I’m starting my twelfth year of homeschooling, and we’ve always done scripture study or devotional of some kind every day. With my youngest two kids this year, I’ve felt the need to do more formal faith-based values lessons in our home (especially for a particular child!) to better encourage generosity and compassion. As I’ve worked with Generous Family, I’ve found the Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit to provide a useful format and structure to instill values-based, Bible-focused lessons into our day.
I was compensated for my time in preparing this review. All opinions I share are my own.
Why Do I Need a Values-First Home Education?
I consider myself a “secular” homeschool, since I often choose curriculum that is not primarily faith-based for teaching math, reading, history, and so forth. That said, we are Christian, and we do a religious devotional as a family each morning. I consider this actually separate from homeschool (if it's possible to separate life into homeschool or not), since we did this even when my children tried out school last year.
But as a mother, I am getting pretty tired of the calls of “It’s not fair!” and “But I want it!” accompanied with tears, whining, and arguing. My kids are 15, 11, and 7 right now, and I feel like my two youngest, especially, have stopped being as kind and generous to each other as they ought to be. Maybe because they spend so much time together!
I’ve often thought that we need something else that will help my privileged children recognize the value of what they have and to faithfully learn compassion for each other and those around them. But I could not figure out how to teach them these concepts in a sequence of learning. Especially in a quick way that is separate from my homeschool day. (This year, 1.5 of my children are attending school, meaning one is part-time school, and one full-time school, and my other is 100% at home). An additional faith-based “character building” family time seemed unattainable until I saw the Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit.
What is Christ-like Generosity?
Christ-like values are uncountable. For the Generous Students program, Generous Family has focused on seven main generosity traits that every family can and should consider as we strive to be Christ-like. They are the following:
- Generous Thoughts
- Generous Words
- Generous Money
- Generous Time
- Generous Influence
- Generous Attention
- Generous Belongings
The values Generous Students provides are each discussed over three weeks, and the five additional lessons (for a total of 26) emphasize the power of one person to make a difference, as well as overviews and reminders of how we can each apply these lessons. Inside these Bible-based lessons, other Christ-like attributes are also frequently highlighted.
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How Do I Teach Generosity Lessons?
The Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit structures the values lessons with the framework of a road trip! Each of the 26 lessons gives these themed concepts as sections:
- Get Into Gear (review and application of generosity and the lessons so far)
- Get Rolling (discussion for the lesson of the week)
- Map It Out (a scripture connection)
- Live It Out (prayers and service ideas)
- Generosity Hero (reading or listening to a true, personal story)
- Rest Stop (a scripture to ponder)
- Fuel Up (more examples and ideas of service, including videos)
- Extra Stops (writing, craft, ideas, and library book selections).
Most of these stops each week (detailed fully in the teacher's manual) directly correlate to a page in the student journal, allowing students to ponder and reflect on what we read and discuss. The Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit comes with three student journals to meet the needs of many homeschool families! Having a student journal especially excited my youngest.
In addition, the kit comes with the Generosity Heroes book, which highlights scriptural, historical, and also contemporary people who have each given and loved generously. Some stories focus on one-on-one service and others are more broad. Each hero has just a simple two-page story written with a friendly, conversational tone. In the online member portal are audio versions of these stories, as well as additional videos about other generous people.
When I type it out, it sounds like a lot to teach! But these “stops” on the journey are nicely segmented through each week, making lessons just the right length, about 10 minutes, for my youngest child. In fact, we would finish a lesson just as she was declaring that she was ready to be finished. (Seven-year-olds are very outspoken on when they are ready to move on!)
Also, while the lessons are organized by day (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Days 4/5), families can easily adapt and rearrange the lessons to fit their own time needs and preferences. My daughter especially liked the brainstorming on day 1 each week, the stories on day 3, and the picture books we read based on the suggestions. (She was so excited when she could read one of the picture books during the first week all by herself!) As a parent, I especially like the relevant scriptures for the specific concepts we were discussing each week, as well as the video stories and audio supplements provided online in the member portal.
How Does The Homeschool Kit Build Generous Hearts?
Generous Family hopes to help families shift perspective into a new way of thinking as we develop a lifestyle of generosity. That seems like a big ask, but the Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit presents 26 lessons to help parents attain this goal. Here are some of the benefits I’ve found as I’ve reviewed the curriculum:
- It reinforces Christ-like values to identify and study. Generous Family has captured seven main aspects of generosity that covers the values my kids need to develop.
- It shares relevant scriptures to study for each value. So much of my time is saved from researching and cross-referencing to find them myself.
- It highlights positive role models. The people highlighted in Generosity Heroes are scriptural, historical, and also contemporary, and they have each given and loved generously. Some stories focus on one-on-one service and others are more broad. I’d never have found all of these “good news” stories myself!
- It provides family activities for learning about and strengthening kindness and compassion in ourselves. Sometimes it is hard to think outside of the box so these ideas are great references.
- It suggests character-building picture books to read. These really nicely align with the lessons. I love teaching with great picture books! This makes library time so easy — I can just request and pick them up.
With this in hand, I can save a lot of time, but I develop a better understanding of what I can do to study essential positive character traits with my kids.It puts structure and direction to a goal of kindness and compassion in our house.
Values-based Homeschooling Kit for Families
The Generous Students Homeschool Curriculum Kit is designed for the whole family, including older kids! This summer, I have been trying this out with my younger children, and as is often the case, some suggestions work better for younger kids and others would work better for older kids. The scriptures, value-driven discussions, real examples, and faith-based concepts are universal, however!
Watch the video from Generous Family to get even more background on this product!
Use code GIVE20 for $20 off the kit.