Christian Homeschooling Benefits
Many people ask me about the benefits of Christian homeschooling. The reality is that these conversations usually turn into addressing people’s trepidation about the idea of ‘Christian’ homeschooling. What people need to remember is that Christian homeschooling is one of the greatest manifestations of liberty and freedom in the US. That means that whatever Christian homeschooling means to you, then that is what you implement. You are not under any strict rubric to determine the level of religiosity in your teaching. Clearly, this is one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling. It gives you the opportunity to direct your child’s learning based on your own family’s values, not the values of the local school board or government. That’s not a swipe at my own local school board, but merely a recognition that I am the best person to share my values with my children.
Teaching History: Don’t Forget the Narrative
Teaching history in your Christian homeschool setting can be difficult. Some of the best activities in history class necessitate group learning. The sheer amount of facts that come into play, especially with the advanced curriculum in history (high school, AP), can be daunting to teacher and student alike. One of the ways that I have overcome this problem is through the use of narrative. Historical narrative, or stories, can be extremely instructive when teaching concepts. Moreover, it provides a depth of knowledge that purely analytical learning cannot. This does not necessarily take away from learning dates, facts, and figures, but can help improve your student’s cognition of these more rote items. Coming into a unit with a good basis of knowledge, using a story to underscore a concept, can be incredibly impactful. I suggest you give it a try.
I will give one example here. There was a great story in the Wall Street Journal about the inauguration of President Andrew Jackson. One of the main themes of this presidency was the ‘Jacksonian democracy’ and the emergence of new people into the democratic process. This is best exemplified in a narrative format by discussing Jackson’s raucous inauguration party that included all members of society, even those rough a tumble type who had stayed away from politics previously.
Christian Homeschooling Curriculum Planning Begins Now
If you haven’t started planning your curriculum, I suggest doing so immediately. Many ambitious homeschooling teachers will start making their entire curriculum before the summer, to truly have a great summer vacation. Online homeschool curriculum also, however, may be able to make things easier for you. No longer do we have to come up with everything on our own, but a good mix of online curriculum sources and our own innovativeness can make a robust curriculum.