Review Crew: Apologia-Who is My Neighbor?

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Apologia Publishing is best known for its many Christian-based science resources.  However, the company has recently expanded to publish books, resources, writing curriculum, history/geography curriculum, and a worldview curriculum.

Apologia is a word used in the New Testament to describe those who are defending their faith.  The ministry of Apologia is equipping students to be prepared to defend their faith through a scientific education. 

The new worldview curriculum, for ages 6-14, is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the Christian faith so that they can be prepared to defend their faith and counter the secular worldview so pervasive in society today.  “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.” (from the site)

We had the chance to review the third volume in the worldview curriculum series-Who is My Neighbor?
“This study will encourage kids to develop a Christlike servant attitude based on these biblical truths: God created me to be a blessing to the world; God chooses to work through me; I can make a difference at home, in my community, and at church; the church is God’s family; the church is one body with many gifts; and I am an important member of Jesus’ body. “ (from the site)

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What is included:
We received the hardback textbook with full color pictures along with the Notebooking Journal.  The spiral-bound journal contains lesson plans for using the material, writing prompts, review questions, puzzles, activities, and lapbook mini books. 
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We also received the coloring book for younger children to color pictures that correspond to the stories and topics in the textbook.
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The textbook retails for $39.00, the journal for $24.00, and the coloring book for $8.00. 

How we used the material:
We began using the schedule as outlined in the journal but found that we needed a slower pace to cover the stories and topics.  We read one story or subsection each day and discussed each portion together.  Curly enjoyed the many stories which reinforced the topics from each lesson and she was able to apply concepts after hearing the stories.

We looked through the journal but found there was too much writing involved in some activities for Curly, who is just starting to write and spell on her own.  Instead, we cut out mini books and made the lapbook component rather than do the writing activities.  If there were review questions in the journal, we discussed those orally.

Curly, however, loved the coloring pages and she enjoyed working on the pages while I read the stories to her.  Tiger and Bee would have enjoyed their own coloring books as well.

Cons:
The book continues adding Biblical truths to a diagram of a house which was begun in the first book.  It was difficult to start at Volume 3 without having read the material in the first two books.  It would be best to start at the first book and add to your house throughout the series. 

The journal requires quite a bit of writing which can be too much for a young child of Curly’s age.

Pros:
The books cover topics of the Christian faith in a way accessible to children.  The stories reinforce the concepts taught so that children can apply what they have learned.

The book and review questions spark excellent conversations to deepen faith.  We had several though-provoking discussions as a family and even I felt better equipped to defend my faith through the concepts I had learned.

This can be a wonderful tool for family devotions with the younger children coloring along to the stories and the older children completing their own personal journal of what they have learned.  

Overall:
I love this series and cannot wait to use all four volumes with my children.  However, I think we will need to wait a year or two so that Curly can get the greatest benefit from the material.  I felt she was on the younger end of the spectrum and some topics were more difficult for her to grasp.  If we started at the beginning of the series, she may have had an easier time understanding the first volume.
I plan to start with the first volume and cycle through the series more than once with all of my children.  We will use this series as a family devotion tool in a year or more.

See how other Crew members were equipped to defend their faith here!

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Disclaimer:  I received these materials at no cost to me in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mind. 

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