As parents, many of us will spend our children’s growing up years instructing them in the Christian faith, which is good and right. But, how about inoculating them with an understanding of how Christianity compares and contrasts with other worldviews?
In our family, we have strive to teach our children sound Christian doctrine. We also planned for each of our children to take worldview courses in high school because the subject of worldview seemed too lofty for us to approach until then. Well, that’s not the case anymore. With A Young Historian’s Introduction to World View, parents and children can engage in a concrete and understandable worldview study together–and do it well before the high school years.
This immensely rewarding curriculum has many facets. First, it’s a worldview primer, but the content is not juvenile in the least. Parents will be pleasantly surprised by how much they will learn right along with their children. Second, this course is a tool for helping students of history get beyond the questions of who, what, when and where to discern the whys behind historical events. Understanding and contemplating the whys makes the study of history much more meaningful. For example, “Why did so and so’s worldview drive him to conquer a neighboring country?” Third, this curriculum is a stimulant for dialog. It has taught our family to ask thoughtful questions of friends and relatives in order to discover and discuss world views. Along the same lines, this study has challenged me personally to get beyond those “pat” Christian answers, and practice articulating my faith in a deeper, more descriptive way.
If I may, I would like to make a gentle appeal here to parents who feel apprehensive about exposing their children to other worldviews. Please let me encourage you… God is very BIG, and God makes a lot of sense! While our children are with us, there is no better venue than the home for wrestling with hard questions about faith, and seeking deeper answers about life in this crazy, mixed-up world.
NUTS AND BOLTS
The course is broken into four long lessons, but there are plenty of good stopping places for pausing each day. Our family took either seven or eight days to complete the course and spent an average of about 45 minutes per day for lessons, which included me reading the literature activities aloud to my children. Once you start this study, it’s important to keep the momentum going. We accomplished this by doing the lessons on a Monday through Saturday. Then, we picked right up again the following Monday.
A Young Historian’s Introduction to World View would be great for both parents to do along with the children. However, if Mom and kids are doing the course during school hours without Dad, plan to do each of the four Table Talk discussions with Dad in the evenings. Table Talk is the built-in review, and took our family about 15 – 30 minutes each evening, depending on the lesson. One preparation suggestion: During the second Table Talk, parents are asked to communicate to their children the evidence they have for their beliefs, and how they believe this evidence for their worldview is true and reliable. If you haven’t had to “…give the reason for the hope that you have…” for some time (1 Peter 3:13-17), consider spending personal time in prayer and jotting down important thoughts in advance. This way, you’ll make the most of the opportunity to share from your heart in the context of this study.
In regard to age appropriateness, A Young Historian’s Introduction to World View is slated for ages 10 and up, which is ideal. I agree with Timberdoodle’s review that younger children (ages 6 –9) could grasp many of the concepts with a slower pace, repetition and explanation (and with a parent or older child assembling the hands-on activities). However, I personally would recommend you hold off using this curriculum until you have a few children who are ages 10 & older. The result will be more thought-provoking discussion, more effective interaction for the activities, and better retention because the information will be more meaningful to children this age. Additionally, I would recommend keeping a steady pace with your older children through the lessons, and reinforcing or reviewing with younger ones at a separate time during the day.
I do have one caution for families who are including children younger than 10 during a run of this course: Some of the literature activities (stories) contain material that is written for a more mature audience, both in terms of comprehension ability and subject matter (thus, the recommendation for ages 10 & up). Before embarking on read-aloud time with younger ones, it would be wise for parents to preview the stories for age suitability.