Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mt. Hope Academy Curricula ~ Faith


If you are just now checking in or would like quick links to previous posts in my curricula series, this is what we have so far:

The following are resources we use for Bible and faith-related studies:

  1. I always have children’s Bibles available for the boys to read independently. We’ve been through several over the past few years, and I often purchase new ones as gifts for various occasions. These are the current favorites:

    Levi: 2:52 Boys Bible: The Ultimate Manual. This Bible has a few features geared toward 9-12 year old boys including “252 Track” (readings highlighting specific people, stories, and verses that show specific character qualities), interesting or funny facts, “Make It Stick” (place to write questions, thoughts, etc.), Gross! (self-explanatory), and book introductions.


    Luke: The Action Bible has been a huge hit at our house. The boys (especially Luke and Leif) spend large amounts of time pouring over it. It really is a stunning work of art in graphic novel format. I am looking forward to giving Luke the corresponding book The Action Bible Handbook: A Dictionary of People, Places, and Things for his birthday.

    Leif: The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments. This story Bible presents the unfolding theme of God’s redemption through Christ from Genesis to Revelation. The artwork again is gorgeous and unexpected. (This children’s Bible corresponds with Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God which I have on my shelf but have not had a chance to use!)   

  2. The Children's Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings. I LOVE this illustrated children’s Bible—so much so that we are on our second copy because the first one fell apart from excessive attention. Unfortunately, it seems that the newer edition is much smaller and harder to read. (I haven’t seen it, so I’m not able to compare other than from the reviews on Amazon.)  The colored-pencil-like realistic illustrations are lovely. Stories also include pictures and photographs of geographical areas, people, diagrams, artwork, artifacts, architecture, maps, and details such as foods and crops. There are pages of additional information such as “Life in Cannan” and “The Patriarchs.” I appreciate all the historical background. I want my kids to understand that the Bible is part of history, be able to tie it in with our history studies, and understand the context of the stories. The boys always beg for “just one more story” when we read this Bible together.

    I remember reading “The Tower of Babel” right as we were studying about Mesopotamia and Ur in history and writing about ziggurats with IEW in Essentials.

  3. Journey through the Bible by V. Gilbert Beers is another fantastic resource for background information, historical notes, and context. It contains more than 700 pictures and illustrations. Each page lists the Biblical reference but not the Biblical text itself, so it can be easily used with any preferred Bible version. 

  4. Telling God's Story from Olive Branch Books (a branch of Peace Hill Press) is a phenomenal Bible series for elementary students (though I have to admit I am enjoying it as much as my boys). I have greatly appreciated this Bible curriculum focused on Jesus: who he was, what he did, and what he taught. Each year, the books have 36 short lessons covering stories Jesus told, miracles Jesus did, teachings of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ early life, Jesus’ disciples, opposition to Jesus, and the end of Jesus’ life as well as three supplemental lessons on the crucifixion. The lessons contain background information for the parent, retellings of the Biblical passages, context information for the student, and life applications. The lessons are short and designed with elementary students in mind, but they are not childish and would be informative for and enjoyed by a larger range of ages. We are on the second year and are anticipating year 3!

  5. Sing the Word is a scripture music series that we have enjoyed for years. The CDs make scripture memory an enjoyable and easy task! The music is of an excellent quality, and I appreciate that the songs vary in style. The first CD, Sing the Word from A to Z, includes a Bible verse beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Subsequent CDs include longer passages and songs for the books of the Bible.

  6. Hymns for a Kid's Heart is a great series for introducing children to traditional hymns and the stories behind them. The boys have also loved playing hymns on the piano with the Hymns by Faber & Faber series. The songs sound lovely even at the lower levels, and I have learned right along with the boys!

  7. For learning about the history of the Bible as a written story, we have used How the Bible Came to Us: The Story of the Book That Changed the World

  8. We also read various picture books of Biblical stories (often corresponding with our history studies) such as the stunning Exodus and Joseph by Brian Wildsmith and James: A Letter to the Scattered.

  9. Last but not least, my kids LOVE Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible? videos. They are silly and entertaining, but jam-packed with information. We have the whole series.

  10. I lied. One more. (Because I love an even ten.) Handel's Messiah Family Advent Reader is my favorite book for the Advent season. I shared a little more about it here. It is only available through third-party sellers on Amazon, and there were only very expensive copies available at Christmas time this past year. I thought I’d mention it now because I noticed that several less-expensive copies are available at the moment. 

  11. Sigh. See? I did forget something! I like having the Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions on hand when questions come up about what other people believe. 


I think that’s it. Until I hit “publish” and then I’ll remember something else!

Next up: Math!


Hannah said...

Ian is also a big fan of the Action Bible. Then he met a friend who has --would you believe it --a Lego Bible?!?!

Shell in your Pocket said...

Have you ever heard of Jamie Soles? He sings scripture and lessons from the Bible. I think you would like him!

sandy toe

Heather Brandt said...

Which of these, if any, would be good tools for use with 8 and 9 year old we are adopting who will not be able to read English (whom we will be teaching to read/speak English)? They like cartoons so I wondered if The Action Bible might interest them (for read aloud?)?