Oh, Apologia Educational Ministries again. My favorite!!
I just can’t get enough of this company!!!!
I positively can’t imagine my children’s education without them.
Since I first ran across them years ago as we began our homeschooling lifestyle, they’ve grown by leaps and bounds into a wholesome, truly amazing company that offers beautiful, high-quality Christian-faith products, support and services. I own a fair amount of their products. I’ve not been disappointed with a single one of them, and have highly recommended their products over and over to homeschoolers both brand new, and seasoned veterans.
We have really been enriched by the Young Explorers Science series of products as well as the upper level sciences. We were super-excited when they came out with notebooking journals to accompany them, as they are just such an awesome way for the student to get hands-on reinforcement, as well as an easy way for the student to easily work through the material.
I have relished the homeschooling support and encouragement books I’ve read that are offered by their company which have made me feel as if Apologia is a good friend.
During the 2010-2011 TOS Crew year, our family was blessed richly with the opportunity to review the first of a Biblical Worldview series of books designed for young people ages 6-14 in the What We Believe series called Who Is God?. This series was 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 things the way God sees them. It’s a first-of-it’s-kind family-inclusive study of biblical worldview. Our review of the first book in this series last year was our first experience with this series, though not with teaching worldview. Worldview is something I think is extremely important for our kids to know and understand. Defending the faith as well as recognizing false teaching is becoming more and more challenging, and more and more important as our times change. I was tickled pink to find this series follows the same lesson organization, variety of different formats, fonts, stories, mixed with examples, discussions, famous artwork, beautiful illustrations, appropriate questions, scripture, examples, as the familiar Young Explorers science books that we treasure so deeply. Secondly, I was overjoyed to see the same large, beautiful hardcover book with thick pages and rich colorful illustrations and print. We absolutely devoured the first volume in this series and I had looked into moving into the second book.
So guess what? Yep, you guessed it. We were doubly-blessed to have the opportunity to review the second volume in the What We Believe series entitled Who Am I?. This volume was designed to show kids what it means to be fearfully and wonderfull made in the image of a loving God, to develop a healthy, biblical sefl-image, and a sense of God-given purpose that will last a lifetime.
My heart just fluttered when I found out we were receiving not only the book, but additional resources including a notebooking journal, an audiobook MP3 cd, and a coloring book. I was just absolutely blown away when I opened this treasure chest of jewels! I couldn’t wait to get started, and even my high schooler (15) couldn’t resist and came in and plopped down on my bed along with my jr high student (11) and my kindergartner (almost 6).
We dug through our box looking through the resources, like kids at Christmas. My Jr High student just loves the Apologia notebooking journals, and was thrilled to see it included. (Consequently, she is on her third time through Apologia Zoology 2 Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day with the Notebooking journal this time around. We have completed most of the Young Explorer Science books using notebooking pages we printed or made, but when we did Botany using the notebooking journal she was hooked!) They all three loved the coloring book, and we were intrigued by the MP3 cd, though we love to snuggle in the bed reading together. I cracked the crisp pages of the text open, and it was like we began a glorious new adventure! What a joy beyond words we were about to experience…
The Who Am I? hardcover book retails for $39.00. To purchase, see a sample lesson, table of contents, and a description of this book, visit the Apologia website.
The book is divided into eight lessons. There is a sample schedule in the Introduction which shows how to divide the lessons into three weeks, two days per week. The lessons are extremly easy to follow and divide up however fits your own schedule, however.
*Lesson 1: What Are We Doing Here?
*Lesson 2: What Will You Make Today?
*Lesson 3: What’s On Your Mind?
*Lesson 4: Can You Trust Your Feelings?
*Lesson 5: Will You Choose Wisely?
*Lesson 6: How Will You Run The Race?
*Lesson 7: What Kind Of Fruit Are You Growing?
*Lesson 8: Who Do You Think You Are?
The Who Am I? notebooking journal can be purchased for $24.00 on the Apologia website. You can also see a sample page and table of contents there as well.
Just as with the Science Notebooking journals, there is an easy to follow Lesson Plan schedule at the beginning of the book which includes reading assignments by page number, discussions, and then journal pages to complete by page number and title. These make it super-easy for the student to complete independently, and/or a teacher to coordinate reading and notebooking activities. The illustrations and graphics in this notebooking journal are awesome. They make this journal a treasure that the child will want to share, show-off, and look back upon for years to come.
The Who Am I? Audiobook MP3 CD can be purchased for $19.00 on the Apologia website. You can also hear an MP3 sample there. (*Note, this cannot be returned after opened, just like every other cd.) Perfect for audio-learners, special needs, or those who love their MP3 players :).
The Who Am I? coloring book retails for $8.00 and can be purchased on the Apologia website. You may also view a sample page while there!
All three enjoyed taking turns in the coloring book while I was reading. My kindergartener actually totally dislikes coloring, but did ask to take a turn with his markers. The 64 coloring pages coordinate with the stories and topics discussed in the reading. It was designed to give busy hands something to do while listening, and also provide hands-on reinforcement of the lessons for younger students. While one usually thinks of a coloring book as appropriate for Pre-K to maybe 1st or 2nd graders, this book is an absolutely brilliant resource for students of any age who learn better by keeping their hands busy during listening time. I know all three of my kids tend to have better attention abilities if their hands are busy doodling, drawing, coloring , taking notes, etc while listening. It seems to really help them focus better. The illustrations by Alice Ratterree are just precious, and I must say that creating this resource as a part of this series was a rich addition!
Further Thoughts from Gunn Ranch Academy:
I love the cultural inclusions in this series. One of the first stories in this book is about a Russian family, and includes meanings of names, points out cultural differences, climate, and everyday living. I really love the way that it describes how people from all over the world, being different in so many ways, are really all the same inside and have the very same human nature. It very clearly illustrates that all human beings are made in God’s image and that every one is precious to Him dispite outward differences, where they grew up, rich or poor, who their parents are, what they wear, etc.
I can’t even describe how much I love sitting down with my kids of such differing ages and reading through this material all together. There is something for each of them, and they all have such valuable input into our discussions. From reading about the history of where the Superman comic came from, to learning about Norman Rockwell (whose painting “Girl in the Mirror” graces the cover of this book), to answering thought provoking questions about what brings lasting peace and harmony, to following a Muslim girl through her day and learning the difference in Christianity and her Muslim culture, my kids have learned so much and shared so much together about our faith and who they are as well as who God desires for them to be. I love that my 15 year old can share a part of what she learned in her history studies with my 11 and 5 year olds. And of course it’s always nice to hear what she has internalized from her studies!
This book is truly a blessing, and is my absolute favorite part of what we are doing right now in our homeschool journey. We will definitely be looking forward to working through the next two volumes in this series!
Some Final Thoughts:
I have not run across a single more complete or easy-to-use resource out there. The extras that come with this are just amazing and truly provide opportunity to reinforce the lessons as well as make the journey truly fun!
This curriculum gets two thumbs up! Five Stars! Fireworks! This is a “YOU NEED THIS” resource no family should go without.
Be sure to visit our Crew Blog to read about other famlies adventures with Apologia’s Who Am I?.
If you’d like, here’s a list of reviews I’ve done on Apologia products. (I’m kinda biased- I think this company ROCKS, so just beware :))
Happy Homeschooling, your children are worth it!!
*These Apologia materials were sent to us in exchange for an honest review as members of the TOS Homeschool Crew. No other compensation was received, opinions are our own, and YES, you really DO need this. 🙂