Apologia Educational Ministries is one of our family’s very favorite homeschool companies. While we wouldn’t think of using anything else besides Apologia for science, we have also been enjoying many of their other materials and curricula. I recently learned that they teamed up with Summit Ministries to create a Bible-based curriculum which is designed to teach children the essential beliefs of the Christian faith. The “What We Believe” series can be used for children ages 6, with help from an adult, to 14 as an independent study. Written at a fifth to sixth grade reading level, it makes a perfect multiple age study.
For review, we were sent the first book in the series Who Is God and Can I Really Know Him? which retails for $39.00.
The introduction in the beginning of the book contains a section called How To Use This Book which covers notebooking, lesson structure, a sample lesson plan, additional teaching materials, Why Should You Teach a World View, information on the course website and contact info for questions.
Just as with their science curriculum, the book has a password in the course website section which allows access to many helpful book extras specifically for this book such as notebooking pages, internet links, graphics to build a house of truth that goes along with the study and teacher helps.
The teacher helps are downloadable files designed to enhance your teaching as well as your child’t learning experience. They are mostly 12 to 15 pages in length, and include things such as lesson objectives, overview of the main ideas, recommended reading list, Bible story references, child-directed discussion questions, and lots more.
You can certainly use this book very easily without them.
For more Frequently Asked Questions about this book look here. This file does a fabulous job of describing the text and series in more detail than I can here, and describes a bit about what the other three books in the series cover.
So what did we think about this book at Gunn Ranch Academy?
When I opened the package and took out the book, I was immediately impressed that this book had the same quality, feel, size and look as our all-time favorite Apologia Young Explorer science texts! The glossy hardback cover is thick and durable. The beautifully illustrated, thick pages are colorful and graphically organized to be easy to read and follow. But the excellence of this book doesn’t stop at the look and layout. The content is absolutely superb. The mix of Biblical principles with stories, definitions, historical facts and famous people, classic works of art, thought provoking questions and discussion topics, notebooking activities, famous quotations, and so much more are all tied together with rock solid scripture to back it up. While this could very easily be used as a stand alone text for both my 10 year old and 14 year old, we have thoroughly enjoyed reading through it together and it has really lead us down numerous paths of discussion. 5 year old Levi has also been listening in and joined in many of our conversations, injecting ideas according to his own understanding (and injecting some innocent five year old “Levi-isms” that have made our days nothing less than delightful!) Now don’t ya think that’s the way God would have his children learn about Him?
I haven’t stressed about a schedule with this text, because I want to be able to learn and talk about the lessons as time and attention spans allow. The lessons are really easy to break and resume in many places, just picking up where we left off without losing important information. While we didn’t follow the two weeks per lesson plan in the beginning of the book intentionally, I just noticed we have pretty much followed a two week per lesson plan on our own.
I can’t really think of anything we didn’t like about this book.
I will most definitely be using the rest of the books in this series. The second book is ready for purchase, but the third (due out in 2011) and forth (due out in 2012) are not yet published. That shows just how current and relevant this material is!
From now on when I am asked if I know of a great Bible curriculum, I will most certainly be recommending this series. Apologia has, once again, stepped up to the plate to continue offering outstanding quality materials to our homeschool community.
Thanks Apologia, we LOVE you!
For my Crew mates opinions on this book, visit our Crew blog.
I received this book as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.