So much for all those homeschool books, articles, etc. that imply that if you just use x curriculum and do x, y, and z, then your children will embrace the faith and carry it on to the next generation!
Articles like this make me want to evaluate what I am doing in my homeschool and family to pass on a spiritual heritage to my children. At times, this can be a frustrating exercise.
You see, in an ideal Christian homeschool, we would use all Christian resources that teach from a Christian perspective and have our beliefs woven into every subject (Consider also: An Education Acceptable to God). Yet, this doesn’t always work for a variety of reasons: Maybe the resources are made more for a classroom setting and don’t easily adapt for a homeschool. Maybe the resources don’t work with the teacher’s teaching style. Maybe the resources don’t work with a child’s learning style. You get the point.
I have run into all of the above problems and use some “neutral” resources in our homeschool. For instance, I have been using English Lessons Through Literature with Delightful, 8, and have really liked the program because it combines artist study, poetry, fine literature, and gentle grammar (including diagramming) and writing instruction all in one resource. We were originally doing all of these things separately, but found ourselves getting too bogged down at the beginning of this year. Sometimes having only one book or file to deal with is a major plus when you have a bunch of little ones running around getting into everything!
As much as I like English Lessons Through Literature, though, it does not include an explicitly Christian perspective. What to do? This is where the idea of Biblical integration comes in.
To quote one source, “Simply stated, biblical integration is taking a lesson objective and/or lesson outline, and teaching it from a Christian perspective.” This is easier said than done in a homeschool setting because it is not always possible to prepare detailed daily lesson plans for each student in each subject for each day (at least, not in my family). However, here are some things I have been doing to move our learning in a more integrated direction:
1. I have been reading up on how different subjects relate to a Christian worldview. Some helpful online resources for this are:
2. I have been evaluating how I can more explicitly bring God’s Word to bear on different subjects. This might be as simple as asking, “On which day of creation did God make this type of animal?” during a science lesson.
3. I have been making sure we keep up with daily family worship, which for us includes Bible reading, Psalm singing, memory verses, prayer, and catechism.
4. I have been making sure I don’t miss opportunities to talk to my children about spiritual things. This week, it happened at 1:00 in the morning after one of my little guys fell out of bed. His brother, who got woken up in the process, was suddenly interested in the concept of having a “stony heart” (Ezekiel 36:26) and wanted to know more about it.
This isn’t pure biblical integration as the above websites would have it, but it’s a start. What about your homeschool? Do you use all resources that reflect your theological beliefs? Or do you use some “Christian friendly” resources that aren’t so explicit? How do you include God in your curriculum so that you are giving your children a truly Christian education?