The only other character development manuals we have seen are Man in Demand and material by Bill Gothard. The Plain Path manuals have less concessions to the culture than Man in Demand . Bill Gothard's material cannot be obtained without signing up for the entire educational program.
Most parents who are training their children at home have experienced earth-shaking changes in the way they think about education. Most of us grew up in public schools or private schools, and never even thought about another way for our children to be trained until one day...
Having made the decision to train our children at home, we next faced decisions about what to teach them and how teach them. The easy (or at least obvious) part of the answers to these questions came from studying different curriculum materials available and talking to more experienced (even if only by a few months) home schooling parents about what books and instructional methods they used and how they arranged their home school schedules.
There is, however, another very important part of the answer to the questions, "What do we teach?" and "How do we teach it?" For many home schooling parents, this part of the answer may become a more earth-shaking change in their thinking and living patterns than the decision to train their children at home! In simplest terms, the answers to the "what and how" questions are:
We will use one Biblical doctrine as an example to illustrate this answer to the "what and how" question. The doctrine we will use is the doctrine of God as Creator - thus the first part of our title, "dinosaurs". We use this example for several reasons:
15. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out
16. and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.
8. and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."
To see the extent of this identification of God a the Creator, study II Kings 19 :13, II Chronicles 2:12, Psalms 121:2, 124:8, 134:3, 146:6, Isaiah 37 :16, 45 :18, Jeremiah 10 :12, 32 :17, 51 :15, and Acts 17 :24.
Our culture (newspapers, schools, entertainment, TV news etc.) is extremely opposed to the idea of creation. Every issue of National Geographic contains probably hundreds of statements based on the assumptions of evolution and a godless history of the universe. Every major tax supported museum contains hundreds of displays pronouncing evolutionary assumptions. Most history books details the Scopes "monkey" trials.
In contrast, National Geographic never published a major retraction of a story on a "stone age" tribe in the Philippines which was later exposed (and admitted) to be a hoax. All pictures in the article were staged. Local people were paid to have their pictures taken half naked in "stone age" dress. Details of the supposed "stone age" culture were fabricated to fit the expectations of evolutionary thinkers like the editors of National Geographic The story was published in the August 1972 issue of National Geographic . The hoax was uncovered in April of 1986. Yet, what library has removed the article from its shelves where an unsuspecting reader will read the article and accept it as fact.
What museum has displays showing how the Grand Canyon was formed in days or weeks, not millions of years? The history books don't bother to mention that the primary evidence provided at the Scopes trial for evolution, so called Nebraska man, was later shown to be the tooth of an extinct kind of pig! This one (only one!) tooth claimed to prove the existence of a creature not quite evolved into a modern man.
In a short article, it is impossible to adequately explain the pervasiveness of the lie of evolution. We recommend further study and provide suggested resources at the end of this article.
Does it all matter? The deception which the devil would like Christians to accept is that a OK Christian can accept evolution and all that goes with it and not suffer any intellectual or spiritual harm. This deception wants to take men down the path which ultimately says that:
The very basic idea of evolution contradicts the foundations of Christianity. Evolution depends upon the process of natural selection in order to favor certain mutations. However, natural selection depends upon death (death of the less fit and survival of the more fit). However, the Bible teaches that death did not come to the world until sin came. Sin did not come until after Adam was here. This means that in order for any creatures to have evolved prior to Adam, death had to be present before sin. This means that the basic foundational doctrine of sin (and therefore salvation as taught in the New Testament) is inconsistent with the evolutionary view that men evolved from other animals.
The doctrine of creation impacts many subject areas. For example, let us look at the scientific and ethical questions surrounding the widespread practice of abortion to eliminate undesirable humans from our society. Humanistic logic (i.e. the devil's logic) goes as follows:
However, evolutionists are not consistent when they won't allow certain species to go extinct. They say that man must intervene to save those species which are not surviving. A consistent evolutionist would believe that the species would simply evolve again, or that a superior species would evolve, if man did not intervene. Furthermore, to be consistent, an evolutionist must see man as just another animal in the scheme of natural selection who does his part to stamp out inferior creatures.
Even engineering is affected by our view of foundational absolute truth. An example is the engineering of the moon lander used during the Apollo program to put American astronauts on the moon. Because of the prevailing belief that the world (earth and moon) were billions of years old, scientists measured the rate of fall of dust particles from space to the earth and calculated that the moon's surface should be covered with several feet of dust or more. This lead to great expense in building large pods on the feet of the moon lander to try to avoid sinking into this thick layer of dust. In fact, the expected thick layer of dust was one of the greatest concerns of the engineers and scientists in the Apollo program. In the end, we found only a couple of inches of dust. This is exactly what what would be expected if the moon and earth are about 6000 years old which is the age we get if a very literal interpretation of the events of the Bible is accepted.
Another recent example comes from Creation Magazine . An Australian scientist who has specialized in opal geology has researched how opals might have formed. This is important because if geologists can understand how the opals form, then they know in what sorts of rock formations they can expect to find opals. To date, no theories had produced any results, because all theories were based upon processes in which opals formed over millions of years. The Australian scientist believes in a recent creation, as taught in the Bible and used that as his starting point in looking for methods by which opals form. After years of experimentation, he has demonstrated in his laboratory a process by which opals form in weeks or months, not millions of years. What other discoveries may our children uncover because they begin with the right premises derived from God's absolute Truth.
The major discoveries which have been the basis of our technological age (e.g. electrical equipment, electronics, machinery) were made by men who believed that the universe was ruled by simple, orderly laws because they believed in the Divine Creator. Even though we are all quite accustomed to expecting all areas of the physical universe to unfailingly adhere to the laws of science, we need to pause to consider that such order is mandated only by the mind of God. A world evolved by chance gives no such expectations. For example, certain laws govern the behavior of chemicals regardless of what the chemicals are, or where they are mined. The same laws affecting the motion of cars determine the paths of planets. Furthermore, the scientific laws are consistent - they do not change from one day to the next.
In order to teach our children from a Biblical foundation, parents must first of all understand the Bible and its application to all walks of life. For many parents, this means a dramatic shift in time spent from sports, TV or the newspaper to the Bible and Christian fellowship in order to gain instruction from other Christians. Very few of us were raised with solid training in how to view our world from God's point of view. Therefore, nearly all of us need a radical retraining of our minds. God fulfills His promise of the New Covenant to write His laws on our hearts as we seek Him and His truth!
17. "This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And upon their mind I will write them,"
The Bible shows us that it is what we have in our heart which we pass on to our children,
19. "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
20. "And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.
As we meditate on this Scripture and on Deuteronomy 4 :6-7, we see that we must first have God's Word in our own heart before we can teach "when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road".
If we, as parents, have both a knowledge of foundational truths of the Bible and the skill to apply this truth to the world and events around us, our next step is to train our children in the same truths and skills. This cannot be done by simply tacking an occasional Bible verse on the end of a science lesson! There are three basic areas of learning for our children.
Some parents complain that they cannot afford to buy many books other than basic texts. In some cases, families can greatly multiply their library by sharing with other home-schooling families. Tragically, sometimes parents who don't think they can afford to spend several hundred dollars on books have homes with hundreds of dollars worth of video tapes and electronic games! In this case, all that is needed is not more money, but a change of priorities. For some families, the task is to educate other family members concerning the value of giving children books (or scientific equipment) as gifts instead of toys. :note. In one recent look in the Encyclopedia Britannica, we studied two different articles in different sections which dealt with the rate at which Niagra falls recedes due to erosion. Apparently due to the authors' zeal to avoid the reality that the true evidence is that the age of the falls is very consistent with a young (i.e. not millions or billions of years old), earth, the articles gave contradictory information on the rate of recession of the falls and one article contained a simple arithmetic error in order to come up with an old age! Our children need to know that "experts" are fools in God's eyes when they deny the Truth, and say there is no God (Psalm 49).
We could examine many other doctrines and similarly follow their effects upon what we teach our children. A Biblical understanding of the nature of man teaches us an entirely different view of psychology than that based upon the atheism of Freud. The contrast between the truths of God's Word and the common teachings of our culture in this area are is as dramatic and far reaching as the doctrine of creation. In fact, the contrast is precisely that of our culture and the doctrine of creation because modern psychology, and even medicine, are based upon the assumption that man is a mere animal here by chance whose physical drives have evolved over the ages. The Christian knows that man was created in the image of God and for a purpose by God Almighty!
A Biblical understanding of the purpose and nature of government shows us how to teach government and how to analyze current political issues. A Biblical understanding of money and economics shows us how to teach economics and how to run our day to day lives as well as the economic policy of the nation.
However, no amount of knowledge on the part of parents will allow us to fulfill our Biblical call to disciple our children if we do not pass on our knowledge and skills in using that knowledge to our children in every aspect of our daily living.
. The Genesis Solution by Ken Ham & Paul Taylor. This book, easy to read and understand, shows the Biblical foundations whose erosion has led to family turmoil, immorality, homosexuality etc. This book is easy to use on a 7th grade level as a foundational course in apologetics and ethics. The book is a Christian answer to values clarification which will enable our children to adequately refute the lies and deceptions that many of their non-Christian peers may espouse.
A number of excellent children's books are available from ICR. These books build on children's keen curiosity about ancient creatures to give sound instruction in honest scientific pursuit.
In Australia write Creation Ex Nihilo , PO Box 302, Sunnybank, Qld. 4109. In the USA, Write to ICR (Institute for Creation Research) at PO Box 1606, El Cajon, CA 92022.
In Australia, write to Creation Magazine in Queensland. In the USA, order from Christian Equippers International, PO Box 16100, South Lake Tahoe, CA 95706.