Saturday, May 06, 2006

Homeschooling Crazy?

All right, after this post, I'm gonna leave the Reading Theme for a bit. But the whole topic is making me think... a lot. First, I'm considering what I read. Is it God's Word? If not, why not? Why am I reading it? Am I growing? Am I challenged? Am I enjoying?

My second line of thought, concerns my search for curriculum - rather, reading material for my children. I have a 5 year-old that reads voraciously. Everything that is put in front of him in print form is consumed. This means I need to be vigilant in examining the food his mind is devouring. Since he is only 5, this has meant a lot of books off the 1,000 Good Books list. I have not placed the Bible in front of him, thinking it is an intimidating volume - visually. We have lots of Bible story books, but the pure word would be best for him to "eat". So how do I get him reading it? I guess, here's a project for me over the coming months.

Finally, I'm even wondering if the teaching of my children should come exclusively from the Word of God. This is why I called this post "crazy". Could I honestly teach my sons all they need to know for life (including calculus, algebra, literature, history, etc.) using the Bible alone? Has anyone else considered this?

Or in the effort to enjoy creativity and beauty (words, phrases, rhyme, meter, etc.), is there a place and time to explore books that are written by man, but a reflection of God's creativity? Is there a time and place to discuss the material written by unbelievers that have a "darkened mind"? What about music? art? relating to the world we live in?

If I'm sounding a little crazy, just credit it to "birthday madness" - a malady that appears just once a year... we hope. Got comments? I'd love to hear from you.


Kelly said...

Thank you for the 1,000 good books link. It will definitely come in handy for my future in teaching young children of God. I am constantly looking for resources to support the Alberta curriculum :)

opora said...

Bonne Fete Marlene (from the french family across the globe!) I didn't realize it was your birthday and you are already probably fast asleep, so I hope you had a great day!

My only question about this when you say "Could I honestly teach my sons all they need to know for life (including calculus, algebra, literature, history, etc.) using the Bible alone?" is does he really require all those things for life? I'm so embarrassed about my long winded thinking out loud, I'll save all my further questions and comments.

Either way, I agree with the other ladies on the last post, you obviously doing a fine job of raising and looking after your family. So as they say here in the Land of Auz...good on ya mate!

Kim said...

Well, if you follow the example of Christ Himself, you would want your children to increase in wisdom and knowledge. I'm sure Jesus was taught skills he needed to make a living. However, I'm also sure that the source of wisdom was from God's own word as taught to him by his earthly parents.

One thing I have always considered as I have chosen materials for my chidren is answering the question: "What do I want them to look like when they are adults?" We never know what God will have in store from them.

Christel said...

Hi Marlene,

I've really enjoyed your series on reading -- especially the encouragement to read books that stretch our minds and helpful tips on how to read them comprehensively.

I think you're right when you say that there is "a place and time to explore books that are written by man." The reason I say this is that I think it may miss the point of why God gave us the bible if we use it exclusively in teaching children. For, instance, the bible is not meant as a science textbook, but is primarily given to us to teach us about God, how we to live before Him, and how to glorify and enjoy Him.

However, having said that, everything that the bible says about science is true and accurate, and understanding the Word of God, shapes how we view science and helps us to understand how to approach science. The bible gives us the framework to put science in. When the Psalms say, "The heavens declare the glory of God," it assumes that we have some concept of how glorious the heavens are. And perhaps if we study the heavens more, we would see more of their glory and therefore glorify God more.

I heard a sermon yesterday in which the pastor said, "The only perfect parents I've meet are the ones that don't have any children yet." As a person who has no children yet, I hope I'm not being presumptuous in commenting. I have really benefitted from reading your posts and the comments of all the godly women who do have children. :)

Marlene S. said...

Thanks for the comments.

Kelly, I really like this book list -there are others, if you'd ever like. This is my favorite because it's free via the web.

Opora, my thoughts were coming along the lines you were saying. But as I consider the future of the boys - what I need to prepare them for in life - I see them being providers of families, or missionaries, maybe doctors, or pastors, or archaelogists in Israel (this is what one told me his professional choice was yesterday), etc. These being the case, how do I get them into university without calculus, algebra, physics, etc.? In our present age, these skills are mandatory to the schooling necessary for many professions.

Kim and Christel, I appreciate your words. This is where I have stood for a long time, and still where I am... kind of. I guess this will be a topic to stew for a while and pray about. I am so glad that I can be sure God will lead me, as I entrust this all to Him and seek His face in it all! What a mighty and wise and good God we serve!!

opora said...

I agree Marlene and I think it's all about goals for our children. I guess I am so new to walking in a life with God that I continue to see the worlds view and how strong of a force it is. Money, success and position are seducing many of our children (and ourselves for that matter).

Motives to have godly children that is one thing, but if our motives are for our child to have a successful career, and succeed by wordly standards, that is another. We also need to be sure to not put our exciting, godly goals and ambitions on our children.

The bottom line is that whatever skills your children have in the end of their schooling career, God will use them to further his kingdom will he not? Also, you and I are dealing with totally different children and you have to follow your children's lead to some degree in with the skills and gifts they have been given.

Also, what you said about our present age is also relevent now, but will all these things be relevant later on? We can't predict how things will change that's why I think we are safe to stick to God's teaching above all else. A current example to compare might be the fact that right now, the demand is not for engineers and intelligensia, but trades people who know how to work with their hands.

From what I've heard of you and your sons and your they say here in Australia...NO WORRIES! Whatever you've done is already a success as far as I can see!