So, what is The Picture-Smart Bible? According to the program website, it "is an innovative approach to 'seeing' Scripture as a total entity. This Genesis-to-Revelation course is designed to help participants learn, remember and teach the themes and concepts in each book of the Bible...and have fun in the process!" In other words, it's a complete Bible curriculum presented in a unique format that will engage young children, youth, and adults alike in such a way that they'll actually remember key scriptural ideas.
The Picture-Smart Bible is unique because, unlike any other Bible curriculum of which I'm aware, it's been designed to appeal directly to the powerful picture-smart element in every person's brain.
Specifically, Dan and Juanene Peters, the creators of the program, have developed a one-page blackline drawing to represent each and every book of the Bible. Each drawing incorporates images for all the key events and concepts presented in the book, and detailed notes help a teacher walk his students through a systematic, engaging study of the text. As the teacher explains a particular idea, students activate their brains by tracing and/or coloring the appropriate parts of the drawing until the entire page is colorized as directed. If desired, a student can then use the completed illustration to explain his understanding of the book in his own words, and, thus, activate another powerful memory tool. And, when pictures for every book have been finished, each student will have an illustrated, personalized summary of all of Scripture.
I found with my daughters - who were eight and nine when I first used the program with them - that taking several days to go through each book was most conducive to absorbing and remembering. So we've chosen to incorporate it as an occasional supplemental homeschool activity - one, I might add, to which they always look forward. As a result, we finish a handful of book pages a year and will be able to enjoy our study for years to come. Others I know have chosen to use The Picture-Smart Bible as a daily component of their homeschool curriculum and, thus, produce completed keepsakes after just a couple of years. In either case, students can look back to a book's summary sheet at any time when they're engaged in other Bible study, so it's a tool they really can use for a lifetime.
And it's not just for homeschoolers. Families whose kids attend school outside the home use The Picture-Smart Bible for family devotions, employing it to build both Bible knowledge and family unity. It's also an excellent resource for Christian schools, Sunday school classes (for children and adults!), and youth groups; in fact, if a school or church adopted The Picture-Smart Bible for use among all its members, I daresay it would be the most Bible-literate organization for miles around!
If I've piqued your interest, I have two tidbits of great news for you. First, the Peters have extended their incredible Christmas Special until January 15 - so now, for just a few more days, you can purchase the Deluxe Combo for 42% off its retail value or the Regular Combo for 32% off. Since I personally think the regular prices are great for what you get, I find these sale prices to be a steal.
And, second, you can enter a special giveaway - the contents of the entire program on CD (compatible with PC or Mac) - that the Peters are graciously offering exclusively to Being Made New readers. But the giveaway is only open through January 12 - so those who enter but don't win will still have time to purchase the program using Christmas Special rates.
So enter now for a chance to win...and spread the word about the program and the last few days of the Christmas Special. This is a really worthwhile investment in spiritual growth for all Christians who desire to gain a deeper understanding of Scripture for themselves and the young people in their care.
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*****As I've mentioned before, Being Made New is not a "review blog." I do occasionally recommend particular resources, but I don't do regular reviews. And I don't generally accept a free product in exchange for a review because I want my readers to have confidence that the opinions I do provide are unbiased and honest. Instead, when I choose to write a review, it's nearly always for a resource I discovered and purchased on my own and want to recommend. Such is the case today, with my review of The Picture-Smart Bible.