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When Faith and Curriculum Collide, Public School Teachers Homeschooling

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, May 11, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 37 May 11, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Guest Article
-- Faith and Curriculum Collision
Helpful Tips
-- Relaxing about Academics
Winning Website
-- Homeschool Recipe Swap
Reader Question
-- School Teacher Homeschooling
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Guest Article

When Faith and Curriculum Collide
by Christine Emmick


You just get home from the library with a stack of books for your
daughter’s unit study on the life cycle of pill bugs. You are
snuggling on the couch with your daughter and, wham! It hits you.
Right in the middle of the paragraph is this sentence about how over
millions of years this creature evolved from a giant deep-sea isopod.
Whether you’re dealing with a book insisting the earth is a gazillion
years old or statements like, 'this platypus has evolved from a
primitive mammal', in today’s culture, you are likely to find theories
that differ from your faith’s claims as to the origin of life. And
in most texts, these theories are stated as fact.

Origin of Origins

Looking at the reasoning behind this type of treatment of scientific
and historical 'facts' might lead us to some simple conclusions.
Maybe the author simply wanted to use simplified language, and it
seemed more appropriate to state the theory instead of saying, 'we
think that..." Maybe the author doesn’t realize these are merely
theories. Maybe the author thinks no Christians who believe the
bible’s creation account will read their book. Or maybe, just maybe,
these authors are deliberately trying to undermine our children’s
spiritual lives. In a documentary done several years ago about a
special interest group’s agenda, they said that they were specifically
targeting the schools as a proverbial mission field for their cause.
Their explicit intent was to, 'get to the children'. When this
documentary was shown in our bible study at church, my husband and I
decided that day to homeschool our children.

You Can’t Protect Them Forever

No matter what the reason an author chooses to write a certain way,
we want to educate our kids about what they will find in the world
so they know what to look out for. Even if we are using a Christian
based curriculum, we still must know what to say when something we
read clashes with our faith. When something like this has taken me
by surprise, I have stopped reading and said, 'Now Jane, these people
who wrote this book (magazine, article) don’t believe the bible,
which God wrote; they instead believe in a story told by a man named
Darwin'. I sometimes would just continue comparing the differences
between the bible's account and the book's account, or continue to
read without much further comment. Either way, she knows I am not
in complete agreement with the author.

Although there might be much good information in a book, we must
check with the higher authority to get all the facts straight. This
forces us to look at what God says about a particular topic and
might serve as a springboard for further study. Can you imagine
your student interested in an apologetics class, a study in the old
and new earth creationist theories, or a study of ancient languages
and Middle Eastern archeology? The possibilities are endless!

Calling in the Reinforcements

When defending our faith in today's anti-Christian culture, it makes
sense to enlist some support. For instance, The Creation Museum,
planning to open this June in Cincinnati, has exhibits detailing
and portraying the creation account. They also have animatronic
dinosaurs and live animals, two things kids can really get excited
about. You can find more information about the museum and other
creationist information at www.answersingenesis.org.


Christine Emmick is a wife and mother of three daughters and is
currently finishing her first children’s book dealing with the loss
of a grandparent titled, 'Mommy, Where is Pap Pap?' Christine is
also finishing her degree in Community Ministry, is always finishing
the laundry, and has just finished the dishes. :-)

Christine is also a Homeschooler's Notebook reader! If you
appreciated her article and wish to tell her so, drop her an email
at SCSEFamily @ aol.com.


Do you have comments to share? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

More Relaxed Now

"At our homeschool Conference this year (IAHE, Indiana) I went to
a seminar by Kathie Morrisey. She read a quote from Richard Fugate,
founder of AlphaOmega, who said that all the material that kids
learn in public school from kindergarten through 12th grade boils
down to only 4 years of academics! She also said that public
schools only cover 80% of the material and there is a lot of
repetition built into their books.

After I heard this, I'm so much more relaxed about the 'academics'
we cover." -- Lea, member HomeschoolingBOYS.com


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Homeschool Recipe Swap!

With just over 350 members, this group/site has a lot of potential!
All that is missing is YOU. ;-)

Come share recipes with other homeschooling families -- some for quick
fix meals, some for healthy alternatives, some just for fun! This is
a nice, friendly group that I got started about 2 years ago. Post your
favorite recipes at the website and share ideas on the email group!


Last Issue's Reader Question

"I have a friend that has five young children. She has felt the call to
homeschool for a few years now, but her husband teaches at the local
elementary school and feels that he would receive lots of opposition for
his decision. I remember reading recently of a family that was in a
similar situation, but I cannot remember where I read the story! Can
anyone help?" -- Ruthanne

Our Readers' Responses

"I have a friend whose husband is the principal of one of their local
schools. They homeschooled all six of their children, even while he was
principal. I'm sure they were misunderstood at times, but they
persevered. All six are adults now." -- Rhonda


"Tell your friend to get to the bottom of her husband's concerns about
homeschooling. I doubt that his true concern is what will people think
because truly how would they know? My stepson has a PhD and is a
professor at a major university - his wife homeschools their 3 children.
Why? Because they feel she will do a better job teaching and training
their children than the local school system -- and I can proudly say she
does! I'm sure there are lots of similar situations around the country."
-- Katherine


"We have a member of our homeschool group who is an assistant principal
at the local public school and they homeschool. Where I used to live
(N.C.), we had a homeschool dad who was on the public school board. Our
(S.C.) governor wanted to homeschool, but ended up sending his three
boys to a high-priced private school, due to the controversy. I don't
know how they present their reasons to others, though." -- Sylvia


"I would read 'Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense' by David
Guterson. He is a public school teacher, and his wife homeschools their
kids. I think she may have been a PS teacher too. I haven't read this
book in a few years, but it was really good. I also HIGHLY recommend
anything by John Taylor Gatto."


"I would not advise Ruthanne's friend to pursue home education without
the full support of her husband. That being said, we took the opposi-
tion we experienced as attacks from Satan. We felt it was an affirma-
tion that what we were doing was in God's will. Most of the naysayers
were fellow church members from our (former) church. There were many
public school educators in our church and they were dead set against us.
A few thought it was okay for just a short time -- if we then sent our
children back to public school to be 'salt and light'.

We have three graduates now -- four to go -- and we aren't turning back.
My advice is to pray for them and with them and encourage them to pray.
If they both see God leading them to home educate they will find
support, even among educators." -- Lesa


[Editor's note: The link below may be the one you are looking for,
Ruthanne. If not exactly the same article, it may be a good one for
your friend and her husband to read!]


Answer our NEW Question

Another Nutrition Curriculum Question

"Does anyone have an idea where I can find a nutrition program that
focuses on whole foods and doesn't push the current US food pyramid?
I teach a small co-op group science class with students that range from
2nd grade to 8th grade; next year we are studying the human body and I
want to include nutrition. Our state homeschool convention was this
weekend and I talked with every vendor I could think might have infor-
mation; the lady who sells the whole grain bread stuff, Rod-N-Staff,
Christian Light Education, Common Sense Press, Richard and Debbie
Lawrence (who were there with Answers in Genesis), and a local home-
school family who has an organic dairy and raises grass-fed beef --
with no results. I'm used to adapting materials to fit the wide age
span, so grade level doesn't really make that large a difference. Any
help would be appreciated!" -- Sherry H.


Do you know of any appropriate resources that Sherry could adapt for
her children? Sounds like someone needs to write a unit! :-)

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Tags: Christian worldview curriculum, apologetics, creation science, Answers in Genesis, Kathie Morrisey, AlphaOmega, criticism of public school teacher homeschooling, recipe swap, David Guterson, John Taylor Gatto, homeschool help, home education tips

Next - Graduation Open House Tips, Healthy Alternatives to 'Food Pyramid' Curricula
Previous - Resourcing the Gifted Artist, AO Lifepac Tip, Math Meltdown!

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