TAN Books has just released two new book sets telling The Story of the Bible for children – one on the Old Testament and one on the New Testament. Now there are dozens of Bible storybooks for kids on the market – So my question was, “What makes this one so special?” Well, I’ve had the pleasure of viewing The Story of the Bible Volume I – The Old Testament and much to my delight this set is pretty exceptional. It is part of the TAN Homeschool line, and as a homeschooling parent of several children, I’m always looking for a text that I can use with all the children together. In addition, as a busy mom, I’m looking for a product with little preparation time, a product that keeps the children’s interest, and a product that is easy to use. This set has all those features and more.
The textbook is not just a quick overview of the Old Testament for the very young. This text covers more than the basic Bible stories. It is in depth enough that the parents will be hearing stories they may have long ago forgotten! The reading text is geared to Middle School students, but younger children could follow along, as well. It states it is for grade 1-8. The entire program includes a teacher’s manual, activity book, test book, 7 audio CDs of the textbook, and 4 DVDs. There are components to this set to suit all ages, interests, and learning styles.
Following the classic style of education, this set is not just a one-time use for the child; it can be used at least twice with each child over their elementary and middle school years. The second time will, of course, be a refresher for them, but hopefully the details will be dedicated to their memory. With that said, each time the child does the program it can be quite different (except the text reading) because they will be older and will be doing different activities that accompany the set. For example, a young child may have little understanding of the DVD Lectures part of the set that is a great asset to the older child, however, they can use the coloring pages provided in the activity book while they listen to the story. Similarly a smaller child cannot use the test book or complete certain activities in the teacher’s manual, but years later the program will be “new” to them as they are now able to use these resources. In fact, the program was not designed for the teacher to complete everything – attempting to do all the activities in the Teacher’s Manual is highly discouraged by the authors.
The Teacher’s Manual and Activity Book work together providing a valuable asset to the program especially for the elementary age student. Each chapter in the teacher’s manual includes a scripture reading, questions for review, narrative exercises for the classical child to retell the story, and map activities (which is included in the Activity Book). Then each chapter follows with a few activity projects which always include coloring pages (from the Activity Book). Some examples of additional activities include – craft projects, snack projects, word searches & crossword puzzles, and a few simple science projects. This manual is a wonderful guide that is easy to navigate and use offering ideal supplements for each chapter.
Another great addition to this program is the audio CD of the textbook. For busy moms this provides a way to “read” the text to the children while taking care of the baby, folding laundry, starting dinner, or even driving with the kids. This CD brings the story alive with the brilliant reading, music, and fun sound effects. The second digital aspect of the set is the Video Lectures. These are a 10-20 minute lecture-style review of each chapter and are geared toward the older Middle School child. These wonderful supplements are to be watched after the reading from the textbook and provide another opportunity for teaching.
This complete Story of the Bible is designed to the “Schoolhouse Model” of education where children of all ages can learn together in their Domestic Church at home. The Activity Book and Teacher’s Manual are easy to follow and will help build a foundation in salvation history to use later in life for the young students. The text is interesting and will be read and re-read drilling into the student the events that changed the world. These are just a few points that will keep my family using this set for years to come, but the most important point is that the children will learn of their own salvation and will come to know God better preparing them to serve Him in the future.
To learn more about this exciting new series visit Tan Homeschool at http://www.tanhomeschool.com/