As most of you know, I have four children: 7 year-old boy, 5 year-old girl, 3 year-old girl, and a 19 month old baby girl. When I started planning our school year last year, I had a mini-panic attack. It dawned on me that at some point in time I would be teaching all four of my children at the same time.
Of course I had loosely thought of what school would be like when all 4 children were of age, but there was an element that hadn’t crossed my mind before: How was I going to teach 4 different levels of history? Or science? Were we all going to study the same passages in Bible, or would I have to plan for each child? So many decisions to make!
So after some serious research (love homeschooling blogs!) and prayer, I was able to make some decisions about how our school would look in future years. My main decision was that we would school as much as we could together despite my children being at different levels. (This is also one of the many reasons we don’t use boxed curriculum.)
I’m so glad I was led to that decision over a year ago. I’m certain that’s the right choice for our family and I haven’t looked back since!
➡ Browse through all of the homeschool curriculum posts here at Mama’s Learning Corner.
But What Curriculum Would We Use?
Then the curriculum choice was even more daunting than before. What kind of curriculum could we use? Was there even curriculum out there that I was looking for, where we could all school together? If it was out there, how would it work? Would it be robust enough for my oldest, yet simple enough for my youngest?
While some of these questions won’t matter now (since my youngest is 19 months), they will matter at some point in the future. I was intimidated and overwhelmed.
We Found It! The Right Bible Curriculum Choice for Us
I looked for hours upon hours for a Bible curriculum my children and I could use. While there are numerous devotional-type books on the market for families with young children, there wasn’t a bible study. If we were going to spend time each day in Bible Study, then I wanted us to study the actual Bible, not some watered down story. While I think those types of stories are fine for different situations, it wasn’t what I was looking to use during our school time.
Finally, we discovered Bible Study Guide for All Ages. What relief! I was poring through the education portion of a mom’s forum I belong to and someone mentioned their love of this study. I jumped over to their website, read everything it had to offer, and thought it would probably be a good fit for us.
After using it for over a year, I can confidently say it is the best fit for our family right now.
How Does Bible Study Guide for All Ages Work?
This study truly is a bible study guide for all ages. It’s designed to be used in a church setting or in the home – there are instructions, guides, and suggestions for each.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages divides learning into 5 categories:
- Beginner Level: Ages 3 – Kindergarten (Pre or Very Early Readers)
- Primary Level: Grades 1 and 2 (Beginning Readers and independent readers of more simple text)
- Intermediate Level: Grades 3 & 4
- Advanced Level: Grades 5 & 6
- Teens and Adults: Each use their own Bible and the teacher uses the Teacher’s Guide to lead them through the Bible reading, questions/answers, and Bible drills.
Using the Bible Study Guide, all of the Old and New Testaments are covered in 416 lessons. The Guide is based on a 4-unit rotation through all of Scripture. Each unit of the Guide contains portions from the Old and New Testaments, as the study is not chronological. (If you’re concerned about not going straight from Genesis to Revelation, make sure you check out the FAQs.)
This is the front and back page of one lesson from the Intermediate Level Student Pages
What Does Bible Study Guide for All Ages Look Like in the our Homeschool?
While all of my children are in the school room listening to the day’s portion of Scripture, only my oldest two use the pages from Bible Study Guide. My 5 year-old uses the Beginner Level and my 7-year-old uses the Intermediate Level.
Our Bible Study Guide Routine:
- At the beginning of our Bible time, I read the day’s Scripture aloud. Then as a group, I ask a few simple questions based on the reading and the kids answer them. At times, they narrate portions of the Scripture back to me. My 5 year-old is an excellent listener and loves to do this part!
- While I’m reading, my 5 year-old often colors the picture on her worksheet.
- While my son works on the “Remember It?” portion at the top of his page, I read through my 5 year-old’s worksheet with her. We talk about the story on her page and what she thinks about it.
- As my 5 year-old finishes coloring her worksheet, my son and I work through only 1 side of his 2-sided worksheet. I find that we only need to work through one side of the lesson each day. If we do any more than that, my kids become too restless. We work through the time line information, the map skills, the prayer requests, and also the work blocks on the back page over a 2-day span. I also like to break up the lesson into two days so we can cover the assigned Scripture two separate times. I think that repetition helps them (and me!) remember the details.
- After we’ve worked through both the Beginning Level and Intermediate Level worksheets together, we talk about our prayer requests and then start our day with prayer.
My Biggest Surprise using Bible Study Guide for All Ages
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t understand large portions of the Bible. (Judges, Isaiah, parts of Exodus. Eek!) I had never studied those books in a group setting and I didn’t have enough knowledge of history to try to understand it on my own.
I had no idea what a great study that Bible Study Guide would be for me. For example, as we studied Joseph last year, I couldn’t believe the amount of detail I learned. Bible Study Guide helps its student (regardless of age) piece together the big picture, yet uses simple language for everyday people.
As my children’s teacher, I didn’t have to feel inadequate because I was missing large portions of Bible knowledge. I’m simply learning right along with them. And oh that’s the best part!
Questions I Had About Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Here are some of the main questions I had when I was on the search for a Bible curriculum to use in my homeschool. I found the answers to my questions at Bible Study Guide’s webpage, mostly in the FAQs.
- What version of the Bible does the curriculum use?
Bible Study Guide is set up for use with any version of the Bible. In our home, we prefer the NASB so I typically read from it. If the portion of Scripture is more difficult, I read from the New Living Translation the first day and the NASB on the second. Some of the wording in the Student Pages is taken from the NIV, but that version is definitely not a requirement. Bottom line: Use any version you’d like.
- What is the doctrinal position of the author? Does the author of the curriculum share the same doctrinal views as my family?
According to the FAQs, Bible Study Guide works independently of any church group or affiliation. It’s goal is to present the Bible and only the Bible, not specific denominations. From Bible Study Guide’s website:
We believe that the Bible is the word of God and is our guide for life. We want to help people study and understand the Bible for themselves and learn to apply it to themselves. We do not seek to teach others our opinions about issues of debate.
We believe in the one true God who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that God sent his Son Jesus to earth, born of a virgin, to live and die as the atoning sacrifice for all who would place their trust in him. We believe that he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where he sat down at the right hand of God the Father. We believe that he is present today, through the Holy Spirit, in his church, the body of Christ.
- How do I know exactly what I need to use in our homeschool?
Bible Study Guide has a great list of suggestions that is quite helpful, especially if you have a wide age-range of learners in your home. There are several other add-ons offered. While they aren’t critical to daily use, they do help with memorization and recall.Note: If you can only purchase one add-on, get the CDs! We love them! The kids and I often listen to them in the afternoons when I’m cooking supper. The CDs contain simple songs that I learned growing up, in addition to songs that drill disciples or Judges. Best of all? We love the singers’ accents. When we first heard it, my son said, “Mama! They sound just like us!” I personally love that the sound is of a real family singing.
Have you used Bible Study Guide for All Ages? If so, what do you love most about it? Why is it a good fit for your family?