The air hums with the chatter of homeschoolers. I'm standing in a curriculum provider's booth, listening to an enthusiastic representative "pitch" me.
I'm going to be a hard sell <smile>.
"The Bible is integrated in our curriculum," she proudly tells me.
"What does that mean?" I give her a moment to consider my question. "Can you give me an example?"
"Uh... sure. When we're studying Creation, we read Genesis 1 and 2."
That one is obvious. "What about, say, when you're studying the 1950's of American History?" Again, I give her time. The puzzled look on her brow lasts only a moment. "Hmm... I guess there wasn't as much integration that year," she admits.
I'm not sure she's following my leading questions, so I ask another. "Can you give me an example from your Bible integrated science programs?"
Either it's my imagination she's relieved or she's just thrilled to be able to show me more of her beloved texts. "This week we're reading about God creating light" --again, back to the Creation example-- "so we do experiments that involve light." The page set before me suggests playing blindfold tag and punching a small hole in a cup to see the light flow out with the water.
"That water and light activity is fantastic," I offer. She agrees.
After thanking her for her time, I wander away, contrasting what I've just heard with Sonlight. We list a desire for a "Bible-centered" curriculum as one of the reasons NOT to buy Sonlight. Still, Scripture is an integral part of Sonlight's curriculum. And the dramatic missionary biographies invite even more biblical study. No, we don't strap a verse to every lesson... but Scripture flows throughout our curriculum. We're not constantly quoting Scripture, but the heart of the Word of God is always there. And as I think of how Christ used passages from the Bible, this seems to be the best approach.
I don't think "Bible integrated curriculum" is really all that integrated. Those who write such stuff are absolutely intentional about sticking the Word of God in the pages of their guides. But such an approach, I sense, misses the way we're supposed to study and apply Scripture. We are called to hide God's Word in our hearts and let that guide our steps.
And Bible memorization is absolutely something we do at Sonlight.
Strange, the sales rep from that other company didn't mention memory work...
How do you feel about Sonlight's approach to Biblical integration (or lack thereof)? How does your family approach reading and studying Scripture? Have you had a chance to check out Sonlight's new Bible programs?
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
Acrimonious: angry and bitter, usually in reference to a debate
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