Please know, although I received this curriculum for free and was compensated for my time to review, this post is my own opinion entirely.
My son has very specific, very selective areas of focus.
If you have been around here for any length of time, you have likely seen pictures of countless reptiles and fish. You have also probably heard me complain more than once about yet another cooking project and/or trip to the aquarium store. And you know my bank account has felt the strain of one too many computer builds.
The truth is, my son spends a very large percentage of his life pursuing the topics that are deeply interesting and meaningful to him. This is true for his personal time. It is true in how we approach his schooling. It is a factor in every single conversation he has with friends. His fixations are, quite frankly, how he has structured his life.
There have been so many amazing benefits to this – ones that I didn’t see at first in the haze of “Why does he want to talk for two hours about snakes in the middle of the night,” and “We are do not have space for another aquarium or terrarium in this house.”
He connects to the world through his interests.
He works to overcome obstacles like sensory processing issues and confusing social norms, in an effort to pursue his passions.
He makes progress on every developmental level because of his interests.
And as he gets older, it is becoming clear that his perseverations will likely be his best shot at employment and independence as an adult.
This course is grounded in the premise that work can, and should be, looked at as an aspect of our “calling” and relationship with God.
And, more importantly, it provides opportunities for discussion and growth as a family, as the student works through the material.
I rarely utilize these types of curriculum opportunities, mostly because they so rarely seem to fit my children’s educational needs. Understanding God’s Calling is completely different. I jumped at the chance to have a curriculum support what I already find myself speaking to all the time.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Even with autism. Even with dyslexia.
Your differences do not mean more than your strengths. In fact, your strengths are gifts from God.
I can’t wait to see how God will use you in this world.
I say it, but I am not sure my children really accept it or believe it. Most of the time, they look at me blankly, as if to say, “Of course you say that. You are my mom.”
Having an entire course dedicated to the topic of God’s calling, and how our everyday work fits into his kingdom, seems so important to stress in educating my boys – especially because of their unique needs.
We started the course a few weeks ago and here is what has impressed me so far.
IFWE’s Understanding God’s Calling Course
Ease in Accommodating Ages and Special Needs
The material is well-organized and specific. I love this. I find that more information, and options for learning activities, make it so much easier to pick and choose what I feel is most appropriate for my sons and their needs. Each module includes a description of Key Ideas, Scripture Readings, Study Questions, Group or Family Activities, and a Summary. This allows me to easily determine what to cover, and how to modify it to accommodate my son’s learning challenges. Honestly, this is a much more comprehensive course than I could ever hope to complete, as is, cover to cover given my sons’ ages and circumstances. The beauty is that it is easy to pick and choose what I want us to spend time on, and then simply move on to the next topic.
Scriptural References on Work and Calling
Every module has a list of biblical references for the topics being discussed. I am learning so much from this study, just from the scripture readings alone. The course begins with an emphasis on faithfulness. After exploring definitions and different aspects of calling, the modules include lessons on the history of work, the biblical meaning of success, and applying all of this to our lives. It’s a beautiful study of God’s design and plan for work.
Family Activities Included
This is absolutely my favorite part! Each lesson includes a section with a ‘Family Activity.’ Although I am using this course specifically with my 13-year-old, we have had some wonderful family conversations around God’s design, our different strengths, and how God’s plan includes my sons’ unique brains. My ten-year-old has been just as engaged in these discussions, and it has been a great way to open up an ongoing dialog with both of my sons. (Also, let me keep it real here. If your children are anything like mine, a typical “Bible Study” might present some challenges. I am finding that this feels like such a personal topic, that both of my often resistant learners are much more engaged.)
Overall, I feel so much more equipped to have these types of conversations around God’s unique design and calling for my boys, because of my own study of this course. If you think this would be something that could benefit you and your older learner, I encourage you to take a look at these free downloadable lessons (they also include a code for 30% off should you decide to purchase).
In addition to the free sample lessons, now through June 15th, 2016, you can Get 50% OFF all IFWE homeschool curriculum, with code HSBLOG50.