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Creation Discussion in Sonlight Curriculum

Your e-book on transcripts changed my life this year, and thus, the lives of my children! My oldest is in 8th grade and earlier this past school year, she thought she wanted to go to high school. I wasn't sure what to do for high school, so I was having trouble  getting her excited over the idea of remaining homeschooled. I saw your book, ordered it in December, but did not get around to reading it until about February. That is when things started to change in two ways. I was able to share my excitement about your e-book with my oldest, especially your transcripts with Sonlight courses, as we have used Sonlight in the past and really liked it. We attended various homeschool meetings with co-ops to get high school ideas, and over the course of 4 months, we have decided to homeschool all 3 kids, the middle one coming to me out of the blue in March and asking if she could homeschool again (she had 1 year previously).

I especially like some advice you have given to stay with curriculum you have already successfully used. For us, that would be Sonlight. However, a few things have come up lately making me question that.  Do you think I'd be compromising my own beliefs by using Sonlight for history/literature, even though it  bothers me that, as a company, they won't take a stand on the old earth/young earth issue? Would you even recommend trying 3 separate Sonlight cores and work 4 hours a day?

~Lily in Idaho


I did write a blog post on the creation-evolution issue earlier.

We used Sonlight through Core 100, and then we had read all the books, so I had to branch out on my own.  My son worked at Discovery Institute as an intern at the think tank responsible for much of the intelligent design debate.  He has worked closely with many of their writers, including Jay Richards of Privileged Planet, etc.  We had MANY discussions in our home about creation, evolution and "intelligent design."  Because of that, Alex was able to pass a CLEP exam in Biology - carefully noting all the "icons of evolution" included on the test.  We used Apologia, so my children had the science background for new earth.  When I was talking to my son a few months ago, he wished that we had presented MORE non-new-earth material.  He wanted to have more information so he would have been better prepared to handle it in discussion from school with evolution and old-earth students.  I think at a college level, you really want them to be prepared with more information, rather than less.  Of course it's a huge balance, because you don't want to freak out the younger children while you are instructing the older children in wisdom.

Here is how I look at it.  You want them to learn the information so they don't totally do a 180 in college.  You don't want them to  think it's like Santa Claus, and they can't trust you anymore.  So more information is better.  At home, at least you can talk about it and better prepare them to have their beliefs challenged (as they will be at some point, whether they go to college or not.)   In my opinion, it's better to use mildly-evolutionary material and discuss it rather than young-earth-only material and have them flip out when they are first experiencing the other viewpoint without their parents around to guide them.

As far as using three levels of Sonlight goes, I didn't interact with my children and their schoolwork in the older grades.  Still, three levels DOES sound difficult.  It can at least help to study the same time period if you use different cores, so your supplemental experiences and field trips and coordinate.  But speak to a Sonlight Rep to get a better response.  I don't think I would eliminate a curriculum because of a mild disagreement if it is working.  You're right, there will ALWAYS be some belief issues in ANY curriculum - nothing will be a perfect fit.   Instead of completely changing to a different curriculum, you might want to try a SIMILAR  curriculum, like Tapestry of Grace.  It's also literature based, but all ages can work together.  You might want to also consider reading Managers of Their Homes over summer, so that you can learn strategies for making your homeschool coordinate with your job.



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Comments 10

Guest - Jude (website) on Monday, 19 August 2013 21:29

We are interested in Christian homeschooling materials which teach real science (biology included). We see no problem with theistic evolution. Is SonLight the only one which is accepting of this viewpoint?

We are interested in Christian homeschooling materials which teach real science (biology included). We see no problem with theistic evolution. Is SonLight the only one which is accepting of this viewpoint?
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar (website) on Monday, 19 August 2013 22:13

Dear Jude,
I have homeschooled for 15 years, and I have really enjoyed Apologia. Some friends of mine really like Bob Jones. I don't remember if they teach theistic evolution, but all are solid science that teach from a Christian perspective. Lee talks about choosing science curriculum in this post: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/homeschool-science-choosing-curriculum/
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Dear Jude, I have homeschooled for 15 years, and I have really enjoyed Apologia. Some friends of mine really like Bob Jones. I don't remember if they teach theistic evolution, but all are solid science that teach from a Christian perspective. Lee talks about choosing science curriculum in this post: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/homeschool-science-choosing-curriculum/ Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Michael B (website) on Saturday, 20 October 2012 04:38

Today's production of novel medications requires a full knowlegde of molecular genetics. This includes understanding the molecular mechanisms of evolution. This science of molecular genetics is now a mature science, not some theoretical pipedream. Evolution deniers are at the same place today as those one hundred fifty years ago who said that heavier than air flight is obviously impossible. One can maintain any religious view one desires, but science will progress nonetheless.

Today's production of novel medications requires a full knowlegde of molecular genetics. This includes understanding the molecular mechanisms of evolution. This science of molecular genetics is now a mature science, not some theoretical pipedream. Evolution deniers are at the same place today as those one hundred fifty years ago who said that heavier than air flight is obviously impossible. One can maintain any religious view one desires, but science will progress nonetheless.
Guest - Laura on Friday, 16 July 2010 11:59

It's not as daunting as you would think to do 3 Sonlight levels if you have a couple of kids in high school. I did it for 2 years and it was just fine. Like Lee, I didn't get a chance to interact with my high schoolers as much as I would have liked, but they've done just fine without me as they love the curriculum and are motivated to learn.
Hope that helps some,
Laura

It's not as daunting as you would think to do 3 Sonlight levels if you have a couple of kids in high school. I did it for 2 years and it was just fine. Like Lee, I didn't get a chance to interact with my high schoolers as much as I would have liked, but they've done just fine without me as they love the curriculum and are motivated to learn. Hope that helps some, Laura
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 16 July 2010 06:09

Thanks so much, Jay! I really value your opinion on this issue!
Blessings,
Lee

Thanks so much, Jay! I really value your opinion on this issue! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Jay Wile (website) on Friday, 16 July 2010 06:07

Giovana,

"New Answers" is a series of three books published by Master Books, a young-earth publishing house. I am not crazy about the series, but that's because I disagree with a great deal of the theology in it. You can find the books here:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/The-New-Answers-Books-all-three,6456,323.aspx

Giovana, "New Answers" is a series of three books published by Master Books, a young-earth publishing house. I am not crazy about the series, but that's because I disagree with a great deal of the theology in it. You can find the books here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/The-New-Answers-Books-all-three,6456,323.aspx
Guest - Giovana on Thursday, 15 July 2010 16:53

Thanks for all your comments. I have one question, what is the new answers book 1 and 2?

Thanks for all your comments. I have one question, what is the new answers book 1 and 2?
Guest - Luke Holzmann (website) on Thursday, 15 July 2010 09:15

Thanks for writing this up, Lee!

~Luke

Thanks for writing this up, Lee! ~Luke
Guest - Kate Guynn on Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:30

I grew up in a family and a church that believed in an old earth. I knew though in my heart that I did not come from a monkey! However mother was big in to archeology and chasing after Lucy. Today her denomination believes that the Bible was written by man so therefor it is flawed. Sigh! The entrance of evolution into our schools is where we can start to see the erosion of faith. Evolution gets kids to question their faith. Parents must step up and teach them true biblical new earth science. When you establish a firm foundation you will at the same time expose them to the flaws of evolutionary theory. I highly recommend Apologia Science and using the The New Answers Book 1 and Book 2 while you are working through High School Science. I am finishing Book 1 right now and we will be adding it with our Apologia Earth Science this year. We must teach them the truth, give them eyes to see the flaws and the back ground to defend. Therefor they aren't expecting Santa Claus, and know how to defend Jesus.

I grew up in a family and a church that believed in an old earth. I knew though in my heart that I did not come from a monkey! However mother was big in to archeology and chasing after Lucy. Today her denomination believes that the Bible was written by man so therefor it is flawed. Sigh! The entrance of evolution into our schools is where we can start to see the erosion of faith. Evolution gets kids to question their faith. Parents must step up and teach them true biblical new earth science. When you establish a firm foundation you will at the same time expose them to the flaws of evolutionary theory. I highly recommend Apologia Science and using the The New Answers Book 1 and Book 2 while you are working through High School Science. I am finishing Book 1 right now and we will be adding it with our Apologia Earth Science this year. We must teach them the truth, give them eyes to see the flaws and the back ground to defend. Therefor they aren't expecting Santa Claus, and know how to defend Jesus.
Guest - Jay Wile (website) on Thursday, 15 July 2010 06:19

For what it's worth, I agree with Lee on this. I am a young-earther, but I love Sonlight. If my daughter were still at home, I would probably be using a lot of their material. In addition to what Lee said, I would add that in using some materials that disagree with your position, you are not compromising your values. Instead, you are teaching your children that there are good, solid Christians out there who have different views than you on a number of issues. It is important to teach this to children, because one distressing thing I see in Christendom is the view that if you disagree with me on a spiritual issue, you either don't believe the Bible or don't have a "Biblical worldview."

Please remember that Gleason Archer is an old-earth creationist, and C.S. Lewis was a theistic evolutionist. We cannot teach our children that people like these Christian luminaries don't believe the Bible or don't have a Biblical worldview!

For what it's worth, I agree with Lee on this. I am a young-earther, but I love Sonlight. If my daughter were still at home, I would probably be using a lot of their material. In addition to what Lee said, I would add that in using some materials that disagree with your position, you are not compromising your values. Instead, you are teaching your children that there are good, solid Christians out there who have different views than you on a number of issues. It is important to teach this to children, because one distressing thing I see in Christendom is the view that if you disagree with me on a spiritual issue, you either don't believe the Bible or don't have a "Biblical worldview." Please remember that Gleason Archer is an old-earth creationist, and C.S. Lewis was a theistic evolutionist. We cannot teach our children that people like these Christian luminaries don't believe the Bible or don't have a Biblical worldview!
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