Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Red Flag for the Homeschool Community

After reading about the latest controversy in the homeschool community, (see below for more information),  I dared to enter the fray (as one friend put it in a phone call- she was glad I had shared some information and my point of view in an email to an homeschool email list.) However, I found myself quickly becoming impassioned about the topic. So much so, I made a comment on my post on Facebook that implied (or seemed to on my reread through an hour later) that many people were not able to understand Susan Wise Bauer's book The Well Trained Mind. I did not intend to insult anyone's intelligence, rather, the point I was trying to make was that in places in her lengthy volume she got a bit wordy, (deep, intense, etc.) so much so, that she may have muddied the waters a bit about key issues if one isn't familiar with certain topics about worldviews (i.e. a humanistic worldview vs. a strictly Biblical worldview.) I suspect that she did not do this intentionally, but rather it is just her style.

As I read and conversed with others about the topic, I found myself once again caught up in the old zeal I had years ago. What to me is a real danger in the homeschool community and one in which I noticed years ago, ... many homeschool moms instead of researching out a curriculum for themselves will buy a curriculum or follow a method because a friend is doing it or because a reputable company is selling the book and or curriculum.  I know that homeschool Moms are very busy people. I was one for 16 years. I know time is limited and I do realize we can and do learn a lot from others. And of course, it is wise to seek counsel in making decisions, so I understand the trusting of others in the choices we make.. but if we seek advice from others, we need to be sure they are doing their research and that they have the same worldview we do, if we do not intend to or have the time to search out the matter for ourselves. 

My intent is not to criticize anyone, but rather send up a warning flag. 

Here is the issue.... if a writer or a publisher does not believe the WHOLE Bible to be true and literal, their philosophy will subtly (or not so subtly) be throughout their entire book or work. We may think that if they speak of our world beginning with evolution or old earth creationism, we can just skip over that section of the book and continue on teaching it to our children. The problem is.... that principle or train of thought will be throughout the entire book,
      -in whom they decide to write of as historical figures, 
      -which events in history they choose to highlight,
      -and ...here is the vital point...in how they portray  
             each person and event.

Parents, we must be wise in choosing which books we will use in the training up of our children. 
The controversy:

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis was cancelled as a speaker at at least 2 homeschool conventions because he spoke out against the gross errors in thought in the following curriculum.
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)

Please read the well written and well researched review by Heather Idoni at the following link.


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