God’s Great Covenant: New Testament 1
Now that my kids are getting a little older, I wanted to add a Bible curriculum to our lessons. We’ve been reading Bible stories and memorizing verses all along, and will certainly continue that! Still, I thought that a formal curriculum could add a lot to our studies. The God’s Great Covenant series intrigued me, and my daughter started using God’s Great Covenant: New Testament 1.
The softcover student text of God’s Great Covenant contains the complete text, worksheets, review worksheets, and quizzes. Available for additional purchase are the MP3 audio files containing the story text from 35 chapters read aloud by Christopher Perrin. The softcover teacher’s guide contains a smaller reprint of each page from the student text with an answer key and additional information. The teacher’s guide is not necessary, but is helpful. The 36 chapters cover the Gospels. They do not study each book separately, but rather study the four Gospels together in a chronological order following the life of Jesus. Each chapter covers a story text, worksheets for review, and a memory passage. A quiz for each chapter is included at the end of the book. The glossary and various maps and charts are quite helpful.
What I like about God’s Great Covenant:
- I appreciate the chronological presentation. I think it gives students a better picture of the entire story of Jesus’ life.
- The MP3 audio files are good recordings, and I enjoy listening to them. I find that my daughter retains things better if she reads the text herself, but the audio is great for auditory learners or for review.
- The glossary is pretty comprehensive and helps with unfamiliar words.
- The maps really give a good visual for where things happened.
- Some of the worksheets include various word puzzles that my daughter particularly enjoys.
What I don’t like about God’s Great Covenant:
- The age recommendation is a little young. The publisher suggests it for grades 4 and up, but I think it might be better suited for middle school. Some questions require the student to draw conclusions based upon what has been read. For example, on page 256, this question is posed: “Judas regretted his decision to betray Jesus, but Peter was repentant over his sin of denying Jesus. What is repentance?” Since this is not directly addressed in the text of Chapter 32, it requires a reasoning and thought process with which some younger students might struggle.
- Six different introductions in the student text cover history, politics, geography, and more that is relevant to the time period studied. Good information is included, but the sheer amount of information is a little too overwhelming for some students. Parents might consider skipping the introductions, and referring back to them when relevant.
- The first chapter covers basic information about the Gospels, their authors, and the themes of the books. The term “synoptic Gospels” is introduced. Again, this is good information, but better suited to a middle school student in my opinion.
- Some of the questions posed in the worksheets are rather abstract. For example, “Why is it important that Jesus is both God and man?” or, “When you sin, how do you know if you have worldly remorse or godly repentance?” Questions like this frustrate my daughter, and honestly, I’d have to ponder them a bit to come up with an answer myself.
- The unit review worksheets are very long, especially if used in addition to the chapter quizzes. Unless this is being used for an older student, parents might want to choose either the unit reviews or the quizzes, rather than attempting both.
- The teacher’s guide does not give any sort of timeline or schedule to go by.
Overall, once we got past the introductions and first chapter, my daughter began to enjoy God’s Great Covenant. When a question is too abstract for her to sort out on her own, we either skip it, or I explain what the question means and we discuss it together. I really like the curriculum, but I think the 4th grade recommendation is just a little too young for most students. I would recommend it for middle school students. For that age group, it’s a solid Bible curriculum.
Last Updated: March 11, 2013
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softcover teacher's guide, 351 pages
teacher's edition: $29.95
MP3 audio files: $9.95
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