My wife and I homeschool our daughter. We have been using an excellent social studies curriculum. With that said, we needed supplemental teaching material as we moved beyond lessons regarding creation, Noah’s flood, and Israel’s time in Egypt. It seems as if there is a plethora of videos and articles on the aforementioned topics; however, when it came to the move by Israel into the Promised Land, the period of the Judges, and Israel’s history in general, we had difficulty finding material that was neither focused on very young children or a more academic, scholarly approach. Thankfully, after some searching, we discovered material by Greenleaf Press, specifically their Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History.
The format of this book makes it an excellent tool to both supplement and at times to perhaps even replace a textbook one may be using. Now keep in mind this book is not a traditional textbook. There is no lengthy discussion, no maps, and no testing material. What you will find are lessons that focus on a passage of Scripture, followed by penetrating questions that help the student dig into the topic at hand, investigating both Scripture and the historical issues related to that passage.
Such an approach serves two important purposes. First, it ensures the student grasps that Scripture relates actual historical events. Second, by making this connection, the student will be able to take important theological truths and to apply those truths to the actual historical events they are studying through this guide. For instance, in the lesson on David and Goliath, the student will read 1 Samuel 17. Then, discussion questions guide the student to take at look at this character called Goliath, exploring who he was, how tall he was, and why he was challenging Israel. Additional questions walk the student through the story of David responding to Goliath as well as working through why this event was important. In the end, the student will have a cogent and holistic understanding of this historical event and why it is important both within Israel’s history and in the grand story of Scripture itself.
I highly recommend this book for homeschoolers who are looking for ways to supplement existing curriculum they may be using. Additionally, I believe this book would serve families well during their family Bible study time. However, it is utilized, the Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History will serve you well in your studies of Israel’s history and the Word of God. I know we will be exploring the other offerings from Greenleaf Press as we press forward in our homeschooling journey.
This book is available for purchase from Greenleaf Press by clicking here.