Some of you know and some of you may not know that from 1st grade through 6th grade, I homeschooled my oldest son Matthew. My wife and I were not satisfied with the quality of his education at public school so we pulled him after one year. I know it may sound a little ridiculous that we made that kind of rash decision after one year of half-day kindergarten, but we did. I think that us being good little Christians may have had more to do with it than the education and light bullying that went on out on the playground. So, we decided we’d teach him ourselves.
Not any education would do. He needed good Christian teaching. Private Christian schools in the area were far too expensive so we purchased our homeschool curriculum from a company that was affiliated with an accredited Christian school. It had good reviews so we ordered it up and we were off. At the time, we didn’t notice anything “off” about the text books. They seemed to be pretty standard but of course with a lot of Bible verses mixed in. Not a big deal. Although time-consuming and incredibly boring, my son did well and learned the same basics that public school kids would learn. However, it was the “extra-curricular” learning that troubles me now. I couldn’t see it back then but now I feel like I did my son such a disservice by teaching him what I now know is a lie.
We kept the textbooks and all of the work my son did over those six years besides what we had to turn in to the school for grading purposes. I pulled out a few books tonight just out of morbid curiosity. Just like watching the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate as a Christian and then again years later as a non-Christian, I could not believe what I was seeing. I’ll only give a few examples as to not completely bore anyone, but remember I have six years of this garbage sitting in my house. I will say this about the books; they have a very common theme. They are all worship books. Every one of them. Science? Praise God. History? Praise God. Math? Praise God. Really? Math too? Yup…Praise God.
The “science” book I pulled out tonight had this in the preface: “Although it is important to learn the facts of science, it is even more vital to know why God made all things. The Lord made all for His glory. As a result, the only proper response to a study of God’s creation is worship and praise. May the Creator grant each reader the desire to study the wonders of science to the glory of God.” Seriously, that is what it says. It is more vital to know why God did things than it is to learn facts. I will list a few chapters (I skipped some of the less “preachy” chapters) and some “interesting” quotes:
1.) Days of Creation:
-God created everything in 6 days. “He did not need years and years to create everything because God is wise and strong.”
-“As God’s creatures, we must be sure to worship Him as the great Creator. Thank God that He made the heavens, the earth, and everything in it.”
2.) God Made Plants:
–“God made plants for our good. The more we learn about plants. the more we learn about the wise Creator.”
–“God was very wise when He made all kinds of plants.”
–“When I look at the world it is easy to see plants are a gift God has given to me.”
3.) God Made Insects:
–“God was very wise when He made the insects.”
4.) God Made Animals:
–“How do some animals keep warm through the winter? God has given them a different gift. God let’s them hibernate.”
5.) God Made People:
“God made the world and He made people to live in it. The Lord put people on the earth to love and serve Him. That was part of His plan. God has a plan for everything He has made, and that includes you.”
-“You are a part of God’s plan. He wants you to love and serve Him. God the Creator also wants you to learn more about Him and His creation. That is why He has given you a wonderful body, mind and soul.”
-“If you carefully look at things around you, you are studying God’s creation. When you are studying God’s creation, it is called SCIENCE.“
–“You can hear with your ears. God wants you to hear things.”
-“You can taste with your tongue. God wants you to taste things.”
-“You can feel with your skin. God wants you to feel things.”
-“You can smell with your nose. God wants you to smell good things.”
-“God made you to see with your eyes. He expects you to make good use of them.”
-“You must take care of your body for God’s glory.”
This “science” book ends with “A Few Last Words” Here they are:
“We hope that you have enjoyed your study of “Our Father’s World.” It is our prayer that you will continue to study God’s wonderful creation in the days ahead. Most important of all, however, we pray that you will come to know God’s son, Christ Jesus, as your savior. Through Christ, the world was made. All power in heaven and earth belongs to Him. He alone can give you wisdom for life on earth and for the world to come.”
When I taught this to my son, I thought I was doing him a favor. I thought I was teaching him all of the things that the public schools wouldn’t allow. I thought I was teaching him truth. Was I teaching him truth though? Yes and no. The facts seemed to be pretty standard. Typical elementary school science. The only real difference between this science book and a public school science book were the subliminal brainwashing parts. “You have eyes.” God gave you eyes. “You have ears.” God gave you ears. “Animals hibernate.” God gave animals the gift of hibernation. There are true statements in this book. These were true statements. You do indeed have eyes and ears. Animals do indeed hibernate. But they have to slap on a prayer or a “praise God” to make it “Christian.”
The parts that really bother me are the “come to Jesus” parts and the “be a slave to God” parts. Why are we here? To do God’s bidding. What do we need to do in every waking moment? Thank God. Is God an ordinary god? No. He is wise and powerful. I picture these statements as being read in a robot or zombie voice. That’s because the Christian homeschool curriculum is designed to make robots and zombies. Good little soldiers who fall in line and follow orders. Make sure after every single fact is made in this science book to add that “God did it.” Don’t provide any proof. Just say God did it and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Over and over again. Children’s minds are like sponges and they’ll soak it all in without even knowing it.
I don’t know how many parts I’ll have to this “series” of posts. I just want to expose some of what goes on behind closed doors in a Christian homeschool environment. I was brainwashed into thinking I was doing the right thing and in turn I was brainwashing my child. What I was doing was mixing fact with fiction and teaching it all as fact. But that’s what Christianity is, isn’t it? Fact mixed with fiction? You can read the Bible and you will learn that some things actually happened. Some places actually exist. Jesus may have actually been a real person. Then throw in a bunch of supernatural parts that are mythical in nature and completely without evidence and pass it all of as truth. Remember this, if you add one grain of dirt to a pure glass of water, even if it still looks pure, it is tainted. I tainted 6 years of my son’s education. In short, I brought church home with me. Shame on me.