Christian homeschoolers often have differing opinions about whether or not it matters if their curriculum comes from a Christian worldview perspective or not. One of the subjects that is most often discussed when it comes to talking about curriculum and worldview is science. Does it really matter if Christian homeschoolers use a science curriculum that is written from a Christian worldview perspective?
I think it matters. We've made the decision to primarily use science curriculum that has a Christian worldview for several main reasons.
A science curriculum with a Christian worldview teaches kids that science and the Bible are not contradictory.The secular culture often tells us that science and the Bible don't agree. Secular scientists argue that science is observable fact while the Bible is just a collection of stories that aren't necessarily true. Science books written from a secular perspective present evolution as fact that is clearly a better explanation for the beginnings of the world. When children- especially young children- are faced with a science book that is in clear disagreement with the Bible, it is difficult for them to process that information, and they are forced to choose between the Bible and science.
In reality, things that we can observe and record in science back up what we read in the Bible and offer proof that the way things are explained in the Bible really do make sense. On the other hand, observable science often doesn't support the claims of evolution. Scientists who don't believe in creation by an intelligent designer have trouble explaining some of the observable data we have about how the world works.
When children learn science from a Christian perspective, they'll have that foundation. And when later confronted by the idea that science and the Bible contradict, they'll know the truth.
Science taught from a Christian worldview helps kids defend their faith.Knowing the truth that scientific observations back up what is in the Bible can help kids to defend their faith. A science curriculum that is presented from a Christian perspective will present kids with proofs that they can use to know that what they believe about the Bible is true.
When kids learn that the fossil record gives evidence of a worldwide flood, they can know that the account of Noah and the ark is fact. When they read about the incredible design of animals and the instincts and abilities that they are born with, they have evidence of a Creator. A science curriculum that has a Christian worldview can give kids many tools with which to defend their faith.
Using a science curriculum from a Christian worldview gives kids the assurance that what they're reading is true.
You may think that if you're reading the Bible to your kids and telling them that the Bible is true, that it really then wouldn't matter what your science curriculum taught. If kids are learning a Christian worldview in other areas, they'll know that the parts of the science curriculum that don't agree with the Bible just aren't true, right?
The problem is that when kids read information in a science book that directly contradicts what the Bible says, it can cause them to disregard other information in the book as potentially untrue as well.
When my children were younger, we visited a local natural history museum. The museum had some great exhibits and some really good hands-on ways for kids to explore the natural world and learn through exploration. But the museum had a large display of the supposed evolution of man, beginning with early simple organisms and evolving through many stages becoming more and more complex until we have man as we know him today. My children had been enjoying the museum until we came to this exhibit. But when we walked into the exhibit room and looked around, they were taken aback.
My son looked at me and said, "Mom, this stuff just isn't true." We talked about the fact that yes, this wasn't true and that the developers of this museum were apparently not coming from a Christian perspective. But I noticed that after seeing this room, my children were much less interested in the museum. It was almost as if this display had discredited other things they had seen in the museum because they knew this display wasn't true.
When we give kids a science curriculum that is not written from a Christian worldview, we're baasically telling them, "Trust the information in this book to be true, but you can't trust the information that contradicts the Bible." While older children can probably process this conflict and be okay with it, most younger kids just can't.
As kids get older, I think it is sometimes appropriate to let them use a curriculum that isn't from a Christian perspective. Many of them will go on to colleges that aren't Christian colleges, and they will need to have discernment to tell the difference between scientific fact and the opinions of a textbook author. Allowing them to use a science curriculum that is written from a secular perspective can open up some great discussions that help kids to be able to articulate what they believe and why.
Choosing a science curriculum with a Christian worldview...I've shared before about our changes in science curriculum. My son wasn't able to keep up with the intensive reading in the science curriculum we were using. But one of my main criteria as I looked for an alternative for him was that the curriculum had to have a strong Christian worldview. I was looking for something that related science to the study of God's created world. And I wanted a curriculum that would reiterate the fact that science and the Bible don't conflict.
I found that in the Christian Kids Explore Science series. These books are science written from a Christian perspective. Over and over again, kids are shown how science confirms what we learn from God's world. Scripture memory is used as another way to relate the Bible to what we're learning in science.
All of the books in the Christian Kids Explore Science series are written from a clear Christian perspective.
- Creation Science
- Earth and Space