I am going to start this review with a confession. I am an Apologia Curriculum fan. Have been for years now. Our family uses their science curriculum in our homeschool and love it. I love what the company stands for, I love the quality of their products and I love that they combine the Word of God so easily with their science!
But somehow I have missed that they also now offer a Biblical Worldview Series! Until recently! Our family has had the privilege of reviewing their latest book in the series, Who is my Neighbor? And Why Does He Need me?
Let me start with the basics. The What We Believe series currently consists of three volumes, with the fourth due out in 2013.
Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?
Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here?
Who Is My Neighbor? And Why Does He Need Me?
What on Earth Can I Do?
Each is a beautifully bound, hard cover book made to last for years of enjoyment. Did I mentioin they are beautiful? In addition, you can also purchase Notebooking Journals to accompany each book, as well as Coloring Books for your younger children. Audio MP3 CDs are also available. The age recommendation is for ages 6-14, but if you are doing this as a family, I am confident that you could extend that age range by several years on either side.
Apologia says about their series-
"Our children are bombarded on a daily basis with competing messages. Every song, movie, book, TV show, blog, and game is full of ideas—ideas about truth, morality, beauty, identity, faith, and more. Not all of these ideas are true. Some are wrong, some are deceptive, and some are outright destructive. It is more important than ever that young children be equipped to discern among competing ideas and stand in the truth. This is why Apologia has teamed with Summit Ministries to bring you the "What We Believe" Series. The "What We Believe" Series is an outstanding way to teach your child the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, but it’s so much more! With this student-directed, Bible-based curriculum, your children will learn how to use Scripture as a lens through which to view the world around them—to see everything the way God sees it—and know the truth."
The nitty gritty - We used this book as a family activity during our review period. I read it aloud while the 5, 10, and 14 year old listened. We did allow the five year old to color the picture from the coloring book related to the lesson while he listened. Though he may not have understood every little thing he heard, he was listening. Each chapter begins with a section called The Big Idea, to give you a general overview and let you know what you will be learning about. This is followed by a story that continues through the book and then additional lessons, bible stories and questions to ponder. There is also a memory verse for each chapter and a words to know section. Thanks to the help of the very clear lesson plans in the Notebooking journal, it was easy to see where to start and stop for each day. Also in the lesson plans are the assignments to work through in the journal each day. Since we were doing this as a group, we answered the questions out loud (also found in the book) and discussed additional assignments. In the future, when we use this for an individual child's bible study, I will direct the child to complete the journal assignments on their own.
Let me take a minute here to talk about the journal. Please don't skimp on this part and not buy it. It is a beautiful, picture filled, ringed notebook that once complete will make a lovely keepsake of your child's journey through this curriculum. It has journal writing pages, mini book sections, puzzles and word searches and places to answer questions. The questions are thought provoking, encouraging your child to think about what they have read and apply it to their own lives. Very interactive!
We loved the fact that the book was full of real life stories as well as fiction and of course, beautiful bible accounts. It is well written, well organized and easy to use!
Here is my future plan on using this curriculum. I am definitely going to go back and buy the two prior books and then buy the final one once it has been released. Each book stands by itself and you do not have to have read one to enjoy another, but I do not want to miss one word of this series! The lesson plans for Who Is My Neighborr are scheduled for 48 days, so my plan is to use the first two books in the series for one year of Bible Study for our boys and then the next two books for the following years. Our family will more than likely use this for their 7th and 8th grade years, but that is just a personal decision. Again, you should be able to use it for younger children as well, and it has worked well for us to do it as a family study too!
Who Is My Neighbor (as well as the other books in the series) $39.00
Notebooking Journal- $24.00
Coloring Book- $8.00
Audio MP3 CD- $19.00
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Disclaimer - Our family received the Who Is My Neighbor book, Notebooking Journal, and Coloring Book to review in exchange for our honest opinion of the products. The views expressed are ours alone and were not influenced by the company in any way.