Aug 20, 2014

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Wizzy Gizmo

As Christians, our family places a lot of importance on knowing the Bible. Not just the cute little Sunday School stories, and not even just memorizing Scripture, but knowing facts and details about the Bible, like who wrote the book of Philippians and when. We also want them to dig deeper and understand what is the purpose of each book and what is God trying to tell us? The thing is, however, these kinds of things can be difficult to teach in an way that engages kids and makes them want to learn.

Enter Wizzy Gizmo's Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament!

This pack contains 27 cards. One for each book of the New Testament. They are large cards, the size of a small paperback book, and they are made of sturdy cardstock. They need to be big because they are packed with information. The suggested age range is from 2 years of age on up! I know it was simple enough that my seven year old could handle it and I, at my undisclosed age of "on up" learned some new things!

The front of each card contains an overview of the book. It tells you who wrote it and why, who they wrote it to and the theme of it in two or three well-written paragraphs. There are also little boxes on the side that tell you how many chapters are in the book, the author, and the date it was written. On the bottom is a key verse from that book.

The back of the card is divided into five color-coded sections. First is the outline of the book, next is a list of the key chapters, then a list of key passages, then key doctrines, and finally, key people in the book, with a short description so you know who they are and why they are important. Along the top the theme is written in bold letters and then a sentence of explanation.

These cards were easy to use. We have a "morning time" "circle time" "morning meeting"... whatever you want to call it and I just dropped these cards into that time. First, I read the front of the card aloud to the kids. This took me only a minute or two. Really easy to add into our day. I read it every day for a week (we school four days so it was, I thought, the right amount of time for my elementary aged kids). Each time I read it, I had them repeat the key verse after me. The third and fourth days, I started asking questions.

"How many chapters does First Corinthians have?"

"When was the book of John written?"

"Who wrote the book of Colossians?"

Again, this only took a few minutes of our day but they grasped and retained the information quickly. The next week, I moved to the back of the card. I started the day by asking questions about the front of the card and then I started reading the back. I devoted a day to each section, squishing whichever happened to be the two shortest sections into one day. We also repeated the theme and the verse (from the front) every day.

After two weeks, or eight days, even my seven year old remembered an amazing amount of information about each book!

Once we finished several cards, I added a review game to our time. I would call out a time period, or an author or a theme or a key person etc. and the kids would have to tell me which book they belonged to. The fun part, of course, is that many of the people and time periods would fit more than one book, so there are lots of opportunities for a correct answer and they were able to keep me on my toes!

I had Kaytie and Nate write a summary of the front of the card in their own words. Then we could use those summaries in a "mix and match" game where they would race each other to match their summaries to the correct card.

The little kids practiced putting the cards in order which helps them find books in their Bibles.

We have had a lot of fun with these cards and I'm sure as we go along we will find more fun ways to use them!

I loved using these cards because they provided me with the myriad of facts of the book that I wanted my kids to know all in one place. I didn't have to hunt anything down. The sturdy quality means I don't mind handing them over to my kids to quiz each other or just to peruse for fun. The color coding on the back makes it really easy to just focus on one part at at time.

The only con I have for these cards is that I wish they were laminated so that I didn't have to worry about them getting wet, since we use them in our Morning Time which we do at the table during breakfast. Well, no, actually, I have two cons... the other is that they don't have a pack for the Old Testament as well! Because we would LOVE to have a set!!!

I don't have any pictures to share with you because, since we use these cards at breakfast, the kids are still in their pajamas and they objected strongly to me putting those pictures on the blog, so, sorry, but you will just have to use your imagination on this one!

Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament is only $14.99. I don't generally comment on price, because it is so relative to each family's situation, but I honestly think that these cards are worth every penny of $14.99!

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