Grapevine Studies is a leading Bible method and curriculum for teachers desiring to teach biblical studies with simple, practical, and easy to implement studies for children of all ages. Their method for the early students of "Hear-Draw-Review" ensures an understanding of the stories even from a pre-school age. As the child gets older, the program switches to a Read-Draw-Review approach to encourage them to dive into the Bible themselves. One thing that sets the curriculum apart is the use of Stick Figures to help share the Bible stories! With simple drawings, even the youngest biblical scholar can document the stories they are learning! All of the products are available as printed or digital books.
The company has this great graphic to give you an idea on how the program changes in difficulty with each level...
*Biblical Feasts and Holy Days
*Birth of Jesus
*New Testament Overview (7 units)
--John to the Apostles
--Birth of John to Jesus' Ministry
--Jesus' Ministry to His Trials
--Jesus' Last Week
--The Cross to the Upper Room
--Acts to Revelation
*New Testament Catechism
*Old Testament Overview (8 units)
--Creation to Babel
--Creation to Jacob
--Abraham to the Tabernacle
--Joseph to the Promised Land
--The Twelve Spies to Solomon
--The Jordan River to the Temple
--The Temple to Nehemiah
--The Prophets to Nehemiah
*Old Testament Catechism
*Timelines (6 different units)
*Moses and the Exodus
Each unit contains from 9 to 14 weekly lessons which are laid out for you in a very easy to each manner. In fact, the company provides you instruction on How To Teach their program to make it even easier for you to get started. You can also visit their website to figure out which level to start with!
There are several levels within each unit which can be purchased to match the age range and ability of your child:
Traceables (Age 3-5)
Beginners (Age 5-7)
Level 1 (Age 6-8)
Level 2 (Age 8-10)
Level 3 (Age 10-13)
Level 4 (Age 13+)
Multi-Level (Age 7+)
We were given the digital downloadable curriculum for Old Testament 1: Level 2 Creation to Jacob, as well as the traceable version of Old Testament 1: Level 1 Creation to Jacob, and the accompanying teacher book. All were downloadable e-Books.
How Did We Use the Product?
To begin, I printed off the pages of my teacher manual, hole punched them and put them into a binder for easy reference. I recommend doing this in COLOR as there is a system to the colors used on the stick figure drawings, which is shown in your teacher notes. Next, I printed out the first two lessons in both the traceable (for Baby Britches) and Level 2 (for Little Britches), and also hole punched them.
The next step was simply reading through the great introduction to the program and getting a feel for what was going to be going on. It is set up for the following schedule:
Daily Schedule Weekly Schedule
Day 1: Timeline Review Page Timeline Review Page (5 -10 minutes)
Day 2: Lesson page 1 Lesson Pages 1 and 2 (30-35 minutes)
Day 3: Lesson page 2 Student Drawing Page (5-15 minutes)
Day 4: Student Drawing Page
I really liked that this was set up for a 4 day a week program as that is how we homeschool, so it was going to be easy to plug right into our schedule. I also appreciated the approximate time to allow in general for each day's work. I quickly noticed I could plug it into our daily bible study time at the beginning of each school day.
Each curriculum shares the supplies needed to teach the program--it's pretty simple:
Student: Bible, Colored Pencils, Student or Traceable Book
Teacher: Bible, Bible Dictionary, Dry Erase Board & Markers (8 colors), and the Teacher Book
I have both a wall sized dry erase board and lap sized dry erase boards, as well as quite a stash of dry erase markers, so I was set to get going!
The teacher book shares notes on how to go about teaching the curriculum, as well as little tips to remember. It describes what each portion of the lesson is for and how it can be done. It also gives you visuals of what the child's completed work will/should look like in every day's lesson.
It was time to get started. I glanced at the first lesson (the timeline) and noticed that it was set up to give the information, and then tell/show the students what to draw:
|Sample from my teacher notes--gives the read aloud, the discussion, and then the drawing|
I used both the dry erase boards (when we weren't in our classroom) and the white board for this and found they both worked successfully. A simple drawing pad would work just as well!
Here are some pictures from our time with this curriculum:
|Timeline on the white board|
|Timeline on the lap white board|
|Working on the traceable version|
|Working on a Level 2 version|
|Working on his timeline (traceable)|
|Little Britches not so simple version of his timeline|
|The boys event cards for Lesson 3: Picture on the front and their summary on the back|
What Are Our Thoughts About This Product?
Little Britches: "I like this! It's fun to draw the pictures after mommy reads."
Baby Britches: "I like using my colored pencils and markers!"
I found that this program was very easy to implement in my schedule. It matches the time frame pretty well, though I found my boys were able to do the drawings pretty quickly. A couple weeks we did the timeline review and the first day of lesson on the same day if they finished the timeline super fast and wanted to do more.
I enjoyed doing the stick figures and found they were easy for both boys to replicate--though they even typically added on to the drawings. We never had issues with this curriculum, as the boys both enjoyed working on it.
I liked how each color of the markers seemed to represent something. I read about the coordinating of the eight colors picked on the website FAQ and that helped make sure I lined up the colors the same throughout the curriculum.
The only real revision I made was that I didn't refer to the triangle as being God the trinity as that's not with what our family believes, but as they have no idea that the triangle represents the trinity in mainstream Christianity symbolism, I didn't bother to change the shape. I simply said God or the God-head.
We chose not to do the looking up the vocabulary words unless the boys didn't know what they meant or I felt it was important.
I enjoyed making the event cards for each lesson and it was a great way to see how much the boys remembered from the lesson.
The memory verses are well chosen and the boys had no problems learning them. I liked that each of them were a main point or theme of each of the lessons.
I loved how each week began by reviewing the timeline thus far, and the memory verses learned to date. This was a great way to keep the information fresh in their minds. As we learned and reviewed the verses, I had the boys write them out--Little Britches wrote them out in cursive, and Baby Britches copied a phrase for letter practice.
Each of the units sells for about $28 ($18 for Teacher e-Book, $10 for Student e-Book) which may be a bit steep for my budget if I want to continue to do the curriculum for future units; however, it's a 10-14 week curriculum, so it's going to provide lessons over a few months. It is really a very good program and reusable if you go with the digital version, which makes the cost not as difficult to swallow!
I really don't have anything seriously negative to say about the program, because it has worked well for us so far! I really like the idea of using this curriculum for the Old Testament studies as there is a lot to be covered and these units seem to break it down very well.
Will we continue to use this curriculum?
Yes! I plan on using it to completion and even possibly snagging the next one in the series.
Would I Recommend The Product?Yes, I would! I think that if you are looking for a program that does the "hard work" for you by laying out the stories in small pieces for easy retention, this is perfect! If you want a program that incorporates memory work, this is a great one! If you want it to be fairly open-and-go, this is it! If you want to do one unit with age appropriate work for each child, this would be something to check out!
The only negative I foresee, is that someone might have a problem with affording the price--but if you want to do this with more than one child, this really is the way to go with the printable option!
Want to Know More?We were given the Old Testament 1: Level 2 Creation to Jacob, as well as the Old Testament 1: Level 1 Creation to Jacob traceable and teachers book from Grapevine Studies. You have seen how much we have enjoyed using this program--but why don't you check out what the rest of my crew members did with their studies?!
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We will continue to enjoy this program as we study the great bible stories of the Old Testament! I like watching them sketch out the stories during church and hearing them say their memory verses. I have always heard about Grapevine Studies and am glad I had a chance to experience them for myself!