For the next 9 weeks the seniors will be partnered with a fellow classmate to complete the unit on marriage and family. The seniors were assigned to a socioeconomic status which they will have to work in and base their budgets on for the wedding, honeymoon, and month-to-month living expenses for the first year of "marriage."
The students kicked this off with a speed dating session to find their student partner. The next 9 weeks will be broken down into three stages: dating (1 week), engagement/pre-marital counseling (3 weeks), and marriage. During the week on dating we will talk about the purpose of dating. For engagement, we will talk about what goes into a marriage. Finally, we will begin marriage with the Senior Wedding, a tradition here at Pine Tree Academy. During this segment, we will discuss what it means to be married, have a family, and be a parent. This will culminate with the baby project, for which the students will carry around a 10 lb. sack of flour for a week.
Because in a relationship "what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine," and because a relationship must be a cooperation between the two individuals as one, the student partners will be dependent on each other for their grades. If one slacks off, both fail.
The purpose of this project is not to scare students away from relationships or parenting - in other words this isn't a scared straight program to deter teen pregnancy. The purpose of this project is to give the students a fuller understanding of dating, relationships, and marriage, and how to foster a relationship that lasts based on love that is patient, kind, and selfless.
I'm excited about starting this with the students and the students are feeling pumped as well. Please pray for the students as they complete their projects that they would understand what and who "true love" truly is.
-Jonathan Gantt, Bible Teacher