The teenage years are a delicate time of exploration, learning and growing independence. As your children begin to learn what they believe for themselves, most parents would like for their children to have a trusted guide for the journey. For me, that’s where Prasso Ministries comes in. I received the opportunity to review the Teen Prasso Teacher’s Manual and the Teen Prasso Homework Manual, and even though my oldest child is ten, I eagerly took them up on the opportunity.
What I Received
I received both the Teen Prasso teacher’s manual and the homework manual. The teacher manual contains teacher hints, outlines for creating powerpoint lectures, scripted lessons, and a continuous story for 13 weeks of lessons. Everything you need to successfully teach the lesson lecture and to manage the personalities in your group is included in the manual.
The student manual has twelve weeks of Bible study homework for your students. Each week contains:
- five days of homework
- a day 6 rethink where students are encouraged to go back to the week’s lessons and pull out the most important or meaningful lesson that they learned each day
- Questions for group discussion so that students can prep their answers in advance.
The student manual is almost 200 pages long and is a workbook that students can complete and has plenty of room for their answers.
Lesson topics include God as your Father, God’s love, Satan, peer pressure, anger, forgiveness, pride, selfishness, and focusing on the right things.
How I Used This Product
I knew before I received this product that I planned on using it just for me. I didn’t feel like Firecracker was quite ready yet. Some of the topics on different peer pressures, anger and pride were ones that I felt were just a couple of years beyond his understanding. So, I went through and completed the lessons in the student book myself as my daily quiet time over the course of this review.
I also read the lessons straight through in the teacher manual as lectures for me. However, I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to prepare and teach through the first lesson in the teacher book with my Sunday school class in-between Sunday school series.
My Opinion on This Product
Prasso is a Greek word that means “to practice,” and it refers to a habitual or repeated action. That seems to be the perfect term to describe this program. There was nothing new for me in this program as far as Biblical knowledge goes, but I really made some breakthroughs personally in dealing with anger and offering forgiveness to other people as I allowed the practices of this Bible study to inhabit my day.
There’s a fair amount of scripture copying in these lessons. Often, the student has to copy two or three verses as part of their daily lesson before they give an opinion on what God is telling them through these verses. I found that to be so helpful in interacting with the scripture as I copied the verses, and it really allowed me to internalize what God was saying to me each day in the scriptures. I felt like that was a key to me being able to let these scriptures speak to my life.
I also really liked the teaching manual. The lessons are each broken into segments of message interspersed with a continuous story about two brothers who are on a very eventful trip hiking through the Rocky Mountains. The story was suspenseful enough that even I wanted to peek ahead and see what would happen to these two brothers as we went through the remaining lessons!
As a teacher, the lessons are flexible. You can choose to use the script. You can take the outline and create your own lesson based on the outline points and scriptures you need to cover. The teacher’s manual lets you know about videos that you can find online to use with your class, graphics you can search for to liven up your powerpoint, and even tells you ahead of time when you’ll need to prepare for object lessons. I love that!
I taught the introductory lesson to my students in Sunday school one week when I was between series in Sunday school. They’re still mad at me for not telling them more about the story of the two brothers! They found the whole lesson to be extremely engaging, both the teaching part and the story.
This would be great for a small group curriculum, either in a Bible study or in a church small group as a semester class. It’s very Biblically based and would function wonderfully as discipleship material for teenagers. Because the focus is on practicing God’s word, as opposed to building Bible knowledge, it’s just as wonderful a study for the new Christian as it is for the church kid who “knows-it-all.”
Another thing I really appreciated as a teacher was the teaching instructions in the front for managing small group discussion time. This instruction provided instruction for how to ask discussion questions as well as how to manage ten different types of group members such as, “the cliche,” “the monopolizer,” and “the debater.” I’ve facilitated several ladies Bible studies in the past, and truth be told, I’m taking these hints with me going forward because I’ve never known what to do with these ladies when they appear in my group. This page of hints has really helped me to improve my approach as a discussion group facilitator.
In the end, I give this Bible study my highest recommendation. It’s Biblical, uses scripture compared with scripture as the standard for interpretation, focuses on obedience to scripture instead of just head knowledge, and allows for building a firm discipleship of Biblical practice and belief for your students. It’s healing and allows the Holy Spirit space to work. I will definitely be using it with my children as they come of age to use it. I also hope to eventually use it in a small group setting, and in the meantime, will be recommending it to the high school parents that I come in contact with.