Thursday, February 23, 2012

{TOS Crew Review} Apologia - Who Am I?

Apologia is a familiar curriculum company in the homeschooling world. For many years they only supplied amazing creation-based science curriculum. As such, for many homeschoolers, the word Apologia is synonymous with science. However, in recent years, Apologia has begun offering homeschooling resources for parents as well as a worldview curriculum, geography curriculum, and even a writing curriculum.

Two years ago, while attending our state homeschool convention, I chose to head in to a small talk on what Apologia had to offer families. While most of the talk centered around their Apologia Academy, live, on-line classes for their curriculum, near the end there was some discussion about their brand new worldview curriculum. I was so enthralled by what I heard, I immediately headed for their vendor table and bought the first book in the series - at full retail price - something I very rarely ever do.

The "What We Believe" series focuses on ways to teach our children the foundation of our Christian faith. It helps them filter what they see in everyday life through a Biblical worldview. There are currently four books in this series. The first three are currently available while the last one will be available later this year.

Recently I was given the chance to look over all the resources available for the second book in the series, Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here? When I say all resources, I was given the textbook ($39), the notebooking journal ($24), the audio CD ($19) and the coloring book ($8).

One thing I really appreciate about this series of book, is that while they do build on each other, they also work well as a stand alone. It would be quite easy to just pick the one that interests you the most and jump in. Another fantastic thing about Apologia - all apologia materials I have used thus far - is the plethora of book extras that can be accessed on their website. Access information (including password) are contained in each volume purchased. For instance, the extras for this book contain some wonderful teacher helps and free notebooking pages. However, the notebooking journal contains many more pages and more information than what can be obtained for free on the website.

The text is written directly to the student and designed to be used with children ages 6-14. However, it can easily be adapted to younger or older students and can quite easily be used with more than one child at a time.

I was able to check out the audio CD for the first time with this volume. It is read by Marissa Leinart who has a very soothing voice. She reads the book word-for-word which makes this an excellent extra to use with emerging readers or those students who simply enjoy listening to audio books (like my boys). My only issue with the audio CD is that it is MP3 in format. This means it can only be used on a computer or on a MP3 compatible CD player. I would have liked to have simply popped the CD in to my truck's CD player so we could listen and discuss while we drove. Alas, my truck is not MP3 compatible so that wasn't an option.

I absolutely loved my first look at the notebooking journal. It is of very high quality. I would definitely recommend purchasing one for any hands-on children you have. It helps take all that the student is learning in the text and places it all in one very nice package. Since it's already bound, there are also no loose pages to track down. That's pretty huge in my house!

Lastly, the coloring book. This book contains simple line drawings that go with the stories read. This is a great way to keep young ones engaged or even bigger children who need something to do with their hands while being read to.

A couple other things that I really appreciate about this curriculum is the "How to Use This Book" introduction in the text. It breaks out the lesson structure as well as gives a loose lesson plan idea. It even gives reasoning for teaching worldview. While I like the loose lesson plan ideas given in the text, I love the in-depth lesson plans in the notebooking journal. It makes it super simple to open up and go! Homeschooling moms (and dads) love the ease of planning like this.

Samples of each item can be accessed from the Apologia site. Simply click on the title you are interested in and access the samples listed below the title and price of each.

This is definitely a curriculum that we have enjoyed using and one that we will continue to use. I am looking forward to collecting additional volumes. I think teaching Biblical worldview is extremely important and one that I hope to instill well in my children while they are still home with me.

Make sure to head over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to see what my fellow Crew members have to say about Apologia's "Who Am I?" curriculum.


Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions shared are my own. TOS Crew Members are given the product free of charge in exchange for our unbiased opinion of the product.  

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! Very good review, my husband and I are seriously considering this curriculum for this next year. We have 5 kids, ranging in age from 8-1/2 to 8 months.


Oh thank goodness! I'm not here all alone. Thanks for leaving me a comment. It helps that I'm not always talking to myself. Right? Hello?