The first thing I did when I received RECON was to read the author's letter. It stated that I will best understand the curriculum by first visiting their web site's "About" page. He suggests reading this information prior to teaching any lessons. Click HERE to go directly to that page.
Once I had a grasp of the overall intent of RECON, I was ready to dig into the materials. I received the Teacher's Manual along with one copy of the Student Workbook. Comprised of 72 worldview lessons in a 434 page book, the Teacher's Manual has a wealth of information. The Student Book is much smaller, weighing in at 166 pages. Both are spiral bound with covers that wear well.
Aimed at training Christian high school juniors and seniors in spiritual warfare, while also training them to reach out to international students they're likely to encounter on their college campus' in the future, RECON covers such topics as pantheism, materialism, Islam, cultural trends, evangelism, suffering in the world, our position in Christ, walking in the Spirit, and much, much more. Each lesson has a Teaching Objective and a Learning Objective. For example, in the lesson for Day 34, the Teaching Objective is to "explain God's perspective on and purpose for suffering, and reinforce a biblical worldview of time." The Learning Objective is that "students will learn how agreeing with God's perspective for suffering and purpose for suffering can redeem it." This lesson teaches on 1 John 3:1-2, Romans 8:18-21, touches on a book written by Edith Schaeffer, references 1 Peter 4:14 & 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, and uses a grid to explore suffering in the past, present, and future. Each lesson is very in-depth, and takes 30-45 minutes to complete. Some parents may feel comfortable handing their child both the Teacher's Guide and the Student Workbook and letting them plug away at the lessons, but I strongly suggest you be totally immersed in this curriculum with your child. There is simply too much content covering too many serious topics to leave your student to figure it all out on their own.
When my 18-year-old daughter and I did the lesson for Day 1, we both had mixed feelings. The content was very interesting and valuable for spiritual insight. But the method for learning the material wasn't our favorite. Fill-in-the-blanks while mom reads aloud just isn't her cup of tea. But as I stated previously, this isn't curriculum I wanted her completing on her own. So starting with Day 2, we adapted the lessons to suit our personal preferences and needs. As we progressed through RECON, I was very glad we were working together in this way. I found myself "tweaking" the lessons here and there. Bible study has always been a subject my children do each day for school, so you can imagine we've used a LOT of different curriculum over the last 15 years with our 5 kids. My husband I lead our church's youth group, and I headed up our church's children's ministry for 6 years prior to our move into youth ministry. So I *think* I have the qualifications to say that while this is a very solid curriculum, which has obviously had many hours of work and research poured into it, it is a whole lot for the average homeschool family to complete. Most curriculum guides are not written with consideration to all the grade levels and all the subjects that homeschool moms deal with each day ~ and we know that we have to make adjustments in order to get everything done. For RECON to actually be implemented in it's most beneficial manner, parents should feel free to make necessary adjustments. For us, that meant doing the lessons together, and sometimes combining lessons. And I "nixed" what didn't align with our belief system. (My own disclaimer here is that I am a very high-truth person, married to a man who was saved out of a cult - so the seriousness with which I take God's Word can be a little intense for some people. I made adjustments that may well be unnecessary for most other families.)
As a mom and a youth leader, I think I would like to say this curriculum being taught much earlier than 11th & 12th grade. According to research conducted by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, intensive worldview training in the middle school years is vital at this stage in post-Christian America. I would love to see RECON develop workbooks for middle school children in addition to the workbook for high schoolers.
As someone who works with teens all the time in addition to homeschooling my own kids, I can say that what they need is MORE meat from God's Word; MORE challenges to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus; MORE hard teachings from the spiritual leaders in their lives. Use RECON for this aim, digging into the Word yourself as parent and teacher, pray over your children with great earnestness - and you will be preparing them for life not only on a college campus, but beyond that season and into their post-college lives.
Visit their website to learn more or to purchase ~ www.ReconWeb.com
RECON is available in print version through Lulu. $12.99 for the Student Workbook and $21.95 for the Teacher's Manual.
To read what other Crew members have to say about RECON, click HERE .
Lord bless you as you teach your children straight from God's Word!
Day 235 done :)
Jan L. Burt