Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Awana Home School Kit ~ A Review

Our family loves Awana, which is a discipleship program. The memorization of scripture, the understanding of the verses and practical, hands-on application of Bible truths are a few of the many reasons we love the program.

We are blessed to have an Awana club at a nearby church. My children attend from August through May. I do know of areas where the program isn't available. (Before now, the materials were only available to purchase through a physical club.) An Awana Home School Kit can play a large role in the discipleship of children (and their parents) at home.

What is in a Homeschool Kit?

The materials in the Homeschool Kit are the same as those available to children (and their parents) to work through in a traditional club. The Entrance Booklet and Student Handbook (K-2nd Handbooks include a CD of the handbook being read aloud dramatically, with different voices for the characters.), Verse Music CD and the Parent Handbook, Awana at Home. The kids and I also adore the exclusive lime green Awana Home School drawstring backpack, too. It is a handy way to store and transport their Awana materials.

Also to note, the Student Handbooks are available in many translations: ESV, KJV, NKJV, and NIV.

Below are the Homeschool Kits we received for review.

 HangGlider ~Kindergarten Home School Kit ~ 40 Lessons
 Seven pages of ParentIdeas, explaining how to make the Biblical truths learned come to life for the student, are included in the back of the HangGlider Student Handbook (112 pages, spiral bound). There are 12 Bible biographies, from the book of Genesis to Joshua, and many character stories in HangGlider. By the end of this course, the HangGlider student will have memorized many Bible verses and all of the books of the Bible.

My five year old looking through his Flight3:16 booklet and his handbook is opened on the floor.

Second Grade Home School Kit ~ 40 Lessons
In the third level of Sparks, SkyStormer, (112 pages, spiral bound) children continue learning biographies of people in the Bible, from Matthew to Revelation, character stories, memorizing verses and reviewing all the books in the Bible. There are 11 complete Bible biographies on the SkyStormer read-aloud CD in PDF form. The last page of each biography includes read aloud activities, discussion activities and and an application idea, plus key learning points to be taken away from the biography. There are also full-color, printable SkyStormer biography cards and all of the biography cards from the previous two Sparks' Handbooks on the CD. There are twenty-four total biographies in the first two Sparks' Handbooks and 11 more in SkyStormer.

Example of a biography card. I printed this one in b&w.

Fourth Grade Home School Kit ~ 56 Lessons
 The Truth and Training Ultimate Adventure Homeschool Kit engages your fourth grader by answering their questions about God and the Bible, guiding them through this pivotal life stage to grow in Christ's grace. ~ from the Awana website

There are 148 pages in the spiral bound Handbook, plus question and answer cards and the Awana Ultimate Adventure theme song sheet music in the back.

Our fourth grader memorizing verses in the T&T handbook.
Pricing: Awana Home School Kits, K- fourth grade are $39 each, for preschool and above fourth grade, prices vary.

How We Use the Homeschool Kit:
  • We began our new studies by having each child complete their Entrance Booklet. For Sparks this is Flight3:16. It's an interesting comic strip type story that introduces what John 3:16 means in pieces. The verse is introduced in four small sections so that by the end of the story, the verse has built upon itself and has been memorized in manageable pieces.  
  • We listen to the handbook CD's and Verse CD's mostly in the car. I also read aloud those same handbook sections to my K and second grader (Sparks). My fourth grader (T&T) reads and answers questions in her sections independently. We go over her answers together.
  • We all work on memorizing our verses for a few minutes each day.  Our goal is to memorize two to  three "You Say It" sections each school week for my Sparks students (both have different verses to memorize) and three to four sections for my T&T student each week.
  • I read over the Awana at Home Parent Handbooks, ShepherdGlory, and Beginnings (170 + pages each, spiral bound) to dig deeper into what each child is studying in their handbooks. The parent books are designed to enable parents to better disciple their children and for the parent to grow spiritually as well. There's a perfect amount of material covered in just one parent handbook to complete each week. Trying to keep up with three is a daunting, yet rewarding task. I do fall behind. I am enjoying the material found in all three and will continue to read through each of the parent Bible studies as the year progresses.
What we think about Awana Home School Kits:

This is a wonderful Bible study/devotional set for those teaching their children at home. Memorizing scripture is an important task and the truths learned in all of the Awana Handbooks are substantial and accomplished in an interesting way.

There is no schedule for completing handbooks at home. In Awana club, handbooks are encouraged to be completed in 9 months. This is completely doable, and certainly a bit of a challenge for the T&T grades. I would encourage parents to work at their individual child's pace. 

And, to my knowledge, the reward system (a huge motivator for my children) in place for Awana Clubs isn't available for the Home School Kits.


Disclaimer: I received the K, second, and fourth grade Home School Kits in exchange for our honest review.


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