I love doing Bible studies with my kids and learning more about the Word of God. However, as they have gotten older, I have felt a need to include more worldview studies in our curriculum as well, because I want to prepare them for the challenges they will face as they leave my home and enter the world. I fell in love with the elementary worldview curriculum from Apologia Educational Ministries a few years ago, and was so very excited to get the chance to review the fourth and final book in the series, What on Earth Can I Do?
This curriculum is aimed at grades 1-6, but I started using it with my boys when my youngest was in 3rd grade, and now I am finishing up the series with him in the 7th grade and I would say it is still very appropriate for him. First, like everything that comes from Apologia, the hardback book is absolutely beautiful. The illustrations and soft colors make all of their books stand out from the crowd. The focus of this book is stewardship, and how to use what God has given us to serve Him. It includes 8 lessons that always begin with some type of story, followed by the lesson itself, and a closer look at the parables of Jesus at the end. Since this is the first book of the series, it follows the Who Is My Neighbor? book but I think you could really do the series in any order you wanted to and I would highly recommend doing the entire series with your child.
The curriculum comes with several extras including a Notebooking Journal, Junior Notebooking Journal, and Coloring Book. If you are familiar at all with Apologia’s notebooks from their other courses, you know how incredible they are. If not, let me tell you, they are the perfect complement to the textbook. They include questions, crosswords, copywork, word searches, mini books, and more that relate to the lesson. The fact that the notebooks are tiered make them especially appealing to homeschoolers because it allows you to use the curriculum with multiple ages at once. When we first started this series, my oldest son was doing it along with us. As a sixth grader, he used the regular notebooking journal while my third grade son used the junior journal. While you can certainly just read the book without the journals, I feel like they add a lot to what kids learn in the book.
My children enjoy the variation of activities, and I feel like doing the extra work helps them to remember more of what we are learning. Plus, the journals give you a great keepsake at the end of the course.
At the front of the Notebooking Journals there is a suggested schedule which makes planning really easy. The book itself also contains a lesson plan. Basically, each chapter is divided into six lessons, with plans for you to work on the curriculum two days per week. Now of course, this is highly tweakable! 😉 and we actually worked on this daily, because I wanted to get through as much as we could before summer. I would say we spent about 15-20 minutes per day working, with reading and activities.
Lessons begin with a fictional story meant to demonstrate some aspect of the lesson. We have read some wonderful stories in these books, and the first one in this case focused on a family living in Britain during World War II. My son was instantly drawn into the story, and each time we started a new lesson he couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. Probably my favorite part of the lesson was the Parables of Jesus at the end. Each chapter closes with a retelling of the parables, using actual characters so you can connect with the story. They provide beautiful illustrations of how God wants us to use our talents here on Earth.
I think that What on Earth Can I Do? is a fabulous curriculum I would recommend to anyone. The hardback book costs $39.00 while the journals are $24.00 each and the coloring book is $8.00. I think they are well worth the price, but if you cannot afford everything, definitely get the book. I look forward to snuggling on the couch and reading this with my son each day. This curriculum takes all those things I am not very good at explaining, and puts it all on pages for me to read easily. After completing this worldview series, your child will have a much better understanding of what it means to be a Christian in today’s world.
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