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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here?

I don't know about you....but I ask those questions of myself quite a bit.  I still seem to be trying to figure out just who I am (even in my 40's) .  I certainly didn't know who I was in my middle, high school, and college years.  Those years were controlled by thoughts of things like: What others were thinking of me (Surprise!  They weren't. ).....Which boys liked me (or more often - why certain boys did NOT like me).  How I could convince my parents to buy me the clothes that everyone else was wearing.

See?  Really important, life altering thoughts.

I still wonder about things.  Most things are not as shallow as the things I used to wonder about, but, there are still ones like....Should I have finished nursing school?  What exactly is "my style"? 

I, for sure, asked the "What Am I Doing Here?" question when we moved to Georgia.  But it could definitely be asked on a more general What am I doing here on Earth?  What is my purpose in this life?

To help find an answer to these questions, for both me and the kids,  we are using a review product from Apologia.

On a side note, don't you just love Norman Rockwell?  I love the picture on the cover.  Although, it is sort of sad....the girl looking at her own reflection and realizing that she does not look like the girl in the magazine.  I guess that has been going on for ages and not just since Cindy Crawford walked on the scene, hmmm?

This is from a company called Apologia, better known in homeschooling circles for the science curriculums.

This is a part of a curriculum series called, "What We Believe".  Book one is this series is called Who is God And Can I Really Know Him.  We haven't seen or used that book.  But, I think we will still get good use and information out of the second book in series Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here?.  The third book in the series is called, Who is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me?.  The fourth book in the series is being released soon and it is called, What On Earth Can I Do?

The subtitle for the second book in the series that we are looking at is Biblical Worldview of Self-Image.  I could have used that in my growing up years....I mean any other view that my own view of my self image.  Obviously, I still need it now!  The book description from their website is this:

Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here helps children understand what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Most High God.

This study will enable students to develop a healthy self-image based on these biblical truths:

God made me in His image and crowned me with glory;

He has given me special gifts and a unique purpose in life;

I can creatively express God's love;

I am meant to think about beautiful and praiseworthy things, especially God and His Word;

I must make decisions based on God's truth;

I can always know the wise thing to do;

I must cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in my life;

I am a beloved child of God whose true identity is found in Christ.

Read that list again, will you?  That is why I still need this book.

This curriculum came with a journaling notebook, although they call it a "notebooking journal" (for older students) and a coloring book (for younger students).  This curriculum says it is designed for ages 6 to 14.  I thought it seemed better suited to discussions with my older kids....9 and up. 

I loved the general concept for the littler ones, like how God made them each special with gifts and talents, and that they should think of God and what He would want them to focus on.  But, some of the deeper discussions about different religions and things I thought was a bit above their level.  Or maybe just above the level that I am comfortable discussing with them, at this point.

For the younger ones, the coloring book had things like inspiring Bible verses,

but there are also pages like this:

"I must be careful not to let my emotions run wild."

"Your feelings are a gift from God."

Definitely things that are easy to cover with little ones.

Where it gets into the areas that I don't feel quite as comfortable having discussions with the littler ones is the What's the Difference? sections.  These go into the Christianity; Islam; Humanism; Buddhism; Mormonism; Hinduism; New Age; and Communism.  Interesting?  Yes.  Suitable for discussions with A-man?  No.  Suitable for discussions with D-man and A-girl.  Yes.  Suitable for discussions with L-girl.  Maybe.  Interesting for me?  Definitely. 

In the textbook, each lesson shares a short story, teaches a few points and then shares a different "worldview" than you.  For instance, the first lesson introduces a young Muslim girl living in England.  There are discussion questions throughout the lesson in addition to the notebook journal activities.

All in all, this is a really neat, in depth, study that I will continue using with my older kids.  I am learning too.  Because really, who truly knows the differences between Christianity and say, Mormonism?  I mean, Rev. Franklin Graham (Billy's son) just said that because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, he isn't a Christian.

We actually got an audio CD that we tried too.  It reads the lessons outloud.  This would be really good if you have a auditory learner and you don't have time to read to them.  This is something that your older kids could work through on their own.  This book is pretty interesting (What's the Difference?) and helpful (self image help straight from God) though, so, you may want to carve out some of your time to do this along with your students....whether you read it or you use the CD.

The textbook is available for $39.

The notebooking journal is available for $24.

The audio MP3/CD is available for $19.  Just in case, like me, you don't know what an MP3/CD disk is....allow me to fill you in.  It means that you need to play it on either an MP3 compatible CD player or on a computer.

If you decide to try this book out, I would recommend getting both the textbook and the notebooking journal because while there are a lot of discussion questions in the textbook, the journal really personalizes things and digs into some of the concepts explored in the textbook. 

Find out what other TOS crew members thought of Who Am I?

We received a free copy of the textbook, notebooking journal and audio CD of Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here? in exchange for an honest review.