Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Apologia Educational Ministries ~ What on Earth Can I Do? Review

Hello friends, I have another fantastic review to tell you about. We just recently had the opportunity to review  What on Earth Can I Do?What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal,
What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal and
What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book from Apologia Educational Ministries.

What on Earth Can I Do? is the fourth book in a worldview series called What We Believe. It is a hardback book that helps children understand what it means to be a "good and faithful servant" of God through a discussion of the biblical worldview of stewardship. It is recommended for grades 1-6. It begins by setting the stage with an explanation of where we fit into God’s master plan for the world. The book takes you on an adventure through a story of a young British boy named Colin and his family’s experience during WWII. The stories truly help get an understanding of our place and purpose as part of God’s plan, even through times of difficulty.

If you love notebooking like our family than you will love this curriculum. It is designed around a notebooking concept. It provides clear instructions that give children opportunities to think about the questions given, as well as consider their own thoughts and ideas. When first starting this curriculum I felt that some of the stories would be too hard for my daughters to understand. I found that I didn't really have a lot to worry about, but at the times that they were having trouble we would just tailor certain things to help them understand better. That was one of the things I really enjoyed about What on Earth Can I Do?  Each lesson contains several wonderful key components that can be tailored to fit your child. These components helped my children learn in a wonderful and unique way.

*The Big Idea - Each lesson opens with an introduction to the main topic. I felt this helped my daughters know what to expect from the lesson.

*What You Will Do - This section states the learning objectives for each lesson. For example in lesson 1 the learning objectives are

1) You will recognize that you are part of God's story
2) You will understand that with God all things are possible
3) You will be encouraged to surrender every part of your life to Him.

Friends, reading those was encouraging. These are wonderful objectives and ones that I feel should be of the utmost importance in teaching my children. I knew that this was going to be wonderful the moment I read those.

*Short Story - Each lesson features a short story that show what a worldview looks like in action

*Think About It - Questions that can be used to measure your child's comprehension. These can be tailored to suit your child. I loved this section, because I felt that my daughters could talk about the story and share together their thoughts and questions. This section also helped my daughters with their writing and spelling.

*Words You Need To Know - Features wonderful vocabulary words. My daughters would write the words in their journals. I really was pleased at how many new words my daughters were introduced to and learned.

*Hide It In Your Heart - Each lesson provides two specific bible verses that can be used for memorization or for copy work. We choose to use them as copy work.

*Integrated Learning - Articles related to the main text. These articles are designed to help your child learn more about different subject areas such as art, math, science, history, and more. For example in lesson 1 there is a reference to Charlie Chaplin in the story. Following the story is an article about who he was. These articles exposed my daughters to new interests, skills, and experiences.

*What Should I Do?  - This section provides tools that help consider how the lesson applies to your child's own life.

*Prayer - Each lessons concludes with a prayer. You can adapt the prayer for use as a family.

*Parables of Jesus - The final part of each lesson is a story adapted from a teaching story told by Jesus. The stories are faithful to the parables of Jesus, but adapted to cultural changes to help children understand better. This was a favorite part of ours.

*Going Deeper - Discussion questions to encourage your child to think about the parables and what they mean for us today.

*Make a Note of It - Assignments that are to be completed in the What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal or What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal. For example, a section might ask your child to write or draw about some of the events that took place in a story. You can read more about these wonderful journals below. 

My absolute favorite part of this curriculum was just knowing that my daughters were learning more about God through wonderful stories, questions, and activities. Another favorite of mine was the integrated learning. I loved that throughout the text they provide articles related to the main topic. It helped us understand parts of the story better and also provided new ideas and concepts in a different array of subject areas. A favorite story in the book was A Fathers Love. It was a story adapted from the prodigal son. A fantastic story and one that I am glad we got to cover during the review of this great curriculum. My daughters loved the story! They even did a craft to go along with it.

We found that the lessons are designed to be flexible and adaptable to our family's needs. It is recommended to organize the lessons into a schedule that works for you and your child.  I felt that this study may be used independently or with a parent. For us, I felt that working together as a family was the best option. I personally loved that a sample lesson structure plan is included in the front of the book for guidance. We worked in the books a couple days per week for approximately two hours each time. 

What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal complements the What on Earth Can I Do? hardback book wonderfully. I loved that in the very front of the journal there is a place for your child to write their name where the authors name would normally go. When you read the first page, it explains that it is because it is their book. All about them and their relationship with God.  As your child reads through What on Earth Can I Do? They will work through the pages of the journal. It features coloring pages, drawing assignments, mini-books, Scripture copy work, crossword puzzles, word searches, and fill-in-the-blank vocabulary exercises. Students are encouraged to personalize the journals with their own words and drawings.  My daughter is 10 and this journal absolutely helped her remember what she was learning and helped her put her thoughts and ideas into words and drawings.

The What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal is very similar and based on the same concepts of the What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal. It was just created for a younger child. Recommended for ages 6–9. My 9 year old daughter actually used the junior edition and it worked perfectly for her.

What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book is actually what it says. A coloring book! It's a wonderful coloring book that includes coloring pages to match each story that you can read in What on Earth Can I Do? hardback book. My 8 year old daughter loved coloring the pages as she listened to the stories. She thought it was neat to have a visual to imagine what some of the scenes of the story would look like.

I believe that if you are looking for a curriculum that teaches a biblical Christian worldview than What on Earth Can I Do? would be a fantastic curriculum for you. We love it and plan on continuing on through it. It's exactly what I didn't know I was looking for. Perfect fit for what I want my children to be learning and best of all they really enjoy it. 

Some lessons contain activities that require advance planning and materials. A list of materials is provided with each activity. Nearly all the materials are household items or can be easily obtained. 

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1 comment:

  1. "exactly what I didn't know I was looking for" <--- Love this quote! I've found that about some things too. Great review!


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