Thursday, April 24, 2014

Home School Adventures {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

Philippians in 28 Weeks review
One of the benefits of homeschooling is being able to study and include the Bible as part of our school day, and one of our goals is that our family would know the Bible well. We recently were asked to review a study called Philippians in 28 Weeks from Home School Adventure Co. that guides users in studying and memorizing the entire book of Philippians over the course of 28 weeks.
Philippians in 28 Weeks
Home School Adventure Co. offers resources designed to help parents educate children from a Biblical worldview, with a focus on learning Truth and being well-equipped to apply God's Word in today's world. Author Stacey Farrell developed the Philippians in 28 Weeks program after her family was inspired to memorize the book of Philippians in just 16 weeks. There are five simple steps in the program:
  1. Read - read the entire book of Philippians every day.
  2. Record - write out the book of Philippians, a verse at a time; and write down thoughts about the Scripture in the journal.
  3. Repeat - repeat the memory verses for the week each day.
  4. Review - review the verses already memorized.
  5. Recite - regularly recite the memorized portions to retain them.
We received a download version of Philippians in 28 Weeks using the ESV Bible. The Journal explains the purpose and how to use to the memory cards and journal throughout the study. For each week, there are copywork pages provided, giving you a chance to write out the passage to be memorized for the week. Then there are journal questions, and questions to reflect upon and discuss. There are recitation charts to help you work through the memorization. There is also a set of memory cards to print out. One suggestion for the memory cards is to laminate them and put them on a key ring. That way they can easily be carried along with you for easy review.

How did we use it? Our original intention was for me and Kennady (my 12-year-old) to work on this together. The first challenge was to find a daily time to work on it together. We did a pretty good job of reading through Philippians together some days, but not others, and we found the best time to do this was as part of our bedtime routine, when we talk and pray together. This was not a good time to do copywork though, and our efforts at keeping up with the journal questions were rather hit-and-miss during this time. Kennady wasn't very interested in memorizing at this time, as she had other memory work ongoing, and she has been doing her own personal Bible study which I did not want her to feel she needed to suspend. I wound up working on the memorization by myself. I figured Kennady would probably be memorizing without actively working on it, since we were reading together (and that's exactly the point of reading the entire book every day!), and she was using the copywork pages to work on her handwriting. 
I found that I did best when I included the daily reading through Philippians with my already-in-place morning Bible reading. When reading on my own, it took maybe 10 or 15 minutes to read through the whole book. As I did, I realized that just as I suspected Kennady would, I was starting to memorize some passages without much effort. I didn't spend much time on the reflection questions - just read them over and thought about them (I didn't print out all the pages of the study guide!) - and I decided to focus my memorization efforts on certain passages rather than the entire book. While I think it's a wonderful goal to memorize an entire book of the Bible, it is also a task requiring a long-term commitment, and I thought it would profit me more to memorize passages such as Philippians 2:1-11 and 4:4-8 rather than Paul's introduction and personal greetings. So, over the past several weeks I have been able to refresh my memory of parts of Philippians that I'd memorized in the past, and work on memorizing new sections.

What we liked best:
  • open-and-go, no preparation time needed. All you need is this book and your Bible. And maybe a pen.
  • suitable for one person (although it's a good idea to have someone to check you as you recite what you're memorizing) or for a whole family to do together. 
  • a great way to get God's Word hidden in your heart, over time and with plenty of reflection - this is memory work that sticks, and it's worth it!
What I need to mention:
  • at present, only two versions are available - King James Version and English Standard Version.
  • if you choose the downloadable e-book, be aware that there is a lot to print - over 160 pages.
  • this is designed to get you into the Scripture every day for 28 weeks - that's about seven months. It will require a real commitment of your time daily and over that long haul to get the most out of this.
Our bottom line: While this was not a good fit style-wise for our family, I do appreciate the opportunity it afforded me to dig into a favorite book of the New Testament and brush up on my memorization of several passages from Philippians. I believe it would be a valuable resource for a family looking to spend time together in God's Word and ready for the challenge of memorizing this epistle together.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~Philippians 4:8

Home School Adventure Co.
Would your family like to go on this kind of adventure? Here's what you need to know:
Visit the website:

Pricing: Philippians in 28 Weeks is available in complete print edition for $28.95 (KJV or ESV) or as a complete e-book for $14.95 (ESV), and the e-book of the cards only is available for $9.95 (ESV). At present, Home School Adventure Co. is offering Schoolhouse Review Crew readers a discount of 10% off any download purchase. This offer is good until May 15, 2014. Use the code CREW-10.
Home School Adventure Co.
Recommended Ages: Ages 9-11 can do this as a read-aloud with parents; ages 12 and up can do this independently. It is for all ages when used as a family discussion and read-aloud.

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