Before lesson one, I spent about an hour getting the maps and time lines in order, getting the cut out pieces organized, and deciding on a wall to hang them on. I have ample wall space, but I starting thinking about my readers who may be limited in their wall area. I wondered how they could make do and accommodate such large pieces if they wished, so I sought out walls that were more "full" to try and work out how that could happen. I ended up hanging the timeline more vertically, and just spread the maps around.
Now, here's where we have a problem. The Label Book suggests you laminate these, and the pieces, if you wish to use them for years. I suggest, if you can, to laminate these right off the bat. Not necessarily to prolong the life of the timeline and maps, but to prolong the life of the paint on your walls. I'm not even going to pretend to not be a bit miffed at the fact I have smudges from the ink on these maps and time line on my newly painted walls because it rubbed off on my fingers while I was hanging them. I took pictures to show you just how easily the ink is smudged. My hands were DRY, and I just rubbed over this area a little and it smudges like this. If you want to use these, I HIGHLY recommend you laminate or seal them in some way before putting them on your walls.
With that said, hanging them vertically works well.
So after I got these hung up, I began placing all of the "Before Lesson 1" things on. The Label Book provides a very small diagram of how the lay out should be. Now, here's another issue I ran into. It doesn't match with the lesson. The lesson has a man (I'm assuming Jesus, maybe God?) on a thrown in Heaven....but the initial page in the Label Book does not have this, and it was not included in the Lesson 1 cut outs or the pre-lesson cut outs. That confused Mr. B, some. It's not a huge issue, but something to be made aware of if you have a kiddo who is very insistent on sameness. There are a few other instances of that, such as Joseph's coat being in the cut outs, but not on the diagram, and a request to write a name and date on the timeline in a place that's not there. If your kiddo gets hung up on things not being EXACT, like some on the spectrum, you may want to just tell them that the pictures will differ from time to time to avoid any stress it could cause them, or omit the extras that don't pair up exactly. The Time Line and Wall Maps are a great addition to the lessons, and really bring them to life and make them more fun and engaging. Having them laminated and using reusable adhesive would be easier than my set up, and allow multiple students to move things around. Below are some photos of the included diagrams in the Label Book, and some student pages.
You can see we went ahead and attached the coat under Joseph.
The lessons are really nice. The arrangement on the pages is a little confusing for kiddos like Mr. B. because there's no linear direction. You can just kind of move around the page however you want, so he needed quite a bit of prompting and direction because he got lost. This would not be an issue for your average student as they would find it more fun to go at it as they want. The overall lessons are short, and very detailed. I liked the "Get Active" part that has your child doing a different activity. For example, for Lesson One he had to pretend HATE was something that could be seen, and draw it. He drew this.
He said HATE was like a dark cloud that clouds up people's minds. Pretty deep thought for a 13 year old!
The lessons do not ask a lot in the way of writing, or answers which is GREAT for Mr. B. Each lesson only covers part of the overall. For example, previous studies we've done have covered Jacob and his sons in one lesson, this spreads it out over a few.
I also like how there's geographical lessons mixed in. This is great if you don't have the maps to use (or if they bled on your walls, and you now refuse to hang them until you figure out an alternative means of use...)
The workbook for lessons 1-26 is about the size of a kids place mat, but I wish it was spiral bound. It's put together kind of like a notepad, and splits apart easy. This is great if you want to tear the pages out, but I don't want to do that. I want to turn the pages, and keep them together so this doesn't really work well for me. It began to split apart after only 3 lessons, and by the 5th it's completely apart. There's not enough room to hole punch it, and it wouldn't fit into a binder anyway. I'm also not a fan of only receiving 26 lessons when there are more lessons for the whole program. I personally feel ALL lessons should be included in the kit to avoid the need to keep ordering. 26 lessons, at 2 a week, would necessitate an order of the next set every 13 weeks. They're affordable at about $6.00 per pack, so you may want to just go on and order them all. On the other hand, if you only want to do lessons here and there, getting them in a smaller pack could be ideal for you. I would prefer an option to get ALL of the lessons bound into one workbook would be ideal if that was a spiral bound book. It doesn't even have to be spiral, just something that holds together for turning like a workbook.
Mr. B's favorite part would be the Bible Summary Cards. So much his favorite that he has them and won't let me have them to take a picture of them! They're larger than an index card, and are exactly what you'd think-summary cards.
Overall, there are some things I really like about this program, and things I would like to see improved. Having the timeline and maps already laminated, or smudge proof would have definitely made this a better experience for me. I wish there was an option for a better bound book containing all of the lesson pages. The tiny map pieces were too small for Mr. B to cut out, but an exacto style knife would make it easier to do. I like the short lessons, and the fact each lesson builds upon the last. There's a lot of potential to make this go from a pretty good product to a really great one. I'd love to see these changes take place, and have a chance to use the product again to see how it improves.
Does Bible Study Guide For All Ages Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?
1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?
You can accommodate how you do your maps and timeline. Since this is a physical product you can take breaks as needed. I wouldn't jump ahead or flat out skip. It'll throw your timeline off, and each lesson builds on the last.
Well...here's a tough question. Hidden fees? I'm not sure if this qualifies, but you only receive 26 lessons per student pack. I think there should be an option or set that includes ALL of the lessons, bound. The ink smudges are an issue for me. Maybe it's just my set? I don't know. But that's something to take into consideration since these are very large pieces. Laminating them would be the ideal way to go, and that would remove the risk of smudges. I know I've kind of harped on that a bit, but I honestly just painted that wall last month HAHA! It does cover multiple ages, and there are levels for ages 3 and up so your younger students can work along side your older students at their own level. You are bound to the level you choose since this is a physical product.
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
The lessons are very short, and do not take long at all. There's a variety of different activities included. The pages are bit "cluttered" for ADHD and autism, so your child may require a bit more direction and attention.
4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.