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Friday, July 13, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Who Is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me?

Who Is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me? is the third book in Apologia's What We Believe Series.  Children are bombarded daily with all kinds of different messages about truth, morality, beauty, identity, faith and much more.  It is important that we equip our children to be able to discern between competing ideas and stand in the truth.  The "What We Believe" series was designed to teach children ages 6-14 essential truths of the Christian faith and to use scripture as a lens to view the world around them -to see things as God sees them and to know the truth.

There are 4 books in the series: Who Is God and Can I Really Know Him?, Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?, Who Is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me, and What On Earth Can I Do?  Each volume is a complete study and can stand on their own.  You do not have to complete all of the books in order for it to make sense.  There is not a separate Teacher's Guide.  Everything needed to teach the course is contained in the hardcover text.  With purchase of the book you do have access to Apologia's online extras including teacher helps, blank notebooking pages, and printable graphics for the House of Truth.

 I have had the opportunity to review both Who Is God?  and Who Am I? in the past (links go to my reviews) so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Who Is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me?  We received the text, notebooking journal, and coloring book to use and review.


 Description from the website: The third book in the award-winning What We Believe series helps children understand what it means to be salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-14). This study will encourage kids to develop a Christlike servant attitude based on these biblical truths: God created me to be a blessing to the world; God chooses to work through me; I can make a difference at home, in my community, and at church; the church is God's family; the church is one body with many gifts; and I am an important member of Jesus' body.

Table of Contents

Sample Lesson


Description from the website: Your children can capture what they learn in a beautiful keepsake they will want to revisit as they grow in Christ. This spiral-bound notebooking journal includes lesson plans for Who Is My Neighbor?, artful graphics, imaginative writing prompts, puzzles, activities, and eight full-color mini books. There’s even a place on the cover for the child to write his or her name as the author of the journal. Your child can personalize the journal with the “About the Author” page and a section for “endorsements” by friends and family!

Table of Contents

Sample Pages


Description from the website: or younger students and those who learn best while their hands are busy! This 64-page coloring book is lovingly illustrated by award-winning artist Alice Ratterree. Every drawing depicts a story or teaching from the Who Is My Neighbor? textbook to reinforce the lessons.

Sample Page 

Click here to order.

Their are 8 lessons in the book including: Does Anyone Really Need Me?, How Can I Make a Difference, Who Is My Neighbor?, Why Did God Make Families?, What Can I Do For My Country?, Why Can't We All Just Get Along?, Who Is God's Family?, and Why Does The Church Need Me?  The structure of each lesson is similar to the other two books in the series and contains several key components:

The Big Idea-Main topic of each lesson and brief overview of what has been learned so far
What You Will Do- states learning objectives of the lesson
Short Story-Short story with characters in the age range of the children studying the lesson that give a glimpse into their lives with differing worldview and shows concepts taught in the lesson.
Think About It-thought provoking questions digging deeper into the story
Words You Need to Know-vocabulary words and definitions
Hide It In Your Heart-2 specific memory verses for your children to memorize.  The first expresses the main theme of the lesson the second pertains to a character trait.
Integrated Learning-interesting articles designed to help the children pursue the books concepts across the fields of art, math, science, history, and more.
What Should I Do-tools to show the children how to apply the lesson to real life
Prayer-prayer to acknowledge the gifts of God and thank him for what He has done
Encounters with Jesus-story adapted from Scripture but fictional to help students explore how Jesus showed God's love in their time of need providing them with examples to follow.
Take A Closer Look-discussion questions to help children think about how Jesus' deeds impacted those He met
House of Truth-4 lessons end with a new part of the House of Truth being added on.  House of Truth is a visual aid that has been built over the course of all three books.  Students can draw it or build with items around their house.

Who Is My Neighbor will take anywhere from 4 to nine months to complete and is very flexible so you can do as little or as much as you would like in one day.  The book contains a suggested lesson plan of 2 days per week with each lesson taking 3 weeks to complete.

I am a big fan of the What We Believe series.  It is so much more than just a Bible study.  Knowing what we believe and why is something that we must teach our children so they will know the truth and be able to stand on it when they are out in the world, using the iPods, or even reading or watching TV.  If we don't make it a priority to teach them, then the world surely will.  It can be especially challenging for me to find curriculum that I can teach all of my children together, but Apologia has answered that need with this series.  The text is written at a 5th-6th grade reading level so children that age could complete it on their own.  But, I think it is wonderful as a study that the whole family does together.  The younger children can listen as I read aloud and color the pages in the coloring book, or draw some of their own.  The older children and I have had some wonderful discussions from the questions in the text.  The notebooking journal is a wonderful, absolutely beautiful companion to this book!  Take a peek at the samples.  It is gorgeous!  I also love the art work and photographs that are throughout the book.  It makes it more than just a great study but very appealing to visual learners.

The one main difference between this book and the others is the Encounters With Jesus section.  These "stories" are based on Scripture, BUT they are fictional.  I really make sure to stress that with my children.  I want them to understand that and not think that this is the way it actually happened (especially the younger children.)  It is recommended in the discussion questions that you go back and read the actual Biblical account and compare the two.  The discussion questions are very good for middle to older children but may need to be adapted for the younger ones.

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a complimentary copy of Who Is My Neighbor book, coloring book, and notebooking journal for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

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