Shaping Hearts FAQs

For more information about Shaping Hearts Publications, view our frequently asked questions below. Need additional assistance? Contact Shaping Hearts today!

What is the difference between a series and a level?

Series refers to a 13-lesson study. Shaping Hearts curriculum includes 12 series, each covering a segment of the Bible having a title that expresses a major theme, such as All Things Made New or God’s Mighty Hand.

Level replaces grades and refers to the reading difficulty of a series. The effort is to make the curriculum flexible and adaptable. Shaping Hearts student workbooks are published at 4 levels that are determined by the graduated use of vocabulary and formatting. The Shaping Hearts levels are:

Level 1 – emergent readers or 4s & 5s
Level 2 – beginning readers or grades K-1
Level 3 – intermediate readers or grades 2-3
Level 4 – advanced readers or grades 4-5

What translation of the Bible is used?

The Shaping Hearts team has been careful in what is for some a sensitive subject. Please read the following carefully and thoughtfully.

A translation is a rendering of what is communicated in one language in words of another language that have the same meaning. This is often made difficult and involves judgment because words of different languages are not equivalent. It becomes even more difficult when the effort is to communicate with children who are at different reading levels.

A concerted effort is made in Shaping Hearts curriculum to communicate the message of the Bible at children’s levels. This is challenging because the vocabulary and syntax of the Bible is often difficult even for adults. One translation is available that is an effort to communicate the Bible at children’s level of understanding. The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) is a translation from the original manuscripts that lowers the reading level by simplifying the words and shortening the sentences.

Shaping Hearts writers used the NIrV in publishing Levels 1-3. Level 4 transitions to the New American Standard Bible, while the young teen books use both the NASB and the English Standard Version. Verses that have controversial translations are consciously avoided so as not to confuse or disturb young readers.

How does Class In A Box work?

2s & 3s Class In A Box, as the title indicates, is class material to use for 2-and 3-year olds. The materials included in the box form the core curriculum for each class period. For the most part, the materials are songs using flip-books, in which the pages are visuals that match the song lyrics. The box includes Instructions and an Agenda that guide the use of the songs, thus forming the core curriculum.

Class In A Box is further guided by the Teaching Sheets, purchased separately. These pages feature the lesson of the day that coincides with the Shaping Hearts series being studied by other students. The Agenda guides the teacher in employing the Teaching Sheets. Take Home Cards that match the Teaching Sheets may be given to the students as they leave class.

Class In a Box 1 features songs about the Father, Son, and Spirit, while Class In a Box 2 features songs telling the story of the Bible.

Is a Teacher’s Guide available for each level?

No. Each series has a Teacher’s Guide but not each level. Each Teacher’s Guide contains ideas and suggestions for illustrating, applying, and reinforcing the message at all 4 levels. From among the ideas and suggestions, the teacher chooses those that will be most effective for his or her students

Why does the Teacher’s Guide not include the lesson content to be taught?

We tried this, but including all in one book proved to be cumbersome and as a result ineffective. A teacher should have both a Student Workbook and a Teacher’s Guide. The two books relate and coordinate.

Should students be allowed to take their workbooks home?

Yes. The curriculum is designed for each student to have a workbook and to take the workbook home in order to prepare for class. The workbooks are not intended to be used for reading through the lesson during class time. The design is for the teacher to retell the Bible story in class and teach the related lessons. Students may be encouraged to bring the workbooks to class each time to cover the questions or to use the maps for various class activities. The workbooks are more valuable at home in preparing for class than having them in the class. A useful suggestion is for children to keep their workbooks in a designated place so it will always be available and not have to be found. A clever version of this suggestion is to keep the Workbook in the child’s underwear drawer! Families are encouraged to read the Bible readings and discuss the lessons and memory work together.

How do the Bible Knowledge Expectations (BKE) coordinate with the curriculum?

The coordinating factor is that all are from the Bible. The Bible Knowledge Expectations a.k.a. Bible Facts contain general Bible facts that children should know as a foundation for studying God’s Word. Each lesson in the curriculum contains three BKE that may be reviewed and reinforced both at home and during each class period. These facts are systematically distributed throughout the curriculum. The BKE do not directly coordinate with the content of the lesson in which they appear, but they supplement all lessons.

May I copy or otherwise reproduce Shaping Hearts curriculum?

All Shaping Hearts products are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without
permission from the publisher. The products are immediately available and shipped in a timely
way. If you get caught without having what you are supposed to teach, contact us and we’ll
work with you as much as we can.

What is your return policy?

Most merchandise may be returned for credit or refund within 90 days of the date of purchase. Materials returned for credit must be unused and in new condition. Returns should be carefully packaged so they are not damaged in transit. Credit is not given for damaged materials.  Returns must include inside the package a copy of the original invoice or a clearly written document including the name and contact information of the person or church receiving credit.

Sample Kits or any components of it may be kept for 90 days before payment or return. Payment is due 90 days from the date of purchase or the materials should be returned.

VBS materials are typically ordered a few months in advance of the event. Returns of VBS materials must be made within 30 days of your VBS event. VBS Coordinator’s Guide , VBS Teacher’s Guides, and opened VBS Graphics may not be returned for credit.