Broaching "the subject" in your homeschool community

(Ashley Lande) #21

Having not grown up in a strong evangelical environment (we were nominally Methodist; my dad rarely went to church and then my sister started refusing to go and then I declared atheism when I was 15), I am surprised to read all these replies about how huge an issue this is within homeschool groups and co-ops, and am wondering now if I need to determine the prevailing view in the homeschool co-op I just joined, in which I signed my son up for a “Hands-On Science” class. I was never indoctrinated into the YEC view and found Biologos soon after I accepted Jesus Christ (within a pretty broad-minded urban non-denominational church), and everything I read resonated with me (though questions / mysteries still abound, of course). I did mention to the coordinator of the co-op when I joined that we believed in EC. She just kind of smiled and nodded and changed the subject. I thought nothing of it at the time, and wondered if it was silly for me to even bring it up because perhaps her lack of response indicated it was not an issue, but now I’m a bit concerned… I don’t mean to bag on YEC’ers. I can sympathize with the desire for the Bible to be infallible in the certain Enlightenment-formed way we sometimes want it to, and the fear that if we take as allegorical or non-literal one part, the whole caboodle crumbles. I’ve been there, and still stumble / wonder occasionally, in other ways. But because I have never been entrenched in a YEC community I always kind of assumed people who were adamantly YEC were few and far between… seems it is not so?

(Phil) #22

I wonder myself. In my community, there are a few that bring it (YEC) up, but a lot that “go along” with it, but I suspect do not really think it is true, but will say there is a young earth and literal global flood etc. just because it is expected to be a member of the community. A little different, but sort of like the pro-life position to be a Republican, pro-choice to be a Democrat, though we REALLY do not want to go there!

I’m not sure how you would ever tease it out to see how many really have those core beliefs, though I think there was a study done years back (with Biologos as a sponsor as I recall but could be wrong) that came up with about 11% of American evangelicals who had really firm feelings for the YEC position. I’m too lazy to look that up but sure someone can correct me if wrong.

I would think that the best thing is to not worry too much about it, as I suspect most are like your friend who would just rather not talk about it, probably because of the cognitive dissonance it brings up. Quite honestly, my wife is sort of in that boat where she accepts an old earth but it really is not something she wants to discuss, as it would put a barrier between her and her more literal friends.

(Christy Hemphill) #23

That is great. I’m trying to figure out how you help kids balance between being honest about their own thinking, being accepting and non-threatening with other people, and knowing when to just keep their mouths shut. I’m sure they learn by example to a certain extent.

(Christy Hemphill) #24

Maybe in the generic Christian population. In the Christian homeschool population, YEC is definitely the norm most places because that is what most of the resources and conferences promote. It’s kind of like courtship and essential oils. Way more homeschoolers are into those movements than you would find in a typical church population.

(Alice Linsley) #25

YEC is the norm in most Evangelical home school settings. As an alternative I developed this STEM-Technology Curriculum which can be used successfully by “old earth” creationists -

(Ashley Lande) #26

So… yikes. It turns out most of the people in the group believe in YEC, or at least a good number. During classes and playdates recently, I got into a number of conversations with the other moms about what curriculum they used, and every one I spoke with used either My Father’s World or Apologia. I am really surprised. Mine is a more “open” group - there is a Muslim family, and I met another woman who said she was “not really religious” (she is fine with evolution). There is a short statement of Christian faith to be signed, but the agreement is merely that you respect the statement, not agree with it (hence the Muslim and agnostic / atheist families, I guess). I am disappointed, because I had hoped to befriend a fellow homeschooler (in person) who was perhaps familiar with Biologos and / or also seeking to understand God’s creation in light of evolution. Perhaps there will be someone I just haven’t met or spoken with in depth yet. I feel like at this point asking about curriculum is “safer” and much less confrontational than something explicit like “so, how do you feel about evolution?”

(Ashley Lande) #27

Also - James, you are probably right about not bringing it up… I wouldn’t, but for the fact that I want to have someone in person with whom I can have these discussions! But, because there are families of other faiths (or no faith) within my group, I’m assuming it’s not substantially “Christian” beyond the label and having prayer to open co-op classes. But, since it is a co-op wherein individuals teach classes, and develop / find their own material to teach the classes, I wonder how the subject would be completely avoided in (at least, for older children) biological science classes. I wonder if it’s ever come up before? Since I’m new, I don’t want to rock the boat, but I am curious about how it all pans out if there are differing views within the group.

(Ashley Lande) #28

Thank you, Alice!

(Phil) #29

It can be a bit of a minefield, and forums like this provide a sounding board that perhaps we do not have outside of it. We tend to get focused on the subject of evolution, and have to remind ourselves that it is peripheral to faith. So long as your group accepts and loves you and your children, it is OK to stick with them and just love them back.

(Ashley Lande) #30

I agree! And I have felt very warmly accepted. I am grateful to be in the group, but indeed, also grateful for this forum :slight_smile:

(Vickie Lee) #31

I appreciate your approach. Thank you for exhibiting such a gracious, generous spirit. I hope I can do that someday.

(Alice Linsley) #32

You are welcome, Ashley.

If you click on the link you will see that the students are exploring science and the Bible and finding that the data of Scripture (minus various interpretations) aligns well with the findings of the sciences.

Students select a card from the Bible Technology Card Box. These cards provide background information and context for students to research up to 3 questions per card related to science, technology, engineering and math in the Bible, specifically among Abraham’s ancestors in the Archaic Period. Students complete 12 cards per semester. The cards are color coded as follows:

Anthropology - gold
Archaeology - blue
Architecture - pink
Astronomy - green
Climate Studies - purple
Earth Science - black
Genetics - red
Linguistics - brown
Materials - bright yellow
Medicine - orange
Navigation - white
Zoology - salmon