Let’s Get Real is a course suitable for students in grades six through ten that teaches both an introduction to worldview and basic Christian apologetics. The publisher recommends it for grades six through eight, but it’s just as useful for older teens who are starting to investigate worldview questions. Teens who are ready can move beyond this introductory level to the much more challenging course based on the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norman Geisler.
The course is arranged into 12 units titled:
- What is Truth?
- Does God Exist?
- Intelligent Design
- The Origin of Life
- What about Evolution?
- Right and wrong: how do you know?
- Are miracles possible?
- Is the Bible true?
- Did the NT writers tell the truth?
- Evidence the NT is true
- What does the Bible say?
- So what now?
Each unit has four lessons, each beginning with a question or statement that ties the new lesson to previous material so that students can easily follow the logical development of the arguments presented.
Course Format Options
Let’s Get Real can be purchased in three different formats: printed book (with optional videos), Kids Self-Paced Course, and the Kids Premium Course. The first two options are self-paced, while the third option involves live online sessions offered at particular times.
Self-Paced with Printed Books and Videos
The printed teacher guide and student workbook for Let’s Get Real are ideal for classrooms or co-op groups, and they will also work for homeschoolers with one or two students. The videos are optional, but they will do most of the teaching for you. (You can download and keep the videos.) Shanda Fulbright, the presenter on the videos, does an excellent job, although the videos would be better with more images and visual aids. The videos run only about five to six minutes each, although Fulbright frequently tells the watcher to pause the video to think about a question, which extends the time required for the video portion of the lesson.
In the teacher guide, each lesson has several components. These include vocabulary words plus sections titled Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
- Engage involves an object lesson, a game, an experiment, or some other way to gain students’ interest.
- Explore presents the main idea of the lesson through lecture, discussion, a video, student research, study of passages from the Bible, an experiment, or some other method.
- Explain provides additional material for expanding upon the topic. Sometimes, students will complete a worksheet or graphic organizer.
- Elaborate continues in the same vein as Explain, although this is generally the point at which the lesson plan tells you to have students watch Fulbright’s video if you choose that option. (I noticed that Fulbright’s videos are not always included in the lesson plans.)
- Evaluate generally has students answer specific worksheet questions that check to see if students grasped the main concept.
The activities under these headings are useful when teaching a group class. However, if you are working with just one or two students, you should probably use Fulbright’s videos, the student workbook, and a few of the activities, such as supplemental videos and discussions. If you choose not to use Fulbright’s videos, then you will need to rely on the presentation and activities in the teacher guide, even if you don’t do everything.
Because there are choices about how to present lessons and which activities to use, the length of lessons can vary greatly. You can complete the course over 48 sessions with a group class. However, with one or two students, you should be able to complete two lessons in one class session, requiring a total of 24 sessions.
The lessons naturally bring up important topics for discussion, and parents or teachers should be prepared to carry on those discussions. The teacher guide has answers for student workbook activities.
For homeschooling parents who want to be very involved in a worldview course with their children, I think the videos and books will be the best option.
Self-Paced Online Course
The Kids Self-Paced Course online includes one year of access to the course material: videos, student activity sheets, answer keys, links to other resources, and a parent guide. The parent guide, developed specifically for the online course, has a discussion question and activity for each lesson plus answer keys, but it does not include the complete lesson plans that are in the teacher guide. The Kids Self-Paced Course might be the most practical and affordable option for parents who don’t have time to do the entire course with students.
The Kids Premium Course
The Kids Premium course is presented online and includes ten, live-group sessions for students, so enrollment is open at specific times. This option includes access to an apologetics chat group, four quizzes, and three extra assignments. It also has a feature that I expect kids will love—a segment in the Minecraft™ world where Frank Turek meets people who make false claims, and the students are asked how they would refute the statements. At the end, they watch Frank (in the Minecraft world) as he refutes the statements.
The course also has a page online titled Backpack Resources with links to optional videos and articles that support each lesson, ranging from only one resource for a lesson to as many as seven for others. Some resources are better for younger students and some for older, so preview them to determine which to use.
Potentially Problematic Topics
This course makes a clear distinction between macroevolution and microevolution, supporting the latter since it allows for changes within a species. It uses the language of intelligent design in defense of a creationist position, such as the need for a cause (a designer) when we observe incredibly complex and interdependent systems within living organisms.
It doesn’t take a position on the age of the universe, describing it as secondary to the recognition that the earth was created by God. It leaves the age of the universe as a question for students to research.
One of the lessons on the Bible says it has 66 books—reflecting the Protestant canon. But this is a minor issue for those adhering to a more comprehensive canon. The course discusses genres of literature and makes it clear that the Bible is not mythology but is based on reality.
All of this makes the course suitable for Christians, whatever their denomination, who do not accept macroevolution and who believe in the inerrancy and accuracy of the Bible.
For the past few years, I’ve been specifically looking for worldview courses that are practical for homeschoolers, and this is the best I’ve found for this age range. And I very much appreciate the options that will make it usable in different situations.