I’ve been meaning to write this review FOREVER, but because I LOVE the Bible Bee so much I wanted to wait until I had to time to do it justice. We’re working into our school routine, and life is nuts, so I decided I’d just go ahead a write. I may never have a “perfect” time to share, so now is the time!!
This summer was our second year of participating in the Bible Bee. Last year we were the only local family to participate, so we joined up with a Bee group in TN. We were able to attend one monthly ice cream social, and then the local event day in TN. It was such an awesome experience that we HAD to do it again this summer.
With the changes to the Bee this year, and the introduction of the online test, we were able to do everything locally. At the end of the Bee last year the kids and I shared with our church about what an AMAZING experience it was for our family. The 1 John study was amazing (I know I keep using that word!) and through it the Lord really worked to change my heart on some relationships that one He could repiar! It was a great summer. Anyway, after we shared with our small local body, the Lord worked to spur on some more participation this year. This summer EVERY family with kids (we’re a small church, so it was 5 families) and 3 additional local homeschool families (I advertised that our church would have an encouragement group) registered for the Bee! Our church elders also had the church study Jonah as our summer study! What a blessing!!
While we did have one social, we weren’t able to generate a ton of local participation in fellowship. Maybe next summer! We did rent a dunk tank one day and had a big pizza party. We kept it light and fun and “dunked” the kids who missed their verses. It was a blast. All the kids threw balls, and those who wanted to be dunked were able. No one was pressured and it was a huge hit. Next summer we need to plan more events like this!!
When you register for the Bee you get a shirt, entrance fee, participant button, and Bible Study. The Sword Study bible studies are by FAR the best youth bible study we’ve used (and we’ve used a bunnch!). They are all based on one book of the bible, and are broken down by age. DH and I also completed the Junior books so we’d we (literally!) be on the same page as the kids.
The study works each chapter from an everview down to “under the rug” where you get really detailed in the study. Greek and Hebrew words are covered, map work, and more. At the end of each chapter is MY FAVORITE part – the overview diagram. I love these. It really helps me to “see” the chapter…
Along with the study, each participant has a number of passages to memorize. This summer there were 24 passages with 48 verses to memorize. You can pick ESV, KJV or NASB and each participant book has the verses in the bask on easy to carry cards. You can also print them on the Bee website. We use NASB, so we have extra version cards to share with friends.
One aspect of the study that’s awesome is the copywork part. Each day the kids copy a verse or two, so over the whole summer they copy the entire book we study. Big made 3 copies this year and shared them with local mentors. It was super sweet!
With the family box comes a Family Leader Guide. It has weekly ideas for worship, questions, etc. It’s very helpful. It also has the overview drawings filled in, and I totally use them to make sure we don’t miss anything!
At the end of the 12 weeks, the kids have to complete an oral recitation and a written test. The oral this year was very relaxed and covered 10 of the passages. My kids recited to our piano teacher and her husband. It was great. This year the kids who tested (5 kids of the ones who started completed the oral and the test) met with one of our elders to complete the test. My kids thought this year’s test was “a million” times easier than last year. It might be expereince, it might have been easier. They were both thrilled they FINISHED this year because last year they didn’t come close.
Then, there’s a wait. This year the results came out about a week after the test. We had some technical issues and our results weren’t on the first digital posting, but tech support was wonderful and we were able to get the results that night. Little did much better than last year, and Big, well.. she missed the cut for nationals by 2 questions. 2! She was thrilled to have done well and a little disappointed. She is so excited to study harder next year to really try to get to nationals.
For our family, the Bee is a super fun, super focused summer discipleship program. At the end of the summer, we’ve memorized scripture, studied God’s Word, and learned a lot. It’s easy to implement and it’s a blast. This year our goals were:
1. Complete the study on time.
2. Memorize the verses with 100% accuracy.
3. Complete the oral well.
4. Take the test.
We had no delusions that the kids would make it to nationals or “compete”. We just LOVE the process and the fruit that it’s growing in our kids. So, even if you don’t “compete” – join us as “completitors” – those who participate to complete. It’s well worth your time!!
We can’t wait to see what we’re studying in 2015!! Please join us!