July 25, 2017

Preschool Language Arts Combined with Biblical Truths: The Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook {Review}

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Having preschool at home allows me some flexibility in the lessons that I teach my son. With a young child, even one who loves to learn, it's definitely a huge plus being able to adapt his lessons as we go, even changing anything that may not be working. Sometimes I use printable sheets or books to create my own lesson plans. Other times, I prefer to have everything laid out for me, so I'll seek out a curriculum to help guide us through the work. It's particularly nice when I can find a curriculum that touches up on more than one subject, so that I can cover several different areas at once. Recently, we had the opportunity to try the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook from The Crafty Classroom, which actually incorporates age-appropriate language arts lessons and Bible studies all in one. Since we put heavy emphasis on these two subjects in my house, it's like having the best of both worlds.




I was actually really excited to try this curriculum with my son, because Valerie, owner of The Crafty Classroom, is a homeschooling mother, herself. Her website is chock full of excellent learning material that is perfect for younger children. The Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook is very similar to the traditional Alphabet Curriculum Notebook, but instead uses a Biblical approach, offering studies in basic letter concepts, while also sharing important Bible knowledge.





The curriculum is very structured. There is a letter of the week, as well as a Bible theme for that week. While there is some flexibility in how the lessons are laid out, the overall idea is to do four lessons per week. Valerie includes a suggested calendar as an example of how you can plan out your lessons. Some days we did two lessons, while other days we kept it to one lesson, making sure we always finished one letter per week.






The entire curriculum is available as a downloadable PDF file. It contains 658 pages, so in an effort to not deplete all of our ink and paper supply in one shot, I simply print the lesson weeks as we go along. I decided to keep our lessons in a binder, and since we are covering one letter per week, using alphabetical tabs are the perfect way to keep me organized. I also use blue sheets of paper to separate the daily lessons in each week. We've been using the curriculum for about five weeks now, so we are currently up to the letter E.






The highlight of this curriculum when compared to other language arts programs for preschoolers is the actual Bible theme. You have a topic that starts with the letter of the week, for example in week two, we covered the letter B. The topic for that week is "Bible." With the theme of the week you also have a key vocabulary word and Bible verse to match. Week two's vocabulary word is "True." We then read the recommended Bible verse, which is Psalm 33:4. There are plenty of lesson activities that include this verse, but I also like to sit with my son and read the scripture straight from the Bible.








It doesn't just stop there, in addition to including a Bible based topic, each weekly lesson also ties in with a trait of God's character. I was thrilled to see this included, since it's a subject that I've been personally studying, myself. I've also been teaching my son all about the many names and characters of our Lord.  In week two, he learned that God is "Truthful," which tied in with the vocabulary word, "True," basically representing that His word is always true. God's word is written in the Bible, which is the theme of the week, and it also starts with B (the letter of the week). So you see, this gives you a general idea of how the language arts lessons are combined with the Bible study lessons. There's even a helpful chart that breaks down the themes for each week. This little extra definitely came in handy for us.

My son has a natural love for learning and has been a wiz at his letters since he was one. Now that he is in preschool, I've been trying to get him more interested in writing those letters. One of things that we try doing a lot of is tracing basic lines in order to get him ready for handwriting. Not only does the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook contain plenty of tracing pages for each letter, but every weekly lesson includes an I Can Write chart that uses numbered pattern guides to teach children all about the proper formation of both uppercase and lowercase letters. We utilized these pages quite a bit, allowing our fingers to trace the letters, so that my son can get used to each letter's structure.






The blank letter pages are another component that my son particularly enjoys. He has used these in the past with other curriculum activities that we've done together, so he was super excited to see them included in this one. Each page contains one letter, with an upper and lower case variation. These pages can be used in a variety of different ways. He usually fills them with Play-Doh, but this time we used colored pom poms and wooden ice pop sticks to recreate each letter.







Sometimes we'd keep to the letter of the day theme using other ideas. For instance, in this letter B page, I asked my son to use only the pom poms with a color that began with the letter B (blue and black):






My son has been having a blast with the ABC quilt square activities. He colors both upper and lower case letters, and then pastes them onto the paper quilt. I think this was one of his favorite letter activities:







While the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook stays focused in language arts and Bible studies, it was a nice surprise to see some basic math activities also included. This actually helped cover some of our weekly lessons in that subject area. Several of the activity pages involve finding the letter of the week in a collection of different letters and then tallying them up. There is also a Count and Graph Worksheet that allows children to count each time a letter shows up and then graph them onto a chart. Of course, our favorite was the Daily Math Worksheet, which offers a variety of different preschool-friendly math problems like counting, measuring, patterns, addition, etc.






As you probably already guessed, we've been enjoying the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook quite a bit. I personally like that's it's versatile and covers several different areas of learning. There are also plenty of fun, hands-on activities to do, and you can adapt each one to how you see fit for your own child's learning level. Of course, having Biblical knowledge integrated into my son's language arts and math lessons is a huge bonus and one of my favorite aspects of this particular program.




The Crafty Classroom also offers plenty of other curriculum options for young children, including the the R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook and U.S.A. Activity Bundle Pack. Be sure to connect with The Crafty Classroom on social media for more information:







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