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Any Christian homeschoolers NOT teach Providential history...or use Secular curric ?


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#1 daughterofsarah77

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:51 PM

HI there, I am guessing I may be opening an ugly can of worms here, but I seriously want to have some others to discuss this issue with and try to come to terms with exactly how I feel.

I am a Christian. I started out homeschooling largely because of religious reasons, feeling that dd would not get the Christian education in school that we wanted her to. However, that quickly became overshadowed by pursuing a rigorous classical education. Not that those two things cannot fit together...but my priorities did change in a sense.

I have issues with curriculum that I feel decides what the end result should be (glorification of God) and then rather than presenting all the info there is, only presents the information that points to the end result. An example of this for me is saying that Columbus came to America to preach the gospel. After finding out the truth about many of the things Columbus did, I personally feel he was a thug. I was left wondering why we devote a day to celebrating a person who did awful things to other human beings who happened to be here before him. Another example is saying that this country was founded on the Christian religion. From what I know, Pilgrims came for religious freedom - the same thing granted in our Constitution.

I guess I just don't get why as Christians it would be necessary to view everything through rose-colored glasses in order to glorify God - if we believe that God is Almighty, he is Sovereign - then doesn't everything speak for itself...all things then happened by the will of God. Does this make sense to anyone?

I also chose a science that is secular. I just couldn't stomach the sciences that did the same thing...presenting only info that leads to the end result they want. I feel comfortable teaching both sides...and saying let's explore what makes sense...let's explore how our faith plays into what we believe.

Seriously, I am not trying to put anyone down...I am somewhat confused about feeling this way, since it feels like a battle between education and religion within myself. And at times, I do wonder if feeling this way means I am not really a good Christian after all...

#2 joyofsix

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:55 PM

Only answering for myself here. We are a Christian family. We attend Sunday school, church, Kid's Klub, Youth group, etc. I don't like Christian curricula because I don't think there is one that would teach exactly what dh and I feel to be true and right. We keep our academics academic and our religious life (which permeates everyday anyway) separate.

#3 mcconnellboys

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:55 PM

No, I have never taught providential history and never will.....

#4 Evanthe

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

Hmmmm... We're very religious. We attend service almost every week, my 3 yro is going to our parish preschool, etc.

However, I prefer secular curricula. That doesn't mean I have some kind of "disconnect" with God. I'll use religious-themed curricula if I have to, but I just prefer secular curricula.

As far as science (and I use a lot of Apologia, which can be very religious at times), I feel that science should be secular because I was a science major in college. When you add religion to science (at a university level or in your career), it opens a GIGANTIC can o' worms and can discredit you (unfortunately).

I guess it's a personal preference and I don't mind if people want to use religious-themed or secular materials.

#5 ChandlerMom

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:10 PM

I am also a Christian who uses secular curriculum precisely for the reasons mentioned: I don't like a curriculum telling my kids that "christians believe X" when they are really just presenting one (their) flavor of christianity. I would rather teach my children our christian beliefs in our home and our church.

I also believe a faith that cannot survive the light of reality is a poor faith. For that reason I can not tolerate curriculum revising history (and even more intolerably, science) to promote and support their beliefs. The worst are disingenuous in claiming to present "both sides" yet distort positions that they do not share, often with what I can only assume is full intent to mislead.

#6 TracyP

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:13 PM

I am using a Christian history program (TOG) but have been unable to find a science program I am happy with due to the same issues.

I have found TOG to be very open minded, even though they have their own very strong opinions. It is also easy to adapt to teach how I see fit. If it wasn't I would have second thoughts about using it. I am still trying to figure things out for myself and I don't need someone else pushing an agenda on my kids that is out of my comfort zone.

I hope this doesn't make you (and me;)) bad Christians. I think it is healthy to question. Some people are still regurgitating what they were told as 5 year olds. I may still hold beliefs that have been held all my life but I have now thought those things through as an adult. I have always looked at both sides before coming to a conclusion and I want to teach my kids to do the same.

#7 Evanthe

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:25 PM

I am using a Christian history program (TOG) but have been unable to find a science program I am happy with due to the same issues.


With Apologia, I just do some editing. And sometimes I present it as, "Well, this is another way of thinking about it." Although religious-themed, I really do love Apologia. The pictures, organization and content are awesome.

#8 Veritaserum

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:27 PM

I am also a Christian who uses secular curriculum precisely for the reasons mentioned: I don't like a curriculum telling my kids that "christians believe X" when they are really just presenting one (their) flavor of christianity. I would rather teach my children our christian beliefs in our home and our church.

I also believe a faith that cannot survive the light of reality is a poor faith. For that reason I can not tolerate curriculum revising history (and even more intolerably, science) to promote and support their beliefs. The worst are disingenuous in claiming to present "both sides" yet distort positions that they do not share, often with what I can only assume is full intent to mislead.


:iagree: We are Christians homeschooling almost exclusively using secular materials because we do not want to present a distortion of the facts simply to fit a certain worldview. Of course, there is bias in everything, but most Christian publishers are so biased in their presentation of material that it makes their products unusable for us.

#9 Aubrey

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:30 PM

Where does the idea of something making us "bad Christians" come from? (Not Christ)

Teaching history, science, etc in a clear, logical, factual way, imo, honors God. He chose to reveal his Son as the Logos--"Someone who makes sense" might be a good translation, imo.

The problem, of course, is that each side considers his own presentation of history, science, etc as clear & truthful. What looks like twisting the facts to one side looks like showing a clearer picture/revelation of Christ on the other.

While I have my own (strong) opinions on this, I try to see the good intentions of both ends of the argument & respect the intent if not the outcome. :o

ETA: The whole "evangelizing" of products makes me crazy. Do you drive a "secular" car or drink "secular" coffee? Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!

#10 kalphs

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:35 PM

HI there, I am guessing I may be opening an ugly can of worms here, but I seriously want to have some others to discuss this issue with and try to come to terms with exactly how I feel.

I am a Christian. I started out homeschooling largely because of religious reasons, feeling that dd would not get the Christian education in school that we wanted her to. However, that quickly became overshadowed by pursuing a rigorous classical education. Not that those two things cannot fit together...but my priorities did change in a sense.

I have issues with curriculum that I feel decides what the end result should be (glorification of God) and then rather than presenting all the info there is, only presents the information that points to the end result. An example of this for me is saying that Columbus came to America to preach the gospel. After finding out the truth about many of the things Columbus did, I personally feel he was a thug. I was left wondering why we devote a day to celebrating a person who did awful things to other human beings who happened to be here before him. Another example is saying that this country was founded on the Christian religion. From what I know, Pilgrims came for religious freedom - the same thing granted in our Constitution.

I guess I just don't get why as Christians it would be necessary to view everything through rose-colored glasses in order to glorify God - if we believe that God is Almighty, he is Sovereign - then doesn't everything speak for itself...all things then happened by the will of God. Does this make sense to anyone?

I also chose a science that is secular. I just couldn't stomach the sciences that did the same thing...presenting only info that leads to the end result they want. I feel comfortable teaching both sides...and saying let's explore what makes sense...let's explore how our faith plays into what we believe.

Seriously, I am not trying to put anyone down...I am somewhat confused about feeling this way, since it feels like a battle between education and religion within myself. And at times, I do wonder if feeling this way means I am not really a good Christian after all...

:grouphug:
Our family is Christian, but we keep religion separate from academics.
When teaching core subjects we want materials which teach the foundation of each subject and build on to the foundation in later years.
It is our responsibility to teach Dd about our religious beliefs, why we believe what we do and why it makes a difference in our lives.
It is not the responsibility of a curriculum provider to do so, it is ours.
Dh and I use logic to expose fallacy when we come across it.
We use the WTM and Ambleside Online www.amblesideonline.org as our outline for selecting materials for each acadmic year.
You might want to read Douglas Wilson's books on Classical Education, as he writes from a Christian perspective.
Yes, you can be "educated and godly," the two are not separate, they go hand in hand.
Look at the examples of The Founding Fathers, J.R.R. Tokien and C.S. Lewis just for starters.
In the age and day we live in you have to understand both the secular and Christian point of view, so you can defend what you believe and why you believe it intelligently.
Enough said from the pulpit, I need to finish up dinner.

Edited by kalphs, 27 January 2011 - 10:23 AM.


#11 6packofun

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

We discuss TRUTH from a Christian perspective, no matter where or how we find it, no matter if it means changing our views or being uncomfortable. That's how our Christianity plays itself out in life and in education. I don't look for only Christian materials other than Bible studies and character education, because I'm more concerned with responding to the world in a Christ-like way and with the principles of God's Word as the backbone, the foundation and starting point for wisdom. God is so much bigger than events in world history because he has a larger plan way beyond our scope. So to say, in our tiny little spot on the timeline of God's world, that we have to fit it into the "grand plan" in a way that makes sense to US or gives glory to God in the way WE think is right, I'd rather be an observer and a responder, with as close to God's eyes and heart as I can possibly have.

I tend to be very choosy about which Christian teachers and authors I listen to and learn from, though.

So no, after all that blathering--we do not use Providential materials because I don't think that many of them are truth. I don't feel compelled to use Christian materials, but I do sometimes. Sometimes a secular choice is better for us.

Edited by 6packofun, 26 January 2011 - 05:46 PM.
add


#12 Dolphin

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

same boat here.

#13 daughterofsarah77

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:55 PM

We discuss TRUTH from a Christian perspective, no matter where or how we find it, no matter if it means changing our views or being uncomfortable. That's how our Christianity plays itself out in life and in education. I don't look for only Christian materials other than Bible studies and character education, because I'm more concerned with responding to the world in a Christ-like way and with the principles of God's Word as the backbone, the foundation and starting point for wisdom. God is so much bigger than events in world history because he has a larger plan way beyond our scope. So to say, in our tiny little spot on the timeline of God's world, that we have to fit it into the "grand plan" in a way that makes sense to US or gives glory to God in the way WE think is right, I'd rather be an observer and a responder, with as close to God's eyes and heart as I can possibly have.

I tend to be very choosy about which Christian teachers and authors I listen to and learn from, though.

So no, after all that blathering--we do not use Providential materials because I don't think that many of them are truth. I don't feel compelled to use Christian materials, but I do sometimes. Sometimes a secular choice is better for us.


Yep, exactly...how can you apply Christianity to something if you don't even know it, or the truth about it?
I did enjoy the Doug Wilson books, and there was another I read too by someone else that drove home the point that a Christian worldview was not an inhibited view. So true. Glad I'm not alone....or a bad Christian.

#14 kristinannie

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:16 PM

I am completely with you on this. I am Catholic and a lot of the Christian textbooks are Protestant. I even have some issue with the Catholic ones. I was originally going to use an out of the box Catholic system (Seton) to homeschool because I really wanted to send the kids to Catholic school (we just don't one near us). Then I started looking at the samples online. Is it really necessary to have pictures of Jesus on the cross on a math page? It was just serious overkill (sorry to all of those I am offending here...).

I am planning on doing cathechism 3-4 times a week and we will cover religious stuff there. I also have quite a few Catholic coloring books, art appreciation and music stuff. Other than that, I don't really see the need to have religious texts. I strongly believe that the world is 4.5 billion years old. I believe in evolution (I know, I know....where is the bolt of lightning). I believe that God created the universe. I believe that God set it in motion. I believe that God continues to mold the world as He sees fit.

If you find a great history program let me know. I am planning on using REAL Science and McRuffy Math. As of right now, I am using more of a Charlotte Mason approach to history, but would probably like a more cogent program when my kids get a little older.

The best thing about homeschooling is that you can design your own curriculum. I know that my kids will love and serve God, but they don't need to hear about God constantly in every subject!!! :001_smile:

#15 Ellie

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

I never even heard of "providential history" until my dc were 10 and 12ish.

#16 4blessingmom

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

I think it's often easier to go with something secular than to use something that comes from a different theology.

#17 simka2

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:18 PM

I think it's often easier to go with something secular than to use something that comes from a different theology.



:iagree:with this.

Op I could have written your post :D.

#18 LittleIzumi

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:26 PM

I am also a Christian who uses secular curriculum precisely for the reasons mentioned: I don't like a curriculum telling my kids that "christians believe X" when they are really just presenting one (their) flavor of christianity. I would rather teach my children our christian beliefs in our home and our church.

I also believe a faith that cannot survive the light of reality is a poor faith. For that reason I can not tolerate curriculum revising history (and even more intolerably, science) to promote and support their beliefs.


:iagree: LDS here & I use secular curricula, with the addition of our own study of scripture. God is evident in all things, and I can easily discuss that aspect with the kids using any part of any secular curriculum.

#19 1Togo

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 07:36 PM

If you are Christian and do not use prepared curriculum, what methods do you use to teach your children to reason Biblically when they are faced with issues that are not congruent with your faith? I am interested in the specifics. Do you just tell them or do you take out the Bible or other Bible study materials? How do you teach them Biblical principles?

#20 mcconnellboys

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:03 PM

When I am covering topics in science, etc., and I know there are issues that affect Christians, I discuss those....

#21 simka2

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:08 PM

If you are Christian and do not use prepared curriculum, what methods do you use to teach your children to reason Biblically when they are faced with issues that are not congruent with your faith? I am interested in the specifics. Do you just tell them or do you take out the Bible or other Bible study materials? How do you teach them Biblical principles?



Hey this would probly be a great question for it's own thread ;).

#22 cbollin

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:11 PM

I sorta kinda almost fit in this category, sorta.

I know with the stuff I use that I get to present more than one idea when they are older and in the logic and rhetoric stages. In grammar stage I like just a few facts here and there, then in logic stage, reading more than just one book on Columbus to get more known about him.

I'm not in the "america is perfect" crowd or that "pilgrims" or "columbus" were either. But I never understood of the different versions of "providential history". I think God is involved in the whole world, not just the US of A.

so I use a blend of some stuff from Christian (and am careful to reword some things if I don't like an author's word choice or attitude), and some from secular sources.

I like SOTW, but am also glad that I use some other stuff with it.

-crystal

#23 justamouse

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:14 PM

I'm a Christian and chose secular curric for the same reasons you did.

I teach my kids about Christianity by being a Christian and I read them bible stories. We're theistic evolutionists, too, so secular sciences aren't a problem.

#24 LittleIzumi

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 08:14 PM

If you are Christian and do not use prepared curriculum, what methods do you use to teach your children to reason Biblically when they are faced with issues that are not congruent with your faith? I am interested in the specifics. Do you just tell them or do you take out the Bible or other Bible study materials? How do you teach them Biblical principles?


We discuss that some people believe X and some people believe Y, and we believe Z. Scripture if it's applicable/needed. We read scripture daily as a family. I am a theistic evolutionist so I don't have issues in secular science. I honestly more things that are "not congruent with my faith" in religious curricula (because it's a different religious viewpoint) than in secular. Most secular just presents facts without interpretation.

#25 boscopup

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:18 PM

I have a hard time because I am a young earth creationist, but I don't feel comfortable saying God did something like sending Columbus over here when the Bible doesn't say that. I find a lot of Christian curricula teach things I don't believe, and it gets difficult to correct the info. I agree with the PP that it's often easier to work with the secular ones.

But then if age of earth comes into play, the secular curriculum becomes a problem, so I can't win! :lol:

In science, Apologia Elementary has info for YECers, but in one of the samples I saw, there were references to pre-millenialism, which I don't believe in. So really anything I use, I'm going to have to discuss these things. I would love to see YEC-based, non-providential curriculum, without added theology that has nothing to do with the subject being studied. I want the Biblical history included, but not speculation of when God is using someone or a nation after the first century AD.

#26 joliet

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:24 PM

I too am a Christian who prefers secular curricula - especially science. Science is science - this is the way it is and somehow God is responsible.

#27 TechWife

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:31 PM

I am also a Christian who uses secular curriculum precisely for the reasons mentioned: I don't like a curriculum telling my kids that "christians believe X" when they are really just presenting one (their) flavor of christianity. I would rather teach my children our christian beliefs in our home and our church.

I also believe a faith that cannot survive the light of reality is a poor faith. For that reason I can not tolerate curriculum revising history (and even more intolerably, science) to promote and support their beliefs. The worst are disingenuous in claiming to present "both sides" yet distort positions that they do not share, often with what I can only assume is full intent to mislead.


:iagree:

If you are Christian and do not use prepared curriculum, what methods do you use to teach your children to reason Biblically when they are faced with issues that are not congruent with your faith? I am interested in the specifics. Do you just tell them or do you take out the Bible or other Bible study materials? How do you teach them Biblical principles?

A Christian world view is just as you said, based upon Biblical principles. We believe that the best thing we can do is to study the Bible ourselves and to teach our son how to study the Bible. To help us with this, we have used many of the tools from Precept Ministries. It is only through studying the Bible that we can learn Biblical principles, otherwise we are learning what a particular author thinks are Biblical principles, which may or may not be correct.

It isn't that I so much see things that conflict with my faith as I see things that are leaving out critical pieces of information (Columbus is only one example). This is particularly prevalent in the providential history materials. I can discern this because I have studied God's providence in scripture and understand it inside a Biblical framework. It is easier to see the false or incomplete information when you have the true information, KWIM?

At this point in time, we use secular science materials. We just haven't seen the quality in the Christian science materials that we would like to see. Disclaimer: I've never looked @ Apologia, as we aren't quite to the high school years.

#28 johnandtinagilbert

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:35 PM

We use a mixture of both and still have to "edit" to fit our beliefs. I do not teach providential history and actually do my very best to present perspectives of all parties.

I won't however dive deeply into evolution until I feel my dc are prepared to understand the arguments for and against fully. I introduce it simply, but don't get too far. So, sometimes that means secular science (has so far), but once they hit maturity, it also means lots of opposing views. They need to be prepared to defend their faith logically, articulately and effortlessly.

If you are Christian and do not use prepared curriculum, what methods do you use to teach your children to reason Biblically when they are faced with issues that are not congruent with your faith? I am interested in the specifics. Do you just tell them or do you take out the Bible or other Bible study materials? How do you teach them Biblical principles?

Our faith is a part of all things....in all your ways acknowledge him; in your lying down and rising up. I am in the word and so are my children. Our BEST bible studies, by far, come right out of the bible. I share what I know or follow a bible study I am currently participating in via church. If there is something I need to know, I read up on it so I can teach it (like my science example). The most important aspect is knowing when the world will oppose your faith and preparing your children with via discussion. While we believe abc, there are people who believe abc. We do not agree b/c the Bible says......God's word is the sword of truth.

#29 TechWife

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:43 PM

The whole "evangelizing" of products makes me crazy. Do you drive a "secular" car or drink "secular" coffee? Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!

:iagree:

#30 TechWife

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:45 PM

:iagree:

#31 jewel7123

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:30 PM

I have a hard time because I am a young earth creationist, but I don't feel comfortable saying God did something like sending Columbus over here when the Bible doesn't say that. I find a lot of Christian curricula teach things I don't believe, and it gets difficult to correct the info. I agree with the PP that it's often easier to work with the secular ones.

But then if age of earth comes into play, the secular curriculum becomes a problem, so I can't win! :lol:

I would love to see YEC-based, non-providential curriculum, without added theology that has nothing to do with the subject being studied. I want the Biblical history included, but not speculation of when God is using someone or a nation after the first century AD.


Everything she said! :iagree:

#32 wy_kid_wrangler04

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:58 PM

I must be the oddball because I cannot teach something contrary to my beliefs. We are Christians. We have certain beliefs and we research curriculum well so we know that it agrees with our beliefs. I completely believe the Bible is the absolute infallible Word of God and we absolutely teach that.


Now- we do not candy coat everything. Do we believe Columbus was this wonderful man? Absolutely not. We do not teach our kids that Columbus was perfect and he did not receive word from God telling him to go discover a new land, but God used him to find the New World. Our kids know how he treated the Indians, they know how cruel he was to his crew. They know that he was basically a tyrant. God used David who was a murderer and adulterer to rule Isreal. God uses flawed people to glorify Him and His Creation.

I absolutely use Christian science because we believe God created as Genesis said He did. We do teach the kids about evolution, but we show them the fallacies involved with the theory and that it is just that, it is a theory.

Do not misunderstand me. When we do math, we learn math. When we do English, we learn English. We are not Bible thumpers but we have our absolute set of beliefs that we will not waver from.

#33 texasmama

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:08 AM

I have a hard time because I am a young earth creationist, but I don't feel comfortable saying God did something like sending Columbus over here when the Bible doesn't say that. I find a lot of Christian curricula teach things I don't believe, and it gets difficult to correct the info. I agree with the PP that it's often easier to work with the secular ones.

But then if age of earth comes into play, the secular curriculum becomes a problem, so I can't win! :lol:

In science, Apologia Elementary has info for YECers, but in one of the samples I saw, there were references to pre-millenialism, which I don't believe in. So really anything I use, I'm going to have to discuss these things. I would love to see YEC-based, non-providential curriculum, without added theology that has nothing to do with the subject being studied. I want the Biblical history included, but not speculation of when God is using someone or a nation after the first century AD.


:iagree: Pretty much this exactly. We have used Apologia Astronomy (which was fabulous) and are now using Apologia Botany, which is becoming tiresome even to me with the constant mentioning of God creating things this way and that. That statement probably sounds quite disrespectful, and I do not mean for it to, but for goodness sakes, I want the boys to learn about botany. We accept that God created it all. That is a given. It is a apologistic science curriculum...maybe that is where the name comes from.;)

#34 texasmama

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:10 AM

And no, I don't teach providential history to my kids. And I am no less Christian for it...neither are you.:tongue_smilie:

#35 KrissiK

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:16 AM

I don't teach Providential history, because from what I understand of it, they teach that America is a "Christian Nation" and is blessed by God because of that. Well, I am a very conservative Christian, but I do not believe that America is or ever was a "Christian Nation". Yes, many strong Christians founded some of the first permanent colonies, Christianity was a dominant faith, our govt. is built on strong Biblical principles because many of our founding fathers were Christians, but some people believe that America is "God's people" like Israel was so long ago, and I just can't swallow that. I do believe God has blessed our country because of the strength of Christianity that is here, but I do disagree with the premise of certain curriculi that, as others have said, put a Christian spin on everything.

#36 1Togo

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:10 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?

Edited by 1Togo, 27 January 2011 - 09:00 AM.


#37 mom31257

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:01 AM

I also chose a science that is secular. I just couldn't stomach the sciences that did the same thing...presenting only info that leads to the end result they want. I feel comfortable teaching both sides...and saying let's explore what makes sense...let's explore how our faith plays into what we believe.


While I understand the point you are making, I believe that secular curricula does the exact same thing. For example, secular science is only going to present a secular point of view for the end result to believe evolution is fact. I would love to see a science curricula that presents ALL theories in a respectful manner, because in fact, that is what they are...theories. I do not believe we can ever prove any of them beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are assumptions made in every case. None of us were there at the beginning of it all.

I don't know if there is such as thing as unbiased curricula. Every author is going to write with their opinions in their head.

#38 Violet Crown

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:07 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?

Can you give an example of something that might be in secular materials that would be in opposition to your faith? All I can think of would be secular science materials that might conflict with some Creationist beliefs, and some older secular history that might not view some cultures in a positive light.

Our homeschooling is immersed in our Christian faith, but we use all secular materials except for specifically religious subjects (catechism, Bible), and I can't think of anything that could even have potentially conflicted with our faith.

ETA: Someone mentions flaming ... I want to be very clear that I am in complete agreement with your concern for wanting to deal effectively with that which is in opposition to your faith. I just am not sure which subject(s) you're thinking of.

Edited by Sharon in Austin, 27 January 2011 - 09:25 AM.


#39 Hedgehog

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:12 AM

I must be the oddball because I cannot teach something contrary to my beliefs. We are Christians. We have certain beliefs and we research curriculum well so we know that it agrees with our beliefs. I completely believe the Bible is the absolute infallible Word of God and we absolutely teach that.


Now- we do not candy coat everything. Do we believe Columbus was this wonderful man? Absolutely not. We do not teach our kids that Columbus was perfect and he did not receive word from God telling him to go discover a new land, but God used him to find the New World. Our kids know how he treated the Indians, they know how cruel he was to his crew. They know that he was basically a tyrant. God used David who was a murderer and adulterer to rule Isreal. God uses flawed people to glorify Him and His Creation.

I absolutely use Christian science because we believe God created as Genesis said He did. We do teach the kids about evolution, but we show them the fallacies involved with the theory and that it is just that, it is a theory.

Do not misunderstand me. When we do math, we learn math. When we do English, we learn English. We are not Bible thumpers but we have our absolute set of beliefs that we will not waver from.


:iagree:

I don't know why you would get flamed for simply expressing how you teach your kids!

#40 TracyP

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:43 AM

I must be the oddball because I cannot teach something contrary to my beliefs. We are Christians. We have certain beliefs and we research curriculum well so we know that it agrees with our beliefs. I completely believe the Bible is the absolute infallible Word of God and we absolutely teach that.


That is precisely my problem. I know of no curricula (or human being) whose beliefs align with mine 100% of the time. If you have found that for yourself, praise God!:001_smile: I will have to tweak, and I will have to decide when I want to do so and when I'd rather not. This is something I am very much still trying to figure out in regards to science.

#41 boscopup

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:45 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?


When my kids get to the logic and rhetoric stages, yes, they will be expected to look up questions in their Bibles. Right now, my kids are little. So they are not sent off with a book that teaches something that goes against our beliefs. I preread anything that might be an issue. The only places we would usually run into an issue would be prehistory timeline and some science topics. Both history and science are completely led by me at this point. By time they are old enough to be independent enough to read history and science on their own, they will also be well grounded enough in their Bible knowledge to notice that something might be in conflict and they can ask me. At that point, we'll go look it up in the Bible together. Prehistory and big bang/macro-evolution topics are introduced by me in the younger years, and I explain why we believe what we do. Throughout the years, I will show them evidences (both Biblical and scientific) that support our beliefs. They will be well grounded in what we believe.

Now I will get some Christian science curriculum to help with this (I'm looking at God's Design for the Heavens to use as a reference as we go through RSO Earth and Space). I don't know how much I'll have to skip over that doesn't pertain to science though. Apologia has a lot of pre-millenialist stuff in the samples. I didn't see much of that in the God's Design samples, but I haven't had it in my hands yet. Hopefully it will be more of the actual science, which is really interesting to study.

For other subjects, such as math and grammar, I see nothing in secular materials that would go against our faith. So why not use them?

A good example of a secular material we are using... Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. The first 100 pages is pre-history. When I pulled this book out, I immediately explained what the first 100 pages talked about, and we discussed what we know from the Bible. It was not a big deal. My son has been learning the Bible since he was too young to talk. He knows the days of creation like the back of his hand. He knows about false gods in the ancient world and that other peoples were worshiping those gods (and sometimes Israelites worshiped them too and got punished for it). So when we encounter a story about a false god in SOTW, my son knows that the story isn't real and those are false gods. I don't need a Christian history curriculum that glosses over those concepts. He's able to figure them out because he has been taught the Bible so well up to this point (and is continuing to go more and more in depth as he gets older).

For science, I do tend to pick secular curricula that don't go into the controversial topics at a young age. RSO and Elemental Science both skip that topic. RSO says they'll hit it in the level 2 books, but for that stage, I'd probably use something else anyway.

For history, I just find it easier to take a secular history and add Biblical history to it (as Biblioplan actually kind of does for me) than to try to weed through the Calvinist and/or pre-millenialist ideas of the Christian curricula that discuss Providential History. Most secular history programs don't deal with prehistory anyway, so it just hasn't been an issue.

#42 ChandlerMom

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:48 AM

While I understand the point you are making, I believe that secular curricula does the exact same thing. For example, secular science is only going to present a secular point of view for the end result to believe evolution is fact. I would love to see a science curricula that presents ALL theories in a respectful manner, because in fact, that is what they are...theories. I do not believe we can ever prove any of them beyond a shadow of a doubt. There are assumptions made in every case. None of us were there at the beginning of it all.

I don't know if there is such as thing as unbiased curricula. Every author is going to write with their opinions in their head.


Actually, no, secular science does NOT. [This is something in WTM that I completely disagree with the authors (as any scientist would) but it just shows they were history majors not science majors..]

There is a myth that "all theories are created equal" and it's not true. So creationism is a theory and evolution is a theory, so both are equally scientifically valid? Just not true, not even in the slightest.

Science is not religion. It has no opinion on God's existence or role. Science is the systematic study of the physical world. It is a method for seeking truth about the physical (not spiritual) world. Evolution is not a fact. A fact is a single observation. Evolution is MUCH more than that. It is a theory, meaning it provides predictions that can be tested and it has been tested for 200 years, just like gravity (actually there is less scientific evidence fro gravity than evolution). Modern biology is not comprehensible without starting with evolution and the greatest advances in science in the last 20 years have been IMO in the genome. You cannot talk about those findings without assuming evolution.

So, if your religions beliefs prevent you from studying large segments of science, fine. That's your choice. But it is not because science is somehow "biased" against creationism. Creationism is not science. It is a story and a belief. Science is about following truth regardless of where it leads and what previously held beliefs it unravels. Scientist have been poisoned, burned alive and persecuted for thousands of years when their findings of truth do not agree with other's interpretation of the bible. Many were speakers of truth and died for it, and yet truth wins out: we now accept the earth is not flat, the sun does not orbit the earth, etc, ad nauseum.

Jesus was the ultimate seeker and bearer of truth, and the religious higher ups of the time put him to death for it. [No, I won't claim he was a scientist since his truth is about God and humanity, not the nature of the physical world.] Ultimately truth wins out.

#43 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:48 AM

I think it's often easier to go with something secular than to use something that comes from a different theology.


I find this to be true for us as well.

#44 Guest_aquiverfull_*

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:01 AM

I must be the oddball because I cannot teach something contrary to my beliefs. We are Christians. We have certain beliefs and we research curriculum well so we know that it agrees with our beliefs. I completely believe the Bible is the absolute infallible Word of God and we absolutely teach that.


Now- we do not candy coat everything. Do we believe Columbus was this wonderful man? Absolutely not. We do not teach our kids that Columbus was perfect and he did not receive word from God telling him to go discover a new land, but God used him to find the New World. Our kids know how he treated the Indians, they know how cruel he was to his crew. They know that he was basically a tyrant. God used David who was a murderer and adulterer to rule Isreal. God uses flawed people to glorify Him and His Creation.

I absolutely use Christian science because we believe God created as Genesis said He did. We do teach the kids about evolution, but we show them the fallacies involved with the theory and that it is just that, it is a theory.

Do not misunderstand me. When we do math, we learn math. When we do English, we learn English. We are not Bible thumpers but we have our absolute set of beliefs that we will not waver from.


:iagree: This is how we approach it as well. I don't believe in sugar coating.
First and foremost, if you're a Christian I believe you should be strong in God's word and teach your children to be also. If they know the Bible they will have the ability to discern the truth. So at some point, I will teach my children what other's believe even if I don't agree. They need to be prepared to defend their beliefs. Even the Bible teaches to know the Word and be prepared to give an answer to anyone who will have questions.

#45 Veritaserum

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:25 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?


I don't "teach Biblical reasoning" because to me reasoning is reasoning. I have yet to find anything in secular texts that goes against our personal beliefs. We do family scripture study and go to church on Sundays. Occasionally one of the kids will ask a religion or spirituality-based question about history/science/whatever. We are theistic evolutionists who believe that many religions have pieces of the truth. Yeah, I know. For some of you this means we aren't "real" Christians. :001_rolleyes: I'm not interested I having that conversation again. ;)

#46 Embassy

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:31 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?


I have pretty much let my ds have free reign reading and exploring science that talks of (non-theistic) evolution when my faith disagrees with it. We discuss it sometimes and I refer to Bible texts that talk of God as the Creator. I'm also not dogmatic about things. I talk to my son about Bible texts on a specific issue and we look at what the Bible actually says and what is assumed. I leave many issues open ended except for one - in the beginning God did it. And the beginning was the beginning not a specified unit of time.

So in short, the method we use is just talking. We do most subjects together, but my son does a ton of science reading and study on his own.

#47 Veritaserum

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:39 AM

Actually, no, secular science does NOT. [This is something in WTM that I completely disagree with the authors (as any scientist would) but it just shows they were history majors not science majors..]

There is a myth that "all theories are created equal" and it's not true. So creationism is a theory and evolution is a theory, so both are equally scientifically valid? Just not true, not even in the slightest.

Science is not religion. It has no opinion on God's existence or role. Science is the systematic study of the physical world. It is a method for seeking truth about the physical (not spiritual) world. Evolution is not a fact. A fact is a single observation. Evolution is MUCH more than that. It is a theory, meaning it provides predictions that can be tested and it has been tested for 200 years, just like gravity (actually there is less scientific evidence fro gravity than evolution). Modern biology is not comprehensible without starting with evolution and the greatest advances in science in the last 20 years have been IMO in the genome. You cannot talk about those findings without assuming evolution.

So, if your religions beliefs prevent you from studying large segments of science, fine. That's your choice. But it is not because science is somehow "biased" against creationism. Creationism is not science. It is a story and a belief. Science is about following truth regardless of where it leads and what previously held beliefs it unravels. Scientist have been poisoned, burned alive and persecuted for thousands of years when their findings of truth do not agree with other's interpretation of the bible. Many were speakers of truth and died for it, and yet truth wins out: we now accept the earth is not flat, the sun does not orbit the earth, etc, ad nauseum.

Jesus was the ultimate seeker and bearer of truth, and the religious higher ups of the time put him to death for it. [No, I won't claim he was a scientist since his truth is about God and humanity, not the nature of the physical world.] Ultimately truth wins out.


:iagree: Thank you! :) While Dawkins might be out to destroy faith in God, the vast majority of scientists are simply trying to make sense of the world based on scientific observation. My kids know the creation story in the Bible does not give a literal explanation of how the world came into existence (plants before light?). The story has meaning, but not an entirely literal one. Because of this, science is no threat to their faith. Instead, science helps them to see the beauty and order of God's creation--including the marvelous process of evolution. :)

#48 DragonflyAcademy

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:41 AM

I'll use religious-themed curricula if I have to, but I just prefer secular curricula.


DH and I feel this way too..we have also struggled with how many religious curricula presents things that are not exactly in the way that we wish it to be presented.. Science is a big one.. and we will only use a secular curricula for that..

So, you are not the only one..

#49 simka2

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 10:51 AM

I am going to try and post a link to a video. If you go to the last question on the video somewhere around 1.29 it's about creation and evolution.

I really like the way Bishop Ware talks ;) I find it soothing, but I also found what he had to say very helpful in regards to picking out science curriculum.

http://video.google....949815257678826#

#50 simka2

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:00 AM

Again, for Christian mothers who do not use a prepared curriculum and who are using secular materials, what specific methods/tools do you teach your children for Biblical reasoning? For instance, if you are not working one on one with them and they are using materials that present information in opposition to your faith, what do your children do? Do they go to Scripture, use Bible study tools like concordances, etc.? I am not asking about Bible studies, but the incorporation of Biblical principles into secular materials. What tools do your children use?


Can you give an example? Even if I don't agree I will try answer how I would handle it if I did ;).


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