A couple of months ago, I received a request to review Awana Homeschool. I knew what Awana was from way back in the day, when the kids were young. The church we were attending at the time did an excellent job with Awana programs on Wednesday nights. I’m sure somewhere in the house, probably in a box full of memories, is my son’s little tiny blue vest from when he attended over 10 years ago! What I didn’t know then, was that they had programs for older kids as well. Now they’ve taken things a step further and entered the Home Education market with Bible curriculum for all ages, based on the original Awana programs!
If you are not familiar with Awana and its 60+ year history, please take a moment to review the history of Awana. They truly have endured the test of time.
While there are kits available for every age group, we were asked to review the Journey Home School Kit for teens. The kit includes an entrance booklet, student handbook, and a down-loadable parent’s guide to help facilitate discussion between the parent and student. All of this is nicely packaged in a reusable drawstring backpack. For the 2013-2014 school year, the Journey Homeschool Kit includes two 12-lesson student handbooks: God-colored Glasses and Revelation.
Since there were two booklets in the packs, and we have two teens, I let them choose which they would start with and they both chose to study the book of Revelation!
There are 12 lessons in each workbook, with removable verse cards at the end to assist in memorization. (See picture below.) In the beginning of each workbook is a 4-year Bible reading plan that takes your student through the entire Bible during their high school career.
Each lesson contains the main lesson segment along with the following areas:
Fill It Up: Scripture memory verse for each lesson, Map It Out: Vocabulary, Fast Facts: Snippets of interesting, thought provoking info that go along with the lesson topic, Buckle It In: Think deeper about the subject, sometimes with other verses to read, On the Street: Application of the lesson, and finally Review: a one page quiz on the lesson.
Since we wanted to accomplish one lesson per week, we proceeded through each lesson using the following schedule:
Monday: Read Scripture reference for lesson, remove memory verse card for the lesson and begin working on memorization
Tuesday: Work on memory verse. Begin reading lesson, Fill It Up, and Map It Out
Wednesday: Work on memory verse. Read balance of lesson, including Fast Fact and On The Street. In some cases these sections have read and respond questions.
Thursday: Work on memory verse. Complete Buckle It In section. Again, in some cases this section has read and respond questions.
Friday: Work on/Recite memory verse. Complete Review It.
So after several weeks of working through the Revelation study and reviewing God-Colored Glasses, here’s what we thought about this product:
The biggest “pro” of any Bible study curriculum is that your students are studying the Word of God daily. Intentionally. These excellent studies are simple enough for students to complete independently during their devotional time. They encourage scripture memorization. They are clear and concise, yet thought provoking. Lastly, you can’t beat the price! They are currently priced at just $24.99 for two, 12-lesson workbooks…and of course the re-usable backback.
In my opinion, there are just a couple “cons” and they may not even be an issue for you! The first is the lack of flexibility. By that, I mean that I would prefer to choose which workbooks I use, instead of purchasing a kit with two pre-determined workbooks. (There are many other studies available to church groups on the Awana website. I would love to be able to choose any study that fits our school year.) The second “con” for me is depth. The Journey Workbooks are great for a daily devotional, but not quite enough to count as a full credit for Bible by itself, unless you could complete more than two during the school year. However, you could easily add some additional assignments to the workbook, such as further research on the author and context of Revelation (or other book), writing assignments, and service projects to justify awarding one full credit hour.
Bottom Line: This is a excellent product for adding a devotional segment to your homeschool program. However, if you are looking for curriculum to fulfill a full credit course, you may wish to consider other options.
Student Booklets are available for every age: Puggles, Cubbies, Sparks, T&T, Trek, and Journey
Available in the following Bible translations: KJV, NKJV, NIV84, some ages ESV
Current price for Journey Kit: $24.99
Click here to set up your free Awana Homeschool Account
If you have more questions regarding this product, you can find a discussion group for Awana Homeschool on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/awanahomeschool/
Disclaimer: I received two Journey Homeschool kits from AWANA Homeschool for review purposes. No other compensation of any kind has been received.
To make sure their doctrine aligns with your own, please be sure to read through What we Believe on the AWANA website.