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Apologia: Who is My Neighbor?

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In April, I went to my first ever blogging conference – the Titus 2:1 Homeschool Blogging conference. Which is funny when you find out that my blog had only been live for a few months, and only the domain name was registered when I signed up for the conference the previous October. You see, I had planned to start a blog for a long time. I’d researched and studied how to blog well, and followed tons of blogs to learn from experienced bloggers I respected.

So, when I kept researching and planning, and continued to put off the whole writing thing, I decided I needed a kick in the pants. {Because otherwise, I might do what I’ve done before and think about it forever and never get down to doing it.} I mean, it would be pretty embarrassing to show up at a blogging conference without a blog, right?

Thank you Cheryl for organizing the convention that got me going, and gave me the courage to call myself a blogger. And thank you, too, for introducing me to Apologia. First of all, the folks there are fabulous, and I loved meeting them {and winning bubble bath at the Apologia Pajama Party!}, but I was really impressed with their books and curriculum.

I spent a lot of time drooling over the 4-book What We Believe series. I really wanted to take home the first book in the series, Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?, but unfortunately it was out of my budget at that time. Recently, I was offered the chance to check out and review the third book in the series, Who is My Neighbor? And Why Does He Need Me?

Once I looked through the book, notebooking journal, and coloring book, I knew I wanted to share the whole series with my family. In fact, we ended up doing very little in this third book because I really want to start from the beginning with the kids this year, and plan on ordering the first set of materials very soon.

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That being said, it is my preference to start at the beginning – I’m kind of OCD that way. I always work best, with less stress, in a very linear fashion. According to the FAQs on the Apologia website, the books in the series can all stand alone, so if there is something specific you want to address with your little ones, you can start with that book. I will say, though, that there is some scaffolding involved and the texts do build off of each other in a way. How can you know. for example, who you are and what your Christian purpose is, without knowing who God is first?

Who is My Neighbor, like the others in the series, is a beautiful and durable hardcover, full-color book written conversationally to the student. It reads like a story, and is interspersed with anecdotes, facts, and questions. It contains eight lessons, each designed to take about three weeks with two weekly sessions. I love that Molly was able to color along in a related section of her coloring book while Trevor completed his notebooking pages and I read. Logan flitted in and out of the area, coloring in her bible coloring book and playing with some toys. It provided nice fellowship time as a family and is giving us a common foundation with words to describe what we believe and why.

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Apologia is the publisher of homeschooling materials, and this is definitely well-suited for the homeschool. It allows for multiple ages and abilities to be actively engaged and the text is sturdy enough to withstand years of hand-me-down use. But, I truly believe that any Christian home would benefit from this book set. It would provide a great twice-weekly family fellowship time. According to the website’s FAQs, the authors of this series represented different denominations, and purposely kept it to the ideas that most denominations share. They suggest supplementing with additional denomination-specific truths as you feel led.

We’ll be using this series in conjunction with the homeschool component of my kids’ PSR program, and so my kids will get a strong sense of defending their beliefs and sharing their love of Christ, all while staying rooted in their understanding of their Catholicism. I heartily recommend this program.

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I was given a year’s subscription to try levels 1-3 with my kids in exchange for my honest review. I assure you, dear reader, that my posts will always reflect my honest opinions and I will never endorse a product I don’t truly believe in. See my full disclosure policy here.

 

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Colleen