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"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."
Earl & Diane Rodd 2180 Northland Ave. Lakewood,OH 44107 USA Phone (216) 521-8856
03/31/93

Dear Friends,

The article in this FHC letter is taken from a set of lecture notes Diane needed in 1992. We were brought back to them while working on another project in which we wanted to describe different kinds of educational methods and why Biblical methods always work. The title of this article is:

The Biblical Method of Education

INTRODUCTION
Understanding man's origin and design
  1. God spoke the universe, man and all that we can see, hear, touch, taste, smell and perceive into existence by words. He said, "Let there be..." and there was. Genesis chapters 1 & 2 say it was good.
  2. God did something unique with the human race by making man in His image. Thus man is a spirit with a soul which can perceive, think, formulate and put those untangible realms of thoughts, feelings, and emotions into words in order to communicate externally and visibly what is internal and can not be seen or perceived by another. This ability to communicate is one of the ways we are made in God's image, and it is a major logical and personal reality that disproves the false teaching of evolution. Every human being knows that he can communicate with others on this present earth who speak a similar language, but his pet dog will never be able to have a dinner conversation over a cup of tea. Nor can an ape ever produce a musical symphony that another can reproduce from written music; nor can a dolphin write an autobiography that another can read. Man and animals are not just a different species. Man is made in the image of God and that makes him unique especially in the communication of thoughts and ideas.
  3. Adam's first job in the garden was to use language to name all the animals. Adam didn't create the animals with his words because man is not the CREATOR. He is a created being, but naming the animals of God's creation shows the superior thinking abilities and intelligence man was given by God when God placed man in dominion authority over the animal kingdom. Genesis 2 :20 is the first biblical reference of man's use of language. Adam did not draw pictures to name the animals. He used language or sounds to convey the thought or idea of the animal he was describing.
  4. The quicker a person learns to speak clearly and communicate effectively, the quicker God gets the glory because the effects of the fall and sin are being reversed. We have an enemy who never wants man to function as God created and designed because man functioning as God intended brings glory to God. It is said of Jesus, "He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him" (Acts 10 :38). Jesus' ultimate mission and accomplishment was to restore the ability of man to communicate personally or individually with his Creator. Sin blocks that communication in the spirit. Jesus enabled man to overcome the sin barrier and communicate and fellowship with God. This is the essence of the gospel.
  5. God is a spirit and because man was made in the image of God, he too is a spirit. When man fell from perfect communication and fellowship with God and lost his harmony with the rest of creation, we see language as the tool that was used to tempt man to disobey God. Eve didn't seem to be surprised that a serpent was talking with her. We don't know if animals were able to communicate with Adam and Eve during their stay in the garden of Eden because we weren't there. We do know that Eve in her innocence of evil accepted the communication which proceeded from the snake. Even if animals did communicate with the first human couple, that still doesn't make them of the same kind or species because the animals were not suitable for Adam as a helpmate. Mankind and animals are not the same and are never to be viewed as such. This is the reason that literature that portrays animals with human characteristics is confusing to a young child. Animals do not talk, dress, or behave as humans do. Language was used to deceive Eve, and this method of deception has not changed. The perversion of ideas and concepts is communicated through language, and then man chooses to use his mind or body to rebel against God rather than to bring glory to God. Thus language is extremely important in God's kingdom. Words of doubt and unbelief originating from satan are major enemies of mankind. Faith in God and His Word is the major weapon against this deceptive attack.
  6. Because there was only one language perpetuated by Noah and his family, the sole survivors of the universal flood, man had the ability to conceive, communicate and enact his will on the earth apart from God's will. After the flood language was touched by God so that its sinful power over makind was lessened (Genesis chapter 11).

    Genesis 11:6
    7. And the \Lord\ said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
    8. "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
    9. So the \Lord\ scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
    10. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the \Lord\ confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the \Lord\ scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

  7. When we look at the inconsistency of teaching language skills in the education bureaucracy of humanists, we should not be surprised. God used confusion early in man's history and continues to allow confusion to rule in the area's of language so that man's sinful will has a check on the earth. Because this is so, Christian home educators must be very careful to avoid wordly methods of teaching language skills. Only God's methods bring restoration and healing to man's inability to communicate effectively.
The Bible has much to say about how human beings learn successfully, but this paper will only discuss a few.

Joshua 1:8
9. "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

The Bible cannot be relegated to one subject out of many. The Bible must not only be the foundation upon which all other subjects are then laid, but it must also occupy the central place of all learning. Only the Lord can show us how to learn and what to learn.

Matthew 11:28
29. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
30. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and \you shall find rest for your souls.\
31. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

The Biblical Method of Education of learning by example is found in Luke 6 :40.

Luke 6:40
41. "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

Jesus also taught his disciples a basic principle about listening and doing in Luke 6 :46-49. He said,

Luke 6:46
47. "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?
48. "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like:
49. he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
50. "But the one who has heard, and has not acted {accordingly,} is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."

The Biblical Method of Education of learning to listen and doing can be laid as a foundation at the early age of 2-3. A small child can be taught to hear (listen) to the correct pronunciation of a word he is trying to say and he can be taught to do (pronounce correctly) every word of his own speaking vocabulary - if the PT(Parent/Teacher) is willing to learn the correct pronunciation himself, and diligently and consistently train the child to listen and speak correctly.

Teaching Correct Pronunciation

Many children today are being labeled incorrectly as having "speech problems" or learning disabilities. FHC believes there is usually nothing wrong with the child, but there may be something drastically incorrect in how the child is learning by example.

Jesus prayed

John 17:17
18. "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.

The biblical example that parents must continually portray to their children is a love of the truth. Whenever parents tolerate anything that violates the truth of scripture, the example we set for our children will someday bear evil fruit. Jesus explained a very important Biblical Method of Education when he said,

Mark 4:23
24. "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
25. And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides.
26. "For whoever has, to him shall {more} be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

God has equipped human beings with ears so we may hear and by hearing, we also learn. However, hearing correctly is a skill that needs to be "caught" and "taught". In modern western culture the ability to listen has been lost. In the midst of myriads of voices and sounds, confusion is reigning. The visual arts and the "god" of entertainment have replaced the ability of most Westerners to listen attentively and learn by "hearing" only. What we once had as a culture, we have lost. The art of listening to stories told by grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles is no longer considered a valid method of education. The wisdom of years of experience is being lost, forgotten, or ignored as TV, movies, and videos replace the truth and reality of personal experience with fables, fantasy, fiction, and folly. The standard of measure of the western culture is the entertainment industry not the spoken Word of God. However, the Biblical Method of Education is clearly stated in Deuteronomy 6 :1-15. It says,

Deuteronomy 6:1
2. "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded {me} to teach you, that you might do {them} in the land where you are going over to possess it,
3. so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
4. "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do {it}, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, {in} a land flowing with milk and honey.
5. "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
6. "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
7. "And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart;
8. and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
9. "And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
10. "And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
11. "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,
12. and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied,
13. then watch yourself, lest you forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
14. "You shall fear {only} the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name.
15. "You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you,
16. for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
17. "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested {Him} at Massah.
18. "You should diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you.
19. "And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the Lord swore to {give} your fathers,
20. by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken.
21. "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What {do} the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments {mean} which the Lord our God commanded you?'
22. then you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt; and the Lord brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.
23. 'Moreover, the Lord showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household;
24. and He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.'
25. "So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as {it is} today.
26. "And it will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the Lord our God, just as He commanded us.

God expects one generation to communicate with the other. Questions are to be asked and answered. There must be time to share personal testimony of the Lord's work in a life. However, the passage also reveals to us the Biblical Method of Learning . As Jesus also taught, God has created human beings to learn by hearing. When this skill is lost and is not "taught" and "caught" in each generation, the education of humanity suffers decline. Proverbs 4 :1-3 tells sons to listen, but it also tells fathers to teach

Proverbs 4:1
2. Hear, {O} sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding,
3. For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.

This Proverbs 6 :20-23 states that teaching one's own child is also a God-given responsibility of mothers.

Proverbs 6:20
21. My son, observe the commandment of your father, And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;
22. Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck.
23. When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.
24. For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life,

These two scriptures make it very clear that a child is to be taught by both parents and the method of teaching is verbal. Too much written work before a child has adequate skills can cause unnecessary frustration. Children in a school environment have no alternative; they have to put all their learning and discovery onto paper. However, a homeschooled child should have the joy and excitement of being instructed verbally by both of his parents. The parents have to decide what subjects are best taught by each parent. Many homeschooling families are too matriarchal. The mother is doing it all and though it may produce academic success because tutorial learning is always superior to classroom instruction, the generational success may not succeed beyond one generation because the fathers were not involved in any part of the child's education process. Many homeschooling families relegate the family devotions to the father, but that is not enough to fulfill the commands we find in Proverbs. There is much to be discussed and understood concerning our culture and a biblical lifestyle. Most academic subjects lend themselves very easily into discussions, questions and answers that can impart this wisdom.

The scriptures we have just reviewed reveal the following major biblical methods of education.

  1. Jesus is the one who has written God's laws on our hearts when He established the New Covenant. He is the only one who can teach us how to obey those laws in our world, in our families, in our society, in our nation, in our generation.
  2. The Bible is the most important book or literature in all the world.
  3. Parents much be involved as examples of biblical character as well as the teachers of various information. Fathers especially need to read the Bible to their children every day as well as incorporate other books into a family reading program so the father has the opportunity to impart a biblical world view to his family.
  4. Truth must be sought, taught and caught at all times and for all ages.
  5. Hearing the truth is the first foundational skill a person should learn.
  6. Obeying the truth that is heard is the next important skill a person should learn.
  7. Speaking the truth is the next valuable skill a person should possess.
  8. Writing the truth is the next skill that a person should possess.

The following Scripture encapsulates the Biblical command concerning language and an appropriate warning.

Ecclesiastes 12:10
11. The Preacher sought to find delightful words and to write words of truth correctly.
12. The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of {these} collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.
13. the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion {to books} is wearying to the body.

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HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO SPECIFIC DAILY SUBJECTS TO BE STUDIED?
AGES 1-5

HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO
SPECIFIC DAILY SUBJECTS TO BE STUDIED?

Ages 1-5 should be talked to, read to, instructed in godly character attitudes and habits. Bible stories, songs, activities should all be biblically based with little or no fantasy (animals talking and acting like humans.) If fantansy is used, the child should be instructed so that he understands that fantasy is not the truth.

  1. Indoor toys should be minimal and should be those that teach the child manual dexterity (puzzles, legos, coloring, sewing, cutting, pasting, screws. screwdrivers, hammers, pounding pegs etc).
  2. When possible, incorporate activities that provide something for the whole family. e.g. make noodles rather than playing with playdough. Use this activity to teach measuring, fractions, the use of a knife, cookie cutters, measuring.
  3. Books read to students at this age should include biblical history, creation science, missionary biographies, history of the church, Christian history of nations.
AGES 5-7
  1. Grade K-2 should have very little written academic work.
    1. Learning to recognize and pronounce the sounds of phonograms.
    2. Learning to print the sound of phongrams.
    3. Learning to spell and read words.
    4. Learning to spell and read his own sentences.
    5. Learning to listen to the Bible dictated to him and print what he hears.
    6. Learning to read the Bible himself. (Rod and Staff)
    7. Learning to recognize and pronounce the numbers of arithmetic.
    8. Learning to print numbers and count orally.
    9. Learning to add, subtract and some multiplication.
  2. All other subjects (science, history, English grammar, geography,) should be real aloud by child and parent(s) alternating paragraphs and discussing what has been read.
  3. Maps and globes should be used in all discussions of events pertaining to history and geography.
GRADE 3
  1. Child learns to put more of his thoughts and learning on paper, but much is still done orally.
  2. Reading should be very fluent and easy.
  3. Penmanship should be easy to read.
  4. Ability to converse should be easy.
  5. Dictation from the Bible and ability to write in cursive can be lengthened in time or number of verses.
  6. Biblical research should be done with a parent.
  7. Pick 2 or 3 subjects that will monitor composition skills.
  8. Do other subjects orally.
GRADE 4
  1. Child begins to have all the necessary skills to do more demanding academic tasks.
  2. Oral discussion should not be replaced by too much written work.
  3. Written work should be individual biblical research and original thoughts and ideas.
  4. Pick 4 or 5 subjects that will monitor composition skills.
GRADE 5
  1. Child can do most of his academic subjects by himself.
  2. Parents need to discuss all written work, assess it, and correct all errors and misconceptions that may not fit biblical and family standards.
  3. Child should be very used to correcting and recorrecting until he has an acceptable presentation whether it be verbal or written.
GRADE 6
  1. Many subjects are not totally new material, but incorporate a deeper level or understanding of subjects that have already been introduced.
  2. Fine tuning skills and overcoming any gaps should be emphasized.
  3. Longer discussions or short speeches should be encouraged and evaluated.
  4. Biblical interpretations of current events should be discussed daily.
GRADE 7-?
  1. Math will take on a new level of intensity because algebra, geometry require abstract concepts.
  2. Composition skills will be refined until the student is writing at an adult level.
  3. Foreign languages can be introduced at an adult level (i.e. with grammar and reading emphasis). The Biblical Method of Education, Copying God's Law, can be effectively used at this level to learn the Biblical vocabulary of a foreign language. With foreign language, Copying God's Law means beginning to learn a foreign language by copying the Bible written in the foreign language.
  4. Speech, debate and Christian apologetics should be introduced as a formal subject and speeches should be given frequently to the whole family.
  5. All the factual material that has been studied and learned and all the skills that were acquired are now utilized as the child learns to incorporate all he has been learning into a biblical world view of every segement of society.
  6. Many students have grasped material from Grades K-6 by age 12. For those subjects, do not repeat the same material (as most textbooks do for grades 7-8). Instead, move into high school textbooks and as soon as the student is working at high school level, begin to incorporate college texts, independent study, and apprenticeship(s).
  7. For subjects which are not a student's strong areas, be willing to delay the use of grade 8-10 texts and courses until the student is older. If the highest level of knowledge the family seeks for the child in a subject is in a grade 9 text, using that text at age 16 or 17 may provide more thorough learning, better retention, and practical application than covering the material at age 14.
  8. One aspect of apprenticeship is the ability for parents to give their children the opportunity to be fully trained in any professions/trades/specialties of both parents. God may not always ordain that children follow parents to the completion of apprenticeship, but parents should give their children that opportunity.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd