In the world today, your kids need a good solid bible curriculum. Something that will show them who they are and where they stand in the world. If you are still looking for a good Christian Worldview family devotional, I have just what you are looking for! Apologia Educational Ministries offers their What We Believe Series for just that! We had the opportunity to use the What On Earth Can I Do? hardback book ($39), What On Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal ($24), What On Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal ($24) and What On Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book ($8).
Each of these four items are sold individually, and sure you could just get the hardback book, but you wouldn’t be able to expand like the notebooking journals and coloring book help you to do. You cannot just get the notebooking journals and think you can “make it work”. I would highly recommend the hardback book and the notebooking journal for the age you need as a bare minimum! Each of the notebooking journals are spiral bound books which make it wonderful to work in. The coloring book is in typical “coloring book” style with a soft cover. The actual What On Earth Can I Do? book is an actual hardback beautiful book!
Apologia recommends this book for ages 6-14. We used this as a family. Each of the boys had a journal to work in and Little Miss had the coloring book to herself. Upon receiving this set, I sat down and started reading the “How to Use This Book” section. What better place to start! There are 8 lessons in this book, but there is so much information in each lesson, that you can make them “last” awhile. In fact, if you went off the daily suggested lesson plans in the notebooking journals and did three days a week, you would have 16 weeks worth of lessons. However, the beauty of this program, it is designed to allow the children to go at their own pace! We have taken the lessons and stretched them a bit more since we had two younger ones following along with us.
Both of the boys loved having their very own notebooking journals. I loved seeing the Junior Journal for Ray Ray since he usually doesn’t get those “fun” things. The journals help the children take what they have learned and make it their own. We have been having fun adding those in where ever we can. This was no exception.
Each lesson is broken down into about 12 different components. These are usually things like the Big Idea or main topic of the lesson. What Will You Do comes next and this is the learning objectives of the lessons. Each lesson also has a Short Story. These stories contain a glimpse into the lives of children who are within this age range. Words You Need to Know includes the important vocabulary of the lesson. Hide It in Your Heart includes the bible memory verse that takes the idea of the lesson and give the kids a way to remember it. The What Should I Do? section gives the kids a specific godly character trait they should work on and apply to their lives. I really love the Parables of Jesus section when we could read a story with a beautiful lesson that has been adapted from a teaching from Jesus.
The Notebooking Journals also include many different components to each lesson. They range from Blank Note-Taking Pages, Think About It, Words to Know, Word Puzzles and Find Out More. Each of these sections range from the Notebooking Journal to the Junior Notebooking Journal based on the age range. The Junior Notebooking Journal is recommended for ages 6-9, while the Notebooking Journal is best for ages 10-14.
We loved sitting down and reading each section together. We would read as a family and then move over to the table to work on our journals. Because of the length of the readings, we would sometimes split the lessons up and work on our notebook the next day or later in the day. It was nice that the notebooks were set up really similar to each other and each boy could work on their own pages. I loved seeing them remember what we had just read and put it on paper. Each lesson idea is written out in the notebook, including the readings and notebooking pages to go along with them. There was nothing too hard on my part to plan or prepare. It was all right there ready to go. This made it very easy for me to grab it whenever we had the chance and use it when the time was right for us.
We loved this program. We loved every aspect of it. There was something for everyone, and the lessons seemed to just talk to us. It was easy to see what we were supposed to be learning and apply it to our lives. There were some “dark” stories (for example, about the Nazis and the Holocaust) but the best part of this was that even in the dark, hard times, God was there and working his magic. This was the main point of all the stories. This made those teaching moments of “even when things are bad, look for God” more possible. The only complaint that the children had about this, was the length of some of the readings. I would take notice when they got restless and stop though. For this being the only complaint, it really isn’t that bad! We loved this and do recommend this for anyone who is looking for a Christian Worldview program.
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