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 her 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 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.
But it's not just for homeschoolers. Families whose kids attend school outside the home use The Picture-Smart Bible for family devotions, utilizing it to build both Bible knowledge and family unity. And it's also an excellent resource for Christian schools, Sunday school classes (for children as young as four or five all the way through to 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!
Of course, whether in a family or within a school or church, the goal is not mere knowledge. But the fact of the matter is that we must know Scripture in order to really know the Lord, and I can't think of a better tool than The Picture-Smart Bible for parents and teachers who really want to engage kids in that process. Go here for more ways to make God apart of your everyday life and home, and be sure to link up your own ideas below!
About the Author: Tina Hollenbeck and her husband Jeff are raising two daughters and have another waiting for them in the arms of Jesus. Before becoming a mom, Tina taught English to immigrant kids in public secondary schools for nine years, but now she cherishes her role as an at-home wife and mother and also advocates passionately for homeschooling. Tina writes regularly for her blog, Being Made New, and is also the staff writer for Celebrate Kids, Inc, a Texas-based ministry to parents and educators. In addition, she’s developing a public speaking ministry of her own, and is available to address homeschoolers, women’s groups, and young people on a variety of topics. In her spare time, Tina enjoys singing on her church’s worship team, exercising, and scrapbooking.