Bible for Children (Book I) by Claire A. Larsen isn't just for families who homeschool. Although this title is a textbook, even families whose children attend private or public school should seriously consider adding Bible for Children to their bookshelves.
Book I covers Genesis through Ruth (subsequent volumes are not yet available), and every page of the book helps your child delve seriously into the Bible. But that doesn't mean the book is boring! At least one page in every two page spread features a black and white 3D illustrations, and the text is written in a friendly and down to earth manner.
The introduction begins, in part:
"Everyone loves a story...Not only does everyone love to hear stories, but everyone has a story. You have a story. Maybe your mother has told you the story about how you became a part of your family...The Bible tells you God's story. It has many parts, but from beginning to end it's one story...In His story God tells you about Himself..."
The intro also emphasizes how the Old Testament points to Jesus.
Then the book goes step-by-step through the Bible, helping your child to understand it's nuances and memorize important points. For example, in the first chapter, they'll read a kid-friendly retelling of the story of creation, a definition of who God is, learn three words (Latin, Greek, and Hebrew) that are key to the story, find a memory verse - and even a memory chart for what God created on which days. These three pages are followed by a worksheet with fill-in-the-blank sentences about the story's facts, questions to discuss with a parent, and more. Here are some examples of the questions in the review worksheet:
"In the beginning God created the ------- and the -------" (Genesis 1:1)
Each day of creation has the same three parts:
1st: God ------- and what He said happened.
2nd: God said that what He created was -------
3rd: God ------- what he created.
God called the light -------, and the darkness -------.
God created man in the ------- of God.
God's name Elohim means -------.
The first Book of the Bible is called -------. It is a Greek word that means -------."
There are also sometimes puzzles and other activities to accompany each chapter.
The appendix lists all the memory verses; a summary of who God is (as described in the Old Testament); summaries of God's promises to the patriarchs, the ten commandments, the tabernacle, and Israel's wilderness journey; a glossary; and a map.
A complete teacher's manual is also available, providing answer keys, and information that expands upon the workbook's text.
What I Like: This is an exceptional book for children. I've learned a lot reading it, and I cannot wait to help my daughter through this book when she's old enough! The information provided goes far beyond a simple retelling of Bible stories. Here, your child can gain a historical understanding of the people of the Bible, and an in-depth understanding of God and his Word. The book is even designed to have one lesson per week - perfect for families who send their children to public or private school.
What I Dislike: Nothing, really. It would be wonderful if the illustrations were in color, but I understand this would run the cost of the workbook up a great deal.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 6 -8 (2nd grade and up).
Publishing Info: Classical Academic Press, 2007, ISBN: 1-60051-037-X (for teacher's manual: 1-60051-038-8); paper back, $22.95 (teacher's manual, $24.95)
Special Info: The publisher's website features PDFs of some interior pages of this book..