One of the main reasons we homeschool is to teach our kids about God and our Christian faith, so I was very excited to have the chance to review the fourth book from the What We Believe series by Apologia Educational Ministries, What on Earth Can I Do?
What on Earth Can I Do? hardback book – $39.00
What on Earth Can I Do? coloring book – $8.00
What on Earth Can I Do? notebooking journal – $24.00
What on Earth Can I Do? junior notebooking journal (ages 6-9) – $24.00
What We Believe series
We have used the What We Believe series in our homeschool in past years and it has played a vital role in our homeschool.
The What We Believe series by Apologia, recommended for grades 1-6, is a Biblical worldview curriculum.
There are four volumes to the series beginning with Who is God?, the volume we started with a year ago! Although the series works best when used in order, we jumped from the first book in the series to the last book in the series and it has worked out just fine. Each volume does stand on its own and doesn’t necessarily need to be completed in order.
Who Am I? and Who is My Neighbor? are the second and third books in the series followed by the last book in the series, What on Earth Can I Do?
What On Earth Can I Do?
The fourth book in the series, What On Earth Can I Do?, is written directly to students and teaches the essential beliefs of the Christian faith in a fun and engaging way. With a strong focus on worldview and how different world views affect the way people see the world, the text is filled with stories, biographies, activities, quotes, Bible verses for memory, vocabulary terms, and discussion questions.
This particular book in the series talks about who we are in God’s kingdom and what it means to be a “good and faithful servant”. It helps children understand what it means to store up treasures in heaven and how to use your God-given gifts and talents for the Lord.
There are eight lessons in the book.
Lesson 1: Your Story or God’s Story?
Lesson 2: Who Put You in Charge?
Lesson 3: Will You be Found Faithful?
Lesson 4: Where is Your Treasure?
Lesson 5: Where Does Your Time Go?
Lesson 6: Whose Life is it Anyway?
Lesson 7: Why Isn’t it Easy Being Green?
Lesson 8: What Will Happen When the Master Returns?
In the introduction section of the book, there is a guide on how to use the book along with a sample schedule. The authors make it clear that the lessons are designed to be flexible and that you should adapt each lesson to suit your child’s needs.
Included in the introduction is a section on the importance of teaching worldview. With the number of diverse worldviews that influence our children today through media, education, peers, entertainment, and more, there is a great need instill in our children a strong biblical Christian worldview. If our children don’t hear it from us, they may not hear it anywhere. God has blessed parents with this great privilege and responsibility.
The coloring book and notebooking journals are great additions to the text. My kids love to color as I read to them. The notebooking journals, which contain suggested reading and notebooking assignments, help my kids remember what they have learned through crossword puzzles, mini book crafts, thoughtful journaling, and space to write out Bible verses, prayer requests, and other thoughts.
Usage and Thoughts
I used What on Earth Can I Do? with my 3rd grade son. We spent anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes each morning, five days a week, using the text, coloring book, and notebooking journals.
The pages of the text are slick, shiny, and full of color. The text is at a higher reading level than my son is at right now, so I read the lessons aloud to him while he colored in the coloring book. My son listens better and retains more when his hands are kept busy! After reading an excerpt from the lesson for the day, my son would work in one of the notebooking journals.
We found that the junior notebooking journal fit my son better than the regular notebooking journal. The activities were fun and, the best part for him, there wasn’t a lot of writing involved. There was just enough notebooking activities and writing to keep his attention and allow him to enjoy the lessons. We turned to the junior notebooking journal after the readings each day and did a little bit at a a time.
The regular notebook was too much for him but it would be perfect for an older child. The “Think About It” sections in the regular notebooking journal contains two pages of essay questions. We tried using the regular notebook for awhile but it was definitely too difficult for him and it made the lessons unenjoyable. This notebook is definitely better suited to an older child who can easily write out several sentences independently.
Some of the terms and concepts in the study went over my son’s head so it may be good for us to go over the material again at an older age. But he is still absorbing and learning a lot even with some of the difficulty he has in understanding some of the concepts. What on Earth Can I Do? tackles some deep subject matter though so I wouldn’t expect the concepts to be easy to understand. I mean, is the Bible easy to understand? Do I totally understand things like the trinity? No. The Bible is full of things that are difficult to understand but that is because we serve an awesome God who is far greater, far more complex, and far more wondrous than our minds can begin to comprehend. I applaud Apologia for taking on this daunting task. I think they have done a terrific job of explaining and simplifying these difficult concepts to children in a way that they can understand and even relate to. I know I have benefited from the lessons in these books and the illustrations they have used to explain difficult concepts. I have enjoyed learning along with my kids!
I want to give my children a solid foundation on which to grow their faith. I want them to know why they believe what they believe and I want them to have all the tools necessary to make their faith their own. I want to instill in my children a love for God that will carry through to their adulthood. Guiding my children’s hearts to love God is my primary goal and purpose in life. Apologia has made my job easier by creating this wonderful worldview series. I highly recommend it!