Mine started around 3 years old and is now 11. She wants to be a paleontologist or archaeologist or some kind of “old stuff” ologist, lol. I’m glad I now know and can tell her the truth, being only recently “converted” from YEC.
Hi. I’m an evangelical pastor. I don’t believe in YEC, but I’m not sure which model of creation is true. I have three little ones. My eldest daughter is about to start kindergarten. We’ve decided to homeschool through a Sonlight co-op. I hesitated about homeschooling because I don’t want my kids to learn about people riding dinosaurs. But I do want them to have a Biblical worldview.
I’m on the lookout for science-related materials from a more old-earth or TE interpretation of origins. Now that I’m reading through homeschool curriculum for the first time, looking for the right materials for my kids, they seem very easy to write. I have an illustration and writing background. If I don’t find any good elementary-level books, I was thinking of writing some materials myself. But I’d like to partner with someone who has a science degree.
Hi Shawn, welcome to the forum!
I’ve used Sonlight science through third grade and hardly any of the materials are from a YEC or ID perspective, most of them are from secular education publishers. The IGs specifically talk about three Christian perspectives (YEC, OEC, TE/EC) and say it’s the parents’ job to communicate their preferred view.
Since TE/EC accepts mainstream scientific consensus, there isn’t really that much need to have special science materials written from their perspective. The science is the same as “regular” science. The areas of discussion come up when you are studying the Bible and theology, and most of us don’t bring up those specific science/faith issues until kids are older. There are plenty of nice elementary level science resources, so you wouldn’t need to reinvent the wheel there. What there is probably a market for is Bible study materials/devotionals for elementary kids that deal with Genesis in a science-friendly (or at least science neutral) way, since many of the homeschool materials that talk about Genesis presume a YEC science understanding. For example, if there were pretty books that brought down some of the ANE context stuff you find in commentaries to an elementary level, I would buy that.
A lot of OECs reject common descent, so maybe they have their own materials when it comes to teaching about evolution. Reasons to Believe has a recommended resources list for homeschoolers on their website, if you want OEC endorsed materials.
Thanks, Christy, this is very helpful.
@MCampbell I am a fellow Missourian, but currently living in Kansas! Two things struck me while reading through the exchange concerning your regrets and relational difficulties transitioning to an EC perspective: 1. Please, please give yourself grace! and 2. I hate that for so many people Christianity itself seems to be staked on a YEC view! We almost had a friendship ruined because our friends could not reconcile the idea that we did not adhere to YEC but truly loved, believed in and were devoted to following Jesus. By God’s grace our friendship has been somewhat restored, and I pray it will continue in that direction. But I hate that this issue is so sharply divisive for some! But yes… give yourself grace. The Holy Spirit has really transformed my heart on this issue and I realized I was doing the same thing I accused YEC’ers of - staking way too much on it! Now, I never feel the need to argue or, in many cases, even reveal my beliefs on it unless explicitly pressed (which never really happens). I’m sure you have loved your kids well and you have told them about Jesus. Those truly are the most important things! Through your experience they are also learning about forgiveness and latitude in God’s grace! They are learning through you that they don’t have to fear new ideas and can trust the Holy Spirit. And that is huge.
In other random news, I went to the homeschool convention in Wichita this morning. I was hoping to find a science curriculum - no dice. All YEC, plus there were several workshops on defending a YEC view. @Christy, didn’t you say Sonlight was good for your family? I also want a Bible curriculum for my son. We usually just read and memorize scripture but I’d like something more systematic but don’t want something that’s going to contain YEC content. Any suggestions from anyone?
Hey! Thank you for your response! It’s been a while since I’ve been to the forum because I currently have 2 foster boys! One is 2 yo and the other is 6 mos. They are both relatives. Needless to say, they have taken up a lot of my time lately! I have had a couple conversations with people lately about my change in beliefs. The girls’ tutor accepted it well enough but is obviously not interested in the resources I’ve offered–even though she is a very intelligent woman with degrees in math, etc. Unfortunately we’ve decided to stop tutoring with her for various reasons, one of which is due to the YEC versus Biologos ideas–I don’t want her nor my daughter to feel uncomfortable or that they have to “hide” things if discussions come up. I had another conversation with my daughter’s friend because the girls are both into dinosaurs. I felt it was reasonable to tell the mom my views just in case our daughters began discussing things concerning dinosaurs. The mom was very kind and said “friends are still friends”. I haven’t really told anyone else, outside my family and I agree for the most part it will be “as necessary”. I did finally discuss it with my mother and she was shocked but accepting. I didn’t explain things very well–my heart was pounding and I was shaking and I don’t think I communicated very effectively. Nevertheless, I assured her that it didn’t change our core belief in Christ, Salvation, etc. I have also come to the conclusion it’s sort of pointless to “argue” my case until someone shows interest. I remember thinking and believing whole heartedly like YEC and I was concerned about other’s perspectives not lining up with God’s. I am beginning to realize that everyone is on their own journey toward God and He will guide them as He sees fit and if I’m a part of that, then so be it, and if I’m not, that’s fine too. I know one day we will all see Him face to face and we will all understand and none of these earthly cares will even matter any more. I can say this journey of mine has given me a wider perspective of creation, people, the universe, God, etc., and I actually feel MORE wonder and awe than I did before. Things make so much more sense–like why in the world would God make mosquitos, ticks, germs, etc?? Well, now I understand. I really like John Polkinghorn’s concept that God allowed all of creation free will to “make itself”–and this is such an amazing thing to think about!! The entire universe is amazing and beautiful and I think even God enjoys the wonders of His creation.
I forget how old your kids are, and I am currently sitting on my roof in a very remote village in Mexico trying to catch the smidge of internet signal I paid the snack shop down the road to use. It was really slow trying to get the rest of this thread to load and remind myself so I quit trying, but hopefully, what I’m about to type will be useful-ish. Sonlight worked for us K-3. Now Bookshark has science components, and those are “secular” so you don’t even have to weed out the couple YEC books. (Bookshark is owned and operated by the same people as Sonlight and the offer it as an option for charter schools and other people who can get reimbursed by the government for non-religious curriculum.) In 4th we use Explorations Physical Science, which my kids had fun with. It’s a project based elementary physics course.
I was really happy with the Bible curriculum put out by Peace Hill Press (available at the Well Trained Mind website). It’s called Telling God’s Story. Peter Enns wrote the first two years and Rachel Marie Stone wrote the third. A fourth was due out last fall, but I haven’t seen it for sale yet. It focuses on the Gospels and who Jesus is and what it means to follow the “Jesus Way.”
Thank you! My kids are 6 and 8. I’m intrigued by the Peace Hill curriculum. I read a book by Pete Enns a year or two ago and didn’t love it but I think it had more to do with where I was at spiritually at the time.
This gives me some options to investigate, thank you! It’s good to know Bookshark is owned by Sonlight so hopefully wouldn’t push an evolutionist perspective (as in, evolution explains all aspects of life and the idea of a creator is necessarily null and void). That’s comforting because while I obviously don’t want to use YEC materials, but I also get frustrated with books we read from the library that have hints of evolutionism. I usually stop reading and explain to the kids things like "okay, this book says gravity is the reason the planets came together… God is the reason the planets came together, but he used the force we call ‘gravity’ to do so) My son has gotten so used to it that recently he has just started saying “yeah, I know mom, I know!”
Anyway, thank you so much for your response, and for going to such extreme and arduous lengths to make it
I agree! I find so much more wonder and awe at the process of evolution than the idea that God ‘poofed’ things into existence. Perhaps that is an unfair caricature of the YEC position… but I just feel that the idea of evolution and deep time is more in keeping with the awesome and overwhelmingly majestic and BIG character of God that I see revealed in His word and in The Word, Jesus Christ! There are still plenty of things I don’t understand, of course, but as you say, one day we will see face to face and the “hows” will either fall away or come into their full majesty and redemption in the full coming of His kingdom. That is one of the reasons I find it upsetting when people conflate YEC beliefs with faith in Christ, as though you can’t possibly truly have the latter without the former.
And wow! You have your hands full! What an amazing thing to be doing - taking in your two foster baby relatives. I pray you have plenty of support! I will pray right now for God’s best outcome for the situation, whether that be reconciliation and rehabilitation for the birth parents or loving adoption.
Oh, I totally forgot that Biologos has a curricula suggestion page as well!!! I think I investigated it before a year or two ago and most things seemed too “old” for my kids but I need to re-evaluate that.
We slacked off a bit this winter schoolwise - I believe I mentioned this before, but my sister died of a drug overdose in October. That was pretty devastating and it took a few months just to resume a normal routine. I’m finally feeling excited about learning with my kids again and thinking we might just school through summer in a somewhat more relaxed mode.
I will note that Sunday School teacher Pete Enns is very different in tone and style than blogger Pete Enns. It’s totally appropriate for kids.
Oh, so sorry! Hope you are getting the support you need as you navigate all the fallout.
LOL today I can get one bar holding my computer up to the window, I didn’t even need to climb on the roof!
Ooh, thanks for that recommendation! Sonlight uses “Leading Little Ones to God” for first grade, which doesn’t look terrible, but it also seems a bit old-fashioned and maybe too “systematic” for my tastes… I really like the previews I’m seeing of that Enns one… I might just have to switch.
Oh, good to know! Yeah, blogger Pete Enns was a little snarky for my tastes. You are saying it’s the same person but using a very different tone and style, and not literally a different Pete Enns, right?
And I am so glad to hear that accessing the internet has become a less perilous exercise!!!
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I am nee to biologos and a new homeschooler with 2 boys ages 8 and 11.
Hi Alyssa, welcome to the forum!
Hope you find some valuable input here. Feel free to pop in and ask a question or share an observation or good resource any time!