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Sword Study: II Timothy (Level 4) (Inglese)
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Book by McMahan Tammy
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The Sword Study of II Timothy by Tammy McMahan is ten weeks of Bible study suitable for the whole family! The workbooks are available for purchase separately so you can customize your family's experience based on the ages of the children involved. But each week, each family member studies (and memorizes) the same Scripture at their own age-appropriate level.
Level One is designed for 4-7 year-olds. The lessons have three basic parts: "Pray", a hands-on component called "Color and Do" and an application portion entitled "Read and Learn". The level one workbook contains engaging illustrations, various age-appropriate exercises, challenges and fun puzzles.
The Level Two workbook is designed for children aged 7-10 years. This book also contains prayer and application components. Investigative study is introduced with this age group where the topics are examined from an "aerial view", a "street view" and an "under the rug" view. The activities are meatier. The questions are more thought-provoking and biographies of Christians are presented.
Level Three is geared toward 11-14 year-olds. The format is similar to Level Two, but there are fewer drawings, more advanced questions, tools like Strong's Concordance are introduced, and there are fun activities like ciphering, charting and word puzzles.
Level Four is intended for ages 14 and up. This workbook contains investigative study is the "aerial view", "street view" and "under the rug" format. There is a prayer component and an application component like the other workbooks as well. The questions at this level are basically the same as Level Three in content. They are just worded in a more mature fashion.
The Level Five workbook is the same study guide as Level Four, but it also contains additional helps like background information, in-depth devotional and investigative study, guided prayer using the A.C.T.S. model, memorization, family gatherings and answers to key activities.
This is a wonderfully flexible Bible study that can be customized to engage all age groups. What a wonderful way to spend time as a family.
Level 1: Ages 4-7
This level is designed to be an activity book with coloring, drawing, matching, and other learning tools. The activity book opens with a fun child-themed font and simple message that, in my case, the parent can share with their child. There’s a place to write in their name, starting date, and ending date. Afterward, there is a letter to the parents on how to use the activity book. While rated ages four through seven, it could be easy to be more hands-on with younger ages or allow older ages to work more independently.
The workbook is broken into days for completion, starting with a Pray section, Color and Do, and Read and Learn. In the course of one day, children learn how to work on their habit of talking to G-d, get hands-on experience with reflecting the main lesson, and correlate biblical passages to practical application and memorization. These lessons are designed to be short in nature, but allow a deeper conversation to follow.
In the case of my two-yar-old, he quite enjoyed coloring along while his mother read the material to him. My five year old would pick it up much quicker, but still need to be read to. Each page reflects a separate day, and I could see this being used as scrapbooking materials down the road. Overall, this level of the workbook seems to be quite appropriate and excellent material to use.
Level 2: Ages 7-10
From the beginning, this workbook is definitely thicker and more academically-styled in an intro to elementary school fashion. This is more independent as well. Each week has an introductory story that will be investigated. Over the course of two weeks, one chapter will have been completed. Then, each day of the week involves studies to fully understand the material for the week. Each day begins with prayer, writing out verses, and reading through the book. At the end of the study, there is a review to apply the material learned for the day. At the end of the chapter, there is a chapter review and summary. This workbook will be completed in ten weeks. It looks a bit intense, but would work great in a Sunday School setting or homeschooling environment.
Level 3: Ages 11-14
This level is designed as an intermediary level between levels two and four. I did not have a copy of this level to review, so I can’t provide my personal experience reviewing the material. The one-sheet from the media company, however, indicates it is a more difficult version of Level 2.
Level 4: Teens & Adults
Reviewing this level, it brings me back to my youth group days. This workbook is a create selection for small groups of high school and college age students. This level involves dissecting the material a bit more, as well as learning some of the Greek and Hebrew in the text. This would be great in a Sunday School setting for Campus Missions or the like, but not necessarily for home study with adults.
Level 5: Parent or Study Leader
Reading through this level, I feel the content is more aptly-rated for Study Leaders, but the verbiage is directed toward parents. There are leadership instructions on how to cover the material and lead weekly services that culminate the material learned throughout the week in the first part. The second part is much like an adult study book, helping make this a learning experience for the coordinator as well. I was afraid it would be very programmed, but instead it is quite interactive.
The Sword Study, in my opinion, delivers on its promise: making a study series for the whole family. The way the material is written does not market it toward churches – there is far too much reference to reviewing it as a family. That said, I believe the best environment to use this material is one where a church leader would train a group of parents on how to use the study guides with their families. It’s not a cheap study, either, running anywhere ten to thirty bucks per level, depending on the level and market you’re shopping in.
Do I recommend it? Actually, I do. I think this study can help families, provided that the parents are extremely organized and focused with the lessons. It’s not an easy task, but definitely one worth pursuing.
Disclosure: I was contracted to write an honest review in exchange for a reviewer copy of the product. The opinions stated in this review are solely my own.
My personal thoughts on this study were mixed. (Note that I'm talking about the Level Four book here, the one I used.) I love that the books get you to dig deeper than most devotionals that just skim over the surface or talk about the same words/passages I've heard half a dozen sermons over. I also that it was great that several questions were ones of opinion or personal thoughts - every individual could have a different answer, but there would be no wrong answers. Those questions applied to how the passages read affected you, not what they're teaching or the history behind them. You do learn a bit about history and the context of the passages, though. That was another cool thing - there's a lot of cross-referencing that helps you grasp the concepts and the context so much better than a lot of studies I've used.
The only thing I didn't like about the Sword Study was how involved it is. It's not a bad thing; this book just takes a lot more time to complete each day's work than I had planned for. I'd advise someone starting out on the study to allote at least ten more minutes than you think you'll need, and be prepared to adjust your schedule as the study progresses and you figure out your rhythm.
Now I'll share a snippet from each of the other family members doing this study with me - after all, it's a Bible study for the whole family!
Mom: (Level Five) I think it's well-designed. It allows everyone in the family to contribute. However, I don't always know if I'm leading correctly because it's all based on my interpretation. There's very minimal direction given or answers given in the teacher's book. If I'm not confident in my understanding of the day's study, it's difficult to lead the rest of the family in their study.
Eddie: (Level Four) I like it. It's very thorough and it provides a good overall light of the entire material covered. I like how it refers to other passages, but not how it uses non-KJV passages. (Note from Emily: I was planning to mention that... it would be helpful to have the KJV instead of the couple different translations used.) I think it works as a better personal devotion than as a family study.
Jon: (Level Three) It's good. It's engaging. It's a little too easy for me, since I'm at the top of the age group for my level. I think fourteen-year-olds would do better at Level Four. It's pretty easy, but it makes you read through the book all the way for the first couple of days, which is good. It makes you dig deep every day. The ACTS prayer model is good. It helps you focus on the actual aspects of prayer. I think there should be a little bit more than memorization or reading - actual studying. (Note from Emily: That's found in Level Four.) It doesn't take too long, which is nice, and it can be done at any time of day. It gets you thinking about God and His Word.
Nick: (Level Two) There's a lot of writing involved. Sometimes you have to read the whole chapter or the whole book. As for learning anything, some days I feel like I am and sometimes I feel like I'm not. It works well as a family devotion.
My Conclusion: Honestly, I think we covered everything. Four stars :)
Since it is just me at home to go through this study, I used the Level 5 workbook, and compared each of the other levels. This is an amazing study for a family. Or it would be a wonderful study for a church to use for small groups or Sunday School classes. The Bible study on II Timothy is for 10 weeks, and is very in depth, very well structured, giving parents or leaders everything you need to successfully lead this study. It is so much in these studies you could easily spread it out over more than 10 weeks, or I would suggest keeping it, and going through it again later on.
The special thing I like about this study is that there is a workbook for each age level. Everyone is learning the same things from the same scripture, but at their own level. Even a four year-old can do a simple worksheet starting off with praying, and then coloring a picture about the study for that day. I really like that each day encourages everyone to pray, actually write down scripture verses and read their Bibles. I love workbooks when I study because I learn so much more when I have to dig for answers to questions, and then write those answers down. Each day also gives a place to Apply the lesson, causing each person to think about what they have studied for that day. And it ends with A.C.T.S. Prayer Time, which is Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
This study is definitely worth check into. I have been through many Bible studies with workbooks like this, and I can truly say this is one of the best I have found. I will be keeping each of these books for further studies with different age levels.
I received this book from Glass Roads to read and review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55.
Each level is geared towards a particular age group starting with the youngest at age 4.
We are a homeschool family and I have been looking for a study that we can all do together in the evenings. I wanted something that would have us all pretty much studying the same thing. Sword Study fits the bill. This is a very in depth Bible study.
For the level 1 crowd (ages 4-7) the activity book is wonderful. With coloring pages, games, prayers to say together and Bible memorization it is very engaging.
In level 2 and 3 level progresses there is more reading, thought provoking questions, Bible memorization and praying.
Level 4 takes it up a notch and presents more of a challenge in reading the Bible and prayer time as well as really digging in deep into the study.
Level 5 is for the leader or parent leading the study and is filled with guidance to help you study as a group or a family.
Since this is such a deep and intense study, if you feel that 10 weeks is just not enough time to complete everything in this study you could break it down into smaller bites and take as much time as you need. I could easily see doubling the time of the study from 10 to 20 weeks and taking our time to really get into the heart of this study!
If you are looking for a deep and meaningful way to study the Bible I would recommend Sword Study.
Be sure to visit The Sword Study website for more information on this study and the other Sword Study series that are available.
disclosure: I received Sword Study from Glass Road Media in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.