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Warning - Is the Bible a Book of Myths?

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, March 28, 2011
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Vol. 12 No. 17, March 28, 2011, ISSN: 1536-2035
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© 2011, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net
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Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

If you enjoy this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend! 

Not a subscriber? Get your own subscription to The Homeschooler's Notebook here:
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================
Notes from Heather
-- Telling God's Story?
Helpful Tip
-- Getting Kids to Write
Winning Website
-- MightyBookJr.com
Reader Question
-- Difference of Opinions
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

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Notes from Heather
==================

Curriculum Warning for Christian Families

The following information will be of particular interest for our readers who are seeking resources which are created by authors who adhere to a distinctly Bible-believing Christian worldview. If you want your children to be raised with the understanding that the Bible, in its entirety, was inspired by God, is important for our lives TODAY, is wholly without error, and should be literally interpreted, then you will want to steer clear of the following Bible curriculum. It is written by a man who is openly anti-fundamentalist and seeks to "reduce the tension" between God's account of His creation in Genesis and humanistic evolutionary theory.

Telling God's Story Presents the Bible as a "Book of Myths" and More

Curriculum: Telling God’s Story, A Parents’ Guide to Teaching the Bible - for use with Telling God’s Story series: Year One
Author: Peter Enns
Published by: Olive Branch Books, imprint of Peace Hill Press (Susan Wise Bauer)

---

I think it is important to share some of what is in this curriculum as it is being actively promoted at homeschooling conventions under the publishing oversight of Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Well-Trained Mind and Story of the World curriculum.

In Telling God's Story, Peter Enns teaches:

1. There is no literal Adam or literal "fall from grace".
2. The Bible is not historically reliable.
3. God and Christ made "errors".
4. Sin and the need for a Savior should not be taught to children until the teen years.

Here are just a few quotes from the actual curriculum:

“For many parents, the Bible looks a little bit like my child’s room. It’s a mess. Names, places, events are all over the place, and you hardly know where to start cleaning up. It’s such a mess, in fact, that if someone ripped twenty pages out of Leviticus or 1 Chronicles, you might not even notice it was missing. And if your aim is to teach the Bible to your children, the mess isn’t just confusing. It’s stressful.” (page 10)

“The issue is that I read him a very complex and intricate biblical narrative -— the story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent -— as if it were a child’s story. This biblical story was meant to convey something profound, mature, and foundational to ancient Israelites. Sitting down and reading this story with my son set him up to receive it as one tall tale among others. The Garden narrative is deeply theological and symbolic. Despite the neat talking snake, it is not the type of story that we should toss casually to our young children. When, at a more mature age, children are asked to revisit this story and begin dealing with it in earnest, many can hardly refrain from snickering. (“I outgrew talking animals years ago!”) Or consider another Bible story commonly taught to children: the story of the Flood. The boat, the animals, the rain, the drama -— all lend themselves to videos, snappy tunes, macaroni art, flannel graphs, and furry friends. What is obscured is the simply horrific notion that God would bring down such drastic destruction on the earth, rather than finding some other solution to humanity’s rebellion. And that is a question young adults should ask.” (page 44/45)

“The Flood was an attempt by God to set it right, but it didn’t work.” (Page 70)

“It is entirely accurate to understand Israel’s kings as messiahs: they were anointed by God to do his work. We need to resist the temptation to think that “messiah” in the Old Testament means the supernatural, second person of the Trinity, who will die for our sins. Yes, Jesus is the ultimate and final messiah, who far exceeds anything any messiah before him did. But that is just the point. To appreciate Jesus’ messianic role, how impressive and amazing it is, we need to be familiar with what the concept meant in the Old Testament. There, the “messianic hope” was not in a heavenly being coming down, but in Yahweh raising up a mighty warrior-king who would keep the Law and would rule and guide his people. Israel’s kings were God’s representatives on earth, there to rule for him as intermediaries.” (page 83)

If these quotes above do not provide enough evidence for you discern the author's intent, the following video lecture will be helpful. It is almost 40 minutes, but you might not need to watch the whole thing to get the gist of what he believes and teaches:

http://peterennsonline.com/2011/02/22/adam-and-evolution/

[Note: Recently Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis spoke out about this author's teachings. A lot of folks have assumed, knowing what Ken teaches and believes, that it must be an issue of an "old earth vs. young earth" viewpoint. That was not Ken's primary contention at all. But for speaking out about concerns over anti-Biblical teachings, Ken was cancelled as a speaker at two major homeschooling conventions. It is unknown whether convention organizers were aware of the extent of Peter Enns's unbiblical teachings, but they are now actively seeking to rectify this unfortunate situation with a third party mediator. Please pray for everyone involved! For more information, try Googling "Ken Ham Disinvited".]

---

Your feedback is always welcome! -- mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net

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Helpful Tip
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Ideas for Reluctant Writers

"I have my son write in a journal every night without neatness or spelling requirements just to get him to write without stress.

He is 12 and hates to write! He can be neat if I make him but it is very frustrating for him. I use graph paper for his math and make him put each number in a square and line them up neatly -- otherwise he is so sloppy I can hardly follow his work. I have gotten him 'Dragon Naturally Speaking' which translates speech into typed words and is pretty accurate and fun for him. There is even a free version for the IPod!

I am also going to get an IPad for my daughter to use because she doesn't have the handwriting issue, but she writes so much and so fast that translating her stories into typing is too slow and frustrating for her. The IPad has a program called 'WritePad' that translates writing into typed editable print! It is amazing -- I have a friend that has it. You have to be reasonably legible for it to recognize your handwriting -- and that may be motivational since it is a techie device!" -- Renee, via our Homeschooling Gifted group

================
Winning Website
================

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http://www.MightyBookJr.com

Mighty Book Junior is a library of 900 books, story songs, lesson plans, quizzes and games especially for grades K-6.

How to get FREE access for a year:

1. Visit MightyBookJr.com.

2. Click "Subscribe Now" (top right).

3. Enter "learntoread" into the coupon code box. You will not need to enter any payment information. Only a name and email registration is required.

================
Reader Question
================

"I am mom to five -- ages 11 to 2 -- and just began homeschooling my middle child due to combination of desire (both of us), medical issues that prevents him from being in a classroom and the fact that he was recently tagged as gifted but was in a school where resources for advancing studies was limited. So far our experience has been great... except... his biological dad is totally opposed to homeschooling and believes that I am 'ruining his chances for the future at a critical time in his development'. We have joint legal custody but I have primary physical; they see each other one weekend a month. I am not looking for legal advice but ideas on how to change dad's mind, which is exceptionally closed on the matter and uses all the stereo-types homeschoolers hear so often: no structure, no socialization, no peer interaction, etc. I have already used examples of well-established children from homeschool environments, as well as illustrating how he has blossomed in the short time we have been working from home. I have given copies of curriculum, they discuss regularly his 'schoolwork' and so forth. Can some brilliant minds on this list expand my debating powers with other ideas about how this is in my son's best interest? Any examples (personal or well-known) where primary parent has been allowed to homeschool over other parent's objections? I know there are some examples that are based on religious slants, but that is not applicable in our situation. Would love to persuaded dad to try this for awhile, rather than duking it out in the courts. Thanks." -- Kaitlyn

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Our Readers' Responses
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"Kaitlyn -- I guess this might seem like an easy answer, but praying for him might work the best. If God can make even one's enemies to live at peace with someone, then your child's father, who loves your child, should be even easier. I also know that attending a homeschool conference can really help some too. It really helps to hear some speakers, who are not you personally. My first husband passed away, and my second husband and I went to a homeschool conference and it really helped him to hear from another man the perspective of homeschooling. I reccomend Todd Wilson, Voddie Baucham, or Andrew Pudewa for some videos or teaching on the subject. If it is not straight from you, maybe he would listen to someone else. They all have some CDs or DVDs if he is unable or does not desire to attend. I will pray for you all myself." -- Mandi

---

"I think most of us have someone in our family that is rather outspokenly opposed to homeschooling. But of course, when it's the dad and you're not married to him, it gets rather sticky. I have known one homeschool mom whose ex opposed her homeschooling their daughter. They had to go to court over it and ended up with a compromise -- she was sent to a 3 day a week public school (which is what her state offered as an alternative). In some states, there is virtual school or something similar that can help fulfill the requirements of both parents and the court. Or it may be something as simple as joining a co-op, having lots of playdates, and taking lots of pictures of your child interacting with other children. Document everything! As to changing the mind of someone who's dead-set against it... well there's no easy answer. If possible, agree to finish out this year, have him tested, and then re-evaluate the situation." -- Carla

---

"Wow, no experience here, but I would surely make it a matter of fasting and prayer! Also, could you set up a 'trial' period -- try it one semester and see if he tests at a reasonable level? It's not ideal to put your homeschool on trial like that, but maybe some of the proof is in the pudding. I would also contact Homeschool Legal Defense if you are a member (or even if you are not). They may have ideas on how to face this type of opposition in practical and legal ways." -- Karen C.

---

"Hi, Kaitlyn -- Two years ago I decided to homeschool my 5 year old. My husband wasn't totally against the idea, but as the year went on his trust in my homeschool teaching abilities was shifted downward. I was doing everything a homeschool mom/teacher could do for her student(s), but my husband refused to see the progress our child was making. We were weeks (almost months) more advanced than any child enrolled in traditional schooling (not that advancement was my goal), but we could move forward so much quicker this way. I thought for sure that alone would make my husband change his mind about homeschooling, but it didn't. We've argued back and forth about the issue and he grudgingly allowed me to continue but he would still threaten traditional schooling if he just couldn't deal with it anymore.

We've slowed down the pace a bit so that my daughter could do more extra-curricular activities. My daughter is now 7 and finishing up the 1st grade. Just within the past few weeks my husband has told me how blessed he feels with all the homeschooling we've done and how grateful he is that I put the hard work and ambition into it that I did. He tells me he's proud of me!

So even though our family circumstances may differ it still may be that you have to give it time -- if you're allowed to. Have hope that his dad will come around. It may seem like forever, but once he sees the progress he too may thank you for your ambition. There are other families in my church who, when starting to homeschool, the dads had doubts... lots of them. These families have been homeschooling for YEARS now and the husbands have totally come around full-circle. I hope this helps, even if it's just a bit." -- Amy

---

"First of all, I’d like to direct you to the absolute best place to get information about gifted children and their education, Hoagies Gifted:

http://www.HoagiesGifted.org

You can get lost for days in the site! Here’s the link to the homeschooling page:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/home_school.htm

Here are some articles to start you out:

Home Room: Debunking the Myths of Home Schooling by Lisa Rivero, M.A. (author of Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families)
http://www.giftedbooks.com/authorarticles.asp?id=4

Asynchrony:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/asynchrony.htm

Home Schooling - A Family Affair
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/home_schooling.htm

Staying Home From School
http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/resources/topics/displayArticle/?id=172

Homeschooling Benefits: Children less preoccupied with peer acceptance
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1999/03/19/ED71809.DTL#ixzz1GcAZH85a

Homeschooling Gifted Students: An Introductory Guide for Parents
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e543.html

Noteable Homeschoolers:
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/notable.htm

For the dreaded “S” word:

Homeschooling Has Social Advantage
http://www.cambridgestudycenter.com/artilces/Mattox1.htm

HOME-SCHOOLING: Socialization not a problem
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/13/home-schooling-socialization-not-problem/

Gifted Ed forums to connect with other families:

TAGmax: http://www.tagfam.org/
Gifted homeschoolers Forum: http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/

My son is profoundly gifted and has always been homeschooled. He’s a 7th grader by age. The ability to customize his education and let him have so much free time to explore topics has been invaluable. His sister has always been in public school for multiple disabilities. We do what is best for each child, and re-evaluate their educational placements each year.

If I knew exactly what your child’s father is against, it would help direct you to needed information. Perhaps you could convince him of a trial run of one semester or one year. You can always put the children back into a brick and mortar school building if it doesn’t work. But as a mom to a gifted kid, I really think it can work for you. You just need to plug into the right support systems.

My husband was not on board for homeschooling at first. But then he remembered how public school ruined him socially. He’s social phobic even now in his 40’s due to daily bullying. He was also not challenged at all. Our son has always been highly challenged in his home education setting; since we pick and choose his learning, he has loads of time for doing it independently, and he can go through courses at varying speeds and not have to wait for the 'teach to the lowest common denominator' of a classroom setting.

I could write all day on this. But I think the links I offered above should help you." -- Julie C.

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Answer Our New Question
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"Hi, I have been homeschooling my 14 and 15 year old boys for the last four years and they are not motivated about anything! I read the newletter on motivating and I am at a loss! Our boys were struggling in school (the same issues as with us at home: not motivated, refused to do school work and too busy socializing). I am burned out most days and I am chopping everything into short lessons... short days... lots of breaks... lots of activities -- and nothing changes. How do you motivate kids who do not want to be homeschooled nor successful in regular school either?" -- Shimmy

---

Would you like to share some practical encouragement with Shimmy?
Send your email to: hn-answers@familyclassroom.net

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