I was reading through the reviews and decided to add mine, hoping it might add some clarification to some of the points in the other reviews.
* This is not a 'traditional' curriculum/textbook. This book is not an 'all in one' textbook. It is also not a new or old testament survey etc. (This is precisely why we liked this course.) Along with this workbook you will need about 10-12 other assorted books throughout the year. (The books are not expensive, most can be purchased for 6-8$, and a couple can be found online for free as a PDF.)
* My son (who is a junior this year) was NOT able to complete this workbook in one year. It is turning into a 3 semester course for him. I think this course is probably suitable for teens in there sophomore year or beyond. The concepts are not difficult (my junior higher can understand much of it) but the books range from lower grade level reading (Chronicles of Narnia) to higher grade level (CS Lewis' Mere Christianity).
* The book divides the assignments up into daily/weekly assignments. My recommendation is to NOT go strictly by the book's suggestions for how much your child can do in one week. Sometimes a LARGE amount of reading and note taking is required in one week according to this book's breakdown of assignments. After realizing this, (and seeing how stressed out my son was) we re-adjusted the schedule to suit our needs. It went MUCH better after that. (For example, the book allows 3 days to read "Jekyl & Hyde" and write a worldview analysis paper on it. I extended this assignment by more than a week.)
* This book begins with teaching students exactly what the Biblical worldview is, and goes through a substantial amount of basic doctrine. After that instruction is done, it moves on to teaching the student to analyze movies and literature to determine if the writings reflect the Biblical Worldview or not. This is important as it helps the student to apply what they have learned to the world and culture around them. This has actually increased my son's (and my) appreciation and understand of literature and movies. Because of this, however, you may be surprised to find that this curriculum contains a literature and writing element to it. You could consider this partial credit in lit/writing if you chose. **** I found Starting Points to go really well with IEW's "Window's to the World" literary analysis curriculum. If you choose to do these programs together, your student will have a strong foundation in literature.
* This curriculum is a good worldview primer, as well as a good introduction to apologetics.
* This curriculum is great if you aren't a fan of 'textbooks'.
* It will help your child to analyze and think about what they are reading, watching, and how they engage in the culture and world around them.
* Your student might be able to navigate through this curriculum on their own, however I think it works best if, as a parent, you can be engaged in the material alongside with them. I read some of the books alongside my son, and other books I just skimmed to get an idea of what he was learning. (hint - try audio books - and a quick google search will pull up great book summaries!) This dialogue was an important part of this course for my son. Also, while we found the Bible doctrine in this book to be very sound, there were one or two points that we didn't quite agree with. This was easily navigated around as we discussed Bible scripture that the books pointed to.
I found this course to be exactly what we needed! I wanted to extra element of teaching my son to think about what he was reading. Rather than expecting students to disengage their brain/thinking skills, it works to enhance them. I highly recommend.
I am using this book for my 11th grader, first-time home- schooled child. One of my older boys was always home schooled and took this course in 8th grade. It was very difficult and we thought he would give up. He took the rest of the courses and did extremely well. I chose to do this over two years as a supplement to Bob Jones History. It covers some of the same ground (we are not using the book in order of its contents - doing the ending first to coincide with the early American history he is studying right now.)
This gives my son a depth of understanding of our country's origins that even the history book does not explore. The two work nicely together. In completing it over two years, and at a later age, I think he will get a lot of good and not have the stress of the huge workload. He really enjoys the concepts and work!
I knew quite a lot of students who took this course in either 8th or ninth grade. It is very time-consuming, so the other subjects should be limited to math and science. But it is worth it. All three Worldviews of the Western World courses that follow are also time-intensive and well worth the effort.
I have to admit, however, that there are issues with the editing. There are several misspellings, grammar errors, etc. We just laugh them off and go on. This was a book written by a family and they have chosen not to release a corrected edition.
I first considered purchasing this book during the summer, but decided to just use what I already had at home. My children became very frustrated. I decided to go ahead and purchase this book and I am very glad I did. Both of my children are loving it and say they find it much more interesting. We have all been very pleased.
I feel this has been an excellent study for my High School children. It has filled in the gaps to things I may have missed when giving my homeschooled students a chrstian education. The more you put into it, the more one would get out of it. I wish there was a little more guidance with answering the questions, like a teachers guide, but I have found it okay to get through without. I LOVE how the paragraph writing turns into one larger paper at the end (of the first section... that's as far as we have gone so far). My children are average students that HATE to write. Of course, they wrote very basic papers, but I felt they did well on them considering how they truly hate that sort of thing. A more advanced student could have a very biblical sound, scripture backing, worldview essay!
This is a high school curriculum. Both of my older children have gone through it and they both recommend it and say it helped them and tell me I have to have my younger three go through it as well. They value it themselves, that much.