Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TOS Review: Who Is God?

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In the grand scheme of things, I am a relatively new Christian. Although I’m pretty firm in my faith I am by no means a finished work. While I believe it is my most important job as a mother to raise my children up in the Lord; to have them know Him and love Him and have a relationship of their own with Him, sometimes I’m not always sure how I should be teaching them. Obviously as a homeschooling mom I have the advantage of being able to incorporate bible lessons into our daily activities. And although I use a good bible curriculum with the little girls and Sam uses a great one on her own, I still feel like I’m lacking because we weren’t learning together as a family.

As a member of the TOS homeschool crew I received Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him? to review and all that changed.

“Our children are bombarded on a daily basis with competing messages. Every song, movie, book, TV show, blog, and game is full of ideas—ideas about truth, morality, beauty, identity, faith, and more. Not all of these ideas are true. Some are wrong, some are deceptive, and some are outright destructive. It is more important than ever that young children be equipped to discern among competing ideas and stand in the truth. This is why Apologia has teamed with Summit Ministries to bring you the "What We Believe" Series. The "What We Believe" Series is an outstanding way to teach your child the essential beliefs of the Christian faith, but it’s so much more! With this student-directed, Bible-based curriculum, your children will learn how to use Scripture as a lens through which to view the world around them—to see everything the way God sees it—and know the truth.”                                             - -from the Apologia website

Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him? is the first book in the “What We Believe” series. This family-inclusive study of biblical worldview introduces young people 6-14 to the basic truths of the Christian faith. This beautiful 252 page hardcover book is broken up into ten lessons. Although there is a suggested schedule that has you completing each lesson over a two week span, it is set up so that you can easily go at your own pace. We’ve found that there is so much to talk about that we’re going slower than suggested. The topics covered are:

  • Lesson 1:Where am I building my life?
  • 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?

Each lesson contains several key components:

  • The Big Idea- Each lesson starts with an introduction to the main topic.
  • What You Will Do- tells you the learning objectives for the lesson
  • Short Story-several of the lessons contain a short story with characters that have differing worldviews. These stories give your kids something they can relate to, while integrating and reinforcing the concepts taught in the lesson.

This component has been the most successful in helping my girls understand and retain the lessons taught. In the second lesson the story is about two young boys, one who was taught in school that the earth evolved from a big accidental explosion and one who believes that God created everything. The story did a great job of illustrating the point that something can’t just appear out of nothing. It has to be created. Using humor and a story written to clearly speak to kids their age, this book did a great job of teaching an important concept in a way my young girls could understand and remember it.

  • Think About It-Questions to help you dig deeper and make sure your kids are understanding the lesson.
  • Words You Need to Know-Important vocabulary words that will help your kids not only with the lessons, but also out in the world.
  • Hide It in Your Heart-Bible verses to memorize

While the memory verses have been a great tool, there is also great scripture referenced throughout the book. It seems like every verse has spoken to me:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us". –1 John 3:16

  • Integrated learning-Interesting articles related to either the short story or the lesson. These are designed to help you explore the topics as they relate to other subjects like math, science, history and more.
  • What Should I Do?-Highlights a specific godly character trait related to the lesson just learned. This is a good tool to help your child put what they’ve learned into action.
  • and more!!

Additional resources are also available online including teacher’s helps and more. This book is available from Apologia for $39. You can see a sample lesson and the table of contents here. I was also excited to read in their catalog that coming soon are an Audio MP3 CD, Notebooking Journal, and Coloring book to go with the book!!

The next book in the series, Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?), is available now for $39. Visit the Apologia website to see the rest of the books in the series.

What we thought:

katiereadingWhoisGod

I love books. Seriously, they are one of the few addictions I have left. Because of this love, sometimes I buy books that look really nice and sound really good, but end up not being a good fit for our family. This book ended up being everything I hoped it would be and exactly what we needed. My kids are learning, together, truths that they need to build their foundation on. It is well written, thought provoking, and speaks perfectly to each of my girls. Even my 4 year old actively participates in all of the discussion this wonderful book facilitates. I am super excited for the accompanying products to come out, and can’t wait to buy them!! I think they will make this flawless study even better.

Perhaps the best way I can share with you the profound effect this book has had on my family is to share a testimony with you. One of the lessons talks about seven ways to build your life on the Rock of God. To know truth, speak truth, and follow truth is one of those ways. A very long, very in-depth conversation about hearing lies, believing lies, and even telling lies led into an even deeper discussion of Salvation. That day, January 31, 2010, after that discussion, my daughter Katie asked Jesus to be her Savior. That is the day I fell in love with this book. Katie knew about Jesus and the Salvation he offers us before that conversation. She’s loved Jesus since she was old enough to know about Him. But this book is just great like that. It takes topics we may have already talked about dozens of times and presents them in a way that provokes new thought, new discussions, new insight.

So go. Check it out. Look at the sample. If you’re a family with children, homeschooling or not, this may be exactly what you never realized you needed!

To see what my fellow crew members thought, visit the Homeschool Crew blog.

*As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received a free copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own, and are not influenced in any way by the free product.

1 comment:

Penny said...

April,

Thank you for sharing your Katie's testimony. Though my eyes seem weepy, my heart rejoices with you and her! To God be the Glory - this MUST be the best review of Who Is God! =)

Informative and thorough, with a happy ending!

Sweetest Blessings,
PK
http://kneedeepingrace.com

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