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Against the Tide: A Curriculum Guide to Raising Virtuous Children in Today's World (Middle School) Review by Kris Price

Julie Hiramine and Megan Briggs
Generations of Virtue
16182 Timber Meadow Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80908

I am entering a phase of parenthood that I knew would come but haven't really prepared for yet. The promotion of sex in our society is rampant-it is heard in the latest music and seen on TV, movies, and even video games. My husband and I sometimes feel that we have a great weight on our shoulders as we try to help our kids navigate this treacherous path! How will we do it? What books, tapes, or videos will we use to help our children understand the expectations we have of them? Will we be able to help them understand that their purity is a gift from God and worth guarding until marriage?
When I saw this book come up on the review list, I was praying that I would be able to grab it! Against the Tide is available in two versions: elementary and middle school. I will be reviewing the middle school product, which is geared for grades 5-8 (or ages 10-14). According to the Generations of Virtue website,

This curriculum guide is for 10- to 14-year olds and, like its predecessor for elementary-aged children, highlights when and how to use resources we believe are necessary to establish virtuous behavior in your children. The middle school years are a pivotal time in the shaping of your child's convictions, body image, relationship with figures of authority and others, and more. This guide will help parents and children through the resources we have found to be the best-suited at promoting virtuous behavior in young people. Also included with this guide are free updates every year in order to keep you posted on the new, up-to-date resources we feel are most beneficial.
Books recommended in the guide include Beautiful Girlhood, Polished Cornerstones, Boyhood and Beyond, Passport to Purity, Knights, Maidens and Dragons, and many more great resources for use in teaching about purity.
The guide is set up by grade level, and then the books (or tapes, DVDs, etc.) are divided by gender. The authors have even gone so far as to recommend certain pages and/or chapters that need to be covered with your child. They also point out warnings about certain sections in several books. I appreciate that the authors did not throw out a good book because of a chapter or two. Instead, they chose to recommend that book with caution, and it is up to the parents to decide what is best for their family. There are also several books that are recommended for both boys and girls. The Against the Tide guide also includes discussion questions for use with Knights, Maidens and Dragons as well as a schedule for covering the material in Passport to Purity during a parent/child weekend retreat. A lot of thought has been put into writing this wonderful resource! It's not just a listing of books to use, but you are told why and how to use the books with your children.

Each grade-level section of the Against the Tide guide begins with several memory verses to be studied. What a nice touch! The last list in each yearly curriculum guide gives recommended books for parents to read. Once again, the authors point out the highlights of the books and explain why they have included them as good resources. Several of the books are recommended for multiple years because children mature at different rates. So the authors are leaving the final decision for use up to the parent. A complete list of recommended books without grade divisions is included in the back index. The purchaser of the guide is also able to access updates about recommended resources each spring via the Generations of Virtue website (login info is given in the guide).

I already own several of the books listed in Against the Tide and was happy to see that I am already thinking along the same lines as the authors. However, I would not have been able to come up with such a nice list on my own, and I am glad that they have taken the time and done all of this for me! I can use their recommendations and descriptions of each resource to determine if a book would be good for use in our home. The only addition that I would like to see in the guide is the ISBN# for each book. It would make it quicker to find each book, especially if I want to order it from a local bookstore. I would be assured that I am buying the specific book recommended in the guide. The guide retails for a low $9.99, and I believe the price is well worth it for the amount of information you get in this 49-page, spiral-bound guide.

Product review by Kris Price, Assistant to the Publisher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2006