Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: The Life of Christ

Positive Action for Christ, a publishing house specializing in youth curriculum for fundamental churches, first began as a single ProTeen club in 1969.  After requests from other churches to use the materials, a ministry was born.

Positive Action for Christ provides both school and church curriculum for students of all ages.  There are too many studies to list, so be sure to visit their Products Page to get a full scope of all that is offered. For review, I was sent The Life of Christ which is intended for 7th-12th graders. Positive Action for Christ described its purpose for this study as follows:
The purpose of The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John is to make Jesus Christ real to your students. Our hope as you journey through this material is that your students will not only know Jesus more, but also love Him more.
 The Life of Christ study comes with a Teacher Manual in a three-ring binder and a bound Student Manual.  Included with the Teacher Manual is a CD-Rom that contains overhead transparencies for classroom presentations, which can also be viewed on a computer screen or printed out for small groups or individuals. Additionally, quizzes and unit studies are provided.
 Each lesson has a pre-class reading that is followed by questions for the student.  The questions are designed to help a student's mind "ponder Him and His teaching".  They are designed to get the students thinking, rather than fill their minds with facts.

Following the student work is the teacher presentation.  In the Student Manual is a "Notes form the Teacher's Lesson" section that provides and outline of the lesson with a fill-in-the-blank style overview.  Additionally, there is a "Digging Deeper" section that provides suggestions for related assignments or topics of discussion. One example from Chapter Fourteen, titled Christ Proves His Deity:
Make a chart showing how each of the major false religions and cults of the world deny and oppose the deity of Christ.

The curriculum is meant to be flexible to suit classes that meet once a week to several times a week, as well as be adaptable for independent study.  With 35 lessons, this is a full-year curriculum.  Student and Teacher Manual sample downloads are available if you'd like to take a closer look at the structure of the program.

I’ve had trouble finding Bible studies that meet my criteria.  Personally, I’ve been through too many that require little more than having the user pull answers from the text and transfer them to blanks on an answer page.  However, I didn’t find that The Life of Christ lacked substance at all.  It is a very thorough study and I enjoyed the material it covered.  It did have items to look up and place in blanks, but it wasn't so simplistic that it bored the user.  Overall, I was impressed with the thoroughness of the study.

With teacher and student manuals, and a CD of overhead transparencies, it is definitely geared more toward a classroom environment.  My daughter (almost 14) much prefers independent studies and would really prefer to not have me teach her from a manual.  Given this, I gave her the student book, showed her what she needed to cover as part of the “pre-lecture” work, and then gave her the Teacher Manual for the balance of the lesson.  I enjoyed reading the material in the Teacher Manual myself, and I thought she may too.  Unfortunately, she felt the presentation was too “schooly”.  She commented that she'd much rather just read her Bible and attend her small group with fellow teenagers.  In that respect, this curriculum didn't really work for us at this moment for independent study and the format really does lend itself better to a group environment. The content is certainly meaty enough to give opportunity for discussion and pondering.

I did want to note that while the suggested grades include middle school, I felt this was more appropriate for high school, at least in most cases. Also, as with any Bible curriculum, you many want to review the Doctrinal Statement, which can be found on the About Us page.  While my beliefs don't align with every part of the Doctrinal Statement, I also didn't find anything in the lessons that were objectionable.

The Life of Christ Teacher Manual is available for $41.95 and the Student Manual for $17.95. Both can be purchased at the Positive Action for Christ website.

To read what others had to say about The Life of Christ, please visit the official TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result in my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. I was provided the product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I have received no other compensation.

I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.


TerriG said...

Thanks, I appreciate your review. I guess I have to get used to not always agreeing with every publisher. That was a good idea to include the link for their statement of faith.

Diane Allen said...

Thorough review. I remember using ProTeen materials in the 70's (isn't that dating me!).