Broadening Christian Homeschool Curriculum Beyond the Bible

Would you agree that homeschoolers need to branch out and study subjects other than the Bible? My spouse and I have decided to begin home schooling our children. In researching various curriculum options, we've encountered some groups who advocate teaching kids strictly from Scripture to the exclusion of other academic texts or disciplines. We are committed Christians who take our faith seriously, but I can't help feeling that this approach is misguided and inadequate. I believe that a well-rounded education involves a lot more than Bible study. I'm also convinced that Christians need to be familiar with the broader culture. How do you see it? Does Scripture have anything to say about this?

We think you have some legitimate concerns. If it comes down to a question of biblical theology, we’d have to agree with you. Like you, we believe that Bible study is an essential part of a child’s education and spiritual development. But we too are uncomfortable with the notion that Christian parents should teach their children nothing but Scripture. This isn’t just a problem of a limited learning experience. It’s a also matter of recognizing and understanding the broader implications of God’s sovereignty and the doctrine of creation.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof,” writes the Psalmist, “the world and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). This means that there is no branch of knowledge and no field of endeavor that lies outside the scope of God’s will and purpose. Everything comes from Him. Everything belongs to Him (see Colossians 3:11; James 1:17). “The heavens declare God’s glory,” says the Scripture (Psalm 19:1). If this is true, it stands to reason that astronomy, for instance – along with every other subdivision of scientific investigation – can be a legitimate pathway to knowing the Lord more intimately and praising Him more effectively. The story of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12) seems to affirm this thought.

It’s worth adding that the Bible was never meant to be a textbook of all knowledge. Instead, it’s the key to the proper interpretation of knowledge. It’s the grid through which we filter data received from the world around us. The Bible enables us to get at the real significance of that data. This is at least part of what it means when it says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).

In His Word God has given us principles and truths that enable us to see the deeper meaning of the physical universe and the events of human history. This is how revelation is supposed to work. It is not designed to tell us how to solve a quadratic equation, harness nuclear energy, manage a Fortune 500 company, or repair a broken carburetor. These are things we have to learn by interacting with our environment in accordance with the physical, moral, and spiritual laws established by the Creator.

If you’d like to discuss these thoughts at greater length, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone.

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