Introducing Lisa

I am so excited to be here and to have the chance to talk to all the wonderful fans of What’s in the Bible?!  Isn’t this an awesome site?  Don’t you just love these DVDs and the way that they teach us (ok, teach our kids…) what’s truly in God’s Word?!   Phil Vischer has done an amazing job at bringing all the history, characters and most importantly, God’s intended messages to life for all of us to enjoy.  I, for one, am so grateful!

Oh wow! Excuse my manners.  Introductions are in order…

My name is Lisa Strnad, and I’m a married WAHM (Work At Home Mom), who home schools my two sons, David Jr.(12) and Joey (8). I’ve worked in some aspect of Christian media for several years doing writing, marketing, PR, and event coordination. My husband of 18 years, Dave, has an even more eclectic background: Army Captain, counter-terrorism instructor for the military, and for the last 23 years, a financial advisor.   We live with our two goldfish and assorted caught lizards, caterpillars, and pill bugs (ahhh…boys!)  in sunny Southern California.

I’m a writer who truly loves communicating with other Christian parents.  I use the word “communicate” because I, along with the rest of the WITB team, are hoping to create an interactive community of parents; ministry professionals; and teachers who can come together and discuss What’s in the Bible?.  We want to know how YOU are utilizing this series.  I’m positive that, together, we can come up with some amazing ideas!  I look forward to getting to know many of you through this blog!!

Let me break the ice and tell you a little bit of how my family is using the DVDs.

As I stated I’m a WAHM, home-schooling mom.  My youngest son, Joey, has (non-medicated) ADHD and auditory processing issues.  In plain English that means that everyday is a challenge for me to effectively teach him–anything.  He just loses interest in the typical way subjects are taught. The modality I teach is just as important as the curriculum I choose.  As Christian parents, it was important for Dave and I to include a Bible component to Joe’s core curriculum.

Assuming that some of you may also home school and/or are conscientious about teaching your children about the Bible, you know the available Bible curriculum for a second -third graders.  While most are inclusive in their approach, having Bible stories; memory verses; history lessons; and maybe even an art activity, they lack one important element.  They aren’t really enjoyable for the kids.  In fairness, maybe your kiddos enjoy them–and that’s great! Mine either fall asleep, dread Bible class altogether, or perhaps (if I’m really lucky) get the rote memorization done without connecting to the message of the story.

Ineffective learning brought on by an ineffective teaching modality.  At least ineffective for our needs.  Maybe you have a similar situation?

Many months ago, when I saw the What’s in the Bible? DVD#1, I made a prayerful decision to use this series as my Bible curriculum.  Being a huge Muppets fan, I knew that Joey would LOVE the Jelly Telly Puppets, the fun music and the sheer wackiness of the program that contained such a valuable message!

This was long before there was talk about having any curriculum associated with the DVDs.  So, you can imagine my joyful enthusiasm when I found out there was going to be such a curriculum available for each DVD!

I’m totally looking forward to the launch of the curriculum packages!  Until that happens I am piecing together a weekly 30 minute video lesson (which for my needs, I intermittently pause and check to make sure he is understanding what we are learning).  We have a weekly memory verse, and some sort of art project, which I pull off of the internet!  It’s been very effective, so far!

Now that you know a little about me, I am anxious to know about you!  How have you decided to use the WITB series?  Perhaps as entertainment? –Or mostly entertainment with a fun teaching component? –Or maybe you’re in children’s ministry (or a homeschooler, like me) and are actually already utilizing WITB as a teaching resource?

Tell us.

Between you and me, I’ve heard there are a lot of fun things planned for this web site!  Stay tuned!  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what we have up our sleeves!

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14 comments
Lisa S.
Lisa S.

Hey all! Lisa here-- Thanks for keeping the feedback coming! It's so interesting to hear from people who are USING the products...and I've gotten some really good ideas from some of you great moms!! Let me address a few of your questions: Amy- Rock on!! We started with all the VeggieTales, too! In fact I still get them, and am hoping that the kids NEVER outgrow wanting to see them! I know I haven't! As for WITB, I bet little Keagan is loving the puppets and all the colors and movements used. When he's about 5, this will be a perfect teaching tool! Who knows, he may develop a wacky English accent along the way!! Stephanie and Leah-- We're working on a section for this site right now, that will enable you to pull up some fun, interesting ancillary pages to add to the already great DVD's. My kids are visual learners, too-- so this is a great way to teach them about what is in the Bible and make it a fun experience, too! As for the Sunday School Lady t-shirt... you just never know!! :) Krista and Erin--You guys (and your kids) are going to LOVE how this curriculum works, and how easy it will be to facilitate!

Leah
Leah

i am SO excited about this!!!! my husband is a huge phil visher plan and i just came online to order the first dvd since i've heard so many good things about it. we are currently using a bible curriculum that my daughter (in K) absolutely DREADS. i was looking at ordering the nest videos because she does so well with videos (like veggie tales), but it was so expensive, and then i remembered hearing about this program! i can't WAIT to see the curriculum that you put together!

Krista
Krista

ERIN ~ I LOVE IT!! I'm the Children's Director at a mid sized church. We offer Thursday childcare for our parents taking bible studies at the church. I don't want to ever JUST offer child care. I want every opportunity together to be meaningful and an opportunity to take the kids deeper in the word. I love the DVD's and am anxious for the curriculum. Until it is released I will let the kids make puppets to use each week in activities.

Stephanie
Stephanie

Oh and one more thing. My son, who normally complains about the perpetual Christian music playing in our house is obsessed with the Bentley Brothers. And really wants to know why he can't have the 2 Samuel song from JellyTelly to listen to at home. Thanks to Phil, and the Bentley Brothers, and all of the other people whose names I don't know, who work tirelessly and take time away from their own children to explain the Bible to mine. I wish there was some way to make my facial expressions and tone of voice clear through text, because the words 'Thank You' look so lame and insufficient on the page. But, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

Stephanie
Stephanie

Hi Lisa, So excited to see this dialog. At this point, we've just used WITB for entertainment for our kids ages 5, 6, and 7. My husband and I are public school teachers in a very small school in rural Alaska, so I teach our kids. The point being that I can't do any overt Bible teaching during the regular instructional day. However, we are about halfway through a timeline study of the Old Testament that we do once a week in the evenings, so WITB has been great at reinforcing the things we've already learned through that study. After we are done with our study, I plan to reinforce the whole thing by going through the DVDs while we review the Old Testament Timeline. I love the fact that the DVDs are teaching the Bible along with so many BIG questions. I also appreciate the forward teaching of the "rescue plan" as that goes along perfectly with our study that really emphasizes the promise of Jesus beginning in the Garden. I'm curious about the curriculum too. Though I see most of the questions I had already have been asked. And I have one more. Licensed products. Has anyone at WITB gone there yet? Because I really, really, really want (though I know I don't need) a Sunday School Lady t-shirt.

Amy Cattron
Amy Cattron

Welcome Lisa! I'm mom to a 2 year old boy. My little one is OBSESSED with VeggieTales or as he calls it "BubYarry"(a combo between bob and larry). So when I saw Phil Vischer's name on WITB, we had to get it. Unfortuately the content was a little too advanced for my guy so it doesn't hold his attention for long, until you get to the great musical numbers, especially the "fabulous" Bentley Bros. Despite the fact that Keagan doesn't completely get it yet we have fun watching them together (I'm even learning new things!) and he's developing a vocabulary that includes the things I feel are most important in his life. I really appreciate this new series and intend to continue using it as my baby grows. I've been telling anyone I know in kids ministry that this is the series to use. So, anyway, that's how me and Keagaroo use WITB. We'll continue to pray that WITB is successful in reaching the hearts of young kids for Christ and in helping lay a foundation for kid's Bible knowledge.

Lisa S.
Lisa S.

Hey guys, Lisa here... Taking our lunch break, I couldn't resist hopping online to check the site to see if anyone had posted, yet. Wow! Such great ideas...already! Thanks for all your input. Everything is read, I promise! Mani- can I just say I love,love, love your idea of doing a lapbook! I am new to the whole lapbook thing this year; we're doing a bit of geography using them. But I am a newbie by any standards. I'm sort of thinking that a lapbook would be really useful in Bible... we need to talk more about this, Mani! Ori- I think it's awesome that you are using this product to entertain / teach your kiddos! Our speech therapist is also Jewish, and her kids go to Hebrew school, so they are learing their traditions and history, daily. She LOVES this product, too. For the exact same reasons you listed. Thanks for sharing! Clara- Yeah, my 12 yr old, who is an actor in the making, loves the DVD's, too. The songs and the skits are just so fun--I don't even remind him that he's learning about God's Word--which he is! Keep the responses coming...!! XO

Princess Leia
Princess Leia

Hi! My kids (almost 2 and almost 4) and I enjoy these frequently at home, and they are constant birthday party gifts to friends kids, but I'm also using the songs during our preschool worship time (I'd LOVE a music folio...hint, hint!). We use Brother Louie's "Hallelujah" (well, except for the third verse) as a time of thanking God and praising Him - we'll sing through a verse/chorus, then stop and ask the kids what we should thank/praise God for, then sing through the second verse/chorus and stop again for the same reason, ending finally with the fourth verse. (This is the one that I could use the most help on the guitar chords!) We've also used Sunday School Lady's "I've got a Book..." song (although we just repeat the prairie verse since the jungle verse would be a little hard to explain out-of-context) since our current theme is "the Bible." I plan on trying out most of Chuck Wagon's introductory song too this week (arg...have the others in my head right now..."if your Bible's made of leather it smells sorta like a cow..."). And then we end every week with the closing song from JellyTelly - "God Made You." I'd love to incorporate so many of our favorite VeggieTales songs too, but so many of them have show-specific parts that it'd be REALLY hard. I really appreciate that these can be taken out and used on their own without having to know the whole backstory! Between WITB? and all of the old Psalty songs, our kids are set! :)

Erin
Erin

Hi Lisa, I'm making up my own curriculum to go along with the DVDs for our midweek church program. I had initially planned to go with 1 episode per week, but there's so much content in there that I'm going to use 1 episode over 2 weeks (maybe even 3!) My format is Intro & review major points from previous week, Give some ideas of what to listen for in the DVD, play DVD (pause as needed to test for understanding), then ask some open-ended discussion questions. Art activity as time allows. We've made it through 2 weeks so far, and the kids are totally getting into it. I can't wait to see where we're at after a month! One strategy I've discovered is bringing in some puppets for our (age 5-9) participants to hold and play with during the DVD. For the ones who hate to sit still, moving a puppet along with the video allows them some constructive wiggling.

Sally Tooley
Sally Tooley

Lisa, I work with 1st through 4th graders at our church (about 100 of them on Weds nights) and I have used portions of the first two DVDs just to "shake things up" a bit and occasionally change up our Weds routine. The kids, especially the 1st and 2nd graders, really love them and the content is great - stuff that isn't usually covered in typical Sunday School lessons. I'll be using pieces of the videos maybe once a month or so and will be very interested in your lessons. I'd love to have shorter segments I could use more regularly!

Clara M. Miranda
Clara M. Miranda

Hi Lisa !! I am also a home ed mom of My Fab5 (7-17) . We are all great fans of this new DVD series. At the moment we are using them as entertainment but I am intrigued by the bible curriculum and expect to give it a try especially for my youngest. The funny thing is my older children love the series as well !!! I also have a special needs learner so I can surely empathize with you. I look forward to a community/fellowship . Blessings to you and your household we all look forward to what is in store! Blessings Clara in Miami @Mom2Fab5

Ori Pomerantz
Ori Pomerantz

We're Jewish. I'm not sure the way we use WITB would be applicable to Christian families, but here it is: The three young kids (5, 4 and 4) just watch it. For them, it is primarily entertainment. I don't think Moses is more real, in their minds, than Dora. Still, they learn to recognize the books of the Tanakh (our Bible, the Protestant Old Testament except with a different order of books). It's different with the older son, who is seven. He also watches WITB, but during the show we discuss where we believe Christians get things wrong. I think the same should be true for Christian families whose views differ in one way or another from Phil Vischer's. I really love WITB, for several reasons: 1. It's a fun way to teach my kids the Tanakh. They learn some of the stories in the synagogue, but I don't think it's enough. 2. Jewish kids growing in a Christian environment, such as Texas, should learn what most of their friends believe. 3. Discussing the differences develops critical thinking skills. Even in WITB itself, Phil Vischer shows how to deal with disagreements (for example, age of the universe issue).

Mandi Grimshaw
Mandi Grimshaw

I'm a home ed. Mum in the U.K. We decided to use the DVD's as part of our curriculum and my daughter (10) is making a lapbook based on them, we decided to use a large ring binder instead of a card folder (so we could include all the DVD's in the same folder) and with card pages and dividers we are hoping it will look good when we're done! We haven't finished the first DVD yet as we only started it last week!

Cindy Navarro
Cindy Navarro

I know you! :) Hi Lisa!! Well, I am still a kid at heart, so I know that I will enjoy these!! My kids...and grandkids....are getting a little old for these, but I still have younger friends and relatives to share these with anytime they stop by to visit. Plus I am sure they would make excellent gifts!! I will be recommending them to my friends who have kids and grandkids who will absolutely adore these DVDs!!