There are many ways to start the homeschool day. One way is to begin with a time of spiritual reflection and discussion using lessons in Freedom Ride: 12 Lessons of Faith for Today’s Teens by Christianity Cove.
Recent studies show that an alarming number of young people walk away from their faith during their teen and college years. The only way to counteract this trend is to help kids learn how to build their own relationship with God, nurture a vital prayer life, minister in their community, and find ways to impact the world around them in a unique way with their individual God-given gifts and talents.
Freedom Ride: 12 Lessons of Faith for Today’s Teens is intended for use in Sunday School classes, and many of the activities and discussion topics work best in a group setting. However, homeschoolers are quite creative when it comes to adapting a variety of resources to fit their home education needs. These lessons can be used as a 45-60 minute Bible class with a group of kids in a co-op situation, or use part of the lesson as a short 30-minute devotional with your teens, or incorporate the suggested dialogues as conversation starters through the week.
We received Freedom Ride for this review as an 83-page .pdf download that includes preparation info, a materials list, printable pages, the lesson script, and ideas for student involvement with “Help All Week” exercises to help kids form good habits. Lesson titles are:
- How to Get Started: Building a Sincere & Awesome Relationship with God
- How to Talk with God (& not break out in hives and actually enjoy yourself)
- How to Hear God (& not scoot under the bed or break out in more hives)
- 3 Reasons We Don’t Hear God (& how to get the wax out of your ears)
- Following God’s Leading (& not ending up in Catawangawanga)
- How to Behave: Keeping it Real All Week (especially Friday & Saturday night)
- Loadies, Cokeheads, Drunks, Stoners (& the psychology of stooping so low)
- Gossips & Other Trumpet Mouths (& how not to join the band)
- Peer Pressure 1: You’re Not a Zit (so don’t let people squeeze you)
- Peer Pressure 2: You’re like a Balloon (so don’t end up deflated)
- Facebook Fights & Texting Wars (& how not to get your face blown off)
- How to Grow: Getting Beyond the Self Esteem Wars
- Finding Your Gifts from God (& therefore some meaning in life)
- Putting Yourself in the Other Guys’ Shoes (& not catching his foot fungus)
- Loving Your Brothers ‘n Sisters (even when you feel like clobbering each other)
As you can tell by the chapter titles, the approach has a young, casual, hip, and contemporary edge. If you and your kids enjoy this tone and method of Bible study, you will enjoy Freedom Ride. While I personally use quite a bit of slang and goofy metaphors in my every day speech, we take a more serious tone when we do our Bible studies. We also prefer the reverent and eloquent language of the King James Version. I used Freedom Ride as fuel for conversation, reading the lesson to them and asking them if they agreed or disagreed with the points presented, the illustrations and object lessons, and the application of Scriptural principles.
Maybe you’ve looked at the chapter titles and thought “My teens don’t go to public school and face intense peer pressure, or hang around other kids in trouble with drugs, sex, or criminal activity”. I know I don’t worry very much about loadies and stoners in my kid’s lives now, but that will not always be the case. I don’t know when those kinds of issues will arise in their lives, or in their friend’s lives. If you feel uncertain about how to begin these tough conversations, Freedom Ride has some helpful suggestions for how to present reasons for your children to think twice before giving in to those temptations.
Some of these topics will go over the heads of younger kids, but several are still applicable, especially to tweens just entering the physical and emotional tug-of-war of puberty.
When you click on the embedded link to purchase Freedom Ride, ($29) you will first see an audiovisual presentation about the reason and inspiration for Freedom Ride and other products by Christianity Cove. If you don’t want to listen/watch it, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Order “Freedom Ride” Teen Lesson Plans link, which takes you directly to the secure order page.