During the month of April, we were blessed to receive a copy of Firmly Planted, Gospels, Part 2, which is published by Real Life Press and written by Heidi St. John; I get to review it for you! This is a 10 week Bible study based on the life of Jesus. It was refreshing to get to review a Bible Study during the crazy month that April/Camp NaNoWriMo was for me and my family. We received both the Family Guide and the Student Workbook.
What We Received and First Impressions
We received a physical copy of the Bible curriculum as loose leaf that needed to be placed into a binder. If you visit the website, it is currently only available as a download, but I know that some people prefer a download to a hard copy anyway. As a download, you have the option to print the student workbook portion and read the study portion from your computer if you like.
I love saving paper when I can, but I personally like to have some time away from my computer screen too. I spend a lot of time online between school, work, and reviews; don’t even get me started on Pinterest and Facebook, but I digress. If you like a hard copy, you can print the whole thing, store it in a binder, and pull it out during study time; if you like to save on paper, you can read it from your download.
I was really excited to do a whole family study; I never did get my husband to join us, but this is his busy season at work. When I received the package in the mail, I was excited to really dig into Jesus’ life. The parables are some of my favorite parts of the Bible because they are both simple and complex, making perfect material for a group of adults and children to learn from together. Week one started with the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13.
Flipping through the pages, I realized there would be worksheets that I could copy for the kids, which I didn’t expect; it was a pleasant surprise to find this addition to our study. The whole second section of my book was the student workbook, which includes copy work pages, coloring pages, journal pages, mazes, word searches, nature study, and more. It is a lot of additional materials for each lesson. The family guide and the student workbook are sold separately, so be sure to purchase both if you want the full package.
Also, I had previously read Heidi St. John’s book The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight, and I enjoyed it (other reviewers received this book, but more on that later). Receiving a book by her was thrilling all by itself. I knew it was going to be good before I even opened it.
How We Used This Curriculum
When we signed up to use this Bible study 3 days a week, I was like, “We’re going to do 5 days a week.” I tend to get a little overambitious and overconfident about what we can accomplish in a day. If you’ve ever read my blog or know me in real life, I’m sure you already know this. Anyway, we did wind up using it “just” 3 days per week because we had so many things going on during the month. Every time I got it out, I would tell myself, “We are going to do this again tomorrow; it is so good.” You know how that turned out. The point being, that I longed to work on this study, and it is really good. It’s biblical and to the point.
Using the binder 3 days a week instead of 5 gave us time between formal lessons to casually talk about what we were learning and go over the memory verse; in the end, it was a good balance. Each study is broken down into 5 days, so if you want to accomplish this in 10 weeks, you probably want to make sure you do it every school day. I am never too worried about sticking to a specific timeline…as long as my kids are learning every day, I am happy.
The student workbook is excellent, covers the information well, and is interesting to go through. The Bible study was broken into bigger chunks than my family could handle in one sitting, but I have 4 kids 7 and under. Everyone does not have this same family dynamic. It was not hard for me to find a good spot to split the lessons up into smaller chunks of work. If my kids were a bit older, we would have been fine with getting through the lessons as they are set up in the curriculum. I am looking forward to finishing the study with my kids, even if it takes us a long time.
The best thing about doing a family Bible study is that it gets the whole family together and studying God’s word. It is something I try to do regularly and don’t always accomplish. This study is challenging enough for adults to get something out of, and still has elements to it that even my preschooler understood. My kids really enjoyed the worksheets that went along with the Bible study, and they want to finish the whole book as well. The student workbook is definitely worth purchasing! Here are some snapshots of the work we did during week one:
My kid’s favorite joke right now: what’s a cat’s favorite color? Puuur-ple.
It also happens to be my daughter’s favorite crayon to color with.
And a maze, which was a huge hit!
The other members of the review crew received different materials than we did. If you would like to check out the many awesome books and studies by Heidi St. John that we got to use and learn from, please click the banner below and read some other reviews. Our crew members all come from different places and family setups, so we all have different ways of looking at things and of running our home schools.