Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Apologia Educational Ministries: What on Earth can I do? {A Review}


Apologia Educational Ministries graciously sent us What on Earth Can I Do? ($39.00), What on Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal ($24.00), What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal ($24.00), and What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book ($8.00). It is ideal for grades 1-6, but we chose to use it with all of the children.

First Thoughts

In our experience with Apologia Educational Ministries, we have found that Apologia provides rich Biblical teaching with every product they publish. Scripture reference is provided and the depth of knowledge of the topics is more than adequate. At first look, I could see that What on Earth Can I Do? would be just as agreeable for our family as their other work.



Description
The focus of the What on Earth Can I Do? curriculum is stewardship with a Biblical worldview. Each lesson focuses on various components: your place in God's story, God's plan, faithfulness, heavenly treasures, managing time, surrender, caring for God's creation as he intended, and perseverance. There are 8 large lessons, designed to be split into 3 weeks, each lesson with 2 sessions a week, for a total of 48 sessions over 24 weeks. (The notebooking journal and junior notebooking journal contain lesson plans for incorporating those pages into your reading schedule.)

~What on Earth Can I Do? is a hardbacked book and contains the readings along with sections that contain and explain the big idea, the objectives, short stories, questions, vocabulary words, Bible verses, articles, Godly character traits, prayers, parables, and instructions for constructing a House of Truth.



~What on Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal is a softcover, spiral bound book designed to be used with the book What on Earth Can I Do? It contains various pages for note taking, answering questions, writing definitions, copying scripture, completing puzzles, making mini-books, composing prayers, listing praises, documenting God's movement, recording ministry oppurtunities, reviewing readings, and finding additional resources.



~What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal is a softcover, spiral bound book designed to be used with the book What on Earth Can I Do? It contains various pages for note taking, coloring, answering questions, filling in the blanks to match definitions, copying scripture, completing puzzles, making mini-books, composing prayers, listing praises, documenting God's movement, recording ministry oppurtunities, and finding additional resources.




~What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book is a soft cover book designed to be used with the book What on Earth Can I Do? It contains 64 coloring pages with a scripture, label, or sentence on every page. 





Additional Materials Required
There are basic school supply types of materials required: glue stick, pencils, crayons or colored pencils, and scissors. In addition to those, we needed photographs for our tapestries.




Time Frame

Using the book and the journals, a full session could take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Depending on the ages of your children and how you choose to do the work, parents can be as involved in the entire process or as hands off as they wish. The text is written directly to the child. If your child is a reader, he/she could read it and do the notebooking pages alone. 

Since we opted to work as a family. I was involved in the reading and the children on the book work.




How we used What on Earth Can I Do? 
We used the curriculum a couple of days a week. I would read the individual sections to all of the kids. They would work on their separate pages. Ceesa used the notebooking journal, Jo-Jo used the junior notebooking journal, and Li used the coloring book.



We used it as an extra component/supplement to our typical school day; however, we found that it could very easily be used as Bible, history, citizenship, geography, art, writing, and literature studies all in one.


Since Li worked with us, we broke down the session recommendations into smaller chunks. Although he surely did not understand the majority of what was read, he was able to participate with us as a family and think on what he could draw out.


Some Random Comments from the Kiddoes
"Thank you so much for getting this for me!" ~Jo-Jo
"Where's my color book?" ~Li
"I love Apologia!" ~Ceesa



What Li Thought
Li asked to color in his book everyday. He seemed content to work along with us. (Look at that chubby hand. I love it. It won't be chubby much longer. He's growing bigger everyday.) He says, "I color while Momma reads the story."



What Jo-Jo had to Say
"I really like the notetaking journal (junior notebooking journal). We do them when Momma is reading to us. The activities are fun. There are crossword puzzles that you can search through and find the words. The Fabric of My Life (mini-book) is neat because you open it and it shows pictures and words. 



What Ceesa had to Say

"People who like word searches and crosswords puzzles, should get this book (notebooking journal). The word searches are very challenging (Grandma helped me with mine.). The introduction says that they wrote this notebook for you, only you. I like that. It is mine and I wrote it. The section in the front lets you write your name on it. It says written by and a space for your name."



My Thoughts
Although we are slowly making our way through the curriculum (we'll probably be done in 36 weeks instead of 24), I looked throughout the book and read through some of the other lessons. After a lot of time had gone by, with tears off and on, I knew I was hooked. I really like how the theme, biographies, world events, and other stories weave together the message.

What We Learned

We've learned that there were people that were making hiding spaces for the Jews when they were being mistreated by the Nazis. Maria Von Trapp was like a missionary because she followed God's plan for her life. A long time ago, there were silent movies. ~All comments provided by the kids when asked together

Ceesa says, "I learned a new way to help me explain how God leads us and how we follow him. When we make mistakes, he works it into the overall design of our lives." 


Recommendation

If you are looking for a Biblically sound worldview curriculum, What we Believe Worldview Training series would be perfect for you. I found it interesting that all of the kids really mentioned the individual notebooking journals when I asked them about what they liked. So for anyone wondering if the notebooks and coloring book is essential for the curriculum, I would say our family found it to be a very important component.


Future
This is the first time we've used anything from the What we Believe Worldview Training series and we can't wait to try out the first 3 titles: Who is God?, Who am I?, and Who is my Neighbor? You can get the entire set of books for $120.00. 

Wishing you homeschool blessings,


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