School Books

I was reading Ticklish Ear on the NC convention for homeschoolers. He talked about finding approaches for his daughter. He also mentioned being able to change course quickly.

I have always loved that about homeschooling, but I am having a bit of a struggle right now. My boys are much older than TE’s daughter, 11th and 8th grade.

We have been using A Beka history books. But this last year we did the World History books. And the boys were appalled. The books are definitely Christian, but they are also anti-Catholic. We are not Catholic, but as my son said in Bible class, much to the teacher’s dismay, “Catholics are Christians.” Both the boys had a hard time with the books.

Now we have been deconstructing billboards since they were two and three. “Why do you think they put that bottle of beer with that big plate of spaghetti?” “What do those two people have to do with a candy bar?” Etc. (My parents called it brainwashing.)

I want my children, my boys, to be critical thinkers. And they are. They don’t always have the knowledge to reply to things they see and hear, especially since most of the places they surf on the web are liberal, but they know to question. My oldest asks questions like he agrees with the posts and then digests our answers. It has become very important to me to be able to discuss the comments and attitudes from the sites they read.

But that same ability, which I want them to have, made their history books this year atrocious. I need to find a better balanced history book. I am having trouble with that idea, though. Most public school texts have biases that I don’t like any better. And I figure in the world they are going to have many biased experiences which are anti-Christian. So I am wondering what to do with history this next year.

I have a possible solution. One thing I have thought of doing is having them read a generic (fairly bias neutral) history of the world which is a coffee table book. One page a day. Then they read on the net for something else to learn about that time period or that event. And once a week they read a biography. We’ll be doing American history this year, so I have plenty of biographies available. And though the history is “the world,” much of it touches on the US, since it is in English and was published here. But even when it doesn’t, that will give the kids a chance to look and see what the editors and authors ignored/slighted/missed.

It will be more work though. A simple book with questions will mean less whining on the part of the kids. But I think it will also mean less learning.

One thought on “School Books

  1. I am trying to determine how much anti-Catholicsm is in the A Beka history books. The Bob Jones University World History books (7th and 10th grade) flat out state that the Roman Catholic Church is a tool of Satan.

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