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Friday, October 17, 2014

iWitness Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #Apologia

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Apologia Review

I know I say this every time but Apologia Educational Ministries is one of our favorite curriculum companies to use in our homeschool. We have been blessed more times than I can count on 2 hands to have been chosen to review curriculum as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. This time it was for something a little different than we are used to getting, this was intriguing to us from the start. I am talking about iWitness, a 3 book set, that includes iWitness Biblical ArchaeologyNew Testament iWitnessOld Testament iWitness. Now while this adventure is adaptable for students and families so that just about all ages can be included, the reading involved is geared for those 11 and older. This just means that the actually reading needs to be left to those that can read at that level, this does not mean to leave little Joey age 6 or little Jessie age 9 out of the Archaeological Adventure. 

Apologia Review
We received all 3 books I will talk about each one individually and at the end I will summarize our entire experience. First things first we received  the iWitness Biblical Archaeology book, selling for $14.00. This book helps uncover and prove all of the facts that are stated in the Bible, by taking you to the archeological digs and letting you see for yourself the most amazing finds that were discovered. You may have had some doubts as to the stories you read about in the Bible but you cannot dispute evidence that is presented before you in this book. It takes many of the stories we love to read about, for instance The Great Flood and Noah's Ark, my all time favorite and takes you on an adventure through a scrapbook like layout with pictures and the stories of uncovering the facts. All of the writings are portrayed in a manner that they were scraps of documents with original handwriting. It just truly adds to the experience as you read along. There is no real work to be done with this series and I guess that is what set it apart from the all of the other curriculum we have reviewed from Apologia. This is a read along or if you have older students they could read independently. I feel if you have your student read this on their own, you are missing the true adventure as this is something the whole family can get into together. 


Apologia Review
The second book we received was Old Testament iWitness, also selling for $14.00, this book deals with stories of the Old Testament. Doug Powell the author speaks of  how the Old Testament was written and who the Jews believe truly wrote these stories, there is even talk about the little books that are in the Catholic Bible, we do not read from a Catholic Bible so this was interesting for the boys as they had not heard these stories since they were young when we attended the Catholic church with my Grandma. This led to a discussion about why Catholics have more books than we do in our Bible and why are their beliefs so different than ours. This in turn started a discussion of why we no longer practice the Catholic religion and instead have turned to other churches and faiths until we found the one we currently follow. This was interesting to discuss especially now that my boys are older, being almost 15 and 16 you can discuss these things like adults with level headed thinking. While I do not think I was truly prepared for these discussions and they caught me off guard I think it was a great discussion that my family needed to have. 

Another avenue that this adventure took us on was more in depth about the Jewish religion and why they have their scriptures in the order they do. If you do not know that their scriptures are ordered differently I won't spoil the reasons and the order for you I will leave that for you to uncover for yourselves when your family sets forth on this Archaeological Adventure. This was interesting to us as we have several close friends of the Jewish Faith, one of them being my best friend. The boys seem to really be fascinated by learning more in depth of what other religions believe and why. This will lead us into diving in deeper to investigate other religions as well.
Apologia Review
Lastly we explored the New Testament iWitness, once again $14.00, this showed me how much our family still doesn't know about the New Testament and also of how it came to be and why some books were chosen and some were not and why that is. Doug Powell also tells of the different methods of copying the New Testament. Did you know there are "intentional errors" in the words of the New Testament? We sure did not.  While there were somethings I did not completely agree with in this book I am glad we have had the opportunity to review it and it has made us hungry for more. We will be adding onto this as we go in search of some answers of our own. My boys enjoyed learning more of where the Old and New Testaments came from and how other religions use these books in their own faith. I guess that if we were all to believe exactly the same thing the world would certainly not be as interesting as it is today.
 Unfortunately some of this learning has made my youngest voice concerns that Religion causes war and if we believe the some of the same of the bad people that use their Religion as their box to stand on and use it to hurt people he is worried that we as Christians are sharing some of their beliefs. Taylor is a very Analytical thinker and this has opened up some concerns that are a bit blown out of proportion but we are dealing with them as they come up. This is just one of the issues that sometimes come up with Taylor and his Asperger's Syndrome. I was not prepared for his reaction but I am glad his underlying concerns came to light because of these books. 

In conclusion our family truly did enjoy this Adventure through time. It opened up minds for lots of outside discussion and we are definitely going to continues to explore not only our faith but that of others so that we can truly understand why other's may think the way they did. I do recommend this series to all and you will learn as well as your children many things that you may have never given a thought to, but it will wet your appetite for more that I can say for certain. You will start to wonder about why and how many things truly came to be but you can know that there are people out there that are wondering the very same thing. All while there are archaeologists uncovering facts bit by bit to help you understand it more clearly. 

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