Judah Bible Curriculum (JBC) is based on the Principle Approach. If you are like me, then you will have no idea what that first sentence means. So, what is the Principle Approach (PA)? In short, the PA is an educational philosophy that bases its content on the idea of building character in the student and having them become dependent upon God, not government (or the State). This approach emphasizes that true liberty may only be found when an individual is governed by God and not themselves nor the government.
With that overly simplified explanation out of the way, I would like to talk about the actual curriculum from Judah Bible. The concept of this curriculum is certainly intriguing. JBC is centered on 5 themes from the bible which are: creation, the plan of redemption begins, the kingdom of Israel, the kingdom of God, and the early church. All 5 themes are covered each year, but the topics in each theme differ from year to year (the scope and sequence may be found here). In each theme there are suggestions for students to study certain key individuals, key events, key institutions, and key documents. The themes are then further broken down into weekly readings and there is also a suggested scripture to be used as a memory verse. You can use any translation of the Bible that you wish and a central component of JBC is that the child is reading (or is being read) the Word of God.
It is understood that the parent/teacher will lead discussions and also be thoroughly knowledgeable about the topics. Although there are some teacher training audios, I found them not to be incredibly helpful. The speaker leaves a bit to be desired, in my opinion, in both delivery and content. I found myself disagreeing with some of the main points in the talk (for example, I do not believe that only Christians can be moral people), but other areas certainly gave me something new to think about. It is clear that the recordings were taken from some presentation in front of an audience and the referenced figures may be found towards the back of the JBC manual.
JBC is a heavy proponent of notebooking, and both the children and the teacher are encouraged to make notebooks as they move along in their studies. In the audio files and on the website it is mentioned that it would be best if something was added to the notebook once a day (5 days a week), but at the minimum 2 pieces of information should be filed for each weekly reading. However, very little is given in the way of supporting this task. There are some blank key sheets that contain prompts under the general headings of key individual, key institution, key document, and key event. But, if you have a young child that you are using this with, then you will need quite a bit of time to dig up coloring pages and other notebooking pages that will be appropriate for littles.
Overall, I like the idea of this curriculum and I love that there is a reading plan for each year that is easily adaptable. I also like that the 5 themes of the Bible are covered each year. I was expecting more support in the notebooking area and I didn’t find the presentation of the curriculum to be very intuitive (it took me a good 3-4 weeks to wrap my mind around this curriculum).
If you have a child that loves the idea of creating a notebook as they study the Bible and you have plenty of time to lead them in their studies and provide notebooking resources, then this may be a very good fit for your family.
Price: $44 for a download version and $74 for a hardcopy
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I received a free downloadable version of the Judah Bible curriculum for the purpose of this review; no further compensation was received for my honest opinion.