Apologia’s What on Earth Can I Do? {a Crew Review}


Apologia Educational Ministries has added a fourth book to their What We Believe series.. What on Earth Can I Do? This new set will help kids in grades 1-6 understand what it means to be a good and faithful servant of God.

We received the complete set in our review package which includes: What on Earth Can I Do? student text, What on Earth Can I Do? Notebooking Journal, What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal and the What on Earth Can I Do? coloring book.

Main Student Text $39.00
Notebooking Journal $24.00
Junior Notebooking Journal $24.00
Coloring Book $8.00

The What on Earth Can I Do? student text is a hardback book with eight (long) lessons that each take at least three weeks to complete.

Each lesson has several key components:
The Big Idea – an introduction to the main topic and some review
What You Will Do – learning objectives for the lesson
Short Story – each lesson has a story whose main characters are about the same age as the students ~ This was one of Julia’s favorite parts of the book. She loves to see others her own age doing things and going through similar things she may have gone through.
Think About It – questions about the short story~ Honestly, I didn’t care much for this section. Being a Charlotte Mason style homeschool, there were just too many questions following the stories. I’m more a fan of narration than question and answer.
Words You Need to Know – vocabulary words
Hide It in Your Heart – Bible memory verses~ These could also be used for copy work.
Integrated Learning – articles that tie in other subjects to the main idea of the lesson, such as art, music, math, history or science
What Should I Do? – specific Godly traits are highlighted and encouraged
Prayer – each lesson ends with a prayer
Parables of Jesus – these are not straight from the Bible, they are dramatized with other people and names
Going Deeper – discussion questions about the parables

When Julia and I worked through the books, I kept thinking to myself that this would make a great read aloud. With all the highlights of people from history, the stories from the Bible and of course the short stories, it is a very enjoyable read that would be great for the whole family. I did read some bits of the book aloud on occasion but not near enough. My babes (two and three) love to be read to. There are things in the book that even my 15 year old would benefit from hearing. Sadly I didn’t take full advantage of that thought often enough and usually had Julia work independently, which she was fine with.

The  spiral-bound Notebooking Journal is what the kids use along with their text. There is a schedule of daily lesson plans that includes what pages to read from the main text- this is always a huge help and a load taken off of mom! There’s a total of 48 lessons planned out but of course you can adapt that schedule to your homeschool or completely make up your own!

It has 13 different types of pages:
Blank Note-Taking Pages – blank pages for doodling, notes or attach photos
Think About It – questions about story portion of the lesson
Words to Know – vocabulary
Hide It In My Heart – a place to write the memory verse in your chosen translation
Make a Note of It – this corresponds to a part of the lesson that requires the child to think about how the lesson applies to their life
Word Puzzles – crosswords or word searches using important words from the lesson
Mini Books – mini books that need assembling are at the back of the book and once put together can be pasted into the appropriate section of the journal
My Prayer -a place to write or draw their prayer to God based on hopes, needs, what they are learning, etc…
Praise Report – a place to record how God is answering prayers
I Spy! – write or draw about where they have seen God while studying the lesson
Living Out Loud – a place to record how they are ministering to others
Do You Remember? – questions concerning important points of each lesson~ this makes for great family discussions
Find Out More – lists of activities, Bible stories, books, hymns, websites and movies that can help dig deeper into the people, places and themes they are learning about

The Notebooking Journal is really great. I like the added activity choices and ideas. The I Spy!, Praise Report and Living Out Loud are probably my favorite pages. These simple pages remind the student to take time and think… “What have I done for others? How has God shown Himself to me or answered prayer?” Having the mindset of always being aware of God and his orchestration of our lives is so important- even at a young age. The only part of the Journal that I wasn’t thrilled with was all the questions. There were entirely too many question and answer portions in there for us. So, we skipped over some, not a big deal. We loved everything else.

The spiral-bound Junior Notebooking Journal is nearly identical to the other Journal aside from being obviously geared toward younger children, roughly ages 6-9. The word puzzles are simpler and the pages for the memory verses have primary lines to guide the child’s writing. It includes coloring pages, which the older Journal does not.

The Coloring Book has 64 pictures to color, each with a little blurb at the bottom of the page that corresponds with the main text. This is a great resource for little ones being able to take part in learning with the rest of the family. My two and three year olds color in this while we read sections of Julia’s text out loud.

My bottom line?
The student book is fantastic both for independent work and as a read aloud. The journals add some fun activities and the review is nice. The coloring book is good for keeping little hands busy while mommy reads. Overall, this curriculum is well worth the price and the student book is something I will refer back to again and again. Thank you Apologia!!

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