Christian education involves more than the transfer of information or knowledge to children. It includes the development of understanding and wisdom based upon knowledge as defined in Scripture. (Exodus Mandate)
I’ve wanted to address this topic for awhile, but struggled to put it into the words that would have the most impact. What I want to convey to moms and dads who may not have any idea what they’re missing is this: Your children could be living a life of scripture immersion by simply choosing a literal Christian education.
If you could watch your children search the scriptures for their science homework, or learn the innermost prayers of their favorite medieval king, or learn their history lessons from a biblical worldview, would you?
My education experience
I began my own homeschool journey at 11 years old. My parents took us out of public school in 1983. I LOVED my homeschooling life. But as I approached my senior year, I was convinced by friends that I should attend a local Christian school with them. I did, and here’s what I learned:
In that particular school, the staff were mostly Christians. It was held in a church/school building. We had a chapel service every morning.
And that is all that made it “Christian.”
The curriculum was not very different from public school curriculum. The teachers rarely taught from a biblical worldview. The atmosphere was nice, but not the Christian environment you’d expect.
To put it into perspective, let me just say that I learned so much more about the secular world and spent very little time learning about God. I was immersed in popular culture and teen life. And biblical instruction was nearly non-existent.
Couple that with the fact that school robs a child of their family time, so that I did not have the grounding daily influence of my mom and dad.
Now, I know that everyone who has ever been associated with a Christian school is feeling a bit riled at this point, so let me ask: do you know for a fact that your school, or your child’s school, is different? If you don’t know, you need to find out. I am certain that there are truly biblical Christian schools. I had one year of experience in one school, but I had my public school years (K-5) and my homeschool years (6-11) to compare it to. I can say that the Christian school I went to was, in most ways, no different than the public schools I had attended.
Which brings me back to the point of this post: Christian education. What does that look like?
Having had public school, private school, and homeschool experience as a kid, and with 20 years of homeschooling my own children behind me, this is what I can tell you about a Christian education:
- the educational materials point to God whenever possible
- science is taught from a biblical creation worldview
- math is taught from a biblical creation worldview
- history is presented as the big picture of mankind
- biographies are presented with all the facts of a person’s life, including their religion or lack thereof
- language is taught as a means of beautiful communication in a dark and hurting world
- the Bible is presented to students as the guide in all areas of life
What does it look like?
You might be asking how educational materials can point to God whenever possible. What about spelling words? What about math?
Of course, you can’t make a math lesson “Christian,” and you can’t make a spelling lesson “Christian.” Sure, you can put Bible verses on each workbook page (the curriculum I grew up on did just that), but that’s not the Christian education I’m talking about.
When I say “whenever possible” I’m referring to a logical reference to our Creator and His word, the Bible being infused in a child’s day. In a nutshell, I’m referring to a biblical worldview.
As Christians, it is our duty to train our children to see everything from a biblical perspective, yet the majority of Christians allow their children to be trained in schools that are doing the exact opposite. Secular humanism and all its counterparts are integrated into math, spelling, and language arts — not to mention history and science.
Teachers who wish to put a Marxist spin on math lessons can utilize prepackaged lesson plans available on the Internet from RadicalMath (http://www.radicalmath.org/index2.php), “a resource for educators interested in integrating issues of social and economic justice into math classes and curriculum.” The site boasts “over 700 lesson plans, and charts, graphs, data sets, maps, books, and websites to help you bring these issues into your classroom.” (Source) The article goes on: ‘How many teachers are using this resource? According to the website, “RadicalMath.org has had 1,100,422 page visits since May 2006!!!”’
If you think that opting out of sex-ed classes is enough to protect your children, you need to think again. The secular worldview is everywhere. Your children need a haven from it; but not just a haven– they need a counter-cultural education.
In a homeschool setting, the Christian curriculum options are almost endless. If you’re not sure what I mean by this, let me ask you:
- Does your science curriculum point to scriptures in every lesson?
- Do your children practice proper sentence structure with scripture and hymns?
- Do history lessons integrate biblical principle and worldview (consider slavery, feminism, socialism, war, freedom, governments, and more)?
- Do the creators of your curriculum share a biblical worldview?
This is what I mean by Christian education. This, and much more.
Education is not neutral
Curriculum choices matter. Conversation with your kids is vital. Teaching them about life and the world around them from a biblical worldview is imperative.
When school lessons leave God out, they are still making a statement. They are teaching your children that God does not matter, and that He is not relevant to their lives.
There is no “good school,” or sports opportunity, or college scholarship worth the sacrifice of our children’s wordlview. When we strip our parenting priorities down to biblical bare bones, this is what we come to realize. The souls of our children matter; where they spend eternity matters. And everything they learn throughout their childhood leads them somewhere: either to God, or away from Him.
Follow me in the coming weeks for a series on Christian education. I will address each subject individually for parents, illustrating how all education can and should be approached with a biblical worldview. Join me! If you’re not already a subscriber, just drop your email address below to get notifications of each new blog post in the series.