Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Notgrass Company - Draw to Learn

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I have heard great things about Notgrass Company but never actually used their curriculum before, so I was intrigued when their Draw to Learn series came up for review. I was sent the physical copy of Draw to Learn: Proverbs, and then received digital copies of all of the Draw to Learn Bible books: (Draw to Learn Acts, Draw to Learn Proverbs, Draw to Learn Psalms, Draw to Learn the Letters of Paul, Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus. Digital copies contain the entire book and can be printed out over and over for all the members of your family. This was perfect for us since I wanted to try it with Terrific T and Princess P and they like to do the same thing (and it makes it easier for me when they do the same books!).

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I received the link for the downloads before the book arrived in the mail (which I didn't know which one I was going to be getting). I let the kids look through them and pick which book they wanted to start with. They chose Proverbs so I printed up the first 10 out of 150 lessons for them. Ironically, Proverbs is the book they chose for us to get the physical copy of too. Kinda cool!

This curriculum is really for anyone that can read the Bible, or listen while it is being read. How's that for an age range? Each day you do one page and it is broken down into three steps - Read, Think, Draw. There is no need for a teacher's guide with this book. The first few pages gives tips on how to get the most out of the books, but the kids can just read each page as they go and and do it. I loved that they didn't have to wait for me to help or tell them what to do. They just grabbed their book, Bible, and pencils and were off.

At the top of the page it tells what verses to read. It wasn't ever very many verses, which was perfect for my two who haven't found the love of reading yet that I'm praying they find!  Then it highlights one verse or phrase and there is a huge empty box that takes up most of the page. Under the box is a quick discussion about the verses you read and the directions for what to draw in the box.

My kids love art, and they love the Bible so this was a win-win for us! We have been doing it everyday as part of their quiet time to start the day, and will continue to use it each morning during the school year. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how detailed they want to be with their drawings. They use pencils and colored pencils only to keep it simple. We have done about 4 weeks of the Proverbs and then they wanted to do Life of Jesus. I sent the whole book to BestValueCopy, where copies are 2.5 cents a page, and had two full copies of that ebook printed for them. Each book has 150 lessons and I had them both printed and 3 hole punched for $8.79 total! I love their cheap printing! That is for both kids for the entire year! Love it! The printed books from Notgrass are $14.95 and the ebooks to download are $9.95 - and remember that you can then print them for everyone in your household if you get the ebook. That is a much better deal if you are going to be printing multiples. If you just need one copy, I'd get the preprinted one and not mess with it though. It is nicely spiral bound with a heavy cardstock cover. Since I printed all of theirs already, I'm keeping them in a box and just putting a couple of weeks at a time into their daily notebook.

We have really enjoyed this review. The kids never complain about "having" to do it. Anytime they can mix art in with their studies, they are sold. I liked how the discussion questions made them think. It isn't like a typical fill in the blank worksheet - this was lets them think and apply the scripture to their lives. I like how it tells the parents to encourage the kids to do WELL at this and not just rush through it to check it off. There is such beauty in God's Word and it is important to give it it's due. I have been impressed with it and would definitely recommend it. Have you ever used this? If so, what did you think?


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