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Avoiding Christian Homeschool Science Curriculum

Avoiding Christian Homeschool Science Curriculum

Several years ago my young daughter pranced around telling me all about evilution.  She loved watching David Attenborough documentaries and his British accent made the word sound like “evil-lution” instead of the way it is pronounced in North America.  Even though my young daughter was pronouncing it as evilution, we don’t view evolution as evil.  In fact, I believe it is important to teach my children evolution from secular books and videos.

We are a Christian family and we learn about evolution in our homeschool.  I want them to learn about evolution and approach all science and Biblical interpretation with a critical and inquisitive mindset.

Personally, I’m okay if my children accept evolution or reject it.  But I’m not okay with my children accepting a certain perspective blindly.  I want them to think through things and approach any new information with a critical mindset and be open to changing their viewpoint, if warranted.

I don’t believe that science has all of the answers.  Scientists are continually learning new things, as they should.  I don’t believe that a person’s interpretation of the Bible is without error either….because that is what we are really dealing with here when people present a certain viewpoint as the Bible viewpoint.

As a Christian who holds Scripture to a high-standard, I also realize there are many different interpretations out there.  Personally, I’m not married to one specific interpretation of Genesis or the age of the earth.  I want my children to consider science facts and ideas in the light of God’s Word.   I don’t want them to approach science as something that is feared or new scientific discoveries as an attack on their faith.  I want them to see that science and faith can coexist without dismissing science facts as wrong.

Back during our first few years of homeschooling, I made a deliberate choice to avoid science curriculum that was written for Christian homeschoolers. The whole issue between Young Earth Creationists and others in the homeschooling community has become quite political and polarizing. You have to be in the right group to be accepted in some circles. As I looked into Christian science curriculum I discovered this argument and polarization was present in the textbooks. Instead of a Christian science text just being science, it was science mixed with reasons why another group was wrong. That was one main reason I avoided any Christian science curriculum.  I wanted science to just be science.

Another reason why I have neglected to use Christian science curriculum is that I want my children to have an unsheltered exposure and study of science so that tough questions can be faced while they are still under my wing.  My kids love science and it is highly likely that one or more of them will have a future in a science profession.  One way I am preparing them is to give them a solid science education using secular materials.

For early grades I like using unit studies to explore a variety of science topics.  We use secular library books and documentaries as the basis of our studies.  As my children are able to handle some high school level science, we start using some secular texts.  Here are some we have used and liked so far:

Miller Levine Biology
Physical, Earth, and Space Science: An Integrated Approach (early high school text covering physical science, chemistry, earth and space science)
Earth Science by Tarbuck
Conceptual Physics

What secular science books would you recommend?  Please share in the comments.

 

10 Comments:

  1. Finally someone whose Christian with the same mindset as my own when it comes to secular science vs. Christian based. I’m Christian and my son is 9 and autistic. He has trouble grasping certain concepts, especially regarding God and things he can’t see. I let him watch Carl Sagan or other scientific based programming on television. When he asks about God in all of this, I simply tell him God did it. God caused evolution, etc… some may not agree with that but for my son, it works and it easily combines what he’s learning from science with learning about Christ and our Holy Father.

  2. I jusst found The Lab of Mr. Q Classic Science series for elementary to high schoolers. It looks promising!!!!

  3. I couldn’t agree more! When your salvation is placed in jeopardy depending on your viewpoint of Creation, that is where I draw the line. No man, whether Christian leader or scientist has all the right answers.

  4. I really appreciate your sentiments. I could not agree with you more. My academic and professional backgrounds are in the sciences and I have witnessed the polarization you speak of. Unfortunately, acceptance of one belief appears to require the complete exclusion of another. As a Christian, I have intentionally sought secular science curriculum with the aim of focusing solely on science instruction and not disproving other views. Thanks for being bold and speaking out!

  5. I love love love Dawkins The Magic of Reality. He writes so clearly and understandably. I think I’ve learned more from it than I did in most of my school science classes.

  6. We love Jesus and hold the Bible in high regard and are avoiding young earth creationist materials as well. It certainly doesn’t win us many friends in homeschooling circles.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  7. Have you looked at Novare? The are Christian but do not accept the old earth perspective. My kids are too young for it but when I read about it my heart sang. Just a thought!! FYI I am not advertising or selling anything, just passing along a possible resource that is both Christian and pro-science.

    https://geochristian.com/tag/novare-science-and-math/

  8. Thank you. The one sided “Christian”-sided approach to science curriculum has bothere us for a long time. We also love love love David Attenborough nature documentaries.

    Since most elementary science is presented as a series of sort of magic tricks, we have rather avoided most of it, and opted for documentaries and kids researching the how and why of things in daily life. In the years to come we will be looking for better stuff for our kids – I.e. At least at the high school level, although those also fall short in their presentation of science as a series of facts rather than ongoing and improving models.

    I just discovered your site and it is encouraging to see another family take math seriously and also using the same curriculum we use! We’ve used Singapore from the start and we are trying AoPS for the first time this year- my daughter with prealgebra and my son is registering for their online Algebra II course.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. I highly recommend the Pandia Press Real Science Odyssey curriculum. My 3rd grader did the Chemistry course last year and came away with better knowledge than I had in high school. It was fun and organized in a way that met the needs of any style learner. It would be easy to use even for someone with zero science background. We will start RSO Physics next week and can’t wait!

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