Memoria Press first published their Introduction to Classical Studies, a single-volume combined study guide for The Golden Children's Bible, Famous Men of Rome, and D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. They have just completed expanding the instruction into independent guides. There are now separate guides for Famous Men of Rome and D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths plus a series of three guides for The Golden Children's Bible. My focus in this review is only the guides for The Golden Children's Bible, which are titled Christian Studies.
The Golden Children's Bible itself uses the King James version of the Bible, adapting and editing for both length and propriety for children. You need a copy of this book to use with Christian Studies guides.
Part I (the first book in the series of guides) covers creation, the patriarchs, and the Exodus. Part II covers the rise of Israel and the period of the prophets. Part III focuses on the New Testament, covering from the Annunciation and the birth of Jesus through the vision of John in Revelation.
Each Part has both a student and teacher book. Teacher guides have reduced copies of student pages with answers overprinted. Surrounding the student page are teaching instruction
Teacher guides provide a consistent approach for daily lessons laid out for use with a class. I will describe the five-day plan, and I think you will see that it might be condensed if you are working with only one or two students at home.
On the first day, students read through the assigned sections of the GCB, at least once on their own, and at least once "in class." Teachers discuss the reading, cover challenging vocabulary words, ensure that students understand the reading, and introduce the memory verse for the week.
On day two, together students and teacher go over the "facts to know"—names, places, and events. These are discussed, looked up on maps, and reviewed in context of the "bigger story." Students might also copy the facts into a notebook. This is the time to also review and drill "facts" from earlier lessons.
Day three is dedicated to work on the memory verse as well as review of previously learned verses. On the fourth day, students work together on the comprehension questions to compose complete sentence answers. Comprehension questions essentially require children to respond at the lower levels of reasoning—comprehension and understanding—rather than analyzing and making judgments.
Day five is for activities and tests. Activities include picture reviews, geography and map work, timelines, drawing, drills and recitations. There are chapter reviews plus cumulative reviews for every five lessons. Cumulative tests in teacher guides cover every five lessons.
In classroom situations, all but Friday's lesson should take a half hour or less to complete. You might be able to condense lessons to three days a week in a homeschool setting.
These books are written with classical education in mind. They stress memorization, copy work, recitation, mastery of facts, and frequent review, all reflecting the "grammar stage" emphasis on acquiring basic knowledge. A little creativity might be needed on the teacher's part to make memorization, review, and recitation enjoyable.
This program will help children form a solid knowledge base about the Bible. It is an ungraded program written for students at the grammar stage and should be appropriate for children in grades one through six. First graders might find the amount of information to learn overwhelming so use good judgment about what to require from younger students.