This hardcover glossy 262-page color-illustrated text is volume
2 in the four-volume "What We Believe" Biblical worldview series
for 6- to 14-year-olds. This particular volume focuses on self-image.
There are eight lessons: What Are We Doing Here, What Will You
Make Today, What's on Your Mind, Can You Trust Your Feelings, Will
You Choose Wisely, How Will You Run the Race, What Kind of Fruit
Are You Growing, and Who Do You Think You Are.
Each lesson contains enough information for six days. One suggestion
is to read through the lesson two days a week over three weeks.
As well as the basic text, there is a ton of additional material
in the lessons. I read the first one to my daughters (ages 10 and
12). After a brief intro, there is a short story. The first four
lesson stories are about a Russian boy who is born with a crippled
foot. The last four lesson stories feature a young boy growing
up in medieval times. I wonder if it might have been better to
have a female protagonist in one of the serials. Several thought-provoking
discussion questions follow the story. Notebooking activities provide
writing opportunities for students. New or important vocabulary
words are listed, and Bible passages are incorporated throughout
the unit-lesson, including two memory verses and a prayer.
Older children could read the lessons themselves, and the text
is written to students. Regardless, parents will want to be involved
in the readings to at least some extent, because the material is
faith and value forming, and children should see that these truths
are validated by the entire family.
Several applicable articles are also found in each lesson. An
explanation of Russian names, a synopsis of Superman, and a Norman
Rockwell picture study were the articles in the first lesson. Especially
interesting to us was the Worldview in Focus component. Each lesson
introduces a different worldview through a narrative about a child
and his family and their lifestyle. Some of these worldviews are
Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon, Hindu, New Age, and Communist. Several
open ended-questions are included at the end of these profiles.
These slices of life include a balanced mix of girls and boys.
Finally, each lesson wraps up with the "House of Truth" model:
a graphic that shows how the Biblical truth emphasized in the lesson
helps us build our Christian worldview.
The lessons are very long, and my daughters found much of the
text redundant and condescending. The book also assumes that the
student has little or no Biblical knowledge. Most Bible references
are from the NIV, but some other versions are also used. My girls
found these other translations or versions (NLT and NCV) babyish.
There is also some mention of "relationship with yourself" and "harmony
with yourself," which some parents may not like.
My 10-year-old in particular liked the questions posed in the
text and could relate to them. The notebooking activities were
also appealing to her. If you are looking for a worldview curriculum
for younger students, this series should be considered.