Review by Carrie Fernandez
I am pleased to share my review of The Picture Smart Bible with you. I will start off by saying that for us, Bible “curriculum” has not always worked. It seemed that whatever we chose to do would repeat a lot of the well know Bible stories, but not really go much farther than that. When I agreed to review PSB, I was excited, since it encompassed art too (a lacking subject in our homeschool), I thought it might be a good fit for us. I was right! We started in the Old Testament and followed all of the instructions. I also elected to add in an outline of each book in the Bible from my study Bible. We have taken it at a steady, but comfortable pace, not rushing or trying to cram everything in quickly, but enjoying it.
Much to my delight, I quickly figured out that it lines up with Mystery of History, Vol I. perfectly. Note, that since you go at your own pace, that might not be the case for you. Since I discovered that, however, I try to keep on a pace with PSB that matches the introduction of the Biblical characters in MOH.
My 5th grade daughter enjoys this very much. It goes over each book in the Bible and covers all of the important facts, key verses, and “connects the dots” for you from book to book. She loves the drawing and it really helps to reinforce what “we” are learning. Yes, I am learning too. For example, we recently finished up II Chronicles and we drew a head shot of each king. Each king’s facial expressions matched his demeanor and we rated them on a “sin scale” as instructed. We learned about strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, who their father was, how they died, and who they left the throne to. When we came to King Josiah in MOH, the pretest asked a question about him and I was overjoyed when my daughter summarized his life, remembered he was a good king (2 on the sin scale), that during his reign they found the lost/hidden scrolls with the laws, and he reinstituted celebrating festivals and restored worship in the temple. She remembered all of that! When you draw it, it really does make a connection to the facts and reinforces learning!
I would highly recommend The Picture Smart Bible to your family. This would work for all ages of children, together at the table. Of course, younger ones would not be able to “draw” as instructed, but in that case, you could copy the master and they could color it. There are additional options you could add for older ones, such as; outlining the book, using a timeline, doing character studies, and more. You can take this as far as you want to and stretch it out as you like. We will start the New Testament as soon as we finish with the Old Testament. I am so glad we found PSB – you will be too!