Posted in Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject History & Geography, The Robinson Booklist

G.A. Henty and the Christian Worldview

Sabbath Eve

As a Robinson Curriculum user, I found this post by Daniel J. Mount to be very interesting.  Basically, Mr. Mount argues that Henty’s books actually undermine a Christian worldview by promoting ecumenism, masquerading as gods, astrology, occultism, witchcraft, evolution, racism, and objectionable language.  This is good to know for anyone considering using Henty’s books in their homeschool so they can decide what is appropriate for their children.

Although the Robinson Curriculum promotes the books, we don’t actually use them, although we do own The Cat of Bubastes and In Freedom’s Cause.  I have read The Cat of Bubastes and it didn’t blow me away.  Delightful only made it through a few pages before she asked to try something else.  If anyone is looking for an alternative to Henty’s books that has a more Christian worldview, I heartily recommend any of R.M. Ballantyne‘s books instead.

In the meantime, here are some quotes from Mr. Mount’s article showing how Henty portrayed Protestants, which is not how I generally want my religion to be portrayed to my children (although with some children books like this can inspire great discussions):

All But Lost:

“He hated the shop, he hated business, he almost hated his father. Heartily did he envy his associates in the shop, who at least, when the day’s work was over, could take their departure and be their own masters until the shutters were taken down in the morning. His drudgery never ceased, for when the shop was closed, his father, a great part of whose daytime was occupied by City business, would sit down with him at the desk and go into the whole accounts of the day’s sales until half-past nine. Then upstairs, where the servants would be summoned, and his father would take his place at the head of the table with a large Bible before him, which he would read and expound in a stern harsh manner, eminently calculated to make the Scriptures altogether hateful to those who heard him. This with prayer lasted for an hour. Then to bed; to begin over again in the morning.”[22]

Won By the Sword: A Tale of the Thirty Years’ War:

“My father brought me up a Protestant like yourself, and when I was quite young I had a very dreary time of it while he was away, living as I did in the house of a Hugenot pastor. After that I attended the Protestant services in the barracks, for all the officers and almost all the men are Protestants, and, of course, were allowed to have their own services; but the minister, who was a Scotchman, knew better than to make his discourses too lengthy; for if he did, there was a shuffling of jack-boots on the stone floor and a clanking of sabres that warned him that the patience of the soldiers was exhausted. In our own glen my father has told me that the ministers are as long-winded as those of Geneva; but, as he said, soldiers are a restless people, and it is one thing for men who regard the Sunday gathering as the chief event in the week to listen to lengthy discourses, but quite another for soldiers, either in the field or a city like Paris, to do so.”[23]

The Curse of Carne’s Hold:

“The missionaries made pets of them [the Hottentots], and nice pets they turned out. It is just the same thing in India. It’s the very dregs of the people the missionaries always pick up with.”[32]

[22] Henty, All But Lost, volume, chapter 3.

[23] Henty, Won By the Sword, chapter 6.

[32] Henty, The Curse of Carne’s Hold, closing paragraph of chapter 10.

Read more of Mr. Mount’s article here:

Posted in Homeschooling, Our Adventures, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Writing & Penmanship

A Funny Oral Narration, Grade 1

In which Sunny, 6 (she asked for a name change from “Feisty”), attempts to narrate an entire book and gets some of the details mixed up:

Jesus is Alive: The Amazing Story

(Note: this books covers Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection)

923448Jesus took three disciples with him somewhere.  “Stay here and sit down and pray while I go to a different place and pray.  I will come back.”  When he comed back, they were all asleep.  The frightness had made them all exhausted.

Once, twelve of disciples went out to fish.  When they came back, they sawed Jesus standing on the beach waiting for them.

He said, “Do you have any food?”

They said, “no.”

“Put the net in one more time” and when they did this, it was full of tons and tons of little tiny fish.

Then Jesus got captured and he got crucified.  He was put into a cave.  A big stone was rolled on the entrance of a cave.  And there was a chicken, too.

But he rose from the dead and said, “Peter, you denied me three times.  And when the cock crows you’ll come back to normal.”

And Peter sat near the fire and the chicken.  Someone pointed at him and said, “You are Peter.  You were with God.”

And Peter said, “I do not know the man.”

Then she pointed out again, “You are a disciple.  You are one of God’s followers.”

And then he said, “I told you, I do not know the man!”

Then she pointed out again, “You are one of God’s disciples.”

Then Peter said, “I telled you two times.  I will tell you once more.  I do not know the man!  Wataa!”

And then the cock crowed “Cock-a-doodle-dooooooooooooooooo” and Peter was the same.

“I have denied Jesus three times” and he started to cry.

And three women came to see Jesus, but when they got there the stone was already rolled away.  And they all said, “Wataa!”

And then, someone was crying about Jesus and she told to a man what had happened.  And then he said, “Mary.”

Then Mary knew that it was the son of Jesus and she said, “Woo hoo!  Jesus is alive!” And she hugged him.

And she lived on a farm with pigs, chickens, cows, horses, ducks, and a rooster.  And they lived ever after Amen.

The End.

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Subject Math, Writing & Penmanship

Education Around the Web, December 2015


Some recent education-related headlines:


Home schooling of 20,000 children across the country will be reviewed amid fears they are being ‘radicalised by parents’

UK government mulls ‘crackdown’ on homeschoolers

Higher Education:

Oklahoma university president: School is not a ‘day care’ or ‘safe space’


Harry Potter in schools ‘offends religious parents’: Teachers accused of exposing children to ‘witchcraft and Satanism’ when using books in the classroom

One in eight children have never been given a book: Study also finds pupils who read outside of school are five times more likely to be above expected level for their age

Philadelphia high school removes Huckleberry Finn from curriculum because its racial slurs are ‘challenging for students’

Parents’ outrage after Virginia high school students are asked to practice calligraphy by writing ‘There is no god but Allah’

Teachers should ban times tables tests to stop children developing a crippling fear of making mistakes, says leading academic


Blind seven-year-old girl who was banned from using her white stick because it could trip up teachers will go to another school after being ‘forced out’ by online campaign

Christian religious assemblies for children should be scrapped along with segregation of pupils by faith says ex-High Court judge

Tell pupils that Britain is Christian, schools are told as Education Secretary vows not to force teachers to spend time on atheism

(Updated) Kid’s toys are recording and transmitting every conversation

Posted in Christian, Covenantal, Family & Parenting, Homeschooling, Homeschooling Methods, Spiritual Upbringing, Subject Bible & Theology

The Foundation, Light, and Heart of Every Subject

David J. Engelsma:

1288583_92016249“Scripture must be taught thus: as the foundation, light, and heart of every subject. Scripture is to be worked into every subject, naturally and matter-of-factly, as the ground on which that aspect of reality solidly stands; as the light that illumines both the particular aspect of creation that is being studied, so as to give it meaning, and the student himself who is studying, as regards his knowledge and use of that aspect of creation; and as the heart, or core, of the subject, thus unifying all the subjects.

The teaching of Scripture in this way must not be conceived apart from the content of Scripture. This content is the glorious Triune God, Father of Jesus Christ, Who must be loved, feared, and served by the redeemed man and woman in the totality of their life…

This kind of teaching of the Bible in the Christian school should be illustrated. Take, first, the subjects that have to do with reading and writing, including grammar, literature, spelling, and speech. They are grounded in the Word of John 1, the Word Who is eternally with God and Who is eternally God, the Word Who enlightens every man who comes into the world, the Word Who became flesh in our Lord Jesus. Human words are not an interesting, useful, but accidental phenomenon. They are rather the reflection in His creation of the Word in God. At the heart of the subjects that have to do with words is the reality of fellowship through communication, just as the eternal Word in God is the Word of fellowship within the Godhead and the Word of fellowship to God’s elect church. This leads on to the notion of truth in literature and to the notion of beauty in speech.

In her teaching of these subjects, the teacher must be guided by the biblical doctrine concerning the Word in God; concerning fellowship through words; and concerning truth and beauty in man’s speech and writing. According to the capabilities of the children, they must be shown these things. I dare say that the effect of such teaching will be a powerful strengthening of the children’s abhorrence of the filthy, violent, senseless pulp coming off the presses today and a powerful strengthening of their understanding of what words are for in the church, as well as the encouragement and preparation of the children to use and enjoy their gifts of reading and writing.

As for history, the ground, the meaning, and the center of that important subject are the biblical doctrines of creation; providence; the fall; Christ and the church; the rise and fall of nations by the direct hand of God; the temporal judgments of God; and the titanic, global struggle of the Civitas Dei and the Civitas Mundi. The meaning of history is Jesus the Christ, and the future of history is the kingdom of Christ.

With regard to science, Scripture’s teachings of fiat creation, the creation of man in God’s image, the fall and subsequent curse on the earth, the catastrophic destruction of the world that then was by a universal flood, and God’s orderly government of His creation (“laws of nature”) are essential to the truth of science.

Such teaching of Scripture in the schools makes the instruction the truth, both in each subject and overall, and keeps it from being the lie. Such teaching makes the instruction Christian – not only “godly”, but Christian.”

Read more:

Posted in Education, Education & Homeschool News, Higher Education, Leftism in Education, Reading & Literature, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Subject Math, Subject Philosophy, Writing & Penmanship

Education Around the Web, October 2015

990536_37770166Some education-related headlines I encountered this past month:


Growing up homeschooled: Photographer’s intimate portraits of children learning outside the conventional classroom walls

‘Hate’ for homeschoolers rattles Marine who served in Iraq


Can YOU solve the maths problem Scottish schoolkids couldn’t? Exam question slammed as being far too difficult

Children aged 11 who can’t write their own name: Popularity of computer games means secondary school pupils lack basic skills

Common Core gets a Fail for common sense: Angry parents baffled by third grade math question that claims 5+5+5=15 is NOT correct

Detroit Public Schools: 93% Not Proficient in Reading; 96% Not Proficient in Math

Grades for US schoolchildren fall: Only a third of the nation’s eighth-graders are now proficient in math and reading

Schoolchildren aged 14 left traumatised after being told to investigate child murders as part of their philosophy homework

Leftism in Education:

Chicago Public Schools Mandate Sex Ed for Kindergarteners

Fury after children as young as 13 are made to write a fictional ‘suicide note’ for GCSE English homework

Obamacare causes Tennessee district to close schools over lack of funding

Principal holds up student election results because winners not diverse enough

‘This is racist in every form’: Florida mother’s outrage over Middle School ‘Lifeboat Test’ where students forced to choose between saving Barack Obama Justin Bieber and Donald Trump

VIDEO: Student says TX teacher forced 7th graders to deny God is real, or take a failing grade

Higher Education:

Counselling services at college have doubled because millennials are having ’emotional crises over everyday life’, psychologist claims


Can you believe this essay is handwritten? Chinese school forces pupils to write English letters like a computer – and each character must be identical EVERY TIME

Despite lack of funding, parents increasingly choose independent schools in Ontario

Girl, six, sent home on school bus in just a shirt and underwear after her pleas to go to the bathroom were ‘ignored by teacher’ and she soiled herself

Schools will start telling pupils they should have children as early as possible to avoid fertility problems

The ‘no-tech’ school where screens are off limits – even at home

Posted in Family & Parenting, Logic, Reading & Literature, Spiritual Upbringing, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject English, Subject Philosophy

Ethics and Logic Require Imagination

Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis - FAIRY TALE (FAIRY TALE OF KINGS) - 1909

“Though I have heard it too many times, I am still pierced through when I hear Christian parents glibly proclaiming that they don’t want their children to hear fairy tales or fiction of any sort. It sounds like a certain death sentence. It sounds like the parent is saying, “I’m really hoping to raise imbeciles and perverts to the glory of God.”

A well-exercised imagination is crucial to making moral and rational judgments. Both ethics and logic assume imagination as a starting point. Those who lack a dynamic imagination will never be able to grow into mature wisdom. They will always be stuck in very narrow, self-centered mental grooves, following infantile rules.”

Read more:

Posted in Creation & Evolution, Logic, Subject Bible & Theology, Subject Math, Subject Philosophy, Subject Science

Why Mathematics Works