Building a culture of life, one student at a time
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Culture of Life Studies Program?
The Culture of Life Studies Program is an educational initiative that gives educators the tools they need to teach about pro-life topics and the sanctity of every human being’s life in every subject and at every grade level from preschool through high school.
The Culture of Life Studies Program strives to build a culture of life by helping students to understand the value of every human being and by inspiring a new generation of young people who will defend preborn children, respect all human beings from creation to death, and speak the truth with confidence in defense of the innocent.
What is a culture of life?
In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Saint John Paul II defines the culture of life as the recognition of the sacredness and value of every human being’s life from the very first moment of creation until death and that works to defend every human being as a gift from God. Someone who lives out the culture of life in the way that God intended sees every human being as a gift, regardless of size, age, beauty, ability, or any other criterion, and treats other people with love, respect, and dignity. A person who fully lives out the culture of life is aware of his surroundings and seeks to maintain peace, defend the innocent, and preserve the beauty of creation.
My family is already pro-life. Why do I need this program?
Just like catechetical teachings, pro-life truths must be instilled in our youth at a young age and then reinforced throughout their lives. We know that by living a pro-life life you are already doing a great job showing your children what it means to be pro-life. But just like our Catholic faith, it never hurts to have help along the way to reinforce the core values you are already teaching in your home. We make it easy (we’ve done all the research for you), affordable (with donor support we keep our prices very low), and even fun (with projects that reinforce what you are learning) to keep your family up to date on all that is happening in our culture related to life.
Let’s face it: With our culture waging open war against marriage, the family, preborn children, and people with disabilities, there has never been a greater need for an educational program that teaches students the truth about the value of all human beings, the sacredness of the sacrament of marriage, and the necessity of the family as the building block of society.
What setting is this program designed for?
All of our supplements and materials can be used in schools, homeschools, religious education programs, co-ops, or any other group or classroom setting.
How does the Culture of Life Studies Program handle sensitive issues, like abortion, with younger children?
Because of the innocence of young children, we do not introduce the topic of abortion to children until 5th grade. Instead, we focus on the beauty and inherent value of every human being regardless of age, ability, or appearance—laying the groundwork for more sensitive topics in later grades.
In middle school and beyond, we teach students what abortion is, but instead of dwelling on the harsh realities of the procedure, we emphasize what each student can do in his or her life to build a culture of life.
If abortion does come up with younger children, this blog post has some suggestions for parents about what to say.
Is abortion the only topic you cover?
In order to build a culture of life, we must respect the dignity of all human beings from their creation until death. Abortion is the most dangerous threat to human dignity, so we absolutely put a focus on educating students about the dignity of preborn babies and equipping them to help end abortion, but our program goes way beyond that. We help students to see their own value and dignity. To combat the eugenic mindset that is taking hold in our world, we challenge them to look beyond someone’s appearance, age, or ability and see the beauty in their fellow man. We focus on end-of-life issues and the ever-growing threat that euthanasia poses to our world. We help students and educators live out the culture of life in their everyday lives by teaching selflessness and charity. This is an all-encompassing program that not only educates, but stands to completely transform the culture.
Is this a sex ed/chastity program?
No. There are experts with whom we work who have chastity education covered. At the CSLP we believe that it is parents’ God-given duty and responsibilty to educate their children when it comes to sexuality. That being said, we know that is not always possible, so we do try to equip parents and teachers with the skills and knowledge to teach virtue, including purity. In addition, we focus on the inherent value and dignity of every human being. With the world so intent on destroying the innocence of our children, we focus on protecting that innocence with materials that build students up and protect their minds and hearts.
What is the length of each lesson?
Most of our lessons take between 35 and 50 minutes to complete, depending on the grade level. However, we encourage instructors to extend the lesson to more than one session if engaging discussions ensue. In many of our lessons, there is enough material to spread over multiple days.
Do I need special training to teach this material?
No, you don’t have to be a pro-life expert to teach your students about the culture of life.
Every lesson from the Culture of Life Studies Program is written with the help of pro-life leaders, activists, and experts, as well as teachers and homeschool instructors. All of our discussion questions contain answers so that you do not have to spend your time researching. Many parents and teachers have even admitted that they are happily learning right alongside their students! Each supplement that we produce also includes learning objectives, a lesson overview, and teacher instructions to help the instructor easily plan and teach each lesson.
More Frequently Asked Questions
I teach religious education and the curriculum is set. Do I have to time to fit this in?
The great thing about our program is that you can use pieces of the lessons or take your time and use them in their entirety. We break everything into bite-sized chunks so that you can pick and choose what will work in your classroom. Many religious education instructors tell us they have only 15 minutes or so to actually teach and that they are overwhelmed by the amount of material they must cover. Our advice, which has worked for many, is to start small. Pick one thing from one lesson. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
What if parents get mad about the pro-life message?
All of our materials are age-appropriate. We believe that parents are and should be the primary educators of their children. For younger children, we begin with lessons about the beauty and sanctity of life. We teach how every person is a gift from God. As children get older, we talk about more sensitive issues, but we don’t begin those until after 5th grade, and even then we focus on protecting innocent hearts and minds. We have many lessons (for all ages) that teach a culture of life by telling inspiring stories of saints, the Blessed Mother, or that use much-loved books to impart kindness and charity. If parents question the program, sit down with them and show them the website. Let them look through the books you plan to use. Chances are, any fears will be assuaged. If the parent still has concerns, send us an email. We are here to help!
Do I have to have a background in pro-life philosophy to teach these lessons?
You need only the desire! With our panel of experts, we have done all the research necessary, so you don’t have to! Our simple lesson plan format and step-by-step teaching instructions will help you quickly build confidence. Plus, we make it a rule to never ask a discussion question without providing you the answer.
What if I don't know the answer to a question a student asks ?
It’s wonderful when students think for themselves and come up with those really hard questions. Take your time and think about what he is asking. Ask for clarification. Sometimes their questions are actually simpler than they sound. There is also nothing wrong with saying “That’s a good question. I will look for the answer and let you know tomorrow.” Our lessons provide links to additional information for educators, and we are always available to help. As an educator and part of our program, you have access to our team, and by extension, our experts! We are always just an email or phone call away. When answering questions, always remember to protect the innocence of young children by phrasing your words appropriately.
I teach younger students. What if a student asks a question that should be handled at home?
At the CLSP, we always keep in mind that parents are the primary educators of their children. Protecting the innocence of young minds and hearts is a cornerstone of our program. If a child asks a question that is too sensitive to answer in class, encourage him to talk with his parents or a trusted adult. With young children, we always recommend that you let the parents know which pro-life topics you will cover and keep them updated as you progress.