Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Two Cents on Homeschool Curriculum: Bible Roadtrip

It is that time of year again.  We are nearing the end of our school year.  EOGs have been taken and my curriculum choices for this year have been fleshed out and made to work, but some have decidedly not made the cut for next year.  I thought that it would be a good time to share how we did with some of my choices as well as how we did with some pleasant surprises.

First stop, one very pleasant surprise, Bible Roadtrip!  Halfway through the year, as I was just figuring out what was working and what was not, I came across Bible Roadtrip on Pinterest.  It is a daily study, organized by week, that takes three years to complete, and it is very well thought out.

This is the link for the first year

I pinned this link, so that I could easily retrieve it.  When you visit this page, you will find it organized by week.  You have a link to an outline for that week with reading, review questions, activities, and bonus corresponding resources.  Then, you also have a weeks worth of notebooking pages.  All of these are organized by grade level, so you can choose which one you need to print out for your child's age level.

One of the first activities we did was to make a chart to record our roadtrip.  With a poster board, a paper bag and some scrapbook paper, we are cataloging the books that we have read in our bible library:

I like unit studies or basically, anything that kills two birds with one stone.  We also like making posters as you may remember from this post, so we took up the early challenge to make a Days of Creation poster:

So mostly, so far, this resource is free.  I was so happy with how comprehensive this study was on its own, I began to order the additional recommended resources.  They are different per grade level, but here is what you can expect.

The creator of Veggietales also created "What's in the Bible? with Buck Denver."  These are a little pricey.  I only ordered volume one at first, so you can probably tell my two cents on this one.  I don't usually like muppets at all, but even I liked these.  They are very informational, and both my twelve year old and my three year old enjoy them.  You can also rent them on Amazon, but I thought that the better deal was actually to buy them because I could tell that we would watch them again and again--and we have.  

When we were nearing the end of our Days of Creation poster, I realized that in the upcoming weeks the Tabernacle would be a good art focus, but it seemed very overwhelming.  Though we have not started a model Tabernacle yet, this book seems to really break it down and even comes with some pages to make a paper model.  However, it is probably for a younger age group than my 6th grader who is about to graduate to the next level in Bible Roadtrip.

These are somewhat interchangeable.  I would only buy one and probably the maps, charts, etc.  At first, I tried to photocopy the pages, but I couldn't get a good copy.  The pages are actually perforated, though, so you can take them out of the book, which is what I ended up doing.  For each week of reading, there is a synopsis.  In What the Bible is All About: for Young Explorers, there are illustrations almost like a comic strip to tell you what happens, which may be why I prefer the other. (Comic strips aren't my favorite.)  Reproducible Maps, Charts, Timelines & Illustrations has (as you can imagine) maps that I think are pretty helpful and charts, in addition to the synopsis.  For example, one chart outlines Jacob's wives and the children he had by each, including the two sons he adopted from Joseph that would become the twelve tribes of Israel.  These are great, great resources, but you really only need one.  In fact, the pictures look alarmingly similar and I think they are put out by the same people.

Window on the World is where Bible Roadtrip takes another side excursion (unit study) to geography. One of my big realizations this year has been how little geography is taught in public schools.  In trying to get Charlotte up to speed, this has been really helpful.  There is a different focus every week. You learn about a different culture through a personal story, facts about the region, and the predominant religion there, and it gives you suggestions on how you can pray for the different people groups there.  There is a specific notebook page that corresponds with this book throughout all the grade levels, but if you did not want to bring this in to your study, you could just omit that one notebook page.

Lastly, there are a number of historical fiction titles that are recommended reading.  I look forward to reading this one with Charlotte.  It is the story of the exodus told through the eyes of a preteen.  I thought how perfect this will be for getting us thinking about what it was like.  I guess I will just have to let you know...

Bible Roadtrip was hands down my success story from this school year.  In the coming weeks, I will review some of the other curriculum we used that passed and some that failed.

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  1. Thank you for the lovely review! I've been searching for reviews on Bible Roadtrip this week and this has been so helpful to me!

  2. Thank you for the lovely review! I've been searching for reviews on Bible Roadtrip this week and this has been so helpful to me!


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