How to Use the
Tree of Life
One of the necessary steps leading to successful mentoring is helping parents transition from book knowledge to home and heart application. We trust the Parenting From the Tree of Life Leader’s Guide is one of the resources that can help class leaders maximize the learning potential of each class participant.
In terms of content, the Leader’s Guide parallels the comprehensive Life Series workbook released in 2015. The “Leader’s Section” located at the end of each chapter is highlighted with a gray header and contains the following lesson resources:
One of the most important educational moments of any class is the conversation generated as a result of the DVD presentation. These “take-away” discussions reveal what is important to the class members or what caught their attention, either in the form of encouragement or correction.
The class take-aways should also be summarized in the Leader's weekly follow-up email. We provide email templates for each visit. The templates contain a variety of lesson-specific information and suggestions for at home activities. They are in a format that will allow leaders to edit and add content or personalize the information to meet specific class needs.
We also provided a “welcome to the class” email, which provides a greeting and a place to provide dates and times of the first night of class, and any additional pre-class information. We will expand on the advantages that come with the follow-up email in the “Tools and Other Resources” discussion to follow.
Additional Questions for Discussion
Next in the Leader’s Section comes the “Additional Questions for Discussion” section (answers included). As previously noted, the questions are provided only if they are needed to further stimulate class conversation, or if they reference a topic or principle you believe needs more attention or further clarification. Once again, let the class “take-away” discussion take priority when working through the lesson’s content, and use the optional questions as a backup if needed.
This Week at Home
Here, leader’s will find recommendations for practical at-home applications and reading assignments. Specific at-home recommendations are also included in the email templates.
Tools and Other Resources:
While each mentoring couple will tailor their particular strengths to the unique needs of their class, there are some fundamental leadership principles for a successful class experience common to all small groups.
We are confident that after watching this 22-minute presentation, every leader will be sufficiently equipped to begin his or her small group mentoring journey.
Variety of Class Management Forms
These forms include class registration, attendance sheets, refreshment sign-up and various lesson-related handouts.
Downloadable Email Templates
Sending out a weekly follow-up email has proven to be an effective tool. The email serves as a weekly encouragement and can be adapted to unique class needs or special events. Each email includes:
- A short lesson review and key verses.
- Summary of the key points from each lesson.
- A guide to homework and reading assignments.
- Practical suggestions for teaching children the principles derived from each lesson.
- Embedded video links that will take parents to a video review page containing the various scenarios Dad and Mom viewed during their lesson. This is a fun way for parents to teach their children the key principles contained in each visit, and children love seeing what Mom and Dad are learning.
Some Lessons to Think About
We ask our fellow class facilitators to take note of the run time for Visit 17, “The Correction Side of Training.” Due to the length of the DVD presentation and content volume, the book was divided into two chapters, (17 and 18) although the DVD remains a single presentation. Facilitators have the option of working through the entire visit in one session or stopping just before the Discipline Flow Chart discussion, thereby adding another week to the schedule. For scheduling purposes, it will be best to decide ahead of time how you will handle this last visit.
In addition to this Leader’s Guide and leader’s website, Growing Families International also offers leadership training throughout the year; most noteworthy at the GFI National Family and Leadership Training Conference held every other year. These training opportunities are packed with helpful workshops and keynote messages geared toward encouraging and equipping leaders at every level of involvement.
Finally, we wish to encourage you in your role as mentors and leaders. We know the task is not always easy. However, we are confident that when the resources outlined above are utilized routinely, class leaders can achieve the primary objective of making the Life Series a “life-style” for each participating parent. Thanks for joining us.
Your fellow leaders,
Rich and Julie Young
“Leader’s Place” DVD Presentation