Originally Published February 10, 2021
“We need people who are listening closely to God and following his lead. We need people who know the word of God and will follow, even if it costs them everything. We need to raise up a generation who will be light in a dark world, and that requires facilitating a relationship with the Father so that when our children encounter the burning bush, they take off their shoes and listen.”
Jennifer Pepito poses this amazing assertion at the beginning of The Good Gospel.
That’s where I stopped. I stopped reading for a moment and let it sink in.
The perfectly worded statement of my own heart. Yes, we need to raise a generation who can hear and see and know Him and His ways. We cannot be lax in our discipleship.
As I moved on in the materials, as a mother my heart was immediately gripped by the absolute beauty and simplicity of this guide. Come and let’s take a closer look at it together.
Opening our days with a hymn has been a part of our family rhythm since early marriage. The simple songs and the heartbeat of these materials are easy to incorporate into any home, not just a Sunday School class. The Good Gospel encourages the children to come together in a circle and worship in song. After songs, a story and station activities invite all the children to participate fully in the story and its lesson for us now.
Beginning with Letter A, the story of precious Mary hearing the news that she would bring forth a baby is shared beautifully for the children. She was frightened, but an angel told her not to be. Every child can relate to this!
One thing I love about this curriculum is that the questions are there for you. Jennifer has provided 2-4 open-ended questions to help the children ponder the story and how it relates to them.
After hearing the story, everyone is invited to pray and listen. Calm, instrumental music settles busy minds and moments are provided, encouraging our littlest ones to hear from God. The beauty of this curriculum is in its practicality. Whether implemented in your own home, or at a church, the children are learning how to have a relationship with God and how to do it for themselves!
Who came to Mary? An angel, of course! So it is only right to provide a halo for each student to remind themselves of the special messenger from Heaven who commanded Mary to fear not. Pipe cleaners and hands, that is all that is needed for this one. I imagine the children will enjoy wearing their halos as much as they like making them!
Fine Art and Memory Work
You can complete the lesson components in whatever order suits your group. There is a memory verse, phonics/letter activity, picture study, copywork, and drawing space, as well as a craft, benediction, and declaration for each week. Setting up stations is suggested and this method will help the students take responsibility for their own spiritual journey.
The methodology is a gift in itself.
The Charlotte Mason philosophy of education has become a signature for many homeschool families, but did you know that it was initially a cottage school model? There were hired, trained teachers in the methodology, and the students were from families of working parents, who would have otherwise been in the British school system. That said, a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum works so well for group study. Offering beauty, dedicated time for discussion and narration, copywork and music is beneficial to all children. The Good Gospel provides a framework for preschool and kindergarten Sunday school teachers to include timeless pedagogy in the all too often overstimulating environment that is typical.
Furthermore, this guide includes a lot of Montessori influence. The practice of giving children ownership of their learning, encouraging lesson stations where they understand the expectations but have their own work to complete near peers and without teacher intervention unless requested, are gleaned from Dr. Montessori’s efforts to nurture self-awareness and discovery during learning.
Blending these two approaches brings beauty and depth to this practical set of lessons.
At church or at home, you will love The Good Gospel.
At our dining room table, we sing, we memorize, we pray, and we learn. Conversations are deep and the love is deeper still. The Good Gospel would fit perfectly in our morning cart. Sandwiched right in with Mozart and Longfellow, Shakespeare and Gainsborough. It can be used once weekly or taken in smaller bites daily. Everything can be adjusted in The Peaceful Press materials and that is one of my favorite parts of these curriculums. All of The Peaceful Press curriculums are guides, not rigid standards, and dictated scripts to be done an exact way in exact order.
I hope you will consider including The Good Gospel in your days, or recommending it to your Pastor. You won’t be disappointed.