Bible Fluency is an amazing FREE multi-media Bible survey course for junior high students through adults, complete with digital versions of video instruction, teacher’s guides, workbook, flashcards, teaching aids, final exams, and very high quality “memory” songs that help students master key points of each section of the Bible. This course is as good or better than courses that you purchase! The Bible Fluency website even provides free promotional resources for those who want to offer the courses in church or other group settings.
The course is divided into Old and New Testament sections, each of which can be completed in 12 weeks. Lessons should run about one hour once a week. Lessons are addressed in a practical fashion, as you can see by the lesson titles such as, “Who is God and what in the world is he doing?” (Genesis) and “How do we get out of the mess we’re in?” (Exodus and Leviticus). The goal is to familiarize students with the overarching story as well as key points within the various books of the Bible.
Berding suggests beginning each lesson with a song. Songs performed by semi-professional singers summarize key events, ideas, and people from each section of the Bible. Songs are really outstanding, and they should serve as great memory devices. The Old Testament has four songs for the Pentateuch, the History books, Poetry and Wisdom books, and the Prophets. The New Testament has three songs for the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and Letters of Paul, and General Letters and Revelation. There are icons for the various points in each song that can be projected, viewed on a computer/tablet, and/or studied on flashcards. The set of 400 flashcards is color coded to match them with each song.
Berding suggests that for class groups a warm up activity be used after the song and before the weekly quiz. (The quiz might be oral or written.) After going over the quiz, you should go over the workbook answers from the previous week. The class should then watch the video or listen to the teacher’s instruction. Instruction, whether by video or the teacher, should take up about 20 minutes of each class. Most sessions include some sort of follow-up activity like a Jeopardy game, writing activity, or oral quiz.
The course was designed for group classes, but it can easily adapt to homeschool situations, even with only one student… although Jeopardy might not be as much fun. The website explains that for the parent of a solitary homeschooler, “All that will be required of you is that you administer short quizzes and final exams, turn on the video teaching, monitor that your son or daughter is spending at least one hour a week learning the material via songs and flashcards and an additional hour completing the workbook exercises.” So it is possible for students to use the course for independent study.
The Curriculum serves as your teacher’s guide with separate files for Old and New Testaments. The Curriculum has detailed lesson plans including a scripted presentation if you prefer to present the lesson yourself rather than use the video presentation by Berding. Lesson plans in the Curriculum list required resources and describe each part of the class, including use of quizzes, handouts, and songs. There are two forms of the Curriculum—one a PDF and the other a changeable document in case you want to rewrite lesson plans.
Handouts for each class session include student note pages with fill-in-the-blanks outlines, sheets with lyrics for the memory songs, pages with matching activities, writing activities, and quizzes. Students will be learning the song lyrics to help them remember key points, so some worksheets have fill-in-the-blanks exercises for song lyrics.
For the teacher, there are also answer keys, PowerPoint Jeopardy games, attendance sheets, quiz templates, and final exams for each semester.
Course components are found under different tabs on the website, so you need to look through everything to discover all of the components. Because the course material is all free and readily available, students have to be on their honor not to look at answer keys.
You can purchase physical products if you wish from Weaver Book Company, but even those are very reasonably priced. The Bible Fluency Complete Learning Kit ($60) includes teaching videos, songs on CD, a workbook, flashcards, and a copy of Berding’s book Bible Revival. (You will still need to download the Curriculum, handouts, and other components.)
Bible Fluency is an amazing resource for churches, Christian schools, homeschoolers, and adult learners. If you like the course, consider donating through the Bible Fluency website to help support their efforts.