Monday, January 3, 2011

Possessing the Land (5th grade Bible Study by Positive Action for Christ (TOS Review)

I have never done a formal Bible study with the girls.  Instead:
  • they have scripture memory work in our homeschool co-op; 
  • they listen to Bible songs that help them remember Bible verses;
  • they attend weekly Sunday School and "big church"; and
  • they attend Awanas.
The girls love God and I can see them growing spiritually, so I haven't really worried about a formal Bible study for them.  I guess God felt differently, because as part of the TOS homeschool review crew I received Possessing the Land (click on the buttons on the left side to see each of the K-12 offerings, and the additional resources which includes the music curriculum), the 5th Grade Bible study curriculum published by Positive Action for Christ.  Positive Action for Christ produces products for grades K-12, and also produces a church curriculum.

Product Details... 

When I opened up the package, I was immediately impressed by the quality of materials that were provided.

The student's workbook retails for $12.95 and consists of 189 consumable, full-color pages with 35 lessons (lessons 17 and 35 are reviews) and includes vocabulary words, puzzles, lyrics to the songs (hymns and choruses) included in the music curriculum (note I did not receive the music curriculum as part of this review), maps, life principles for the students to ponder, and much more.

The teacher's manual retails for $33.95, comes in a three-ring binder, and consists of 282 black-and-white pages and includes (for most lessons) target truths, teaching strategies and a quiz (and answers), suggestions for additional study, character trait activities, writing assignments, discussion topic ideas, along with copies of the pages in the student's workbook with the questions completed (some of these answers will be concrete and correct, others will be open to each student's application to their own life) - and more.

The teacher's manual is also offered as a .pdf on a CD-ROM for $19.95.  I prefer the printed manual because I'm a "hold it in my hands" kind of girl, but it's nice to have an option.  

You can read descriptions and download samples of the student and teacher manuals at the website - click on the curriculum level you'd like to review, then click on the "Full Descriptions" tab.

What I like... 

I like that Punkin, my 10-yo, was immediately drawn to the student workbook.    


Pretty soon, she wanted to take it with her wherever we went - difficult, since I feel like this study needs quite a bit of parental input/guidance for the student - it is *not* a study that can (or, in my opinion, should) be done independently, at least not by my 10-yo.  It's actually kind of exciting, though - because I'm learning right along with her. 

I love that the teacher's manual is so well organized.  Some of the teacher's manuals I've seen during our homeschooling career have been so overwhelming and confusing that I just set them aside.  This teacher's manual is wonderful, and is a gold mine of additional teaching suggestions/ideas/activities.

Flexibility - the teacher's manual includes weekly lesson plans for a 3-, 4- or 5-day week. 

I really love that the questions go deep and make Punkin think about the verses and lead her toward applying them to her own life. 

Watch out for... 

Some of the questions in the student manual require deep thinking.  That's good, except when a student has never done a formal Bible study.  I found I had to do a lot of explaining to Punkin, which sometimes frustrated her when she didn't feel like she got the "right" answer.  Part of it is she was so drawn to the workbook and questions that she wanted to go fast to see what was next.  Once I asked her to slow down and put her on a "workbook budget" of only a certain number of pages, she seemed to calm down a little and grasp more.

Also, this product is intended for use in schools, but is easily adaptable for the homeschool environment. 

Be sure to... 

Read  about Positive Action for Christ's history, mission statement, and doctrinal statement here.

Check out the free resources that Positive Action for Christ has made available at the website (click on the "Free Items" tab). 

See all the smiling faces you can contact with questions here

Final Thoughts... 

I'm contemplating continuing this study with Punkin, but have to see if we can continue the intensive one-on-one help that it requires with her (on top of everything else we do) - we may just need to put it aside for a bit, but I'd like to pick it back up, maybe in the summer.  I'm also considering looking at a lower level for her since she's not done a formal study - maybe it'd be an easier transition for her if we started with a lower level.  When we continue it I hope to get the music curriculum that goes along with this study, because I think it would bring the hymns and choruses we sing in church to life for Punkin to know their history.  I'm also planning to order the third grade curriculum for Puddin - she's been quite jealous of her sister having such a neat Bible study.  

Thoughts of my crew mates... 

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

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