People often ask me what curriculum or teaching methods I have used.Â The best answer I can give to that is not a method but a philosophy.Â This is how the LordÂ led us to teach our children many years ago and the philosophy that formed the basis for the Far Above Rubies and Blessed is the Man curricula.
1. God created all of us as individuals. Each person is a unique human being from the moment of conception, different from every other human being. This difference includes the mental, emotional, and personality distinctives which impact the way a person learns and what he or she can and will become. For this reason, parents should know their children and teach to their styles. Blessed Is the ManÂ and Far Above Rubies, like most unit studies,Â Â were designed to be broad-based and flexible enough to meet a wide-range of educational needs and learning styles.2. All human beings are sinners in their natural state. It is not enough to teach a student the difference between right and wrong. A moral, well-behaved sinner is still estranged from God. In order to have a right relationship with God, a person must repent of sin and be saved from it. It is up to us as Christian parents to teach this to our children and to pray for the Lord to make it real in their lives.
3. Salvation is in the blood of Jesus Christ and in no other. We must lead our children to put their trust in the Lord Jesus and pray for their salvation, even as we train their minds and supply their physical needs. It is not possible to `train’ someone to become a Child of God (also known as getting saved); that must be done by God himself. We can only share the message, prepare the ground, and pray for the results, but it is up to us to do that. In the meantime, we should teach our children and young people to walk in His truth.
4. God gave us our children. They are given to us in sacred trust from God the creator for a relatively short time to bless our lives and give us a special ministry before God. We are responsible before Him for how we rear and train His children during the time they are in our homes.
5. God gave each child to specific parents for a reason. Except for God himself, no one knows your child as well as you do or is as perfectly suited to teach him. When parents commit atrocities against their own children, it is not parenthood or God’s choice of parents for that child that is faulty. It is sin which is the root cause of child abuse and neglect as well as all other evils. Leading the parent into a right relationship with God through faith in Christ is the ideal answer, not taking children away from their parents or forbidding parents to teach them.
6. Teaching is the domain of the parents, not of a school or any other entity. Scripture is full of references to parents teaching and training their own children, but says nothing about schools or classrooms. Scripture also abounds with evidence that it is the parents whom God holds responsible for the education and moral training of their children. Judging by Scripture, we must infer that this responsibility is still upon parents, even if the child attends school or is taught by someone else.
7. All education is religious. All knowledge comes from God who is the author of it. Just as there can be no error in God’s Word, there can also be no truth outside of its realms. Even those branches of education which are normally considered secular or morally-neutral, when we thoroughly investigate them, are found to center in and/or revolve around God, His creation, or His revealed word.
8. Education is a natural part of life. Notice the many times in Scripture when the Lord, in HIs earthly ministry or through the inspired writers, uses the everyday affairs of life or nature to teach spiritual lessons. Everything with which we come in contact can teach us something. It is up to us to glean from those people and experiences that which the Lord has for us. As parents we are responsible to arrange our children’s activities and environment to teach those things which are desirable and not the undesirable.
9. Teaching should be done in a natural way. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us how we should teach our children the things of God. It encourages us to tell them of these things throughout the day in everything that we do, and to diligently guide their education. If all of education is from God, this can be applied to teaching all subjects and skills. FARaand BITM offer a format with which to do that, but are not designe dto take the place of the lifestyle approach.
10. Teaching should take a form that best meets the particular child’s learning style and educational needs. (See Learning Styles section of the aboveÂ website)Â The job of the parent/teacher is to help each student chooseÂ learning activities and materials thatÂ best meet his/her specificÂ needs, while including enough items designed for other learning styles to challenge him/her in areas of weakness and/or toÂ broaden his/her perspective.
11. Children should be immersed in Scripture. It should be much more than a school subject or something relegated to church or Sunday School. As parents we should open the Word of God to our children and train them to read it for themselves as soon as possible. As good as Bible stories, commentaries, dramatized tapes, and Bible videos can be for teaching the stories and principles of the Bible, there is no substitute for reading or hearing the actual Word of God, word for word, in as accurate a translation as possible.
12. The purpose of teaching and parenting is to work ourselves out of a job. It is the goal of all Christian education for parent/teachers to work as God’s instruments in molding the little ones He gives us into mature, godly adults who are capable of replacing us in society in the future. As our children reach each new level of maturity, it behooves us parents to give them ever-increasing control over their own education within Biblical parameters.
13. Productivity is paramount for the servant of God. It is part of a young person’s education to learn the value of work and to work heartily at whatever he does, realizing it is all for the Lord. As parents, we should encourage our young people to make good use of their time in all circumstances and to pursue even hobbies which are productive in some way.
14. Young people after the age of about thirteen are ready to begin accepting adult responsibility. For that reason, we should begin at that age to allow our children to make more and more of their decisions. We are to counsel and guide, and we do still have veto power, if matters come to that, but it is important to let our sons think through their own problems and exercise their own discernment rather than automatically solving their problems or telling them what to do.
15. A woman belongs under the headship of her father until he gives her into the care of a husband. In most cases this will mean continuing to live in the family home and always includes staying close to her father and seeking his advice in all Spiritual matters and major life decisions. We believe that God desires this behavior from all women and will lead a godly young lady through her father, even if he does not know the Lord himself.
15. Even a child has a place in God’s family. We should begin when our children are young training them to care about others and to serve the Christian community insofar as they can at each age. This curriculum offers many opportunities for service projects of benefit to others. It is part of the training of children to help them identify their own spiritual gifts and learn to use them for the glory of God and the benefit of others.
Excerpted from Blessed is the Man Â© 1998 by Lauren and Lynda Coats; any use without written permission is forbidden by Federal law. This is includes e-mailing to others and posting on websites.