Friday, October 15, 2010
Young Hearts Longing for God - Product Review
As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.
Soli Deo Gloria Resources is a company that offers God-centred, homeschooling resources in the areas of bible, geography, history, and science, as well as teaching, and character development. Our family had the privilege of using Young Hearts Longing for God: A Pre-Inductive Study of the Psalms, available as an e-book for $14.95. It is a 30-lesson study of that many psalms geared to students in grades 4-8.
This introduction to an inductive bible study approach asks students to read a psalm repeatedly over the course of several days and respond to the passage by following instructions that direct the reader's attention to certain details of the text, such as the speaker's feelings, or his insights into the character of God. Underlining with different colours and drawing symbols encourages students to see patterns in what they have read, enabling them to make connections within the text, and within their own lives. Exercises can be completed all at once, or they can be spread out over a series of days to make the study quick and simple while still encouraging depth of discovery.
I used the study with DS11 and DD8, both of whom enjoyed it. DD8, who does not find reading or writing at all easy, liked the fact that she could participate in reading the bible aloud. And because we studied the same psalm for several days in a row, not only was she immersed in the scripture, she was able to grow her vocabulary AND her confidence as she repeatedly encountered the same words each day. Because the physical act of writing is a challenge for both children, it was nice to have a simple bible curriculum that required a combination of basic writing actions (such as underlining with different colours or drawing simple symbols) and writing short answers. The introduction to the study wisely counselled that the exercises should not be used as a writing evaluation instrument. Rather, they are an opportunity for children to respond to scripture with brief answers to questions and short compositions (journal entries -- expected only to be a few sentences long).
Because the book is delivered in e-book format, my DH was able to manipulate the printing so that when we bound the books, each psalm's exercise was faced by a journal page rather than it being on the back of the page, as suggested.
This worked well for us, as it meant all the work for a given psalm was visible at a glance. While the study was very basic, it was easy to do in just a few minutes per day without being cumbersome. Most of the time we worked through the exercises together, but there were times that I simply assigned the work for DS11 to do independently and checked it later. DD8 needed assistance for most of the exercises, but she reveled in the opportunity to write her own responses on the big, empty journal pages (which I feared she would find daunting). I think she enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when she saw her own words filling the lines on the page.
If you would like a glimpse inside the book for yourself, some sample pages are available for viewing here. I appreciated the fact that it was something I could use with multiple children of different levels so that each was both challenged and encouraged. If you're looking for an easy to use, simple curriculum that has your child taking more than a cursory glance at scripture, you might consider exploring Young Hearts Longing for God.
Click here to see other reviews of Soli Gloria Deo Resources.