Friday, November 13, 2015

TOS Review: Grapevine Studies

Grapevine Studies Review

Alyssa and I have been reviewing the Old Testament 1: Level 2 Creation to Jacob study from Grapevine Studies written by author, Dianna Wiebe. Can I just say . . . we are having a blast! We received the Level 2 physical copy of this chronological homeschool Bible curricula, which is suitable for children ages 8-10 years old. It covers major events and people from the book of Genesis.
Grapevine Studies Review
Ages and Levels Chart

Grapevine Studies offers a variety of Bible study curricula options for children beginning as young as age 3 and up. You can read about their statement of faith and information on their website. Grapevine Studies teaches the facts about the characters and events. The Teacher-Directed Doctrine approach utilized allows the parent or educator to choose what Bible version to use and what doctrine concepts to expand on.

We received the teacher and the student book. The Old Testament 1 Study contains a total of 12 weekly lessons or 45 daily lessons. The "Stick Figure Drawing Through the Bible" method was a hit with my daughter! If you have children who love to draw or doodle, then this curriculum may be a perfect fit. Alyssa loves art and drawing which is one of the reasons why I was hoping to review this product. Different learning modalities are addressed using a Hear-See-Draw teaching method. My daughter heard the Bible passages, then she saw me draw figures that correlate to the event or people, and finally it's her turn to draw.

The Student Book (orange cover) contains 64 black and white pages beginning with a timeline overview. Timeline reviews begin each lesson. The lesson pages each contain four square boxes for drawings. There is a lesson review on the second lesson page which consists of approximately 7-9 discussion questions. My daughter would also attempt to memorize 1-3 memory verses for each lesson. A student drawing page follows the core lesson pages. On this page, Alyssa was asked to draw her favorite part of the lesson. Space is provided for memory verses to be written and recitation prompts are also given. Additional level 2 memory work is added to this page. So far, Alyssa learned the number of Bible books for both the Old and New Testament. She also learned the Books of Law and found out that the Bible was originally written in Hebrew.
Grapevine Studies Review

The Teacher Book has the same format and pages as the student book. It contains approximately 100 black and white pages with sample model drawings to help the educator explain and teach the lesson material. The Level 2 Teacher Manual (black cover) addresses Level 1 and 2 content. The answer keys are provided for review questions. I really appreciate that the teacher notes are highlighted in green. I know exactly what I need to teach and how to teach it!

Topics Covered

  • Creation
  • Adam and Eve
  • The Fall of Adam and Eve
  • Noah and the Flood
  • The Tower of Babel
  • Job
  • Abraham
  • Issac
  • Jacob

Please see the FAQ section for pertinent information including ideas about the use of colors. You can also check out the scope and sequence while you're there.

Other Materials Needed
  • Bible
  • Colored Pencils (8 Colors)
  • Zondervan's Compact Bible Dictionary (highly recommended)
  • Expo or Dry Erase Markers (8 Colors)
  • Whiteboard
  • Storage or Shoe Box to Have Supplies in One Central Location
  • Index Card Box (Optional)
  • Index Cards (Optional)
How We Used Our Grapevine Study
We used Grapevine Studies as a mother-daughter Bible study. I placed the pre-printed 3-hole punched pages of the complete study in a 3-ring binder and was READY to go! Very little teacher prep was required. The teacher pages were at the front of my binder and the student pages were towards the back of the binder. Each lesson day I would remove a page for Alyssa to complete. The front and back covers were thicker and had a glossy appearance. Alyssa used her Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils for the student drawings.

We spent 20-45 minutes each day working through the Grapevine Bible study. The company suggests that you teach the curricula within 45-50 minutes especially if you are covering lessons on a weekly basis. We reviewed the content for approximately 5 minutes. Alyssa and I used Grapevine 4 times per week covering one complete lesson a week. We took Wednesdays off, but she continued to review her index card verses and fact cards. Core lesson days were Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A Peek at Our Week
Day 1 (Monday): Timeline Overview or Timeline Review
The study began with a timeline overview giving Alyssa the "big picture" of what will be covered during the course of the study. I think this is a great way to capture the child's attention and prepare them for what's to come. We review the previous week's lesson and memory work every Monday. There was space at the bottom of the page to write out verses. Additional memory work was given and written on an index card. She really liked how they challenged her to remember the lesson titles and would often start drawing before I did.
Timeline Review

Day 2 (Tuesday): Storyboard Lesson Page 1
On this day, we focus on reading scripture and "stick figuring" using symbols, colors, charts, words, and figures to illustrate the Biblical truths and concepts. This has proven to be an effective method for long-term retention. Alyssa located the Bible verses. I read aloud the indicated scripture Bible passages from a student Bible. We discussed and summarized the content verbally. Then, I drew the stick figures on the whiteboard and reviewed the lesson. I always read the Bible passage prior to "stick figuring" on the whiteboard. Alyssa draws what I draw. She doesn't usually add in her own details. I will reiterate the content or begin reading the scripture for the next box.

Day 3 (Thursday): Storyboard Lesson Page 2
This is the second main teaching day. The same process is used as above except this lesson contains 7-9 questions we verbally discuss. They would make great journaling questions. We may use a spiral notebook for answering questions with our next unit.
Student Pages 1 and 2

Day 4 (Friday): Student Drawing Page/Character and Event Cards/Memory Work
Alyssa created character and event cards using 3"x5" index cards. She wrote the verse reference on the front of the card and the scripture verse on the back. She used my student Bible to locate and copy the verses. She enjoys choosing her "favorite part" of the lesson to draw. It really gives the parent a better understanding of what the child absorbed from the lesson.

The Level 2 curricula provides you with a list of Biblical words to define that will aid comprehension. We attempted to look up words in two different books without success. I suggest that you buy the Bible Dictionary that Grapevine Studies recommend so you'll have better luck. We verbally defined words using several different online Bible dictionaries.

Lesson 7, which is a lesson review, contains 47 Section Review comprehension questions based on the topics covered up to that point. The questions do an outstanding job of reviewing and summarizing key concepts and ideas presented. Lesson 12 is a Final Review which consists of 79 comprehension questions and 4 memory work recitations. The entire study ends with a complete timeline overview. I can't wait to see if Alyssa will be able to draw the entire Old Testament 1 timeline without any assistance.
Teacher Notes - Right-Side

What I Like
  • Flexibility
  • Chronologically Sequenced Lessons
  • Interactive
  • Easy-to-Follow and Understand
  • Stick Figuring Method Makes Teaching the Bible Easy
  • Recitation and Memorization Aspect
  • Repetition of Format
  • Review of Content
  • Integrates Art
  • No Prior Knowledge - Anyone Can Teach Using This Curriculum
  • Lessons Vary Weekly Which Maintains Interest and Attention
  • Familiarization with Bible
  • Colorful, Fun, and Engaging Lessons
  • Multi-Sensory (read-hear, See-draw, draw-do)
  • Contextualized - Learning Straight from the Bible
  • Multi-Level - More Than One Grade or Age Can Work On the Same Study
  • Parent or Teacher Involvement
  • Easily Adaptable if Desired
  • I love that the company took the time to personalize our package with a little welcome note. My daughter cut this drawing out and saved it as a souvenir. It definitely added a personal touch and meant a lot to us!

Vendor Suggestions

  • More Writing Space - Alyssa had enough space to draw, but Level 2 needed more space for written responses and verses. The company may want to add more extra lines for younger children who still write fairly big using this particular level.

I HIGHLY recommend Grapevine Studies for all Christian home educators with right-brained learners looking for an easy-to-teach topical or multi-level study. If you have children who like to draw or doodle then they may enjoy using this study. Classic home educators may appreciate the "Stick Figuring Through the Bible" teaching method.

Alyssa is definitely understanding the Bible better and retaining more information using this study and method. We've had successful results. It is an effective way to learn about God and the Bible. My daughter seemed to be engrossed in the study.

My daughter is already asking me which study we will complete next, because she liked it so much. I plan on using the Birth of Jesus study in December. I would love to purchase the Old Testament Bible Study Part 2 Level 2 sometime in the near future.

Click on the following link to find Information about the Levels available.
Grapevine Studies Review

The Old Testament Grapevine Study is reasonably priced from $10-$37.50 depending on what you decide to purchase during checkout.

The study is available in two different formats: E-book or a physical copy of the pages. Visit the following link to view SAMPLES. Here's a chart that will help you decide where to start.
Grapevine Studies Review

Note: All prices vary and are subject to change without notice.

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Visit the Schoolhouse Teachers Review Crew Blog for additional reviews about Grapevine Studies.
Grapevine Studies Review

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