Monday, January 19, 2009

Deeper Roots Bible Studies: Rooted and Grounded

One of the benefits of homeschooling your child through high school is having “extra time” for great discussions. Once children are in their teens they are ready to tackle some of life’s tougher questions and eagerly seek out answers from peers, mentors and teachers. Lucky me, as a homeschool Mom/teacher/mentor I am usually available for listening, discussing and advice giving when the moment arises. I am reminded frequently during these years of the importance of making sure the foundation of my young adult’s life is solidly supported with Biblical truth and knowledge.

Rooted and Grounded: A Guide for Spiritual Growth published by Deeper Roots publications was co-authored by former homeschool Mom, Jan Harris, when she became frustrated with her search for a Bible curriculum that could meet the needs of both teenaged student and teacher. After asking friends Howard and Bonnie Lisech, accomplished authors of devotional books, for a Bible curriculum to fit her needs Harris was told the couple would write the curriculum only if she would help co-author the study. The project took three years to complete, but is a beautiful testimony to the trio’s hard work and devotion to the project.

Rooted and Grounded is designed to be an academic Bible study for high school level students rather than a typical devotional. The curriculum includes sample lesson plans, writing assignments, journaling exercises, memory verses, cultural study of unreached people groups, tests and grading suggestions for the teacher. The 255+ page spiral bound teacher’s guide is very user friendly and complete allowing teachers the opportunity to begin using the curriculum with very little preparation. I simply read through the descriptions of the different aspects of the curriculum at the beginning of the guide minutes before my 17 year old daughter and I met to use the study for the first time. A 49 page appendix in the teacher’s guide provides the text of all scripture used in the lessons although the author’s encourage making use of a Bible to look up the scriptures used.

Rooted and Grounded is designed to “guide students in the understanding and the disciplines of a daily walk with Jesus.” The course contains 27 lessons, and 8 Unit tests. Lessons are designed to take one to two weeks to complete. The authors suggest completing the curriculum in a single school year, however taking extra time if needed is also encouraged. A free PDF which includes introductory pages, a table of contents and a sample lesson is available on the Deeper Roots website.

My daughter was in the midst of Christmas break when we began using Rooted and Grounded. Keeping in mind that we were in “vacation mode” we chose to complete all the assignments together by looking up scripture and discussing the questions. Sammi wrote our answers in her soft bound student book for future reference. I preferred using the curriculum this way as it seemed a bit more typical to my previous experiences with Bible study, but homeschoolers could definitely choose to use Deeper Roots as an academic course as the lesson plans clearly state which portions should be completed by teacher and student during class time and which portions are “homework” assignments.

When asked for a student’s perspective, Sammi answered with some positive and negative comments. “This seems like a pretty good Bible course for school, but I wouldn’t do this for a personal Bible study. I felt like there were a lot of repetitive questions and it wasn’t really geared towards teen life in general. It felt like a school course to me as we completed it. I would recommend this study, however, for greater Bible knowledge. I just don’t think it worked as a personal devotional book.

I liked how the curriculum incorporated a prayer focus each week for different areas of the world. Learning about the various unreached people groups built a great awareness for me of how much they need my prayers. The black and white drawings that accompany each lesson were beautifully done and create a mental image for me of the people living in these areas. They were very realistic and moving.”

Rooted and Grounded can be purchased on the Deeper Roots website along with other high quality Bible study curriculum for 4-6th grades, 7th-9th grades, short term missionaries and homeschool Moms. The teacher guide retails for $39.50, the student guide for $23.95 and the tests and answer key supplement is $3.95. Rooted and Grounded is worth the small financial investment as the quality time it will provide for you and your teen will be priceless.

1 comment:

Guiding Light said...

I am looking in to starting to use this curriculum so appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!