Viewing the Bible in a new way, with a specific purpose in mind, creates a fun and exciting change in homeschool routine. Apologia Educational Ministries is allowing us to do this with one of their newest products. We have been reviewing What On Earth Can I Do?, the fourth volume in the What We Believe series. We were sent What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book), What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal , and What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book.
We have been using Apologia’s Exploring Creation science curriculum and thoroughly enjoying it, so this opportunity has been a huge blessing. The What We Believe series has four parts to it:
1) Vol. 1 Who is God (And Can I Really Know Him?)
2) Vol. 2 Who Am I (And What Am I Doing Here?)
3) Vol. 3 Who is My Neighbor (And Why Does He Need Me?)
4) Vol. 4 What On Earth Can I Do?
The What We Believe series is designed to help students in grades 1 through 6 answer the questions that come up in their lives. We want our children to know not just what they believe, the answers to the questions of salvation, but why they believe them and why those beliefs are important. We also want our children to have the confidence to view the world through the lens of the Bible, God’s expectations of us and plans for us, and the belief of things found in the Bible, to stand for what is right. This Bible curriculum is designed to help students answer questions like “How do we know what is true?” and “How must we live our lives in relation to the truth we come to know?”
What On Earth Can I Do? specifically addresses the gifts and blessings that God gives each of us and how we are to use those. The big idea covered in this book is stewardship. This is something we had been working with the girls on for a while and to have a curriculum in hand that addresses stewardship directly is so very nice.
What I Like And Appreciate About Apologia
There are many things that I think Apologia does very well. Of those, my favorite is that the books for this age level are written TO the student but are not simplified or dumbed-down. The content is challenging. It is written in a way that even J, the 5 year old giggly girl, could understand it and learn from it, answering the challenging thinking questions.
Another thing I really like about Apologia is their pictures. They use relevant, detailed pictures that capture the girl’s interest and imagination. Apologia makes the effort to include accurate pictures and illustrations that represent the topic fairly. Some examples of ones the girls really liked include the picture of the half-shekel on page 79, the House of Parliament on page 21, and Maria von Trapp on page 31. This brings up the next thing that I really like about Apologia.
Apologia includes multiple biographies and historical spotlights in each lesson. I really like having the biographies. Real life examples of people, real life examples from history are important. They make a lesson exciting and show the girls a direct application of something that is being studied, whether it is the Christian life that Maria von Trapp tried to lead, the major contributions that George Washington Carver made to better lives, or the work Corrie Ten Boom did to help rescue Jews during WWII. The giggly girls seem to relate well to the biographies and they always seem to want more information about the person, even when it is someone who has been a force of evil like Hitler was. More information makes them better informed and more able to make a Godly choice in their own lives.
What The Giggly Girls Liked
E – age 10: I thought this was pretty good. I had a lot of favorite stories. My favorites were the parables and the stories about Collin (World War II stories). Lots of it made sense and when something didn’t make sense, it made sense when mom explained it. I think other kids would like it lots. I would like it better if it were in shorter sections and there were some more hands-on things at the end of each section (like reading about the blueberries in the muffins and then making muffins).
L – age 8: I liked the parables and all the stories. I liked the Notebooking Journal (junior version) with all the activities and writing. I liked coloring while reading.
J – age 5: I liked (coloring) the muffin picture and making the muffins.
How To Use What On Earth Can I Do?
Apologia has created this worldview curriculum to be easily adaptable to however you need to use it with your family. You can move at the pace your students need. You can cover the parts that are important to you and move past those that are not a good fit for your family at that point. And later, when they are older and ready to hear about those things, you can come back to it again.
Apologia has set up the beautiful hardback book to coordinate with the notebooking journal and the junior notebooking journal, as well as the coloring book. There are printed schedules in the front of the notebooking journal and the junior notebooking journal. There are 8 lessons and most lessons are designed to take about two weeks to go through, though you will move faster with some readings and slower with others. For us, two weeks was a bit too fast.
How We Used This Worldview Curriculum
We used this curriculum as a family. We tried to follow the schedule printed in the notebooking journal and the junior notebooking journal. We did modify some of the lessons and activities because a few of the readings were pretty long, or the work in the journals took a long time to do or required a lot of writing, especially in the notebooking journal.
We used the coloring book in a couple of ways. One was for the youngest giggly girl to be a part of the work when the older two giggly girls were working in the notebooking journal and junior notebooking journal. She would color a page or two when the others were working on copy work or crossword puzzles or something else. Another way we used the coloring book was so that all three of the girls would have something to do with their hands while the story or the parables (the two longest reading sections) were being read. The youngest giggly girl would share the coloring book with the oldest giggly girl and the middle giggly girl would use the junior notebooking journal because it had some coloring pages that matched the coloring book.
What You Need For This Program
To implement this Biblical worldview program, you absolutely must have the hardback book What on Earth Can I Do? Selling for $39.00, this is a beautifully done, hardcover book that will last very well and take a lot of use by the kids, which is good because if they are like my giggly girls, they will pick this us to read and look through just because. I also recommend purchasing one of the accompanying What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal ($24.00), the What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal ($24.00) or the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book ($8.00). One per child of whichever level fits your students is best. Each child will be challenged by being accountable for their own work. If you don’t have a young child, I would still recommend a coloring book. Even the 10 year old giggly girl wanted to spend time coloring and it helped focus attention during some of the longer readings, as I said earlier.
A Couple of Things
1 – Don’t be afraid to adapt this program to your family. It makes a huge difference when you move at the pace your family needs. We tried to move too fast at the beginning, to keep up with the schedule in the notebooking journals. It was just too fast for our family. We really settled in when we slowed down and the girls got a lot more out of the more focused time each day.
2 – Check out the Apologia website. http://Apologia.com There are extras for the book that Apologia has put on their site, directed at the teacher of the curriculum. It is not quite as good a selection of extras as their science ones but it is still a great resource. Perhaps in the future they will get some web links on there of some material that is related to the stories from WWII and Africa or more pictures and video clips that relate to the biographies. Still, it is good information and help for the teacher, especially if you are one who likes to have more specific detail about how to word things. There is a password in the front of the hardcover text that will allow you access to this part of the site.
We have been thankful to be on this review. In fact, my girls didn’t even realize this one was a review because they enjoyed it so much. When I was asking for quotes to include, two of them said “This was a review?” That, in my opinion, is high praise. I highly suggest that you visit Apologia and check out this Biblical worldview curriculum, as well as their many other materials. You can catch up with Apologia through their social media links here:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
We will continue to cover activities we do in relation to this curriculum, so please check back in with us as we strive to learn to be good stewards of all that the Lord has blessed us with, from our time to our talents. At Home.
Want some more opinions about Apologia Educational Ministries and What In The World Can I Do? Visit the Review Crew by clicking on the banner below and following the link. You will find almost 100 others who have been working with this worldview curriculum with other ages and situations.