curriculum reviews

Apologia Educational Ministries: What on Earth Can I do? Review

I am always excited to review books and curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries!  I have yet to find a product that I didn’t like.  It was no surprise to me that my family and I enjoyed reviewing Apologia: What on Earth Can I Do? We received the hardback textbook ($39.00), a coloring book ($8.00), a notebooking journal ($24.00)and a junior notebooking journal ($24.00)

This series is recommended for ages 6-14.  I was recently looking for a Bible study that I could have multiple kids work on it at one time and was very pleased that this fit the bill.  I read aloud from the textbook, while David (2nd grade) and Allie (9th grade) colored pictures from the coloring book.  After I was done reading they worked in their journal.  Allie used the one for older students and David used the junior one.  I was worried that it would be too easy for Allie, but she enjoyed it.

I was familiar with the “What I Believe” series and knew that I liked the content, but we used it a little different this time.  I really liked that my 2 kids did it together and would ask if it was time for it each day.  I learned David listens very well and sits still while coloring. I always thought that he would get more distracted by the coloring and not listen, but this has changed our school!  Allie looked forward to coloring too!  It was very therapeutic.

This textbook, written by John Hay and David Webb, is subtitled Biblical Worldview of Stewardship.  It is designed to “help children learn to discern the truth by using God’s Word as a lens through which to view the world around them- to see everything the way God sees it.”

We enjoyed how the book is written in a conversational tone.  It was easy to read and understand.  They stories captured the children’s attention and listened to the end of the lesson.  We learned about Bible lessons, like The Prodigal Son, applied many Biblical lessons to real life and learned a lot about history.

We read about Claude Rains, a supporting actor in the 1930’s and 40’s and how important his role was even though he wasn’t the star.  This interesting story tied into God’s plan for your life and the salvation plan.  The next section was about World War II.  There is a very interesting story about Adolf Hitler’s life. We then read about how World War II affected the lives of families.  They sent the children out of London for fear that they would get bombed.  I can’t imagine the fear that they all experienced and hope I never do.  We were shown many perspectives of the war.  We learned that British soldiers and German soldiers spent Christmas together on the front lines.  This was a great lesson on learning about military battles and how human everyone still is.

We also learned about Maria von Trapp.  Her story was very interesting.  David had never seen the Sound of Music and I don’t think Allie had seen it all the way thorough.  Evie (3)  LOVES it!  We borrowed it and have watched it many times.  I’m going to have to get a copy for us.  This was such a great tie in to the material  from Apologia.

The next part in the book is an “expansion” of the Prodigal Son.  We read the story out of the Bible and then read Apologia’s story.  It was easy to read and understand.  The story was very descriptive and explained how people were feeling and what it probably looked like around them.  Allie doesn’t like when anything about a Bible story is changed, but I thought it was done very well.  The authors didn’t change anything about the story and made it very understandable.

My kids have learned so much from just doing part of this book.  We will continue to work our way through this.  I plan on getting the notebooks and coloring book for the other books in the series that we own.

The only thing I didn’t like was the suggested lessons.  At first glance they were great, but when I went to do them some days were just too long for my kids.  I quickly adjusted how much we did every time and it worked about much better.  Also suggested coloring pages didn’t go with the correct lesson, but I adjusted that too.

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