Oct 21, 2010

Homeschooling and Incorporating the Gospel

Because I have realized that I trust Diane Hopkins implicitly when it comes to curriculum, We chose to do the "package" curriculum with Latter Day Family Resources this year for Loli. This means we just bought a "packet" for third grade which included texts and workbooks for every important subject.

It was a good choice. Overall, I am very happy with what we have, and how Loli is learning this year.

Some of the books I have loved: singapore math. Story of the world, the middle ages text and activity book.

Some of the books, I have liked, but have found them a little strange. You see, they're Apologia curriculum. Which means.... Christian.

Well, you know. I'm a Christian. I love the idea of having the spirit while learning, and learning religious truths while learning science, history, etc. We do children's scripture stories before math every day, and read scriptures at night before bed, say prayers at every meal, do family home evening. One great thing about homeschooling is, I find I end up bearing my testimony in some small way, every day, to my kids.

But there's something wierd about these books sometimes.

Apologia science has this giant chip on its shoulder about evolution, it seems. I skip at least a paragraph every day we do science, where the text is asserting that evolution never happened, the world was literally created in seven days, here is the evidence that there were no dinosaurs, etc.

*sigh* I can put up with it.

But GRAMMAR? Does this really have a place in Grammar?

Technically, yes. God should have a place in every piece of our lives. I agree. I get it.

But this passage from Loli's grammar book struck me as a little odd:

c) Prayer is the way we talk to God. The Lord's Prayer is an example of a prayer. (Read it in Matthew 6:9-13.) Is there something you need Jesus to take care of? Write down a prayer, asking Jesus for help.

**what the?**

It came RIGHT AFTER adding suffixes to words.

And cursive.

That was my reaction as I read it. But I didn't say anything to Loli. I didn't want to give her the impression that I thought that it was silly, to say a prayer to Jesus in a textbook... See, I'm a pretty skeptical person, sort of sarcastic sometimes, but I try REALLY HARD to tone this down around my kids, especially when it comes to religious things. I don't make fun of Janice Kapp Perry... I realize that, while she's smarmy and gooey, she can teach important messages, and, yes, a small child might feel the spirit while singing, "A child's prayer."

anyway. So I didn't say anything to Loli, I just gave her the assignment.

When I got the assignment back, I was delighted to realize that, genetically, I must have passed some of my skepticism on to her.

Again, here was the question:

c) Prayer is the way we talk to God. The Lord's Prayer is an example of a prayer. (Read it in Matthew 6:9-13.) Is there something you need Jesus to take care of? Write down a prayer, asking Jesus for help.

And here was Loli's Answer:

I ask thee to help me ride my wobbeliy bike.

I snorted as I read her answer, then looked at her, and found answering amusement in her eyes.

"I know it's silly," she said, trying to hold back a grin.

"Loli, I love you," I said, and squeezed her, hard.

And then I proceeded to engage her in a discussion about different religions and how they handle God, and this textbook and its origins. I told her that if one of those questions makes her feel weird, she can talk to me about it or possibly even not answer, and we can just have a discussion instead.

I don't know about you, but I have always felt religion to be extremely personal.

I guess my daughter is the same way.

It's not a bad thing, I don't think. There is that whole section about the pharisee who prayed for people to hear, and the humble man who smote his chest and prayed quietly to himself.

Anyway, I want to hear from you homeschooling moms. How do you handle the spirituality/school balance?


Sherrill said...

This is how my kids are "schooled" in their tiny Church of England community school. I love that religion is discussed so freely here. And while we wouldn't personally teach our girls to flower our prayers into poetry or adore crosses made into artwork, it has opened discussions that I don't think would've otherwise happened. Wasn't Elder Bednar talking recently about finding ways to make testimony an everyday thing? I love it!

Putz said...

not a home school mom