Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who Is God? and Can I Really Know Him?

Did you think this was a post where I would answer these questions? Well it is and it isn't. This is a review of a product we received for... Photobucket

The product is from Apologia. The title of my post is the title of the book we were sent to review: Who Is God? and Can I Really Know Him?  Apologia is well known for their science books, but they are branching out.  They teamed up with Summit Ministries to bring us the "What We Believe" Series, hardcover books about the how to view the world from the foundational truths of the Christian life.

PhotobucketWho Is God? is the first book in what will be a series of 4. It covers what a worldview is, creation, our purpose on earth (to Glorify the Lord), and much more. Each chapter starts off with The Big Idea sharing the main topic of the lesson. Then they state the learning objectives in the What You Will Do section. Each chapter then has a short story. In Who Is God a young boy comes to visit his friend and family, he doesn't know about God and they help him learn all about Him. Then there are Think About It questions to help you dig deeper. Words You Need To Know covers the vocabulary your children may or may not know already  for the lesson. Hide It in Your Heart is of course the Bible memory verses, also ideal for copywork if you choose. Throughout the lesson there are interesting side articles on a number of interesting and pertinent subjects that go along with the topic of the lesson. In the What Should I Do section Godly character is highlighted and students are challenged to apply the lesson to their own lives.There is a Prayer you can read if you choose to. The Worldview Study helps the student understand why they have the beliefs they do and to begin to recognize the worldviews of others around them and how they affect everything they think and do. The last thing in each lesson is the House of Truth. It is meant to be a visual memory aid that is constructed one piece at a time, as new concepts are learned in each lesson. Click one/each of the following links to download or see the Table Of Contents and a Sample Lesson.

The lesson plans included in the book have each lesson broken into 6 parts covered over 2 weeks. Since my boys are older we covered each lesson in only 4 days and did them every day, thus changing the 20 weeks of lessons into only 8 weeks.

The curriculum is geared for ages 6 to 14. One of my boys is at the top end of that age... being 14 the other is 16, but it has been a good review for him. They both liked the curriculum. The series is written at a fifth- to sixth-grade reading level. There are 10 chapters and 252 pages. It is full of many lovely color photos that enhance each lesson. There is very little teacher preparation needed ahead of time. Each lesson is pretty much self contained and easy to teach. It would fit into most any homeschool home and teaching style and be a great addition to your studies. I would recommend this series to everyone. 

I read the book aloud to the boys. Some of the versions of the Bible the book quotes we had never heard of. Some we had heard of but don't like. Some versions were fine. I started by just reading the book as is. Then the boys started looking up the scriptures and reading them in their KJV Bibles as we went because they wanted to know what the KJV said. This took a lot more time so I finally made a printout of the verses. Using an online scripture search site I searched for, cut, and pasted the versed into a document file and printed it out. It made the lesson much more cohesive for us. As I read I just substituted the KJV version for each of the verses in the lesson. You may not mind the different versions. To each their own.

On the Apologia site there are free online downloadable files (pdf e-books). The link to these freebies will be found on page xiv of the Who is God book. The following freebies are available on the site:
  • Teacher Helps for each lesson
  • supplemental Notebooking pages for each lesson
  • printable House of Truth graphics for use in teaching or as a notebooking component
  • links to Internet sites that you may find useful in your Christian worldview studies. 
The Free PDF of Teacher Helps are designed to enhance your teaching and, subsequently, your child’s learning experience and contain:
  • Overviews of the lesson’s main idea as well as every topic covered in the lesson
  • Key themes and lesson objectives
  • Vocabulary words
  • Memory verses
  • Suggested activities for use with the lesson 
  • Child-directed discussion questions for each topic covered in the lesson—you simply read them aloud to help you guide the conversation
  • Lists of Bible stories and references that address the key themes
  • Recommended reading list for deeper study of the themes, people, and places discussed in the text
I do not know if they will have these freebies available for all the books. I assume they will.

Since we already had the free supplemental Notebooking pages I also decided to print out pages for the boys to answer the Make A Note Of It questions from the book. It was much easier and made it so that they could keep everything together in a notebook instead of answering the Make a Note Of It questions in a separate journal. You can see a sample of one of the page I made to your left.

Levels in this series and current availability:
Book 1 Who Is God? and Can I Really Know Him? is currently available
Book 2 Who Am I? is currently available.
Book 3 Who is My Brother? will be available Fall 2011
Book 4 What on Earth Can I Do? will be available 2012

Each book can stand alone and you can start with any one of them, of course only the first 2 are out right now.

A current catalog can be requested here: Request a catalog OR you can download one as a pdf here:  Catalog (PDF). On pages 24-27 you will find the "What We Believe" Series. They are adding to their available products for this series and will have a Notebooking Journal and Coloring books to go with each of the levels. These elements are not necessary to use the curriculum but may add to the ease of use or interest for your children. You will find more details in the catalog about when the new elements in the series will be available.

Costs for the elements of each level in the series:
  • Cost of each book $39.00 
  • Book 1 also has an audio mp3 CD for $15
  • Notebooking Journals will be $24
  • Coloring Books will be $8
Since the books are hardcover and the free online downloadable files are pdf e-books you can use this curriculum over and over with all your children. The only things that would be consumable would be the Notebooking Journals and the Coloring Books if you should choose to purchase them.

I really like this curriculum. I recommend everyone check it out. The best way to see more of what this curriculum is like is to look at the pdf downloads of the Table Of Contents and the Sample Lesson. I have been really impressed by the content of the book. I remember studying Apologetics in my senior year of High School in the Christian school I attended. My church is also studying the foundations of the Christian faith in our adult Sunday School classes right now (which all our children attend with us). I think knowing what you believe and why you believe it is very important for every Christian, and especially for our young people. They need a strong foundation in order to grow in the Lord and whether the storms life will throw at them in their future.

Out of five stars we give Who Is God?:

Before you buy you may want to check out what my friends at the TOS Homeschool Crew had to say about this Bible/Worldview Curriculum. It is always good to get more than one opinion.

***Apologia provided me with Who Is God? and though I received this product for free I have given an honest review of it here in this post.

all content on my blog is ©

1 comment:

Very Blessed Mamma said...

I think this book sounds great. I can't wait to get it. I agree with you on the versions.

I am stopping by from the Blog Walk. I know I am behind, but am catching up now.

I am now following you.

I would love a follow back.



Have a blessed night.


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