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S/O How Much Credence Should One Give to Curriculum Providers Belief System


PachiSusan
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Sorry, I had a HECK of a time thinking of a title for this thought I have, so bear with me if it wasn't what you expected. LOL

 

The Apologia Blog/"Mormons aren't Christians" thread started this thought process and it's gone down many rabbit trails in my head. I started to wonder if I wanted to continue to use them because of the statements they made as a company. Then I went past that and started thinking about all the curriculum providers, all the books we use and all the tools I use to teach my girlie. It finally led me to what actually led me TO home education: using a fully integrated Catholic mindset core curriculum.

 

Do we really KNOW what all of our providers think and believe? Do they all have "faith statements" about what they believe? Do they support things we do not? Do they believe things that we do not. Are they supporting political causes that we dont' know about and would FREAK OUT if we did know? How much research are we actually going through in this arena? SHOULD we?

 

We chose to go with Seton Home Study School and for the most part, I am perfectly happy with the choice. Sure, we all have little irritations/wishes/wants but really, I'm quite pleased with the whole ball of wax.

 

Now - to the question. Seton uses Apologia as a supplement or choice in the elementary grades, and they use Apologia as the main text in high school. If I want to stay with my core choice of providers (and have them fully keep my papers, grades, and transcripts) , I will need to use what they recommend. I have already purchased two books from them and I have been for the most part happy with them. Melissa learned a TON about astronomy and she has real thirst for it. She loved reading the book and doing the notebooking exercises. However, we are not YE Creationists and I have had to do a little editing and talking off book to correct some inconsistencies that I feel are in them.

 

I find that this upcoming year, our science text choice is Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (which we have already done in 3rd grade), or Rod and Staff's "God's Marvelous Works". Neither one is palatable to me because of the provider's previous comments and stances on Catholicism, very similar to the Apologia/Mormon issue. It has nothing to do with content being age appropriate or useful.

 

I simply don't understand how, when so many other choices are available for science, that Seton chooses to use companies that do not actually support Catholic teaching and have at times been vocally anti-Catholic. Are these REALLY the best things out there?

 

So...I'm left with throwing out the baby (Seton, fully utilized, which I love ) with the bathwater (a curriculum choice I can't palate) and I don't like the feeling. I can also substitute out those pieces we don't like and go out of the box. I'm not ready for that yet. I may be at a later date, but I still feel a little shaky about planning my own curriculum.

 

If I purchase these items used, they will not give the providers any of my money. Is that a morally acceptable choice?

 

As I go through this thought process, then I wonder: is it really that important what the provider's stance on religion really is? I mean, unless they are watering down/dumbing down/outright lying about things to prove their theological bent, what does it matter?

 

I know a lot of pagan/atheist/non-religious educators use religious providers and simply skip things or add in their own life experiences. If I find value in a text, shouldn't I do the same? Where is the line between "supporting" them, or "using what's valuable to me and leave the rest"?

 

Interestingly enough, I find myself back at the beginning: back at wondering how important it IS to me to have a fully integrated Catholic Curriculum, and if using books that don't reflect that are okay with me, then how important was it really to me? We live our faith. Faith is caught, not taught. We don't need religious art in our Math book.

 

Short of using a completely secular textbook, there will ALWAYS Be something that doesn't line up with the "beliefs of Susan and family". I will always have to edit, discuss, change something. Even in a secular book I will have to do that because there will be attitudes and beliefs that we don't espouse either.

 

Long long long story still long...does it really matter about bent?

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It's an absolutely depressing thing to have to think about. What is the matter with everyone, I wonder? Why the constant drawing of lines in the sand? So tiresome.

 

I would not buy new curriculum from a company that hates "my people" whomever my people may be. That seems like a no-brainer to me. On the other hand, I can't judge anyone who chooses to support a company that I don't like, because homeschooling is very hard and finding a good fit for one's family might feel more important than making a political statement. It's going to have to be between each person and her conscience, and I hope we can all try to respect each other on that. Let's not make "failure to boycott" yet another line in the sand!

 

I'm just really, really grateful that I bought my homeschool curriculum back when I (mostly) agreed with the authors and publishers. I have shelves full of old Sonlight and old Apologia that I will continue to use with my own children, but the companies under their current leadership will not receive another dime from me. Worse, they've lost my recommendation to new homeschoolers. I probably sent two dozen families to Sonlight back in the old days, but not anymore! I don't even tell anyone IRL what curriculum I use now.

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To me, the difference is between a company sharing their beliefs, and a company putting down the beliefs of others. I'm an atheist, I don't really have a dog in the fight. I don't mind editing as I go with something like story of the world, but I don't want to support a company "spitting venom" like Apologia is. I feel like you can live your faith without using your company as a platform to hurt others who are tying to also live their faith.

JMHO.

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It's an absolutely depressing thing to have to think about. What is the matter with everyone, I wonder? Why the constant drawing of lines in the sand? So tiresome.

 

I would not buy new curriculum from a company that hates "my people" whomever my people may be. That seems like a no-brainer to me. On the other hand, I can't judge anyone who chooses to support a company that I don't like, because homeschooling is very hard and finding a good fit for one's family might feel more important than making a political statement. It's going to have to be between each person and her conscience, and I hope we can all try to respect each other on that. Let's not make "failure to boycott" yet another line in the sand!

 

I'm just really, really grateful that I bought my homeschool curriculum back when I (mostly) agreed with the authors and publishers. I have shelves full of old Sonlight and old Apologia that I will continue to use with my own children, but the companies under their current leadership will not receive another dime from me. Worse, they've lost my recommendation to new homeschoolers. I probably sent two dozen families to Sonlight back in the old days, but not anymore! I don't even tell anyone IRL what curriculum I use now.

 

I don't know if this truly is the case, but IMO, human nature seems to be that the more insecure one is about stances/beliefs, the more one chooses to put down the other side. There's a fear there that if we don't know who "US" and "THEM" are, that we might get bamboozled or pulled into a "lie".

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To me, the difference is between a company sharing their beliefs, and a company putting down the beliefs of others. I'm an atheist, I don't really have a dog in the fight. I don't mind editing as I go with something like story of the world, but I don't want to support a company "spitting venom" like Apologia is. I feel like you can live your faith without using your company as a platform to hurt others who are tying to also live their faith.

JMHO.

 

I agree with you completely. Bolded pieces are a VERY big and important distinction.

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I'm fine with providers who have the same views as me (of course). I'm fine with those who are neutral. I'm even fine with those who I know have different views as long as the product itself is neutral and the provider is tolerant. I'm okay with stores that support causes I oppose; many times, they'll also support causes I do.

 

I draw the line at supporting those who actively denounce my specific beliefs.

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I honestly find it tiresome to have to vet each and every company I patronize. It's about the end product for me. I like Company A's product with one stance and like Company B's product with a completely opposite stance (talking non-curriculum here). I'm not going to give up Product A because of a company's beliefs. I like Product A too much. For curriculum, I want it to be solid academically. That's my priority. I love CLE math. It works, it's a great program. I don't 100% espouse Mennonite views (hello, head coverings?) but I like the end product.

 

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'm actually watching a baseball game!

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I'm fine with providers who have the same views as me (of course). I'm fine with those who are neutral. I'm even fine with those who I know have different views as long as the product itself is neutral and the provider is tolerant. I'm okay with stores that support causes I oppose; many times, they'll also support causes I do.

 

I draw the line at supporting those who actively denounce my specific beliefs.

 

Yes, MIchelle. I found myself shaking my head at each point you made. :)

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I honestly find it tiresome to have to vet each and every company I patronize. It's about the end product for me. I like Company A's product with one stance and like Company B's product with a completely opposite stance (talking non-curriculum here). I'm not going to give up Product A because of a company's beliefs. I like Product A too much. For curriculum, I want it to be solid academically. That's my priority. I love CLE math. It works, it's a great program. I don't 100% espouse Mennonite views (hello, head coverings?) but I like the end product.

 

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I'm actually watching a baseball game!

 

I understand what you're saying. We are women - we can multi-task well! :)

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A publisher/author ("curriculum provider" is an awkward, inaccurate term...) will express his beliefs in what he has written--perhaps not as clearly as some, but we cannot help but be influenced by what we believe, KWIM? And so it is with someone who writes a science text or a literature guide or whatever it is he has written. I don't think it's necessary to put into print the stuff that Apologia has.

 

People should review materials they are thinking of buying. If they like what they see, they should buy it; if not, they shouldn't. Seems to me that people just need to use their brains.

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A publisher/author ("curriculum provider" is an awkward, inaccurate term...) will express his beliefs in what he has written--perhaps not as clearly as some, but we cannot help but be influenced by what we believe, KWIM? And so it is with someone who writes a science text or a literature guide or whatever it is he has written. I don't think it's necessary to put into print the stuff that Apologia has.

 

People should review materials they are thinking of buying. If they like what they see, they should buy it; if not, they shouldn't. Seems to me that people just need to use their brains.

 

Very true. That's what I am striving to do in all of my life. :)

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I buy Curriculum on just that, the curriculum. Do I like it, does my son like it. Does it teach what we want and how we want it. I am Pagan and a secular homeschooler however, we use Abeka for Math and SOTW for history! I cannot throw either of them out for my beliefs because my son loves them both and they do a great job of teaching the suject matter. If I could, yes I would switch to something else other that ABeka math but, there is nothing out there as good IMHO. We just use is as open dialog to discuss what other religions/faiths believe.

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As I go through this thought process, then I wonder: is it really that important what the provider's stance on religion really is? I mean, unless they are watering down/dumbing down/outright lying about things to prove their theological bent, what does it matter?

 

 

IMHO (other people obviously feel differently of course) those three things are exactly what Apologia does best. I won't use them, because I personally feel that the science is incorrect. I also feel the theology is incorrect. I also feel that for those who are religious or spiritual and not necessarily Christian may find issue with their products. I feel some Christians would find issue as well. (I keep feeling as if I have to explain that many people of other religions/persuasions besides Christianity believe in a Creator and that believing in a Creator does not equate Creationism or YE and negate evoluton/logical science etc--rant over).

 

I don't mind if an author is outspokenly Christian. The author of RS4K is a good example. People who prefer secular material seem to love to tear into those books, and yet imo there's nothing wrong with going with a neutral program and adding your own...whatever...in another way. Also I appreciate that RS4K does not make any reference to any theological terminology or so called beliefs in her materials. It's just science. Pure and simple. So I don't really care too much what her opinions are because I find her books useful. I don't care where she donates her money or spends her time because I like her books.

 

Same with Peace Hill press material. I really appreciate how they are religious and yet they don't feel the need to pepper their products with it. I stopped going to a co-op this year because of the science/faith issue. (and Apologia materials) I don't think it's right for others to say "this is what we believe as Christians" when there are just as many who *are* Christians (or other religions) who DO NOT believe in what Apologia or Answers in Genesis etc say. I cannot get behind this seemingly new idea that one isn't Christian unless....

 

Ellie is right, people need to use their brains. If you truly believe what Apologia or MOH says, fine, it doesn't affect how I raise or educate my children or how I teach my children my family's values. I choose not to use products that will require extensive tweaking and editing because why? There's other things more useful to use. BUT where I take issue is when someone (even an author of curriculum) implies they are somehow teaching a TRUTH that seems to not be up for any debate or interpretation.

 

I do feel that there are plenty of other resources out there that wondering if I should use something like Apologia thankfully doesn't even need my consideration.

 

I feel the same the other way. I don't really like books written by scientists who put down those who are religious like they're somehow idiots for believing in something. I honestly don't believe there is an issue between faith and science, I really don't. And I don't want books in my home that will make my children somehow think there is.

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What's also hard is when you agree with a publisher's religious views but feel they take it too far. I generally agree with a particular company's religious views and like them in general, but then I read one book by them and was appalled at how far to one political (and that includes religious too) side they are; even though I would consider myself to be on the same side (and was, quite frankly, glad to see a book that supported that side, I was really disappointed in the "our side good, the other side so bad they can do no good at all ever" mentality that pervaded the book. I would have liked to see a little more of a middle ground -- acceptance for "our side's" beliefs but without so much negativity toward the "other side." (At the same time, I believe in calling sin "sin," so I do think it's a fine line. The book was cheap and had come with free shipping, and it did have some useful points, so I did end up just keeping it and using parts of it, even though I edited a bit.)

 

I'm not likely to buy something that is very anti my religious views or pushing very strong religious views with which I do not agree. I think it's possible to talk up your views without necessarily putting down other people's. (And really, Christians feeling the need to call certain denominations non-Christian? Why is that necessary? Don't we face enough persecution as it is? Why do we pick on our own? Can't we just teach what we believe and leave it up to God to know people's hearts?)

 

I have felt that SWB has done a very good job of talking respectfully about multiple religious beliefs in SOTW; I think that sort of tone should be a goal, especially for young children. Maybe slightly different if you're writing for older students, and/or if you're writing about religious-oriented subject.

 

I guess I think: Be proud, be evangelical. Don't be rude.

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I've been on different ends of the spectrum at different times. I'm getting old. I don't know if I'm getting wise or lazy. Despite having a totally OCD personality, I'm looking at the whole, and less at the parts, every year.

 

It's not wrong to dig in your heals and refuse to use certain curricula, but it's hard work to do so, and there are often painful repercussions for doing so. Each family is unique, and what one family should do is not the same thing another should do.

 

I personally like American School for high school. It's secular but the "right" kind of secular for many religious groups. The school is very accommodating to fringe faiths. The volume of work is compatible with PS.

 

Most of the religious correspondence schools require a greater volume of work than American School. Many of them still ATTEMPT to reduce the volume to something manageable, or the fact is that word will get around that their graduation rate is low. The choice of Apologia is an attempt to actually get these kids through the traditional high school science texts.

 

For most families that pay for a correspondence school, the promise of a diploma is often the first priority. Saxon math is a time gobbler. it gobbles up science time. If you are going to attempt Saxon math and lab science, Apologia might actually get completed.

 

IF you want an accredited diploma, it'll be hard--maybe impossible-- to totally cater to your faith. There will be choices to be made. Choices that NO one else has the right to judge you for.

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FYI. Seton also permits Abeka.

 

That aside. I think there is a difference between having a personal opinion and selling a biased product.

 

I know for example that RS4K and apologia are not catholic companies. They are Protestant. So I can live without their endorsing my beliefs. I don't expect it.

 

However, when I find the materials are are biased against my beliefs I might not want to buy. How biased? One line? One chapter? Constantly? Is it misconception or hateful? Or more subtle? Pending those answers I might refuse to ever even bother looking at their materials or just decide it's too much tweaking work or whatever and stick to catholic or other more palatable choices.

 

Mostly I want to know about the actual materials not personal opinions. With maybe 2 exceptions.

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I am Mormon. But if wanted a curriculum that matched my worldview, I would have to seriously sacrifice my educational standards. (No offense intended to those who use LDS currricula. They just are not enough for me.) To me, the next best thing is to use curricula from companies that respect everyone's belief systems.

 

I struggled with this a great deal when I chose to use TOG. The authors are decidely anti-Mormon in their beliefs. But the curriculum materials are very respectful of all worldviews. Plus, the worldview portion is largely separated from the rest of the program. Any discussion of different religions is maintained in the teacher materials, so it is easy to edit.

 

It doesn't really matter to me what worldview a curriculum is based on. I do not feel my Church has a monopoly on truth. In fact, I like using materials with different worldviews, because it helps to teach my children what other people believe.

 

Additionally, my Church provides lots of support and materials for parents to teach religion to their children, so I don't feel like I need to find curriculum for that.

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It's a hard decision, no matter which route you go.

 

I'm Muslim, which means that even if I use secular materials it will never be in full accordance with my family's beliefs. Many homeschooling items out there are too religiously geared and "preachy" for us to even think about using {like Abeka or Rod & Staff}. There are no Islamic programs that I know of that compare to something like Seton or even Sonlight. Maybe someday there will be, but right now there isn't. I'm also restricted to what I can afford, which often means using materials I don't fully like because it's what we were given free.

 

We use Sonlight, but I only buy used unless it's something I MUST buy new {science kits, worksheets, etc}. I don't agree with SL and their belief system at all - they are a group that actively tries to sway people from my own faith system, and I know that a portion of their sales go towards missionary efforts to convert many groups including some I would consider Christian {like Catholic / Eastern Othodox, etc}. But yet I love the program, and so we just make tweaks by omitting certain books. When we get to Core F I'll be reworking the entire core, but I don't mind doing so. I have a rule when considering materials - I begin reading through the book and counting items I'll have to tweak or omit. If I get to more than 10, then I put the book back and look for something else. Now that doesn't mean I won't end up using it anyway if I can't find anything BETTER. We ended up doing this last year with the R&S Health and Manners 2 - there simply wasn't another text out there that addressed the same content. I didn't give dd the student book - we mostly did it orally and skipped pages here and there.

 

Really it comes down to where you as a family and educator draw the line. No two people draw it in the same place, and that's okay. I'm more than willing to use materials from Christian or even Catholic authors and companies, as long as they respect my faith and don't try to demean other faiths. I'm even willing to use materials from companies like SL that do put down my faith, but I try to not support them financially, so I only buy used materials when possible. You just have to do what is best for you and your child.

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I think it matters and I would never buy a product from a company that openly states views I find hateful. I'm a very liberal Christian and we school secularly, but I would totally consider using a number of Christian curricula if it was the right product for us. However, there are a number of companies that I would never consider.

 

It's very difficult with big corporations and non-homeschool products sometimes to vote with our dollars. Companies can be huge and sometimes it's hard to draw a line between your toothpaste and your views on religion or your fast food and your views on political issues. But this is the education of our children. And these are small companies serving a small community. I feel a much bigger impetus to speak out and to act and I would hope that would be true of most people here. If you find statements by Sonlight or Apologia or any other homeschool company offensive, then I would say vote with your dollars because it's a case where it can make a difference.

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There are different stripes of Christianity. As a Pagan, I wouldn't touch anything that had BJU's finger on it even slightly with at 20 foot pole. I would feel the same way if I was a Catholic or LDS. I don't want to use materials that fund a ministry that advocates intolerance and ignorance, no matter how good the specific subject matter might be.

 

I was schooled in middle school at a private Christian school that use Abeka and ACE. Yes, they were rigorous, and because I read a lot on my own the young-Earth science didn't trip me up much on the exam to get back into public school in high school, and I had a leg up in English having learned my grammar through diagramming. The Abeka Spanish course I took were rigorous and I learned a great deal there, too.

 

BUT, the materials went along with a profoundly intolerant brand of Christianity. It's a kind of thinking that I don't think is even clearly aligned with a particular Christian denomination, but can be found in pockets across several of them.

 

The children in the comic strips in the ACE Pace workbooks were segregated in a way that amounted to covert racism embedded in the curriculum across subjects.

 

We do use some curricula that have Christian content. Life of Fred comes to mind. There are Catholic materials I've considered, as well as some of SWB's material and some of the Mennonite curricula. It's not just religious content, it's other aspects of the culture that goes along with certain stripes of Christianity that I take exception to, mostly when it comes to total intolerance to others and spouting misinformation about others and calling it education. Catholics by and large don't do that. Neither do Mennonites or LDS or most stripes of Christians I've known.

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I have always wondered why Seton and Angelicum choose to use Apologia rather than secular books like Kolbe does. I presume it is because whoever picks the books is a YEC (even though the RCC takes no official position on the origins controversy).

 

I totally wonder about that myself, however their stock answer is that "Their families asked for it to be an option - same as Saxon".

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For brevity sake I'm just going to snip the pieces I wanted to comment on. :)

I don't want to use materials that fund a ministry that advocates intolerance and ignorance, no matter how good the specific subject matter might be.

 

It's not just religious content, it's other aspects of the culture that goes along with certain stripes of Christianity that I take exception to, mostly when it comes to total intolerance to others and spouting misinformation about others and calling it education.

 

Both these are very good points and dove tie in with a previous poster's comments that resonated with me. I really appreciate those who can articulate what they believe (or don't believe) but do it in a respectful manner without throwing any kind of emotional judgement into the mix.

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I feel a much bigger impetus to speak out and to act and I would hope that would be true of most people here. If you find statements by Sonlight or Apologia or any other homeschool company offensive, then I would say vote with your dollars because it's a case where it can make a difference.

 

Good point!!! It's hard to attack a behemoth and actually get anywhere unless it's a HUGE movement.

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I'm Muslim, which means that even if I use secular materials it will never be in full accordance with my family's beliefs.

 

Really it comes down to where you as a family and educator draw the line. No two people draw it in the same place, and that's okay. I'm more than willing to use materials from Christian or even Catholic authors and companies, as long as they respect my faith and don't try to demean other faiths. I'm even willing to use materials from companies like SL that do put down my faith, but I try to not support them financially, so I only buy used materials when possible. You just have to do what is best for you and your child.

 

I can imagine that finding Muslim material can be difficult.

 

Buying used is a good compromise because they've already gotten their money and you aren't adding to their coffers by using it.

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It doesn't really matter to me what worldview a curriculum is based on. I do not feel my Church has a monopoly on truth. In fact, I like using materials with different worldviews, because it helps to teach my children what other people believe.

 

Additionally, my Church provides lots of support and materials for parents to teach religion to their children, so I don't feel like I need to find curriculum for that.

 

Very good points! I agree!

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I don't pay much attention to their belief systems. I also don't look into what the belief system of the owners of JCPenney, Culvers, Pizza Hut, Target, SuperOne, and every other place I spend money. I am a busy mom and I simply have higher priorities for my time. Right or wrong it is what it is. That said, I try to stay very far away from any book that espouses hatred toward another worldview. I would never intentionally buy something that did this. I will also file it away when I hear public statements that I disagree with, i.e. Apologia. I don't plan to use their science anyway (and I will still use Fulbright's science) so I guess it doesn't sway me. If I was on the fence with a purchase, that kind of statement might push me one way or the other, but I don't go searching them out.

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FYI. Seton also permits Abeka.

 

That aside. I think there is a difference between having a personal opinion and selling a biased

Mostly I want to know about the actual materials not personal opinions. With maybe 2 exceptions.

 

Is this in High School? I haven't really researched a whole lot on my options at that point. For all we know, I might finally grow a pair and design my own curriculum by then!!! LOL

 

I'm truly amazed by Abeka...they have been outwardly and vocally anti-Catholic and even had to change one of their history books due to how inflammatory it was. EEK!!

 

And I'm dying of curiosity about your two exceptions!!!! LOL

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I'm looking at the whole, and less at the parts, every year.

 

That is a very good point! Thank you for saying this!

 

It's not wrong to dig in your heals and refuse to use certain curricula, but it's hard work to do so, and there are often painful repercussions for doing so. Each family is unique, and what one family should do is not the same thing another should do.

 

Again, right on the money. I can see how hard it would be to research every single company and every single writer of every single book, workbook, etc...

 

 

IF you want an accredited diploma, it'll be hard--maybe impossible-- to totally cater to your faith. There will be choices to be made. Choices that NO one else has the right to judge you for.

 

YES! I guess that's really the whole thing...we do what we do because we feel it's best for our family, and just like anything in the "Mommy Wars", your mileage may vary. ;)

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Ellie is right, people need to use their brains. If you truly believe what Apologia or MOH says, fine, it doesn't affect how I raise or educate my children or how I teach my children my family's values. I choose not to use products that will require extensive tweaking and editing because why? There's other things more useful to use. BUT where I take issue is when someone (even an author of curriculum) implies they are somehow teaching a TRUTH that seems to not be up for any debate or interpretation.

 

I do feel that there are plenty of other resources out there that wondering if I should use something like Apologia thankfully doesn't even need my consideration.

 

I feel the same the other way. I don't really like books written by scientists who put down those who are religious like they're somehow idiots for believing in something. I honestly don't believe there is an issue between faith and science, I really don't. And I don't want books in my home that will make my children somehow think there is.

 

Yes, so very true. I think there is a market and a demand for everyone. I don't think there can ever be a one size fits all, but it also takes a respectful person and writer to convey that. I search those people out.

 

I think I'm at a disadvantage with Apologia because I really haven't come across much of anything religious in the books we've done except "Creation Confirmation" sections in the Astronomy Book. We just skipped them. There wasn't anything else that I saw in the text, but I know people have run across it a lot more in the later years.

 

I too believe that science and a belief in God are not mutually exclusive. I believe you can honor and love God as the creator of all, and have many ways in which he could have started it all - all the way from him being the Divine Spark of the Big Bang, to starting the process of evolution and at a certain point infusing Man with a soul. I think the journey to find the truth has value, and honestly, I don't think we will EVER find out definitively, because that's part of the plan.

 

To deny science to me is to deny God, because since in my world view he created us all as intelligent beings, his fingerprints are all over science. :)

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(And really, Christians feeling the need to call certain denominations non-Christian? Why is that necessary? Don't we face enough persecution as it is? Why do we pick on our own? Can't we just teach what we believe and leave it up to God to know people's hearts?)

 

I have felt that SWB has done a very good job of talking respectfully about multiple religious beliefs in SOTW; I think that sort of tone should be a goal, especially for young children. Maybe slightly different if you're writing for older students, and/or if you're writing about religious-oriented subject.

 

I guess I think: Be proud, be evangelical. Don't be rude.

 

Oh, I so wish that we could do that. It definitely is something that I think all of us Christians can do better on.

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. I will also file it away when I hear public statements that I disagree with, i.e. Apologia. I don't plan to use their science anyway (and I will still use Fulbright's science) so I guess it doesn't sway me. If I was on the fence with a purchase, that kind of statement might push me one way or the other, but I don't go searching them out.

 

Fulbright Science is Apologia Science. She wrote Apologia's Young Explorer Series of books. If you use her science, you ARE using Apologia's science. I know you're saying it doesn't bother you, but just for clarity sake - they are one and the same.

 

http://www.jeanniefulbright.com/apologia-science/

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I have always wondered why Seton and Angelicum choose to use Apologia rather than secular books like Kolbe does. I presume it is because whoever picks the books is a YEC (even though the RCC takes no official position on the origins controversy).

 

I can tell you that when I first started home schooling , Kolbe had deplorable science. They switched to Printice Hall and I gave that a go. However, the biggest problem with most secular providers is they are also geared towards public school use. Regardless of the YEC or oer religious issues there may or may not be involved, they tend to not be at all home school no science teacher friendly. Even fully enrolled with Kolbe, I really struggled to use those materials the first time I had to teach high school level science.

 

For many people, they don't cose Apologia or Abeka because of YEC. Some of them aren't even Protestant/Christian. They use the materials because they are designed specifically for home schooler. Specificly homeschool parents that aren't confident of their ability to teach the subject well and want a program that is open and go with lots of guidance resources. Frankly, Kolbe's use of Printice Hall or Kenitic doesn't do that as well.

 

In the case of Seton, apologia or Abeka are the most palateable choices who materials are not blatantly against church teachings AND are known for being exceptionally homeschool user friendly AND fairly affordable. Also, eventually Seton plans to publish all their materials in house, but that's a very slow process from writing to publishing for each text. I imagine that when my kids are home schooling, Seton will have their own science texts published.

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I imagine that when my kids are home schooling, Seton will have their own science texts published.

 

I have noticed that since I started Seton. When we started, 4th grade science wasn't written yet and they are in the process of writing 6 and 7 I think. I'm hopeful that within the next few years, they'll get them done so Melissa can use them instead of Rod and Staff or Apologia. I really do prefer their Seton Press Science books. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4th grade one we're doing right now. Full of information, practical applications and experiments.

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Fulbright Science is Apologia Science. She wrote Apologia's Young Explorer Series of books. If you use her science, you ARE using Apologia's science. I know you're saying it doesn't bother you, but just for clarity sake - they are one and the same.

 

http://www.jeanniefu...ologia-science/

 

Yeah, but (lol, gotta love statements that start like that) she wrote them and Apologia picked them up. *She* is outside any statement made by the company. So is Jay Wile (the Apologia books author) for that matter. I use and like her books. If she made these statements I would think twice. I know it may be a fine line....

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Yeah, but (lol, gotta love statements that start like that) she wrote them and Apologia picked them up. *She* is outside any statement made by the company. So is Jay Wile (the Apologia books author) for that matter. I use and like her books. If she made these statements I would think twice. I know it may be a fine line....

 

Fair enough. Just wanted to be clear in case people DID think she had a completely different science curriculum than what Apologia puts out. :)

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I think it matters and I would never buy a product from a company that openly states views I find hateful.

 

I've come to this conclusion as well, and find myself adding another to list this week.

 

I do think there is a difference between personal belief and company stance. I'm sure there are books I use where I don't agree 100% with the author. However, if the company states a viewpoint I find hateful, I'll be disinclined to use it.

 

I've ordered more than one product over the years which claimed to teach A, but was riddled with bias against B that I refused to use it.

 

I think the tit-for-tat has gotten worse in the last few years.

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A provider's beliefs don't matter to me so much as how they express them and their views of others.

 

A company/author that believes they have found the "fullness of faith" is one thing. The same company/author stating that others outside that are not Christian is not fine with me.

 

Then there are certain beliefs that are important to me and if company/author works against those things or are hateful, condescending, or, well, are jerks about it then I have no reason or desire to give them my money.

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Fair enough. Just wanted to be clear in case people DID think she had a completely different science curriculum than what Apologia puts out. :)

 

I think this points to why this is so difficult, too. Jay Wile has a company - Apologia. He finds Fulbright's books and starts selling them under the Apologia name since he thinks they make a great lead in to his books. He sells his company and the new owner makes controversial statements. ACK! What to you do? Do you boycott Apologia? It won't hurt Wile at this point as I believe he is completely out of the picture. It could hurt Fulbright who (possibly) has the misfortune to be tied in with them. It will definitely send a message to the current Apologia owners. I don't know what the right answer is.

 

IMO, It is much more clear cut when you have a curriculum distributor, like Abeka. They are publishing their own materials. Their materials teach what is their particular bent. I just stay far away because I know that I disagree with everything from their teaching methods to their belief system. Easy call.

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There are different stripes of Christianity.

 

But only one Jesus. As a friend of mine says, "It's all the same Jesus." It is horrid how (we) Christians treat others - whether Christian or not.

 

As a Pagan, I wouldn't touch anything that had BJU's finger on it even slightly with at 20 foot pole. I would feel the same way if I was a Catholic or LDS. I don't want to use materials that fund a ministry that advocates intolerance and ignorance, no matter how good the specific subject matter might be.

 

I draw the line at BJU. I have friends who use BJU. I'm glad they has something that works for them. I just cannot support that company. However, we use A Beka for math. I looked into A Beka quite a bit before deciding to use their math. At this point, I'm okay with supporting their company ('ministry'?) because they've really backed off on their Catholic-bashing in recent years. (And maybe that's a business decision?)

 

There was a thread a couple years ago about using CLE (math) as a Catholic. I know they (CLP) try to convert Catholics because there was a story about it in one of the newsletters I received after buying their math one year. My DH has commented that those Mennonites really know how to publish good materials for math (& life skills like sewing, home management, car maintenance, etc.).

 

I really make the decision on a case-by-case basis. For me, the decision is like certain immunizations where aborted fetal tissue was used as a base. If there is no (good) alternative, I weigh the risks. On the third try, all my kids got the real chickenpox disease instead of the varicella immunization. However, the younger ones are all getting the MMR because there isn't a separate Measles & Mumps shot anymore.

 

I'm glad for this thread because I was trying to find a scientist/author who is writing "Catholic science" texts because he feels that current ones are leaving out some really important information in their attempt to be 'secular.' (I couldn't find him, but I'll come back to add info if I find it later.) I did find Catholic Science - which professes to offer rigorous Catholic (Old Earth, BTW) high school science. They also have an online library of links to articles related to faith & science. Interesting stuff.

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I have always wondered why Seton and Angelicum choose to use Apologia rather than secular books like Kolbe does. I presume it is because whoever picks the books is a YEC (even though the RCC takes no official position on the origins controversy).

 

 

My question is why Catholics have not written and published their own materials. :huh:

 

I would be very, very cautious about using a secular science book, because there would be so much I'd have to filter and explain and discuss. I'm not shackled to young earth (as in a literal six-day creation), but I am definitely, firmly in the camp of Special Creation (the term used before "intelligent design"), and I definitely believe that the earth is not a gazillion years old; I wouldn't want to have to examine every.single.thing to see if it's implying in any way that we came from slime on a rock.

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My question is why Catholics have not written and published their own materials. :huh:

 

I would be very, very cautious about using a secular science book, because there would be so much I'd have to filter and explain and discuss. I'm not shackled to young earth (as in a literal six-day creation), but I am definitely, firmly in the camp of Special Creation (the term used before "intelligent design"), and I definitely believe that the earth is not a gazillion years old; I wouldn't want to have to examine every.single.thing to see if it's implying in any way that we came from slime on a rock.

 

I don't know about Seton, but Kolbe's lesson plans come with discussion as to how to present the secular science in a "church appropriate" fashion - what points are considered valid by the church, what isn't, and discussion points, from what I understand.

 

And CHC does have a fantastic science program - completely Catholic.

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It's important to me to know if my educational provider is offering a comprehensive educational learning experience or using a particular subject to reinforce a belief. Apologia explains their mission page:

 

 

We at Apologia believe in homeschooling because we have experienced it as a great way to raise, educate, and disciple children. And we have seen that homeschooling is a powerful way to change the world when those children start impacting the communities where they live.

 

So yeah, it's important to me.

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I don't know about Seton, but Kolbe's lesson plans come with discussion as to how to present the secular science in a "church appropriate" fashion - what points are considered valid by the church, what isn't, and discussion points, from what I understand.

 

And CHC does have a fantastic science program - completely Catholic.

 

 

Another vote here for the CHC science program - we used to use it when I was Catholic and LOVED it. I really really really wish I could still use it, but we were just doing too much editing.

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I don't know about Seton, but Kolbe's lesson plans come with discussion as to how to present the secular science in a "church appropriate" fashion - what points are considered valid by the church, what isn't, and discussion points, from what I understand.

 

And CHC does have a fantastic science program - completely Catholic.

 

 

Shhh. Don't tell Seton on me, but we're using CHC's BEhold and See next year for science. It covers basically the same material so we will take Seton's tests, but use Behold and See for our main text.

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I'm LDS and I have no issues using curriculum from other faiths as long as it works for us.

 

However after reading that article I will now never use Apologia.

 

It doesn't bother me in the least that they printed anti-mormon sentiments but what does bother me is that a lot of what they used to back their argument was simply false. We do not believe those things about other Christians and it is not taught in our church.

 

I won't use the curriculum of a company who doesn't do their research properly. I no longer trust their curriculum to be properly researched Kwim.

 

If everything they had written in the article was true I would have no beef with it...people are entitled to their opinion whatever it is...I take no offence to it. However their article was full of half truths and they used sources that are not doctrine but one mans opinion. Most people who write this stuff have never read the Book of Mormon ...which is the foundation of our beliefs and yet claim to be an expert on what we believe.

 

I don't buy curriculum from companies who use cherry picked research to support their argument...it makes me suspicious that their curriculum is based on shaky ground as well.

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I'll tell ya... I'm struggling with this.

My husband (devout Catholic; scientist by education and trade) is FIRMLY against Apologia's science. He doesn't consider YE science to be valid and it's something he's pretty darn emphatic about.

I have concerns about Apologia for the same reasons I do about BJU - the anti Catholic sentiment. Different concerns from the hubby, but concerns still.

The problem? Darned if they (Apologia) don't have the market cornered in terms of homeschool friendly, fun, science for the clueless homeschool parent (that would be me - my husband's academic polar opposite).

 

I don't plan to use them, but I wish I could sometimes.

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I'll tell ya... I'm struggling with this.

My husband (devout Catholic; scientist by education and trade) is FIRMLY against Apologia's science. He doesn't consider YE science to be valid and it's something he's pretty darn emphatic about.

I have concerns about Apologia for the same reasons I do about BJU - the anti Catholic sentiment. Different concerns from the hubby, but concerns still.

The problem? Darned if they (Apologia) don't have the market cornered in terms of homeschool friendly, fun, science for the clueless homeschool parent (that would be me - my husband's academic polar opposite).

 

I don't plan to use them, but I wish I could sometimes.

 

Please, check out "Behold and See" from Catholic Heritage Curricula. Compared to Apologia, I find them much better!!

 

https://www.chcweb.com/catalog/ScienceAndMath/ScienceAndHealthPE/catalog.html

 

it is an engaging, friendly text with fun science and seems very easy to teach. I have heard raves about it and I'm going to try it this year in 5th grade with my daughter.

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