I recently wrote about the Myths and Legends book that we discovered from Hodder Education. Total honesty, in all my years of home educating I have actually not used the Hodder Education resources before but daughter really enjoyed the Myths and Legends book so I was keen to try some of their other resources. I found a few that looked really interesting and one of them was this one – Explore RE which is their student book for Religious Education.
Now we have actually used a few RE books before but they were dry and boring and definitely not worth writing about. But this book appeals to us (my daughter has already read sections out of it just because it looked interesting). The pages are just more inviting, they are colourful without being overbearing, they use blocks and smaller paragraphs so it is concise. We really like the layout.
Our plan is it use it next year (our academic year starting in September) so I thought I would share a bit about the book now (for those of you currently looking for books) and once we have used it I will write an update post.
The book is written for the whole of Key Stage 3 – there is one book and it is up to you how you split it over the KS3 years (I like this approach as we don’t stick to what the schools do in each year so it means just one book and we can chose the chapters in the order we want).
The book is split into 9 Units which are as follows –
- Unit 1 – Comparative Religion
- Unit 2 – Christianity
- Unit 3 – Islam
- Unit 4 – Judaism
- Unit 5 – Buddhism
- Unit 6 – Hinduism
- Unit 7 – Sikhism
- Unit 8 – Ethics
- Unit 9 – Philosophy.
So it really covers quite a lot (the book itself is 280 pages long). Each Unit is independent so you really can do them in any order you want, and if you want you could just select a few to focus on, it really is up to you (I am stressing this point as I know other home educators will like the fact that the units are independent).
Each chapter starts with a nice introduction page which highlights a few key points.
After the introduction page the other double pages have a very similar format. At the top of the page who get the Learning Objectives followed by the Big Question – which is what that double page is going to talk about. Then there tends to be blocks of information (we like this as it just is easier to digest the information in the block format) and they include a number of pictures. Key terms are highlighted and who can look up their meaning in the glossary at the back of the book. And lastly there are a few activities – which are question linked to what you have just read. Our intention is to do this activities verbally, together more as a discussion once we have read the pages.
I think this book would make an excellent KS3 resource if your kids were considering doing Religious Education as a GCSE subject BUT I also think it is just a great book to work through even if they do not want to do RE as an exam subject. By working through this book you would give your kids a valuable foundation in the basics of different religions which is a valuable tool to have.
Admin Bit – I was given a press copy of this book after I mentioned we would be interested in using it. All opinions expressed are my own (or that of my daughter).
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