Flyte, the new preteen curriculum from Lifeway is described by Lifeway’s Jeff Land on their website as “a curriculum to call their (preteens) own. If you ask them, preteens would tell you they’re not “in between” anything. They are facing puberty, drugs, sex, acceptance, and self-esteem issues every day. They do not need a “sophisticized” children’s curriculum, nor do they need a simplified teen curriculum.
Flyte is a curriculum that’s all theirs, one that speaks to what they’re dealing with right now-not what’s past or in their future. Preteen experts-namely, preteens themselves-weighed in on the energy, movement, and excitement of Flyte during its development so that key biblical concepts are not only grasped, but applied, to issues like eating disorders, puberty, sex, bullying, emotions, family relationships, and more.”
Having been sent by Lifeway a sample lesson of the curriculum, I thought I would try it out on my own “experts” – the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade critics I teach every week.
But first, a brief outline of the curriculum. Lifeway’s website explains “Each session of Flyte is centered on a particular question. The full 2 year scope and sequence can be found on the website, but the following from the website lays out the map well.
During the faith. portion of the session, preteens will learn GOD’S ANSWER to the question through a blblically-rich study. Preteens are encouraged to dig deep into God’s Word to discover His answer.
During the life. portion of the session, preteens will learn the WORLD’S ANSWER to the session question. It became clear to the preteen team that most of the time in church, we tell preteens God’s answers, but never tell them that most of the world is going to disagree. This section will help preteens learn about how the world views a particular question or topic.
During the together. portion of the session, preteens will develop their OWN ANSWER to the session question based on the God’s Word. Hopefully, now, not only will they know God’s answer, they will OWN it and DO it. They will be prepared to respond to the world about the session topic with several simple, easy-to-remember statements. Prayerfully, over the course of two years, preteens will develop their own biblical worldview based on God’s unchanging word!
This was very impressive to me. They really seem to be empowering these kids to think and understand and own their faith. I am very impressed with the idea that kids will be equipped with responses to the world about the topic! Way to cover them in the armor of God!
The class is set up well and easy to follow. The topics are unified from week to week, but can be used as a stand alone unit. Each session begins with an overview and bible study for teachers that includes the memory verse. The “Getting Started” section starts with a countdown, intro video, and game followed by an activity to introduce the question. The Faith. section has the bible study and the memory verse, both using the learner magazine. The lessons seem to go back and forth between activities and the magazine, keeping the magazine edgy and exciting for them. The life. section involves activities, discussion, and usage of the magazine to discover the world’s view. The together. section then challenges them to discover their personal response to the question. Finally, giving them the statements needed to support their position on the topic. There is a column on the side of each page that tells you exactly what you need to have prepared for the class everything is included in the kit, no searching high and low for props.
The video and graphics are awesome. There is plenty of “cool” teen like stuff and some “silly” kid like stuff. A good balance for kids this age who vacillate between being a kid and being a teen. One video is a rock song to scripture and looks like a graphic novel. Another, is a stop motion about a family of rocks and a family of cell phones, a mixture of pop culture, and silliness. There are plenty of videos as well, 35 total for the 13 sessions!
The leader kit is $89.95 and includes the leader guide, a learner magazine, the CD-ROM and the DVD. This could be a little pricey for some churches. The learner magazine is $4.95 per student. Again, with 4 quarters a year this could be pricey for some churches. Additional leader guides sell for $9.95, but there is a free app for the leaders guides for ipad and iphones — huge bonus!
Finally, here it is some comments from our experts.
“The cover of the magazine is “awesome.”
“The video was really “awesome.”
The lesson was “fun” and “awesome.”
I guess I will have to listen to the experts and say this curriculum is “awesome”. To read between the lines, I watched them as they engaged in the relative questions, and worked through the lesson coming away confident in their conclusion. They laughed and got silly, had a good time working together, and seemed to really enjoy the videos as well as the magazines. Seems most preteen curriculum doesn’t give ownership to the kids. But Flyte truly allows them to understand God’s answer, the world’s view and their response – their OWN response, to the question. What more could we ask for than to have our preteens OWN their faith!
You can learn more about FLYTE on LifeWay’s website.