Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Draw to Learn (Review)

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Veteran homeschoolers, Ray and Charlene Notgrass, began publishing homeschool curriculum in 1999.  The desire of the Notgrass Company is to educate the "heart, soul, and mind" of all ages.  This mission is accomplished by providing many curriculum choices covering art, history, economics, civics, government, literature, and the Bible.  They have K-8 resources and high school products available.
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Our family was able to review the entire Draw to Learn series: Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus, Draw to Learn Acts , Draw to Learn the Letters of Paul, Draw to Learn Psalms , and
Draw to Learn Proverbs. We received them all in e-book format and also received a physical copy of Draw to Learn Proverbs.  The physical copies of The Draw to Learn series retail for $14.95.  All of the Notgrass Company's consumable workbooks are now available in e-book format as well.  Each of the titles in the Draw to Learn series can be purchased for $9.95.  When you purchase one of the e-books, the Notgrass Company grants you permission to print copies of the pages for use with your own household.  This is wonderful for my family.  It is definitely a cost-efficient option if you are using the curriculum with multiple students.

This series leads children through Scripture reading, makes a summary statement of the passage, and prompts the student to respond through drawing.  Some of the tasks are basic recall, but others are thought-provoking and provide real-life application.  We found that the series would really be appropriate for all ages.  The bulk of the work is obviously drawing, but a parent could help with the minimal writing required if the product is used with younger students.

I admit that when I first opened the product I was a bit underwhelmed.  I thought to myself, "Really?  I could do this!"  Read Scripture, hand the kids a piece of paper, and have them draw.  Actually, a lot of us could probably pull this off, but have you?  or how often have you?  While the concept is simple, I came to the realization that this is a phenomenal product for a number of reasons.  1.) I have and never would have/find the time to tackle such a task.  2.)  I wouldn't have it all organized and ready on hand for ease of use.  3.)  I probably would lose steam and be unable to come up with that many original prompts.

After using the product with my children, I see how it encourages them to truly absorb and interact with Scripture.  It is teaching them to find the meat and meaning even in the shortest of verses.  They are applying the words to their lives and hiding them in their hearts.  It really is a joy to see.

Throughout the summer, I selected a variety of individual pages from the 5 different e-books and printed them for the children's use.  Now, that our school year is back in full swing.  I have decided to begin each school day with a Draw to Learn lesson.  We are working through the 150 lessons in Draw to Learn Proverbs.  We are learning about wisdom, understanding, speech, and daily Christian living.  Currently, I have Rachel working in the spiral-bound physical book.  I print off the pages from the e-book for the boys.  However, my intent is to have the finished product bound as well.  I think these will make beautiful keepsakes for the children for years to come.

In my opinion, the Draw to Learn series is really a precursor to journaling through the Bible.  It is establishing good habits now that will carry my children throughout their lives.  It reinforces that the Bible is absolutely alive and well and the place to turn for answers to questions, encouragement, and strength.  I recommend clicking below to see what other Schoolhouse Crew members are saying about their experiences with the Notgrass Company.


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