A few years ago when I went to Great Homeschool Conventions I picked up Sword Study, thinking it would be a great tool for family discipleship. I was right, and if you were teaching an in-depth Bible study for your Bible lesson, then this is great.
Just not my family. I loved it, but my kids and Jeff…. Not so much.
What is Sword Study?
Sword Study is an inductive Bible study method. I was raised doing inductive Bible studies, and so seeing this designed for all ages from preschool to adults made me happy and giddy and I spent several breaks pouring over the materials (and when you only have 10 minutes between sessions that is a lot of time), and geeking out over them. Then I went home and called Jeff and told him all about how awesome it is, and how we needed to get it.
Sword Study level 1- Preschool-early elementary- This is for kids who aren’t strong readers. It’s mostly coloring and reading/being read the short passages.
Sword Study level 2- 7-10 years old- I bought this one for my kids, and there’s a big step up from level 1 (way too easy for mine), and level 3 (too hard for my kids). Level 2 has a lot of reading and writing. There’s a fair amount of hand-holding, but it assumes your kids are strong readers and writers.
Sword Study level 3- 11-14- More in depth than level 2, but nowhere near as much work as level 4. They are assuming you’ve started asking deeper questions and are up for challenging work.
Sword Study level 4- everyone else- This is the one I used. I LOVED it. I was digging into Greek meanings, I was looking up cross-references, and all in all, it was awesome.
Sword Study level 5- same as level 4, only this includes the leadership guide for leading the family meeting (bonfire). I got this one for Jeff to lead the family meeting, but I really wanted to have it, but I also knew if I got it I would step all over Jeff’s toes, and that wouldn’t be fair to him.
Breakdown of the lessons
Each lesson starts with a silly intro from church history. An interview with a martyr, a diary entry from a Bible character, but all relevant to the coming chapter.
Then each age is different (Check out the Sword Study samples). They break down the work into 5 days of “homework” per week, and will take around 15-20 minutes a day to do.
The Sword Study works in a cone fashion. You start with the big aerial picture, and over successive days you narrow down what you are learning about. So on Day 1 you might read the whole chapter and outline it, then the next day you’ll take a smaller section and read that, and on day 3 you might do some cross-references for a specific word.
I LOVED it. So much, I happily wrote my notes, and looked stuff up, then pulled out giant books from my shelves and read some more.
My kids and Jeff, not so much.
Jeff is not a fan of inductive studies. For my kids, it was too much reading. Way too much reading. I sat and complete one day’s lesson with Princess and it took us an hour.
Sadly we ended up shelving the study for now. I kept on and finished my study, and it now sits happily on my shelf along with the other inductive studies I’ve completed.
Sword Study update from Future Ticia 2022
Just to give you a quick update, a friend of mine has been doing these studies with her kids through her church and they all love it. So, I’m going to say it really does depend on your family and just what works for you.
Where to get Sword Studies
While the Sword Study is available on Amazon, it’s rather hit and miss, hence why I was able to find Sword Study: II Timothy (Level 4)* and Sword Study – I John Level 4: A Family-Centered Bible Study For Ages 15 And Up* but not all of the other levels.
Instead, I’d go to the Sword Study website and their current study is Ruth. I really want to get it, but I am slowly learning my kids do not learn exactly like I do, and that is okay.