Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Who is My Neighbor? Apologia

I homeschool with a bit of an eclectic approach.  We use a variety of resources:  the computer for math; real books, cds of lectures, the computer for maps, and videos for history; writing textbooks for writing; you get the idea.   The few textbooks we've used, other than math, have usually been used in an unconventional way.  For Bible, we've primarily read the Bible.  There have been a few devotional books here and there, and of course church, too.  Enter Apologia. 

Last Spring, I received the second book in the What We Believe Series to review.  The series was new to me.  This quote from Apologia sums up the series so well,

"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."

I now have the honor of reviewing the third book set in the series, Who is My Neighbor? 

Who is My Neighbor Student Text  $39.00

This is the backbone of Who is My Neighbor.  There are a total of eight lessons in the book.  Seems like it ought to take about 8 days, doesn't it?  Not so.  Each lesson is designed to be used over a number of days.  The text suggests plan of twice a week for three weeks and gives a suggested schedule. 
Each lesson is broken down: 

The Big Idea - Introduces the main topic.
What You Will Do - Learning Objectives
Short Story - Well written stories that show children of differing world views and how the concepts are integrated into life.
Think About It - Thought provoking questions about the short story.
Words You Need to Know - Important vocabulary words that will help children understand church services and have the vocabulary to communicate their faith.
Hide It in Your Heart - Memory verses.
Integrated Learning - Articles intended to integrate art, math, science, history and more.
What Should I Do? - Putting information learned to practice in real life.
Encounters with Jesus- Dramatized retellings of real Bible stories of real Biblical encounters with Jesus with added historical details. 
Take a Closer Look- Discussion Questions encouraging children to think about how they can apply what they've learned.
House of Truth-A hands-on memory aid for the children who are using the entire series.

Who Is My Neighbor? Notebooking Journal  $24.00

The notebooking journal offers an alternate schedule which is divided into 48 segments an integrates the journal into the student's activities.  The assignments are laid out in a grid fashion that would be easy for the older student to implement and check off as he goes.

This journal offers a place to keep the student's notes and work together.  There are questions to answer, crossword puzzles, word finds, and other enriching activities.

Who Is My Neighbor? Coloring Book $8.00

This coloring book is filled with drawings that support the text.  It's great for keeping younger hands busy while Momma or an older child reads the day's selection aloud.
Click links above for sample pages and tables of contents.

One nice thing about this series is that it can be either teacher-led or student-lead.  The text is an excellent jumping off point for discussions with you child about the world around them, other cultures, and how things really work in life.

My thoughts:  I really like the way the books are laid out.  It's obvious that they've done the research necessary to provide excellent products.  The point of the series is to teach children the Christian worldview.  To me, that's important.  If we are not intentional about teaching our children a Christian worldview, the world is more than happy to fill in all the details through the media.

I have met with a bit of resistance from the children for two reasons.  The first is rather silly to me, but not to the kids.  They keep telling me that they already know who their neighbor is.  They think that the book is too young for them.  I don't think so.  There's a lot of meat in this series.  I think that the series would be good for upper elementary through middle school.  It could be used for younger ages if  Mom wants to read it to the kids.  The second reason is that my children are not accustomed to using textbooks.  We're still working out how we'll continue to use these books.  I think it's worth continuing in spite of their resistance. 

I do wish that I'd started with the first book in the series, Who is God?.  I'm going to go back and finish Who am I? before we continue with Who is my Neighbor?.

This is the third in the What We Believe series from Apologia.
Click here to read my review of Who Am I? the second in the series.


I received this product at no charge to me in exchange for an honest review as part of the Homeschool Crew.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen this, Laura and was actually wondering about it. Apologia has good stuff. I'm with you...the Bible is our main source for Bible curriculum. We love Answers in Genesis though to supplement.

    Have a great day!



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