanted to dig much deeper into the topic, but seemed overwhelming to me.  I was surprised to find no teaching instructions or scheduling suggestions in the teacher’s book.
The audio recordings are helpful if you want to hear the stories read aloud instead of reading them to your children.
This is a very comprehensive course. The first chapter includes a detailed comparison of the four Gospels. It also discusses the genealogy of Jesus, Jesus as a fulfillment of prophecy and Jesus as both man and God—all in 4 pages! The second chapter eases up a bit, covering the angelic messages to Mary, Joseph, and Zechariah, and some of the names of Jesus.  The large print makes it appear child-friendly, but we found the amount of information and the pace much too fast for my sixth-grader. She listened to the recording and read the chapter several times before she could answer the review questions. Attempts to discuss the material and answer the questions together resulted in tears. I didn’t begin to draw from the extra information in the teacher’s guide because the student book itself was too much.
If your student is looking for a comprehensive Bible course that pulls together Old and New Testaments and fosters a deep understanding of the scriptures, the time, place, and culture in which the events occurred, God’s Great Covenant might appeal to you. We found that it was just too much for us at this point. I would suggest that it is a better fit for 7th grade and up with children who already have a good working knowledge of the Gospels than for the suggested age of 4th grade.

( 5-2-12) As we have continued to use God's Great Covenant, we are enjoying it more and more. From the second lesson forward, the lessons are not quite as intensive and my daughter is now thoroughly enjoying the lessons and learning a lot!
To read more reviews of God’s Great Covenant, please visit the TOS Crew Blog.
4/5 stars
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a book set and audio download from Classical Academic Press in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.

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