Is a Christian Worldview important to you? Have you been intentional about teaching your kids these important concept? Wikipedia defines Christian worldview as:
- Christian worldview (also called Biblical worldview) refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which a Christian individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it.
Apologia Educational Ministries has been equipping Christian families for over a decade with tools to help train their kids to defend the Christian faith and learn science from a Christian perspective. They are a well-respected name in homeschooling circles. The ministry was purchased by Davis and Rachael Carmen in 2008 and they have expanded the ministry to include the Real Refreshment Women’s Retreat each year (read about my experience here.) We were offered the opportunity to review What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book) $39.00, Notebooking Journal $24.00, Junior Notebooking Journal $24.00 and the Coloring Book $8.00 geared for grades 1-6. These products are the fourth volume of a sequential series entitled, What We Believe, a Christian worldview curriculum, published by Apologia.
About the Products
The central text is the well-crafted hardcover text, What on Earth Can I Do? This 295-page fourth book in the What We Believe series from Apologia takes on the challenge of introducing children to the concepts of being a good and faithful steward based on Matthew 25:23.Scripture passages are taken mostly from the New International Version of the Bible, although a few other translations are referenced. You will enjoy taking this ample volume in your lap and bringing your kids in close as you learn the framework for a biblical worldview together. The front of the book includes a brief sample lesson plan based on a two-day a week schedule. The eight lengthy lessons are broken down into manageable sections in the book as described below:
The Big Idea – This is the opening introduction to the lesson where the topic is introduced and in subsequent lessons a brief review is found in this section.
What Will You Do? – This is where the lesson objectives can be found. Here is an example from lesson 2.
Short Story – Each lesson has a story with real life characters with which your children can identify. The same characters resurface in a new portion of the story in each subsequent chapter. Interwoven into the stories are differing worldviews and concepts that will be introduced later in the lesson.
Think About It – This section will give you comprehension questions to ask your children to gauge retention and understanding of the material.
Words You Need to Know – This feature provides a short list of words with their abbreviated definitions for greater understanding. Some examples of the words listed for lesson 2 are : patents, title, asset, steward, invest, accounting, and putting God first
Hide it in Your Heart – The two focal verses for each lesson are listed here. The suggestion is to use them for copywork, memorization and meditation.
What Should I Do? – This section focuses on a godly character trait to help encourage Christian growth. Some examples are surrendering to God, putting God first, being trustworthy, etc.
Prayer – Each lesson includes a model prayer to use as a springboard to teach your children to acknowledge God and thank Him for all He has done for us.
Parables of Jesus – Near the end of each lesson a parable is introduced. The parable is enhanced with cultural details and is usually told from the perspective of a peripheral character in the story. The use of culturally appropriate names and details helps children identify with the story and gain new insights into old familiar stories.
Going Deeper – Discussion questions can be found in this section.
House of Truth – This concept was introduced in the first book in this series entitled, Who Is God? and continues in each subsequent book. The concepts of worldview are illustrated with the picture of a house being built up with walls. Each book focuses on one wall of the House of Truth. There are four pillars of Biblical Truth explored as you build the Stewardship wall to your house of Truth in this volume.
The What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal is a 240-page spiral bound companion journal to the textbook. While this book is optional, the activities included help to build understanding and reinforce the learning that occurs in the textbook. Things like crossword puzzles, minibooks, Scripture copywork, written prayers, comprehension questions and pages to document the working of God in our lives help document learning and can be added to a student portfolio. The assignments and activities are geared toward the upper elementary set because of the amount of writing.
What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal was created with the younger elementary student aged 6-9 in mind. There is much less writing involved than in the regular notebooking journal. You will find activities such as fill in the blank vocabulary questions, easy word searches, drawing assignments, scripture copywork, coloring pages and fun minibooks to cut and paste.
Both of the notebooking journals include instructions on how to use the book and detailed lesson plans at the front of the journal. The back section of the journal includes full-color mini books with instructions on how to remove, cut, assemble and paste them in the journal.
The What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book is a companion product for the youngest set in the family. The 64 coloring pages are pictures from stories in the textbook and it is a great way to include younger children by engaging them with the subject matter while they listen to the reading.
Our Opinion of the Products and How We Used Them in Our Homeschool
Our family is a big fan of Apologia products. We used the science textbook Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics last fall with our homeschool co-op and plan to use the Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology in the fall. The worldview curriculum was another great product in our opinion. The material was well-written and engaging. The children and I chose to use the two-day a week, one lesson every three weeks schedule since we are in official summer school around here.There are 8 lessons in the book and at this pace the material could span over 24 weeks. I found that this pacing was perfect for our family as it allowed us time to digest some of the longer stories. It took us longer than I expected to complete a lesson because the topics generated a lot of discussion between me and the children. I saved the parable portion of the lesson to read with Daddy at night. He liked participating with us in this way. I started the lesson by reading the day’s portion from the text and then discussing what we read with the children. My four-year old loved using the coloring book during our read-aloud time. The middle son who is 8 would complete any drawing or coloring assignments from his junior journal during this time as well. The eldest, who is eleven would sit beside me as I read. He worked on the journal assignments after the reading was completed. Many times we found that it was better for us to read one day and complete the journal activities on a separate day to keep the lesson time to 30 minutes. I really appreciate all that the lessons taught us and plan to go back and start at the beginning of the What We Believe series and read them all to my children. The books build on each other and I think we would benefit from starting back at the beginning. Having my fifth grader use the What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, my second grader use the What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal and my four-year old use the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book was a perfect fit for our homeschool. These books would make a great devotional for the whole family or a solid Bible curriculum for home school. If you are serious about teaching your kids a Christian worldview, you should consider these materials. I love how one set reaches all my children at their level. Even having a reluctant writer in my second grader, we were able to use narration and complete the assignments in the Junior Notebooking Journal with no tears whatsoever. The regular notebooking journal is definitely for the upper elementary grades. The questions are in essay format and require analysis of the material. My sixth grader did well with this material, but my rising third grader would never have been able to do the work in this journal. These products get a thumbs up in our opinion!
If you would like to hear what others are saying about these products, click on the graphic below to read more reviews.
Connect with Apologia on