As we have been discussing, conventional schooling is destructive. If this is true, why are our Christian schools, and even our homeschools, following a pattern that has ushered in so much evil? Why aren’t we teaching the right curriculum?
Here are some obvious reasons:
- It’s all we know.
- It keeps the officials happy.
- It’s like a comfortable old pair of jammies; familiar and cozy (albeit ugly and smelly).
I hope that what you have read here in past posts has helped you to see this question from a new perspective. I hope you are ready to tackle the education question and wrestle it down until it conforms to something that is both old and new; something that meets the needs of the child as a unique person created in God’s image, not as a product of conception that will serve the State.
Conventional schooling, in its need to put us all into neat little holes, can only allow a certain shape of peg. That is why, while it claims to be “freedom,” it is actually stifling and limiting. I am here to tell you:
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE!
I know this seems strange. When I began it was a lot like driving a car for the first time. I was shaking I was so afraid! Would I run into someone or something? How could I coordinate everything all at once? What if I took a wrong turn?
But now, after 34 years of driving so many vehicles (including stick shifts and three different 15 passenger vans), a car feels like an extension of my body. Road trips and blizzards are easy-peasy.
But here is something to think about while we are enjoying learning without borders:
Are we keeping with the actual, original intent of education?
Here we must divert briefly and address a foundational philosophical question:
“Does an ‘original intent’ actual exist?”
In order to have an original intent, we must discuss where such an intent came from and why we should even care…
You see, we live in a world that has been attacking the idea of “absolutes.” We know this because it is considered thoughtful and considerate to say to someone, “Well, that’s your truth.”
Do we understand that this statement actually means, “Since there isn’t any ‘truth,’ that word doesn’t really mean anything at all.”?
This is not just a sticky pickle for people who do not claim to know God. This is a conundrum for those of us who read our Bibles and say our prayers.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.John 14:6
He also said:
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.John 8:32
Do we say we love Jesus? If so, we can’t be going around spouting that nonsense of “your truth.” There is only ONE truth, and it is absolute and all-encompassing.
This is the premise from which we examine the idea of
And where do we find this “original intent”? Why, in The Book, of course!
Now, I know even The Book (for “bible” means “book” in Greek and this is The Book of Books) has been under constant attack. Here are some common questions lobbed:
- Isn’t it just a collection of myths and legends with good moral meanings? (But not literal.)
- Wasn’t it written way after it happened so it’s full of errors?
- Isn’t it archaic and irrelevant in places?
- Isn’t it full of contradictions?
And here are some answers:
Compelling Truth is nice and straight-forward.
If you are thoroughly convinced (as I am) that this Bible is absolutely the truth from THE Truth, then we can begin to trust it for addressing every challenge we have in our lives:
as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,2 Peter 1:3
“OK, Sherry, so what does this have to do with homeschool curriculum?” I hear you saying.
Simply this: From The Book we can gather these main reasons for education:
- To know God
- To operate in and enjoy His creation
- To serve others
Isn’t this list different from the one we have been programmed to accept? We have been told we need children to go to school:
- Because everybody does
- To get a good job
- To gain the approval of others
- To enjoy themselves
- To get along with others
- To get smarter
- To make friends
The first list is a pretty deep one. It is pointed upward and outward. The second list is shallow and inward, even self-centered. A lot of what we expect from education is nothing but rhetoric. Most of those who graduate do not land dreamy, well-paying jobs, even after college. The “friends” they make don’t last much past graduation. Loads of kids don’t enjoy themselves (more like a prison sentence than an amusement park). They do learn a lot about rejection and bullying (either as the bully or the victim). “Cancelling” and other forms of subversion of one group or another is pretty standard these days. Thanks to the government (who is here to help) our kids may come home with hormone suppressants and gender surgeries without our approval.
And do kids really get “smarter”? We can’t go by test results, since these are gathered by dubious means (they exclude slow learners from the results by declaring them “special education” and then take the rest of the students and teach to the test). Asking a recent graduate a few pointed questions will reveal the truth.
If kids are smart, conventional education has nothing to do with it.
Then we’re back to that question, “What is truth?” via the question, “What is smart?” and we find ourselves with these statements from The Truth:
Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.Proverbs 4:5
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.Proverbs 1:7
Sooo…the right curriculum isn’t about tacking on some Bible verses to an otherwise empty, ego-centric framework. It doesn’t treat God as a sideline, it is based on Him and Who He is as expressed in His creation.
The right curriculum is GOD-centric.
As the Apostle Paul said to the listeners on Mars Hill:
for in Him we live and move and have our beingActs 17:28a
(In case you were wondering, as I once did, if it is possible to teach all children in our nation with the Bible as the foundation, the answer is “yes.” We did this very thing up until the 1920’s and even into the 1960’s. Read this post for more.)
I was always told that education done this way was narrow and limiting. But since I have been teaching (or learning along with) my own children for the past 31 years, I have found the opposite to be true.
Everything opened up when I decided to make God the center of our learning. Instead of the cold, hard facts with no relevance to anything personal, everything became personal. We could study rocks, trees, stars, history and enjoy them with Him–the Lover of our souls who gave us all things richly to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
When examining modern curriculum, I feel at a loss. Even the ones which are “Christian” seem to have lost the ability to think outside of the conventional norms. They may even have the right focus, but the wrong system. The methods and structure are the same ones used by Progressives and Behaviorists which do not recognize humans as having souls.
We don’t believe they have hearts.Hillary Clinton
So I have culled curriculum that was authored before the Progressives and Behaviorists gained total control, but even then I am careful. I also approach learning from a new model. I approach it from the viewpoint that knowledge is transmitted through relationship, and I tie everything into the law as Jesus summarized it:
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:30-31
No, I haven’t arrived. Holy Spirit is opening new doors for me as I walk all of this out. I pass through one, and another is just before me. I’m just jazzed to be on the journey!