Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Who Is Your Neighbor? A Schoolhouse Crew Review

We were chosen to review Who Is My Neighbor ? And Why Does He Need Me? Volume 3 from Apologia in the What We Believe series. We received a hardcover book, a notebooking journal , and a coloring book.

 I am impressed with this material! Apologia went above and beyond what I would expect. They put together a great series that took me back to my Sunday School days I attended as a child. Reviewing this product has changed some of my opinions about textbooks.

We do not use faith based homeschooling curriculum. However we do believe there is a God, we memorize prayers, and we enjoy learning about God's words through Godly Play. As far as sitting down and doing formal lessons it was not in my plan for our home school.  This material had me thinking twice about my choices about not incorporating religion activities in our home school The story the Dangerous Journey had Ken so focused and wanting to know would this Chinese family make it. This story allowed Ken to truly understand what empathy is and what it means. Not only that she was learning about Chinese culture as well. When she did the Notebooking Journal pages her understanding of what was going on in the readings were illustrated. After a few lessons she requested the stories to replace her current read aloud.      

Every lesson begins with The Big Idea, this encouraged a lot of critical thinking from Ken .Another thing that I want to point out is that the bible verses are beautifully woven into the stories. In one of her notebooking pages she was asked to translate a verse, I loved this and I was so excited reading her interpretation. This series primarily uses the New International Version for the bible verses.

What I liked most about this was their Biblical Worldview on Servant hood. Every story and all the journal prompts in some fashion always led Ken to answer the question " How can I be Christ like? What can I do?
Every story Ken  read she was able to relate to and I find this very special.

The Notebooking Journal Pages were resourceful and she absolutely loved making the mini books that are included. The coloring book we did not use because she is 11 and the pages just weren't attractive enough to her. Still I can see someone six years old wanting to do the coloring while being read the stories. This volume is geared for ages 6 to 14.  Ken's reading level is where she could do this material independently, but because it is based on religion I wanted to take part in this work. I never want my decisions about religion to not allow her to search for her own spiritual needs.

We enjoyed touching the glossy pages that had beautiful photos throughout the text.  My only regret in using this material was not being able to start with Volume 1 Who Is God? Apologia's stance is that each volume is a stand alone. Personally I like to start at the beginning of any series that I use it just seems like there is something missing whenever I don't start at the first volume. 

Here is the cost of the materials in Volume 3 Who Is Your Neighbor?
The book is $39.00
The Notebooking Journal is $24.00
The Coloring book is $8.00

To see sample pages go here.

I totally recommend this product to those

1. Who would like to form a young persons bible study group
2.  A family that is homeschooling faith based
3.  Who are trying to inspire volunteerism
4. Who love to read short stories with a message
5. Who love stories about other cultures

My Final Thoughts: I approach religion  in a whole different way. I want my children to be able to wonder and discover.  They are free to pick and choose whatever they want from whatever religion. Although Ken was happy with the journal page activities as a parent I feel  there was a lot of prompting in the journal pages, when I reflect it could of sent mixed feelings for Ken to respond a certain way. We enjoyed the stories and they were able to encourage open ended responses and discussions.

To see what other crew members said about this product go here

I was given  all of the components for Volume 3  Who Is Your Neighbor? part of the We believe Series in exchange for an honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.   

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