Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Are your children "Apologetic"? (Or do they understand "Apologetics"?)

If you have run in homeschooling circles for long you are most likely familiar with "Apologia", publishers of one of the premier creation-based science curricula. What may be less well known is Apologia Educational Ministries' move into other fields in 2008~ more "practical homeschool helps" and "inspirational" titles.

Apologia has joined forces with Summit Ministries to produce an Apologetics or Worldview series for children entitled "What We Believe". As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a copy of the first book in the series, "Who is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?)", for review.  This book is intended for use with a wide range of ages (suggested ages are 6-14), which fit my circumstances perfectly. The basic concept is to help our children, who are daily assailed with media that is not filtered through a Judeo-Chrisitan lens, to understand and be able to discuss the basic foundations of our Christian World View, in relation to what our culture feeds them.

Although my children have grown up "in the church",  have attended Sunday School, and gone through various "Christian" programs, I have felt a missing link that I believe this study may fulfill. 

 A quick overview of the included Lessons: (You can download a complete Table of Contents here)
  • Lesson 1: Where Am I Building My Life? (This lesson is available as a sample download here)
  • Lesson 2: How Can I Know What’s True?
  • Lesson 3: What Is God Like? (Part 1)
  • Lesson 4: What Is God Like? (Part 2)
  • Lesson 5: Who Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
  • Lesson 6: If God Created the World, Why Isn’t It Perfect?
  • Lesson 7: Why Did God Create Me?
  • Lesson 8: Will God Meet All My Needs?
  • Lesson 9: Why Does Sin Keep Me from Knowing God?
  • Lesson 10: Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
Looking at these titles, I might say that my children know most of the basic answers to these questions, HOWEVER, I wouldn't necessarily say that they fully UNDERSTAND the answers to all of these questions. Neither would they be able to give a well-thought-out answer or illustration to someone if they were asked. 
My original plan was to have my Eldest use this for her personal devotional/Bible time, but due to circumstances, I finally decided to work through it with both the Eldest and the Middlest for our daily morning devotions. I utilize any scriptures found in the text as "Sword Drill" practice, and off we go.

Each lesson is written to the student, which means that it works nicely as a read-aloud. Notebooking work is encouraged to allow internalization and application of the lessons.

The lessons follow a basic format, which can be divided in a number of ways~ whatever works for you. Some are more self-explanatory than others, but I'll give a little synopsis anyway:
  • The Big Idea~ introduction and overview of the lesson
  • What You Will Do~ quickly explains objectives
  • Short Story~ incorporates in story-form some other worldviews that might be encountered, and how to work through them
  • Think About It~ thought-provoking questions
  • Words You Need to Know~ vocabulary
  • Hide It in Your Heart~ memory verses
  • Integrated Learning~ articles that integrate the Biblical concepts presented with the fields of art, science, history, and more.... 
  • What Should I Do? ~ life application of Godly character traits
  • Prayer~ for those who appreciate a "Written prayer"
  • Worldview Study~ ongoing introduction to the concept of worldviews
  • House of Truth~ a memory aid to help children understand these truths and assimilate them into their lives. 
In addition to these features, as is the case with many Apologia books, a few additional resources are available to those who own the book including some very nice notebooking pages and teacher helps. The Teacher Helps include discussion questions, which expand on the "Thought Provoking Questions", as well as some activities and other recources.

My kids aren't big "notebookers", but I do appreciate the option. What I really enjoy, are those "Teacher Helps" files with the extra discussion questions. I'm not great at posing questions myself. Eldest isn't big on asking questions. Having a huge variety (appropriate for various ages) to choose from is a bonus feature that I am very glad exists.

My sense is that the material is presented in such a way that it should be accessible to many types of learners, which will make retaining it more likely. I am going to enjoy continuing through the entire book with my children, and seeing which parts and pieces stick best with each child~ to see what a Christian Worldview looks like from their perspective.

Who is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) is available on the Apologia website, list price $39.00. 

If you'd like to read what some other crewmates had to say about this book, be sure to check out their reviews on the TOS Crew blog by clicking here.

As always, I hope that this review will help you navigate the abundant options that are available to us as homeschoolers in the 21st century, and enable you to make wise choices as you purchase products for your children's education.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this/these item(s)/service for free as part of the TOS Crew Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Hey It was great seeing you yesterday. I'm glad I had the chance to try this great book. Maybe I'll get to try the next one.

  2. I am excited to be getting this book soon.

    I am stopping by from the Blog Walk.

    I know I am behind, but I am catching up.

    I am now following you.

    Would love a follow back.



    Thanks. Have a great day.


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