This is actually part two in the What We Believe Series, but each unit can be taught individually and does not require any particular order. Since I want to make sure Gess is raised with a proper biblical worldview I was thrilled to have an opportunity to try this resource. I have heard great things about Apologia so I was really looking forward to getting my book. When the box arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find that it contained even more than I had anticipated. I not only received the Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?) text book but also the Audio CD, Notebooking Journal and the Coloring Book. This would definitely be everything I needed to help teach Gess!
As the mother of a daughter with special needs I was especially touched that the first lesson dealt with that issue. It tells the story of a child who was born lame and how his family learned that he was still God's special creation. It reminds you that no matter what, you can and should bring joy to God. You are no mistake or accident. God made you just as you are! What a beautiful lesson to start off with a daughter who has Down Syndrome!
Now, the material is written on a fifth-sixth grade level but is made in such a way that allows you to use it with kids from ages six to fourteen years. This really makes it handy for large homeschooling families to use it with several students at once. At Gess' age and comprehension level I am not worried about her getting every aspect of the lesson, but am rather using it as an introduction to a biblical worldview. The book does come with a recommended lesson plan but they do suggest you follow it at your own pace. They say it can take anywhere from four to nine months to teach. I think we will be on the nine month program which makes it nice. That will allow us to use it for an entire school year and then next year we can purchase one of the others from the series.
Because of Gess' special needs, we have only (almost) finished lesson one which took us about a month, but so far I am impressed. From what I can tell the material is very solid, scriptural and enjoyable. I love how it takes important theological truths and brings them to a level a child can understand and relate too. We will definitely continue to use this curriculum and look to get more of the series in the future.
With the material being somewhat advanced I did some of the reading to Gess. The stories, however were awfully long so I really utilized the CD quite a bit and found that the Coloring Book also came in handy.
The Coloring Book actually has pages that are from the main story of the lesson so I would have Gess sit and listen to part of the story while coloring along in her book. Then afterwards we would discuss highlights and try to answer the questions at the end. Here she is coloring while the story plays in the background.
We found the Notebooking Journal useful as well. I think they did an excellent job at making it compatible for any age group. For instance younger kids draw a picture while older kids can write their answers. The pages are visually appealing which makes it seem less like work and more like fun.
Gess enjoyed her Notebooking time as much as she did coloring. Here you can see where they were instructed to either draw a picture or write a story on one page and write vocabulary on another. Gess of course drew a picture for the first lesson but did written work when she was able.
Our first lesson was on "What am I doing here?" We learned how God created each one of us and what that meant about God's character, who we are in relation to Him, and what we should do with that knowledge. To find out more about what this series teaches you can view the Table of Contents or a Sample Lesson.
The Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?) book can be purchased for $39.00. The Audio CD is $19.00, the Notebooking Journal is $24.00 and the Coloring Book is $8.00. I think the price is my only issue with this product as I wish they at least offered a discount for purchasing the entire package. However, I must say that the content and the quality of the products are top notch, so it certainly is something worth fitting into your budget if you can. To find out more view Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?) online or see what other members of the TOS Crew thought about it.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I received the "Who Am I?" Curriculum listed above for giving my honest opinion and assessment of this product in my review.