Thursday, April 3, 2008

Student of the Word...

When we first began home educating, 9 years ago,
I heard of the Student of the Word curriculum.
I did not purchase it. In many ways, it scared me.
Scared me because I wasn't able to see it,
look at it, wasn't sure if I would like it, use it,
or know how to implement it, etc...
So for years the Student of the Word curriculum
and I crossed paths.
I would see it vaguely advertised somewhere,
I would read about it, contemplate over it,
and decide to set it aside for one reason or another.
This year the Lord led me otherwise.
For generations upon generations there have been
talks of wars, strife, and so forth
and we still live in those times now.
Seeing the continual downward spiral

of our society's acceptance of sin
(even in "Christian" circles),
our government's increasing 'control', etc..., etc...
In history passed, 'great' and 'powerful' countries
have met their downfall before, freedoms taken away,
Christians persecuted, Bibles burned, etc...
I once heard a pastor ask the question,
"If all of our Bibles were taken away,
how much would we (as a church) be able
to remember to make ourselves a copy."

That question has always lingered with me.

For years, in our homeschooling endeavors,
I have taught 'academic subjects' that 'throw in' Bible.
But I, so much, wanted a change.
I wanted to teach God's Word and 'throw in' academics.
I wanted God's Word to be the center of our home,
our Christian lives, and our homeschool, too.

I did some of that here and there
but I knew I needed to do more.
And more and more it tugged on my heart
of how important it is to be discipling our children
in God's Truths... saturating them in it.

Well, one day, recently,
guess what crossed my path, again???
Yep, Student of the Word.
I looked at their site, read about it, read reviews, etc...
and I prayed about it.
And the Lord led us to purchase it.
(and the 30 day guarantee helped solidify our decision, too!)

After receiving it, I plunged myself into it
to see what I had wanted to see for 9 years.
I enjoyed so much of what I read.
I loved all of the ideas

(some we were already doing!... like illustrations).
I went highlighter crazy (and I do oft' times). ;o)
At first I was a little overwhelmed, too,
wondering, "HUH?? How do I put this together?!"
It's amazing what a pen and paper can do!
So I sat down with it, got it on paper,
and figured it out, with the Lord's help.
That was 3 1/2 weeks ago.
Since then, we have consistently been using it
(though not the entire thing, yet).

What I have been sharing here on our blog
(the photos of our work, etc... in Genesis;

the art work is ours but the structure of it
is from SOW's suggestions)
the last few weeks is what we've been doing
from Student of the Word.

Some of what they share in their curriculum,
I could have come up with on my own
if I had sat down, taken the time, etc...
(I'm sure many of us could),
but it is a blessing that they have already done it,
gone through it, used it,
and have done it written down "Barney-style"
(term my beloved uses... no offense to the purple dinosaur).
... for easier use. ;o)

I will not share too much of my opinion on it
(no pros and cons, etc...)
but I did want to share more information about it,
in case others, like me, wish to know more, see more, etc...

Below are a few notes with photos.
I have, however, blotted out some of the content
but left some of it so that others could see
some of the approach and structure to their program.


SOW is a discipleship curriculum/program
that show how to use the BIBLE (God's textbook)
as the core/spine of education (and life).

(As a KJB lady, I wanted to note that this curriculum
is designed to be used with any version.
However, they do sometimes quote Scripture
and use the NKJV but it does not 'effect' your lesson,
as you do not use what they've written,
rather you are using your own Bible)
It encourages parents to DO the lessons
each night or sometime before the morning devotion.
They mention that you're able to minister
to your family, if you've been ministered to first! ;o)
They encourage you to keep your
finished assignments in a notebook/journal
and state that YOU are learning with your children. ;o)
"Since the Bible's Author is God,
when we study the Bible, we are His students or disciples."

The curriculum is set in three small, 3-ring binders:
Teacher's Edition; Resource Edition; and Student Edition
Also included is an envelope containing charts,
scope & sequence, etc... and master copies
of worksheets for instructional readers (K-5)
(which, also, help as a visual aid for older ones).


Divided by tabs:
Introduction; Family Devotional; Prayer Letters;
Language Arts; Science/History/Geo; Creative Writing;
Electives; Spelling; English; Literature; Phonics;
Music/Phys. Ed; Check Out; Resource List; Charts;
Scope & Sequence; Conclusion; Progress Reports

Family Devotional:
Begin with A.M. Devotion
using the Scope & Sequence for where to read.
From the Devotions,
Language Arts is done each day
(see Lang. Arts explanations below)

Daily Prayer Letters:
written, then prayed
Using concordance, song book, prayer journal

Language Arts:
Reading; Outline (main events, illustrating, etc...),
Penmanship & Memory (key verses, daily practice);
Vocabulary Study (using Bible, dictionary, concordance);
Topical Study
(research, paragraph writing on topic; grammar, etc...);
Character Study (weekly character);
Setting (maps using Bible and atlas);
(giving comments & summary, using Bible, concordance, etc...)

Subject differs weekly
History - chronological
(uses Bible and can use some recommended resources)
recommends timeline
(to grasp the time frame of God's working & dealing with man)

Geography - different continent each semester
draw/label maps, researching info

Science - hands-on & research
Has activities, research suggestions, has suggested resources
1st year is dedicated to teaching
creation principles of God's Word

To encourage student to think about
issues important to his/her faith.
Using Scripture as a basis
and conclusion for their writing

Corresponds to Bible lesson being taught that week.
Skills like art, family traditions, crafts, hobbies,
sewing, architecture, music, etc...

Using misspelled or chosen words with the lessons.
(alphabetical order; diacritical marks; syllable; accent marks;
word usage; definition; prefix, root, suffix; word origins;
singular/plural forms; verb tenses; syn/ant/homonyms;
contractions; abbreviations, etc...)
Using Bible, dictionary, an English handbook

"Learning structure and order of our language"
"Scripture is not only inspired in its meaning,
but in its grammatical structure as well."
Using Bible, an English handbook,
and they "require" an English text
(kinds of sentences; parts of speech;
analyzing & diagramming sentences; classifying sent.;
phrases & clauses; capitalization & punctuation, etc...)

Lessons are used with any poem,
short story, non-fiction or fiction.
Can follow their list or make your own.

rules, etc... are covered
Includes lessons and charts

re: instrumental instruction encouraged;
music appreciation;
encourage praise exercise and family sports

explains how the student needs to "check-out"
at the end of the day with the parent.
For accountability

list of recommended/used resources ;o)

schedules; spiritual vs. carnal chart;
duty schedule; time management; etc...)

This is where the daily lessons are found


Contains things like: Intro; author's testimony;
SOW characteristics; subject overview; family co-op;
apprenticeship; stewardship; student samples;
chart samples

Instruction in each subjects
(similar to the Teacher Edition).


Below is a schedule that I made up
for how we are using it in our family.
We are not using the entire curriculum
(I'm not sure if we will or not)
but below is what we have been implementing and how:

I have put this in the front of my Teacher's Edition
so that I can use it as a reference each week.

We are finishing up our fourth consecutive week
of using this and it has been a real blessing in our home.
Discipling our children it what it is all about
(other than leading them to Christ)
and this has been a helpful tool
as I "get on the ball" in consistently discipling our children.

I pray this information is helpful to others
that have always wanted to know more about SOW
or for those that have never even heard of it. ;o)

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
~ Proverbs 22:6

"And these words, which I command thee this day,
shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7


1Cor1031 said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been looking at it for quite awhile and just didn't know... I hope you all are feeling better & loved hearing how the Lord has supplies the things you need for school!
God Bless

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for taking the time to share about this curriculum.


abrightnewdawn said...

I was wondering what new program you had implemented as we veiwed the Genesis work and your work together around the table. I have not heard of that cirriculum, but I love the idea of it. Thanks for sharing. Praying you all get well soon. We've been rather ill around here. And praise the Lord for those awesome purchases.

PlainJane said...

LOL, I had just finihsed posting about how my SOW had arrived and I was pouring through it every spare moment (reading through the Resource Edition now) and then I came to visit you. lol Great post! I am glad you are enjoying SOW. I look forward to using it this fall.

Bren said...

What a wonderful review. I wondered where you came up with the Genesis art your kids have been doing. Wonderful!

Melody said...

Christina, thank you for posting about this curriculum. We have been researching different curriculum for our son since it will soon be time for him to start school. Thanks for giving us another option to consider.

OklahomaSweetPea said...

Thank you!, I have been in great study to switch over to something a lil bit more "laid out", even though I still praise Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson and miss plain Jane(above for introducing HOW to me), just found it to be to much for my 12 & 7 year old at this time, Do you think this curriculum is age friendly to those groups? I am right now looking into Our Fathers World but this may have snagged my attention too.


Rebekah said...

Wow! I had never heard of this or the cirriculums mentioned in the above post. Now I'm curious and am going to check it out!

LeadingThemToHim said...

Thank you for sharing!

Kristy... said...

Thanks Christina for taking all this time to show what this is all about.
I went on the website before reading your post.. I was sort of lost.. I dont feel that its completly clear... But your post was VERY helpful!!!!!

I will be praying on this... For a long time I thought we would do hooked on phonics for the first couple years but lately I have not felt settled about it... This has definatly peaked my interest and I will be praying. THanks!

Nikki said...

Looks very interesting. I hope you keep us updated on how its going. I think I am a curriculum junkie. I love trying new things as long it is inexpensive.

Nikki said...

Oops! Sorry. I meant to say: "I love trying new things as long as it is inexpensive."

I need to proof myself before posting. :o)

Training Hearts said...

Thank you for sharing :) I had been pondering this quite some time but having never "seen" examples wasn't too sure. I'm excited to have bought the entire set for under 1/2 price in new condition and can use it to fill in some age gaps and with prayer maybe even fully implement.


Branch of Wisdom said...

We made Prayer Letter Journals that I thought you might like to see ;o)

MrsMelody said...

I have a question... does SOW have a math section or give ideas/advice on how to integrate math with their curriculum? Maybe I didn't look close enough and it was there?

If they don't do you have a recommendation on math?


Angeline Lee said...

There is no Math program with the sow. We use Math-U-See. Some of what we have done to show God's creativity with math is figure out the age of the earth from Adam to Noah and other things like that. We have been using the SOW since we started hs-ing about 8 years ago. I was feeling over-whelmed and tired last year so we took a break and did Pilgrims progress by John Bunyon from Answers in Genesis. We will be going back to SOW this year, but less intense than before. We will skip some lessons and supplement with some other things as well, such as poetry, critical thinking puzzles, etc.
We have enjoyed using the SOW. My purpose when we started was Ezra 7:10 & 11, that my children would become experts in the laws of the Lord, and the SOW definitely has been an essential tool in accomplishing that.
We are graduating our oldest child this year and I feel she is prepared well for her future.


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