I am a relaxed homeschooler. A life-schooler. A Catholic mom who also happens to teach a few academic subjects to her kids. The word syllabus causes me to shudder interiorly and I cringe when I see $60 textbooks. I put up with the school-ish for practical reasons but would be happy as a clam to restructure the entire educational system to look a good deal more like life instead of life conforming so heavily to the model of school.
With that disclaimer, it should come as no surprise that the idea of a pro-life unit study for elementary students is not something I have ever been inclined to purchase. After all, we live the pro-life message...
Lots of babies.
Lots of family time.
Lots of Catholic.
Lots of pro-life discussion.
Lots of sacrificial love.
Lots of life building, human rights activism. (some of my people are in blue below)
Living well is the best path to learning and my very pro-life kids have soaked up the truth of the sacredness of life in the air they breath within our home. But I have to tell you... that I've changed my mind about a pro-life unit study. And I'm going to recommend the Culture of Life program to you for your young kids. Why? With the deepest sorrow I just have to say it...
We live in a culture that hardly bats an eyelash when full term babies are aborted. It's the same culture where family is devalued, Christians are increasingly persecuted, and our government sanctions and protects the murder and sale of preborn children. Our children will grow up in a society where babies are killed and their body parts sold for profit... where white is black and up is down. It is no longer enough to speak in generalities; but in the same way we teach our kids their catechism and apologetics to be able to retain their faith in a doubting world, we must now also make sure that they are solidly formed and equipped to respond to the attacks against life. The complexities and sorrow of life will challenge them as they grow. And they will grow up in a world that is more callous, cunning, confusing, and fundamentally anti-life than the one you and I knew as young people.
A common question among pro-life families is this: When and how should I teach my children about abortion? The unfortunate answer to "When?" is that you will need to teach them (age appropriately) as soon as they reach the age of comprehension. The question of "How?" is by modeling pro-life values (i.e. Gospel principles) and by instructing them in age appropriate ways.
The Life is Precious Unit Study provides a beautiful and simple way to introduce the truths of the science and sacredness of life to small children. I love it and am happy to give one away to a reader (below). And while I wouldn't have used it 15 years ago when I started homeschooling, I readily take it up now. We live in a topsy turvy world and this is a lovely tool to keep our homes rightly ordered in the midst of the moral chaos.
Here is a quick overview of what to expect:
- Teaches young children (approximately K-2nd grade) about the beauty of preborn life through crafts and activities while still respecting the innocence of the audience.
- Uses traditionally published picture books to explore age-appropriate culture of life themes such as life as a preborn child, being uniquely created by God, the need to protect the innocent, and defending firmly held beliefs in the face of adversity
- Contains reinforcement activities - appropriate discussion questions, crafts, drama, games, and cooking - as well as equipping teachers with tips and resources
The Life is Precious program is detailed fully on their website. You can find more course information, resources for parents/teachers, a sample chapter, and a temporary introductory sale price. The package for sale (and that I'm giving away below) includes:
- Comprehensive teacher guide
- 12-week fetal model to illustrate key concepts from the study
- DVD containing all of the printable appendices and coloring pages
- Bonus: Baby Steps DVD with live 4D ultrasound imagery of preborn babies in the wom
While it is a terrible shame that we must prepare our children to meet such a confusing world, there is nothing at all discouraging, ugly, discouraging, or awkward about this program. The language is beautiful and the messages reinforce the love and tenderness with which each human being is held by our loving Father. Read HERE about why you should teach fetal development to young children.
Although this is a unit study with chapters and crafts, I'm not put off by any feeling of "school-ish." I simply see it as a nicely organized way to present the beautiful message of life to our youngest children. I tend to skip over crafty activities in unit studies but I see purpose here that has me pulling out the scissors and glue.
The world is full of ugly and our kids will grow to see it and fight it. And now our younger ones will be exposed to it earlier and earlier. Let us bathe them in the message of joy, beauty, and the sacredness of life while they grow in our domestic garden. They will not forget those messages. Even if they turn away, they will know the truth... and be more inclined to return to the heart of Mercy.
Looking for more ways to bring a Culture of Life to your home?
Culture of Life Studies Pinterest board
The Holy Heroes Spiritual Adoption Prayer Adventure (Begins on September 8th)
Talking with your teens about the Planned Parenthood scandal
Why having a big family isn't enough