Homeschooling is all about relationships. How often I forget that when I’m in over my head with laundry, my kid’s math problems, dinner plans, grocery lists, and housework. I so easily get distracted by the little to-do list in my head that I forget about what’s most important. Having close relationships with my kids is key to growing children into adults who know and love Jesus. And that’s the whole reason I homeschool.
Over the past few weeks my husband and son, 12, have had the opportunity to focus on their relationship and grow closer together using the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.
Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit
Manhood Journey is a program for fathers and their sons. This six week course is a non-denominational, Bible-based approach to building young men through the discipleship and mentorship of fathers. It features guided Biblical discussion with fun, hands-on, interactive activities. Men can include other young men in their lives – nephews, neighbors, or friends. Manhood Journey can be done with one father and son, or in a group of dads and sons. Young men without an engaged dad can be brought in by a caring man who wants to pour into their lives.
There are a total of six modules in Manhood Journey – Embarking, Working Well, Manhood Myths, Clean Hearts, Standing Strong, and Leading Lessons. We received the first module, Embarking, which included everything needed for a dad to start his own group.
The Manhood Journey Father’s Kit included:
- group discussion guide
- one-on-one discussion guide
- brochures for inviting other dads and sons to join a group
- dvd with a brief summary of what is in each module
- Wise Guys written by Manhood Journey co-founder Kent Evans
Thoughts and Usage
written by my husband…
Manhood Journey is set up so that it can be done with or without a group. In our case, my son and I did this on our own, so I didn’t spend any time with the group guide. I was a little concerned that my son would see this as a boring set of questions and not want to do it at all. However, shortly after we received the starter kit, he had an assignment for writing where he had to interview me to find out what I do for my job. We had so much fun going over the interview questions together, that he decided it would be a lot of fun to ask each other questions for the Manhood Journey.
When you think of the Manhood Journey discussions, picture Andy Griffith with his son Opie sitting out on the porch in the evening–talking about life, what’s going on at school, problems that Opie is facing, how to be a good man. That’s the essence of the one-on-one discussions. It’s an opportunity for me as a dad to get to know my son better, and lead him in the only direction for becoming a good man–toward Jesus. And the great thing is that we don’t have to sit around staring at each other while asking awkward questions.
The program is divided into six sessions:
- Week 1: Preparing for the Journey
- Week 2: Setting Out on the Journey
- Week 3: Relying on the Compass
- Week 4: Seeking Guidance Along the Way
- Week 5: Encountering Others Along the Journey
- Week 6: We Have Embarked
Each session has scriptures to read and discussion questions to talk through. My son really liked the hands-on drawing activities that were included in some of the sessions. He has a special notebook that he keeps his notes and doodles in.
We have really enjoyed every session we’ve done together! We spent most of the first session drawing pictures of the “Five Big Rocks” (a godly man…1. Trusts God, 2. Knows his Word, 3. Prays Fervently, 4. Builds relationships, and 5. Serves others). It didn’t take us long to memorize these characteristics of a godly man and we had fun talking about them and comparing our pictures. During another session we had Bible drills to race to be the first one to find the verses we were looking up. And my son worked on Legos while we talked. I’ve been trying to adapt each session to make it enjoyable for my son so that he doesn’t get bored or overwhelmed. Keeping things light and fun have been helping us stay the course.
One of the great things about Manhood Journey is that there aren’t a bunch of things that you have to accomplish in a specific order for this to be a meaningful time. There is extra content, so you can choose which questions and activities make the most sense based on the age and personality of your son (or sons since a dad can do this with all of his sons at the same time). Also, extra activities like spending a little time tossing the football are encouraged! This curriculum was obviously written by a man, who knows that us guys (young and old) feel a lot more comfortable talking to each other when it’s tied to an activity that we enjoy doing.
I am really looking forward to going through the rest of the Embarking module together, and the other modules all sound great as well.
One other note. I have only read the first couple chapters of the Wise Guys book so far, but it is already challenging me to be a more godly man. I had never heard of Kent Evans before, and the book title isn’t something that would normally have piqued my interest. However, I have been very impressed so far with the wisdom that Kent is sharing in this book, and he does it in a very engaging way.