Projects for Sons on the Road to Manhood
Filled with hundreds of practical activities and Bible studies, this book can be used with boys of all ages. Among the many features are goal sheets for organizing your thoughts, charts for Bible study, thoughts for parents with questions to consider about each topic, and an appendix listing all memory verses in the King James Version.
In the introduction to parents, Mrs. Forster stresses that the projects listed in the book are only ideas and that parents need to pick and choose the activities appropriate for their family. You can add additional activities as you desire. The fact that this book requires parents to spend time with their sons is stressed because this book is not something that you hand to your son and say "do it". The activities can be used in addition to school or in place of assignments at times. If an activity relates to a school subject, that is noted after the activity.
Patterned after II Peter 1: 5-7 which tells us to add to our faith the following items in this order: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, this book has activities listed under topics for each area. While it is recommended that you follow this book in the order topics are listed, you could also skip around and find this book beneficial.
Leadership and government studies are listed under virtue. While studying government, the student may study scripture passages and list the qualifications for a king, study the basic hierarchy of state and federal government, study the state education code, attend public testimony hearings in legislative sessions, look up "civil service" in a topical Bible and study the passages listed, participate in a political campaign, outline the basic philosophy of each political party, or any one of 33 other choices. The parents are asked to consider if their son can identify the president and other representatives that are in government, spot misleading humanist thinking in the media, understand the campaign and election process, and pray for government leaders.
One topic included in the temperance section is self-control over the tongue. There are 23 project ideas in this section, along with two charts for Bible studies. One chart is for "Sinful Speech in the Bible". You read about various people and list what they said and the consequences of their speech. "Biblical Instruction About Our Speech" provides space to record what we should and shouldn't do and lists the verse references for each of these instructions. The parents section asks parents to think about whether their son mocks or criticizes others, is sarcastic in his speech, tells the truth about someone's faults with the intent of harming their reputation, or whines and complains.
While Plants Grown Up is full of useful activities to use with all ages of students, it is important to note that many of these activities require resources from Doorposts and other suppliers. These activities are easy to recognize because the resource is listed in bold print. There is a section listing suppliers' addresses in the back of the book. The recommended resources appear to be easy to locate and purchase and are often reused in later sections. However, it would be possible to skip the activities requiring additional resources and still receive a lot of benefit from this book.
Over 500 pages long, with 46 chapters and more than 50 Bible study and meditation charts, this is a remarkable resource book for any family that wants ideas for developing their own curriculum or supplementing what they already use. I applaud Doorposts for designing a book that can be personalized to meet the needs of each child in the family.