Monday, May 23, 2011

Curriculum: What to do?

There are so many programs or texts to choose from out there: Secular, Christian, Catholic, which to choose? I read an article, when I first started homeschooling, that stated that if you are Catholic and homeschooling, you should NOT use Christian material as they sometimes have text that directly attacks the Catholic Church and it's history.

I've seen it first hand in a History book for 6th grade published by A Beka (a Christian publisher). The problem with secular books (of which MANY Catholic Parochial schools use these days) is that they bring in too many outside world views. Many times VERY contradictory to the teachings of the Bible and Jesus Christ as well as the Catholic Church (one in the same). The BEST route is to use a Catholic text. Unfortunately, it is my personally belief that there are slim pickings when it comes to this because of the decline in Catholic Publishers for children.

The author of this article (of which I cannot remember where I read this, if I do and find the link, I'll update this post) suggests that if you can't find Catholic publishers/books to use, you should use Christian books and then supplement the Catholic perspective/component instead of using a secular ones.

I'm not too convinced about this.  For example, we use secular books (for my 7th grader) in all subjects except Social Studies, Science, and Religion.  The only book we've had a little "trouble" with is our English Composition book (content...something about fashion and another one about dating-in middle school, really?).  But bumping into these subjects gave us a good opportunity to chat about these things and realities of life.  The only Christian (non-Catholic) text we use is Science.  It does not have anything contradictory to Catholic teaching so we haven't had a problem with it at all.  But I guess bumping into something Protestant would also spark good converstaions.  With as much as I'd love to live in a bubble and not expose my kids to this world, it's not realistic nor safe to do so. 

What are your views on this? Do you think it is safe to use secular books? Do you think it is better to go secular than to go Christian or vice versa? Also, do you recommend a Catholic Publisher which you have had a good experience with (price, quality, etc.). Give us your two cents!

In Christ,

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