Friday, January 14, 2011

The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John (Bible Course)

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The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John is an academic Bible course suggested for use with grades 7-12 and worthy of a high school credit.  Positive Action for Christ publishes materials for churches and Christian schools and there is a definite "Christian school" feel to this curriculum.

The course consists of seven units:

Unit 1- Background Information for a Study of the Life of Christ in the Gospel of John
Unit 2- Preparations for Christ's Ministry (John I)
Unit 3- Christ's Public Ministry Begins With Individuals (John 2-4). Unit 4- Christ's Public Ministry Reveals Who He Is (John 5-7) and Unit 5- Christ's Public Ministry Prompts Mixed Reactions (John 8-12)
Unit 6- Christ's Private Ministry to His Disciples (John 12-17)
Unit 7- Christ's Passion (John 18-21)

The study is appealing right out of the box.  The Teacher's Manual is contained in a large 3-ring binder, while the student book is an oversized softcover.  The covers are quite attractive, although I wasn't as thrilled with the illustrations in the student manual.  The full color maps and photographs are stunning, but the Biblical illustrations were too old fashioned "Sunday school" for me (but then again, a Romanesque looking Jesus is a personal pet peeve).  Despite that, the overall look of the material drew me in, which is always important as a visual learner.

There are three suggested ways to use this curriculum, providing the user with a three day option, a four day option, and a five day option. I appreciate this flexibility.  There is a teacher's lesson included, as well as student work, Scripture memorization, quizzes and tests.  There is also a disc with transparencies, but we didn't find this necessary in a homeschool setting. There are Digging Deeper ideas which could be added to "beef" up the course if desired.

The Teacher's Manual states that "much of the material should be taught devotionally rather than merely factually".  I completely agree with this statement, as I believe we need to apply what we learn in our Bible studies, not merely fill in blanks and parrot back information.  The best studies teach us to think and grapple with tough questions. Unfortunately, this is where this study failed for me.  My kids enjoyed working through it as a family and loved looking up Scriptures and answering questions but I did not see the application or the thoughtfulness I want in a study of this nature. My problem was not necessarily with the content or theology of the study, but more with the tone.  There is just something in the tone of the study that makes me uncomfortable, but I can't quite put my finger on it.  And so I leave you with an unclear review, as I can't quite wrap my mind around if I like or dislike the product.

The Life of Christ Teacher's Manual is available for $41.95 and includes:

  • 35 lessons (one lesson per week)
  • Plans for 3, 4, or 5-day a week Bible classes
  • Full copy of student's manual with answers
  • Reproducible quizzes and unit tests that use a variety of testing techniques
  • Overhead transparency masters
  • 342 pages
The Life of Christ Student Manual is available for $17.95 and includes:

  • Content age-appropriate for middle school or high school
  • Illustrations and notes from the teacher's lesson
  • An introductory section with reading and homework to be completed in advance
  • Additional student research for each lesson
  • A Digging Deeper section with further ideas for expanding each lesson
  • A recommended reading list
  • Original artwork to introduce each lesson
  • Full-color pages with charts, maps, and photos
  • 8 x 10 inch size
  • 277 pages

*Disclosure: I received this product at no cost for review purposes.  A positive review was not required, only an honest one.  For more reviews on this product and others, see the TOS Crew site.*


3 comments:

Berry Patch said...

That's sort of how I felt about the younger version too. I think it was too "classroom" for me to figure out exactly how it could be implemented at home. Overall I think it was great, but just not a good fit for me personally. (Stopping by as part of the TOS Crew Blog walk.)

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