Stages of Learning ~ Bible Road Trip ~ Year One Week One {Free Printable Curriculum}

Welcome! If you're interested in discipling children for Christ, I'd love to have you subscribe to Thinking Kids. Also, please follow me on Pinterest where I've compiled a library of discipleship and homeschool resources for you. Thinking Kids posts contain affiliate links. You can find out more about those on the disclosure page.

Bible Road Trip - Year One Week One {A Free 3 Year Curriculum for Grades PreK - 12}

Friends, welcome to the first week of Bible Road Trip!  I am so excited to unveil this family-oriented 3 Year Bible Survey for kids from grades 1-12!  Though I’ve been working on the concept for months, my family and I will be using Bible Road Trip for the very first time this year, right alongside you.  That makes us all the developmental team for what I hope will become a valuable family resource.  Be sure to let me know how Bible Road Trip is working in your home ~ what you love, and what you like least ~ so that I can continue to tweak the curriculum.

Last week, in the Overview, we talked about what Bible Road Trip is, and how it can aid you in discipling your children at home.  As a reminder, you can download the Parent/Teacher Guide for Bible Road Trip here. To easily access the available weeks of Bible Road Trip, you may visit or access the indexes at the top of the Thinking Kids site. Bible Road Trip is available free to subscribers in weekly downloads, or for purchase as full-year PDF downloads. Don’t forget to visit The Bible Road Trip Store! You can also find what you’re looking for on my Bible Road Trip Pinterest boards: Year One, Year Two, and Year Three.

Bible Road Trip is free for you to use in your home or small group.  I ask that you refrain from copying (in whole or in part) any part of the curriculum to your blog, website or social media, but I encourage you to share the links to the curriculum so that your friends can have the opportunity to begin their own Bible Road Trip in their homes!

For our first week, let’s discuss the different grade levels, and the educational philosophy behind them.  You’ll find your free, downloadable curriculum link for Bible Road Trip ~ Week One Year One at the bottom of the post. 

One of my favorite ways to educate and disciple our children – both before we homeschooled, and now as we educate at home – has always been to gather at the couch, read aloud, discuss what we’ve learned, then apply those lessons in some concrete way.  As children age, this approach changes a bit.  After all, we want to help our children own their faith in Christ.  Part of discipleship is passing the torch onto another believer.  What a blessing to be able to do that for our children!

In assembling Bible Road Trip, I wanted to create a program that would allow every family member to survey the Bible at their own developmental level.  Yet, I want your family to be able to discuss the week’s lessons at the dinner table.  You’ll notice that each developmental level is studying the same area of Scripture at the same time, yet with a different emphasis.  Bible Road Trip is designed so that a child beginning the program in 1st grade can cycle through the Bible survey four times before they leave home.  Each trip through the Bible will provide a deeper, richer experience.  This design follows the Christian Classical model of education.

Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn of Trivium Pursuit have written a terrific article “Definition for Classical Education” on the different developmental or learning stages employed in Christian Classical Education.  Their work may help clarify some of the thinking behind the stages.

Teach your children the basics of the Christian faith with lessons and memory work!

I’m going to briefly outline the four grade levels employed in Bible Road Trip.  Please do not feel constrained by the grades I’ve listed.  I have put grades in to help you choose a level that is appropriate, but the program levels are based on the developmental stages of learning:  Grammar, Dialectic (or Logic), and Rhetoric.  You’ll want to have an idea about how each stage develops, as it will help you understand the goal for your child.

Lower Grammar ~ Grades 1-3

The grammar developmental stage is all about gathering facts, information, and knowledge.  Children in the lower grammar stage delight in learning new things.  The world is a fascinating adventure, and YOU are the tour guide!  This is a wonderful age to introduce children to the Bible.  As they learn about God’s Great Book, they’re laying a foundation for the rest of their lives.  Bible Road Trip will help your children understand that the Scriptures are more than just random stories.  The Bible is the story of God’s plan for redemption for the human race.

Children this age love highly visual resources, fun songs, hands-on crafts, and time spent with Mom and Dad (or Grandma and Grandpa!).  The program at this stage is all about building a framework to understand the Bible.  This is foundation on which their understanding of the Bible can be built.

I know many of you have expressed excitement over using Bible Road Trip with younger children, ages 3-5.  The curriculum will work well; however, you may want to refine your weekly goals.  For instance, you may want to write in a notebook for your child, or forgo the notebook altogether.  If you plan to use Bible Road Trip for Kindergarten and Preschool, you just need to simplify it a little.

Upper Grammar ~ Grades  4-6

Upper Grammar students also delight in gathering knowledge.  Their brains are ready to soak up whatever they encounter.  What better information to encounter, but the Word of God?  As Upper Grammar students progress, they can take on more of  their learning on their own.  If you have not started a daily Bible reading program with your child, you may want to begin by reading the Bible aloud together, and end in Year 3 with your child reading silently, then meeting with you later to discuss the reading.  At this developmental stage, it is wise to support your child’s educational journey, yet to allow them greater freedom to learn on their own.  Perhaps Scripture reading will remain a family activity, and notebooking will be an individual project.

Children at this age are growing, and we must watch them for clues as to their needs.  Bible Road Trip for the Upper Grammar student is still highly visual, relational, and creative.  Traveling through the Word of God is an exciting adventure, and the middle grade years are an important time to begin, or continue, the journey.  Is your 1st – 3rd grader ready for a little greater challenge?  Move them up to Upper Grammar!  Is your 4th grader struggling with one too many Bible memory verses?  Adjust it to the Lower Grammar level, or something in between.  Don’t worry about grades or ages ~ we’re concerned about developmental stages.  As your children develop a deepening understanding of  the Bible, they will be able to take on greater challenges, and  to layer in more information.

Dialectic ~ Grades 7-9

The Dialectic stage can be among the most challenging for parents.  These are the ages at which children are developing a greater understanding of connections.  They’re making developmental leaps, and looking for ways to relate the knowledge they’ve gathered.  This is the Logic stage – where everything is a debate, and everything is negotiable.  Our tendency, as parents, can be to throw up our hands at this age and walk away.  Instead, let us delight in the fantastic mental pathways our children are forming!   The Dialectic stage is vital.  Our kids are learning to debate, to stand on their own beliefs, and develop a deep understanding of Scripture on their own.  I can think of no more important time in childhood to depend upon the Lord for strength, to persevere, and to marvel in the opportunity we have to disciple growing human beings.

Bible Road Trip for the Dialectic student will encourage children to develop research skills, and to make connections not found in  the text.  Many of the notebooking and crafting projects for this age will incorporate information that will help your children put  a solid structure of understanding on the foundation they are already building.  Mini-research projects, a timeline (because events in the Bible occurred in history – and we know when! ), and an increasing challenge to learn about – and pray for – believers around the world are all a part of the Dialectic level of Bible Road Trip.  I have intentionally left a lot of room for creativity in Bible Road Trip.  I want you, and your children, to be able to own this journey.

Rhetoric ~ Grades 10-12

The Rhetoric developmental stage is truly a time for children to take the wheel.  On this Road Trip, your high school aged students should be driving, and you should become a trusted navigator and companion.  In the Rhetoric stage, young adults begin to apply all the knowledge and the logic they’ve gathered and connected.  This is the stage at which your children will begin to venture into the world, to develop wisdom, to communicate what they’ve learned.  The Rhetoric stage allows young men and women to apply what they’ve learned in a supported environment, to dig deeper, to own their faith, and to develop their walk with Christ.

Bible Road Trip for the Rhetoric student should be a challenge.  Encountering the Old Testament and Encountering the New Testament are beginning college level texts.  A student who has been trained to think, and who has been educated and discipled consistently, should be challenged by the resources, yet not stymied.  If your student has not trained him or herself to think deeply yet, you may consider using the Dialectic text instead;  this will still provide your child with an excellent overview of the Bible.  However, if you are spiralling upward through the levels in Bible Road Trip, the previous stages should have prepared your Rhetoric student sufficiently.

Because Rhetoric students are moving into an adult role, in which they are able to appropriately communicate their faith and their wisdom, the Crafting Through the Word section includes a 3 year project in which your student will begin a blog or a vlog (a video version of a blog) to communicate what he or she is learning on a weekly basis.  I understand that there may be concerns about internet safety.  I leave all decisions to actually publish your student’s work online at your discretion.  Should you be uncomfortable with a public format, students could make a series of videos, edit them and store them on a DVD.  They could publish to a private blog, or just keep a notebook of “blog” entries.  Alternately, they could begin their own small group, in which they lead (with your supervision) a Bible Road Trip of their own.  (A week or two behind their personal studies).  Rhetoric students are preparing to share their faith.  Whether they practice, or actually make the leap to a public forum, is up to your family.  The Lord has placed you as their shepherd, and I trust your discernment.  The Rhetoric level will also feature a deepening emphasis on service and community involvement.  Again, all suggestions are intended to allow your young adult to develop a faith and a walk of their own.

Bible Road Trip ~ Year One Week One ~ What is the Bible?

To download the printable syllabus for week one, simply click on the giant link below, and print!  I suggest storing your curriculum in a 3-ring binder with dividers.  Doing this weekly will give you a 3 year plan for your child’s entire school career!

Bible Road Trip Y1W1 What is the Bible

{File updated 3/20/2014}

Are you excited?  Please leave a comment and let me know if you’ll be joining us on this journey through Scripture!  Please share this post, as well.  It is truly my heart to help as many families as possible explore the mysteries and wonders of God’s Word for themselves.

Looking for Bible Road Trip Year One Week Two?  Find it here.

~ Danika Cooley

Danika Cooley is a children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.; Upper Room Ministries’ Pockets and Devozine; CBH Ministries’ Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey. Her work also appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.


  1. Anna Klein says

    I really like how this is looking and I am so wanting to try this starting next school year however I am having problems trying to figure out exactly how the notebooking pages are to work. I there a way you could either send me samples of completed ones or post samples of completed ones on here. If this is possible it would be great. I will be either doing the 4-6 or 7-9. Again thank you for your help and the time you have put into this. Oh yea, you said this is a 3 yr lesson will you be working on the second yr soon or is already there and I am just oblivious to where it is?

    • says


      I am actually publishing notebook pages that you can just print out. It didn’t occur to me until I’d written half of the Year One curriculum, so I’m working hard to catch up now. There are indexes at the top of the page with links to the curriculum and notebook pages. Here’s the link to The Books of the Law (Weeks One – Eleven): I should have all of the Year One curriculum and notebook pages up by the end of June.

      I will start publishing the curriculum and notebook pages weekly for Year Two in mid-July 2013. Year Three will follow a year later, with Year Three Week One publishing in mid-July 2014.

      ~ Danika

  2. Maggie Lutz says


    I was looking for a bible curriculum to use this year and I am so impressed with what you have done. Thank you for making it available and using your gifts and abilities to glorify God! So excited to start this with my family!


    • says

      Do you mean like for a Kindle? Right now, all I have are the PDF downloads that you can print. You could always pull them up on your computer and use them as you need them. I have even pulled them up on my tablet.

      ~ Danika

  3. Marybeth says

    Thank you so much for putting this together! My daughter and I are actually going to start this tomorrow so she can hopefully get caught up to the 5th grade level because that is what grade she will be in this fall. My question is about the notebooking pages. For example, on the Week One pages where the memory verse is listed with a “scroll” below it; does she write the verse in the blank, or draw a picture, or what should go there? Also, there are spaces for notes on whatever was covered that week. What kind of notes would one write for example, on the page where the verse Psalm 119:10-12 is printed? We have only done lapbooks up to this point but I want to switch to notebooking and I’m not real sure how it is to be done. Thank you so much for any help or advice.

    • says


      For the Bible verse pages, there is a space for a picture if your daughter wants to draw one. Sometimes that can be a great way for kids to remember the verse. There are also blank spaces throughout the pages for drawing. My boys like to do comic strip squares. So, on the page of Psalm 119:10-12, she can write out the verse in the translation you choose, then draw a picture if she’d like.

      For notebooking, she can record her thoughts, narrate what happened, or apply the section to her life. Don’t feel like she needs to fill out every page completely. Some kids have more to write than others. For my boys, I often help them think through what they’ve read — what is important or notable, how they felt, or what they think about a section. They’re learning to take notes, so I don’t mind helping them think through what they might want to write down. Over time, they become more confident and fill up more space.

      On each section of the curriculum, there is a “Notebooking about the Word” section that usually has a prompt or two to help her decide what to write about. I hope that helps!

      ~ Danika

  4. Marybeth says

    Hi Danika, I have another question. On Year 1, Week 1, (grade 4-6) Dig Deep; it says to “read ‘How the Bible Came to Us’ ” but it doesn’t state how many pages to read at a time. Are we supposed to just read it as we find time, or is there a schedule? Thanks.

    • says


      I left that open so that families could schedule the reading in a way that works for them. It’s not a short book… you may even wish to spread it out over the first two weeks.

      ~ Danika

  5. Tabitha says

    We have completed the first week and we love it. We are a home-school family and I have 3 daughters ages 14, 12 and 10. I am having them to have their own devotional time and journal their response to the scripture each morning before we start school. Then we come together to discuss some of the questions you have provided and add a personal application. Thanks for offering this. It is a blessing to our family. I was looking for a new Bible curriculum and we are loving Bible Road Trip!! God bless you!!!

  6. says

    hi danika!! i stumbled across your site while searching for homeschooling stuff! i absolutely love it! i can’t wait to start this with my 4 children! thank you so much for offering this to all of us. i was looking at your suggested study schedule, and one day says to watch the Learning More About the Word video. did i miss a link or the info about what this is? lol i have to admit, i tend to over look a lot of things! lol


Leave a Reply