Teaching a Christian Worldview {An Apologia Bible Curriculum Review}

Apologia Educational Ministries is a homeschooling staple in our home. We have been using their science curriculum for a couple of years now and loving it. I had noticed their What We Believe Christian worldview curriculum, but since we were still finishing up a different family devotional so I hadn’t had the opportunity to check it out.

For the last several weeks, we’ve had the chance to take a deeper look at volume four in the series, What On Earth Can I Do?

Included in our review package was also the
What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal
What On Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal
What On Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book

This program is designed to be used for children in grades 1-6.  My two oldest participated with it and they are in 2nd grade and kindergarten. My son (in K) needed a bit more hand holding with explanations and comprehension questions, but he still kept up rather well. 

So what is it? 

It’s a bible study that will teach your children what their place is in world.  It will instruct them on how to have a biblical view on stewardship, recognizing that we were put here to honor and glorify the Lord rather than ourselves and nothing we have is our own.  It will guide them to see that we all have gifts given by God and even if we can’t see the big picture, we are certainly a part of it.

The cornerstone of the curriculum is the 294 page hardcover book (retails for $39.00)that contains all of the stories and lessons. This is all you need to teach the lessons, though the other elements definitely provide a more well rounded experience.  Inside you will find a sample plan that schedules out the 8 lessons for two days per week, three weeks per lesson. I chose to follow a different plan because doing it at this rate proved to be too much of an overload for my children. The notebooking journals each lay out different lesson plans than what is in the main book if you need a different schedule. I generally just went at my children’s pace, stopping when they were getting too fidgety during the readings.

Apologia is fantastic in this way.  It’s very adaptable to your family’s needs.  There’s no need to feel pressured to stick to a certain prescribed schedule.  There are natural breaks and stopping places along the way to make it easier to continue at another time if necessary.

Each lesson is broken down into several sections:

  • The Big Idea which uses historical events and figures to lay out the theme of the lesson.
  • What You Will Do gives an overview of the lesson objectives.
  • A couple of brief biographies or articles on important people/events that are related to the biblical principles being taught. 
  • A short story centered around the historical theme that also gives life to the big idea.
  • Words You Need to Know which lists vocabulary words for students to learn. 
  • Think About It uses comprehension questions to check for understanding of the stories and lessons. 
  • Hide it in Your Heart contains Bible verses for memorization.
  • What Should I Do? shows how the lessons taught can be applied to daily life. 
  • Prayer
  • Parables of Jesus
working in the notebooking journal
The stories and lessons in this book center around World War II.  This is important to note because there is discussion of some rather intense portions of the war.  Sensitive children may need things censored.  To view a sample, visit the website here I found that I did have to explain a few things, particular about Adolf Hitler.

Now on to the supplements!

The Notebooking Journal ($24.00) is 236 pages and spiral bound. This journal is best for children who are comfortable with writing.  It contains note taking pages, comprehension questions, vocabulary words, copywork pages for the memory verses, crossword puzzles, word searches, lapbook style mini books, prayers, praise reports, and more.

All of these activities correspond with the lesson book and are to be used to add depth to the stories and ideas that are being taught.

The Junior Notebooking Journal ($24.00) is 184 pages and also spiral bound.  Children ages 6-9 or who are resistant or unable to do large amounts of writing should use this option. It contains most of the same elements as the regular journal, but in simpler formats.  For instance the word searches are larger and have less words to find.  One thing that the junior version has that is not included in the notebooking journal are coloring pages that match up with the stories in the main book.

working on a puzzle in the junior notebooking journal

Finally, there is also a 64 page, paperback coloring book ($8.00)available.  This has all the pictures that are in the junior notebooking journal and more.  This is great for younger children who may be listening in on lessons or to just use as fun addition to the curriculum.

Since I was only previously familiar with Apologia’s science books, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this bible study. I really appreciate how they use real life events to tie in the biblical lessons so children are not only learning more about God and how He wants us to live, but also about history. Though I did feel the need to tone down some of the more serious bits, I don’t think anything included in the text was inappropriate for young ages. I’d definitely advise parents to take a moment to read through for yourself to make sure there isn’t anything that may be offensive to a sensitive child, but I didn’t personally feel censorship was absolutely necessary.

The two notebooking journals were a hit.  The children love that they have their own individual books that they get to flip through at their own leisure.  At the end of the year, it will be a great keepsake that showcases all they have learned.  They will also serve to jog memories if some of the details are forgotten along the way.

Baby boy checking out what Sissy is working on

My oldest daughter has been enjoying the study so much that when we visited the homeschool conference in our state, she asked for me to go ahead and buy one of the other volumes!  After looking over the website, I believe we will be venturing into one of them when we’ve completed this one!

If you are looking for a solid Bible study for your family that will help teach your children how to view the world using Scripture as a lens, then take a few moments to look over the Apologia What We Believe series. It just might be what you are searching for!

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