This semester, Jackson and I were SO blessed to have the opportunity to use and review Grapevine Studies‘ Bible study for kids, the New Testament Overview Part 1, covering the Birth of John to Jesus’ Ministry. We received a physical Teacher Level 3-4 Book and a physical Level 4 Student Book.
What is Grapevine Studies?
Frankly, it’s a Bible study company that I wish I had discovered years earlier! Grapevine Studies produces the most creative and unusual Bible studies for children, ages 3 all the way through the teen years…and beyond! Students read and hear God’s Word, and then draw the scenes they’ve just studied using stick figures. It is truly the most creative Bible study method for children that I’ve ever used. It is a delight!
Grapevine Studies has a huge variety of Bible studies that parents and teachers can choose from, like:
- Creation to Jacob
- The Resurrection
- Birth of Jesus
- Old Testament Timeline
- and more!
They’re appropriate for families, homeschools, Bible classes, Sunday schools; really, anywhere that children are being taught the Word of God.
The New Testament Overview Part 1 Study
We received the physical set of Grapevine Studies‘ New Testament Overview Part 1 for Level 4 students, who are teens. This included a complete Level 3 & 4 Teacher book as well as the Level 4 Student book. (We supplied the binders.) The books have a printed cover which we slipped into our binders’ front sleeves. The insides are 3-hole punched and ready to place in binders or folders. The course can either be taught with one lesson per week (e.g., for Sunday schools or other weekly meetings) or on a daily schedule (perfect for homeschools). This will enable students to complete the course in 12 weekly lessons, or 45 daily ones. For the Level 4 course, students will also need a Bible dictionary, a topical Bible, and a concordance which can be purchased separately from Grapevine Studies. (And colored pencils.)
The Level 4 Student book covers New Testament events from the birth of John through Jesus’ ministry. Students will learn Bible timelines, Scripture memory work, and complete pages for stick figuring the lessons. There are also review pages at the conclusion of the lessons plus a Quest Page, which allows students to do extra study in their resource books (the Bible dictionary, topical Bible, and concordance).
The Level 3 & 4 Teacher book is a plethora of helpful information. It includes an introduction to Grapevine Studies and their mission and purpose; goals for the student and teacher; scheduling tips and a supplies list; and directions for teaching the lessons, the timeline, review pages, Quest Pages, and section/final reviews. It has a page for each lesson along with Scripture and lesson narratives, and fully drawn stick figures for each one of them!
How we used it
The short answer is, “with great delight!” But you’d probably like to know what we did each day. Basically, we just worked through the book a little bit at a time. The Birth of John to Jesus’ Ministry begins with some Bible timelines, as Grapevine Ministries loves to lay out a clear foundation for each lesson and to show students where in Bible history things happened. So we began with a timeline of the Old Testament! Because really, all of our stories do begin with Adam, don’t they? Other high points of Bible history are drawn, in stick figure form, on the timeline. We looked at Noah, Abraham, David, the Babylonian Captivity before we reached the New Testament, and completed a New Testament timeline. This timeline began with the birth of Jesus’ cousin, John and cruised through Jesus’ childhood, baptism, and ministry.
Each day, Jackson (my 14-year-old) and I would gather our binders and his colored pencils and sit down before our easel, which has a whiteboard on one side. We have many colored whiteboard markers, which I used to draw the various characters in our lessons. We’d read the listed Scriptures, then the short summaries on each event. And then I’d draw the stick figures of the lesson on the whiteboard as Jackson drew them in his own book.
What we thought
It is a little hard…even with the superlative adjectives my readers know I regularly employ…to explain to you just how much we both LOVED this study. First of all, it is Biblically accurate. Each and every narrative is faithful to the Scriptures it is drawn from (no pun intended!) Second, it is very easy for students to understand, and for teachers (or moms) to teach. And third?
It is just a JOY. It is a joy to teach, and a joy for the student to learn! Every day when it was time to pick up our Grapevine Studies, both of us were honestly thrilled. And joyful. And we both commented on how neat the study was as we worked through each and every one!
Children delight in recreating the Biblical narratives through stick figures. It is fun to do…and the amazing thing is that they really learn so much as they draw and listen.
Have you ever prepared Bible lessons for your children using curricula that was too deep or heavy for them, or just not right for their learning style? We have; and I am always dismayed at those experiences. My deep desire for my son is that he will love the Word of God; that he will know that he can always go to it for help; that it is one of the ways that he can draw closer to God. A significant reason I am so delighted with Grapevine Studies is because it really aligns with those hopes I have for my son—and it helps him along in them!
You’ll notice that one of the adjectives in my title describes this Bible study as “sweet.” It really, really is. There are two verses that really sum up what Birth of John to Jesus’ Ministry has been to us. First, Proverbs 16:24: Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. And second, Psalm 34:8: O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Every day that we opened our Grapevine Studies, we tasted the goodness of the Lord, and the sweetness of His words. And if that’s not reason enough to use this particular Bible study…I don’t know what is!
I’m sure you can already tell that we adored Grapevine Studies‘ New Testament Overview Part 1. My son Jackson wanted to say, “Definitely! I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to try it, because it is so good. It is phenomenal!” I am in absolute agreement. This study is Biblically sound, and the Scripture study is faithfully presented. But it’s the daily creative work itself that is the most unusual. When students (and teachers) draw the stick figures as they study each Bible story or fact, they’re not only doing something fun and creative; they’re making mental connections in their hearts and minds in ways I’ve never seen in other Bible study methods.
Visit Grapevine Studies to purchase New Testament Overview Part 1, and you can see all their other amazing Bible studies. You won’t regret it! And you can stop by to visit their social media pages via the links below.