I just finished going through the Life Is Precious unit study with some of my kids and today I get to share my thoughts and a complete set to give away!
I don't do a whole lot of prepared unit studies with my kids. At least, not intentionally. We'll get engrossed in one subject or another but I tend to let it just happen naturally rather than plotting out the next subject matter we'll immerse ourselves in. Unless there's a specific reason for us to focus on one topic like a family trip or a major current event, I just don't really plan things that way. But a few months ago American Life League's Culture of Life Studies Program asked if I would review their new K-2 program called Life Is Precious and I said yes. With everything going on with the release of the undercover videos from Planned Parenthood a few months ago, I felt something stirring in my heart that I need to focus a bit more with my kids on this topic and that our family should be doing more. The timing of their request seemed inspired. It's become abundantly clear to me that we need to be intentional with our children about forming them to live in a world that is more and more at odds with the dignity of every single human life. One part of that is building a very strong foundation from an early age that every life is important and valuable.
I was so glad to see that the program is really really well done.
First, let me start my thoughts with the fact that it motivated me to do crafts, guys. And I didn't mind. That right there should tell you that it's got to be good.
See? Crafts. And I didn't twitch once.
American Life League introduced this new unit study Life Is Precious to teach the dignity of life at all stages. The curriculum is a simple four week study aimed at K-2 that contains reading and activities based on four children's books. Those books are purchased separately but easily found at the library or reasonably priced online. We had one of them already and the other three I purchased used for a few dollars each. I worked through it with my 3, 6, and 8 year olds and I've been so impressed with the quality of the program. It comes with the teacher guide containing all lesson plans, a CD-ROM of printable appendices and coloring pages, a 12 week fetal model and card, and Baby Steps, a short DVD featuring 4-D ultrasounds of various stages of pregnancy.
The program is designed around those four children's book, each week devoted to the lessons gleaned from one of the books.
The topics covered with each book are:
- Preborn Life and Fetal Development - Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman
- The Uniqueness of Every Person - On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
- Standing Up For Your Beliefs - Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
- Defending Those Who Are Mistreated - One by Kathryn Otoshi
I love that there is an emphasis on scientific human development. I love that it completely respects their innocence and builds upon the child's innate understanding that every life is important, no matter where it is or how small it is. With that solid, positive, and evidence-based foundation in place it becomes blatantly obvious to the child later on why things that violate that inherent dignity (like abortion or euthanasia) are so disordered and horrendous. The program does not address those violations but simply builds that age appropriate framework for understanding and loving a culture of life.
The boys were eager to do each of the lessons and loved the projects we worked on together. They especially loved learning more about the development of the unborn baby. We've talked a lot about that during my pregnancies and I often reminisce with them about when they were inside me. The diagrams and projects reinforced that and we talked about the growth of the baby, the food from the placenta, how the baby knows when it's time to come out, and so many more things. They loved creating their own book and putting our poster together and learning what develops during the different weeks. We talked about our responsibility to defend those who cannot defend themselves and about how unique and unrepeatable each person is.
My six and eight year olds were more able to understand and complete the activities than the three year old, of course. He followed along and did most of it with us but his attention predictably petered out after a while. I absolutely love the approach the creators of the program took by using the books they did. They take truths that are more easily accepted by the culture at large (such as the need to defend someone who is being mistreated or that every person is unique) and show that they apply to ALL persons.
I'm really glad we did this program and that it gave me the push I needed to be more intentional about teaching certain concepts to my kids. I would love to see this program disseminated to every single Christian grade school in the country.
And now I have one copy of the program to give away to a lucky reader! Winner will receive the teacher guide, CD-ROM, fetal model, and DVD. If you'd like to win, please enter through the Rafflecopter form below using your email or Facebook account. Giveaway ends next Tuesday, September 29.