Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Grapevine Studies {Schoolhouse Review}

Sometimes when I review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I get the opportunity to review for a company I've used and enjoyed in the past.  Today I'm sharing another review for Grapevine Studies.  Over the last few weeks, we've been reviewing The Resurrection: Multi-Level.  I also received the Traceable version that corresponds to it, as well as the teacher's book.

Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry {Grapevine Studies Review}

What is Grapevine Studies?

Grapevine Studies is a Bible study program designed to help children "stick figure through the Bible" which essentially means they read passages (or you read it aloud to them) and they draw simple corresponding pictures to help them remember important people and events.

Last year we reviewed Old Testament Overview Part 1, which gives a basic chronological overview of the beginning of the Old Testament.  The Resurrection, however, is one of Grapevine's topical studies.  I was interested to see how the different types of studies compared.  The Resurrection includes a study of the Last Supper, the trials of Jesus, as well as His crucifixion and resurrection, and more.  It has 11 lessons that can be done once a week or broken down into daily lessons.  This study can be done any time of the year, but undoubtedly is suited well for an Easter study.

The studies are offered as physical products or as e-book version.  I received e-books to facilitate this review, which are PDF files that allow for multiple copies for immediate family members.  I like to print the student portion for the boys, and use my Kindle Fire for the Teacher book.

The Teacher Book
The teacher's book includes introductory information to learn the philosophy of Grapevine and how to teach the program.  It also includes lesson goals, so you know what your focus will be.  Once the lessons start, it is broken down in a simple to follow manner. It tells me exactly which passage(s) to read, and then gives a simple summary.  It has examples for the stick figure drawings for each section of the lesson.  It also has review questions, and answers, at the end of each lesson.

Student Book and Traceable 
The multi-level student book is designed for ages 7+ and is really flexible for children of different ages and skill level.  It includes the timeline overview and reviews, specific boxes for drawing through the passages, mapwork, memory verses and review questions.  Obviously I have different expectations from my boys (6 and 9) but they both do well with it.

Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry {Grapevine Studies Review}

The Student Traceable Books are an extension of the student book.  They're for a slightly younger audience, but have the same layout as the primary student book.  The difference is that for each drawing I do as an example, the traceable book has the drawing in gray scale.  This allows younger students who may not have the fine motor skills, patience, or speed, to keep up with their older siblings.

Elliott used the Student Book, and Emory used the Traceable.  While Emory is perfectly capable of drawing everything, he's a very deliberate, meticulous worker.  I've found the traceable version helps speed things up for us, because he doesn't have to stop and think about the placement or spacing of his drawings.  This also means he can have more time to embellish his drawings (he drew it raining over Judas's grave, for instance) while I'm paging to the next passage to read aloud.

What did we think?

The boys have enjoyed this study.  I believe it goes into more detail than many studies on the same topic for children, but it's not overwhelming for them and they are retaining the information.  Elliott told me after Sunday School last week that he already knew everything in the lesson, because we'd covered it in this study.

I really like that the Traceable version of this topical study corresponds to the primary student book.  There is a Beginner version (ages 5-7) but it has a different format, and requires its own teacher's manual.  I have not used it yet, because even though that's Emory's target age range, I feel like keeping the boys together is easier.

Below is the Traceable version.  I draw on the dry-erase board, and Emory just matches my colors.  (The colors are often representational, such as purple for God and Jesus.)  Elliott's boxes only have the verses and captions, and he draws the simple figures in himself.  The great thing is that even though we're drawing and having fun, this program doesn't expect a strong "artistic talent" to do well with it, and the drawing doesn't take away from the content of the lesson.

I have enjoyed the simple format of the lessons and how they let me teach children at different maturity and skill levels at the same time.  It's thorough, but practical and engaging.  I think Grapevine Studies has done well to design a program that can make auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners all feel included through lessons that involve reading, discussions and drawing.

Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry {Grapevine Studies Review}

As you can see, Grapevine Studies offers a variety of chronological and topical studies for preschool through approximately 8th grade.  You can find out more about this homeschool Bible curriculum by also checking out their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Also be sure to check out the rest of the crew reviews.  We've all reviewed different levels of two different studies, and reading other reviews can hopefully give you a great overview of what Grapevine Studies offers!

Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry {Grapevine Studies Review}

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  1. The little things like rain over Judas' grave is what makes their finished pages so special. :)

    1. Yes it is! I love when they take some creative liberty and make their pages their own!