em> is the third book in the Apologia series “What We Believe”. I was very excited to review this, as my boys and I have used the other two books in the series! Of course, I was NOT disappointed!! The purpose of the “What We Believe” series is to help your children learn to use “scripture as a lens to view the world around them”, and I have to say, these books do a very good job of this!
First of all, the books are, visually, just beautiful! The pictures and illustrations are gorgeous! Honestly, my children just enjoyed looking through them. Who Is My Neighbor? focuses on teaching your children a biblical worldview of servanthood. Some of the topics covered in the book include: How can I make a difference?, Why did God make families?, and What can I do for my country?.
Each lesson begins with “The Big Idea” which gives a brief introduction to the topic, followed by a story that is woven in sections throughout the book. In this book, the story focuses on a family escaping communist China. The stories are beautifully written, and my boys enjoy them very much! They really get to know, and care about, the characters, and they are excited to see God’s plan work in their lives!
After the story, there is a lesson, scripture verses, vocabulary etc. all related to the that chapter’s topic. The lessons are again, well written, and inspire a lot of discussion in my family. Each chapter ends with a section titled “Encounters with Jesus” that include a story about some of the events in Jesus’ life. They focus on how Jesus served others (the story of the wedding feast and feeding the 5000 are examples). Again, these provide much opportunity for discussion with your child about how to serve like Jesus did.
Throughout this series, children focus on building their “house of truth” built on Biblical truths related to the lesson. They began this process in the first book, continued it in the second, and in this book, they work on building the “servanthood wall”. An example of one of the truths that helps build this wall is “God created His image-bearers to love and serve one another”. This is one section of the book that has had a big impact on my family. We talk about these truths and how to make them a daily part of our lives. I love that this series focuses on building our children up on the truths of the Lord!!
Who Is My Neighbor? by itself, is wonderful. You can easily use it with children of multiple ages (it officially says ages 6-14, and I have been using it with my boys, currently 11 and 14 for two years now). Lessons are meant to be read aloud and discussed, but you could easily have older children read it to the younger ones if you wanted to. A suggested schedule is outlined in the introduction to the book. This book also comes with some additional materials that enhance the lessons. The first is a notebook journal.
Again, these are beautiful spiral-bound books that have word searches, mini-books, questions and other activities related to the lesson. We have used the notebooks each year we have done this series, and we love them. The first year, my youngest son didn’t complete everything. But he enjoyed the word searches and mini-books, and we used the questions for discussion. Now that he is older, both of my kids complete their notebooks, however, this is very flexible, you can pick and choose which activities you want each child to complete. At the beginning of the notebook is a schedule for the lessons, which I found VERY handy!!
For younger children, a coloring book is also available. Each picture has a story or picture related to the lesson that your kids can color! I haven’t used these, but a friend of mine has and she said her first-grade daughter liked it a lot!
Who Is My Neighbor? costs $39.00 for the book, $24.00 for the notebook journal, and $8.00 for the coloring book. Believe me, this book is well worth it!! It has the potential to become a keepsake, something your kids will pull out and look through long after you are done with it. Even though this book is the third in the series, it was written to stand alone, so you don’t have to have used the other books to jump into this one. For more information, check out the Apologia website here:
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*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions expressed are my own.