Finding a homeschool Bible curriculum that blends together Biblical teachings with practical ways to deal with real-world issues is difficult. So, when I came across one that not only did that but also inspired my kids to look at the world in a socially responsible way, I was thrilled.
As a parent, it is my ultimate goal to teach my children to be servants of the Lord. This isn't merely teaching them to be moral individuals who attend worship services and tithe regularly. This means actually serving the people God created - those who are poor, hungry, thirsty and helpless. It means that we must go outside our homes and help those who need our help.
But, that is so much easier said than done. Many times we want to help but have no idea where to begin or where we would be most effective. And, as much as I don't want to admit this, we don't always see the pain others are experiencing. This is the certainly the case for noticing food insecurity in the wealthiest country in the world.
That's why we chose to study Hunger in America and the effects it has on children.
Be The Hands Homeschool Bible Curriculum
This year we are trying out a brand-new program from Be The Hands. I was intrigued by this new curriculum because it teaches global issues from a biblical perspective. Often we are so absorbed in our own lives and micro-communities, that we forget that there is a great big world out there where people are experiencing life in a very different way. This homeschool bible curriculum helps children to build a biblical worldview. Through interactive, hands-on projects, kids can try to experience some of the difficulties people who are not as fortunate deal with on a daily basis.
Be The Hands uses questions and activities to help children think critically (and also compassionately) about real-world issues. They read about situations and discuss ways that they and others can help alleviate some of the burden. They have to use critical thinking skills to draw conclusions and analyze multiple points of view.
And it all starts with a Myth.
A Look Inside this Homeschool Bible Curriculum
Each unit starts with the myths we believe. Does the most food-rich country in the world really have a hunger problem? Do Americans actually throw away enough food each year to provide meals to millions? Do we have a problem in our community with hunger?
After finding the answers to these questions and more, we learn what the facts are. But, we don't just learn the facts. We learn ways that we can help through volunteering, education, and organizations that provide help to those in need.
Student notebooks are available and specifically designed to work in conjunction with online resources provided in the program. These notebooks include a devotional time, guided internet research, thought-provoking discussions and activities, and an optional novel study for older grades.
The teacher's manual is all you need to teach multiple students. It includes pictures of the pages from each age group with detailed instructions on what online resources are needed, points to be discussed, and optional extension activities. It is easy to follow and requires minimal extra effort on the teacher's part.
Hunger in America Unit Study
We chose the Hunger in America Unit to begin our homeschool Bible curriculum this year. My kids and I have been continuously surprised at the information we have learned. It has created an atmosphere that allows us to talk about big ideas, our thoughts and, sometimes, our fears.
One of our projects involved creating a grocery list for the week using the budget of a food-insecure family.
We came up with 21 meals for the week. Part of the discussion was how to create 21 meals that we each liked to eat, were healthy and were not too pricey. Then we went to the grocery store and priced each of our ingredients for our meals.
When we came home, we totaled up our expenses. It turns out that even when we chose generic items and gave up some of our favorite snacks, we were still over budget.
This wasn't just eye-opening to the kids. It was eye-opening to me, as well.
This curriculum has been just what we needed to help us see some of the hunger issues we have in our community and among our friends. We don't worry about where our next meal is coming from, but others do, and they don't always look or act the way we expect.
It also has helped us see how we fit into our global society. But, most importantly, it has enabled us to look at how we can help serve those who need us and at the same time become servants for the Lord.