Thursday, May 11, 2006

Christianity and Capitalism...

There's a homeschool book fair coming up this summer in Des Moines, the Three Sisters Curriculum Fair. I'm planning on going, and this will be the first curriculum fair I've ever attended. I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm hoping it will be an opportunity to examine some books and learning materials closely. The problem I have with buying curriculum is I can't afford to buy it without knowing if it's something I want. I've already bought several books only to be disappointed with their content, and if I'm going to skip paying the water bill for my kids' education, I'd rather know it was worth it.

So I was thinking about the kinds of curriculum out there, wondering what books would be available at this curriculum fair, and Christian curriculum crossed my mind. Of course they'll have Son Light. Of course they'll have A Beka. These names are so prominent among homeschoolers that I've heard them frequently and have never actually laid eyes on a single book from either group. As clear as I've attempted to be with my portfolio evaluator about my secular preferences, she's even suggested a few, saying, "I know you don't prefer Christian curriculum, but.."

I don't understand the need to implement God into Every. Single. Activity of your kids' day. I have an aunt and uncle who are very religious Lutherans and managed to raise three children to be the same, and their kids were public schooled. They're the type to walk outside on a sunny morning and announce, "What a beautiful day that God has made." Isn't that kind of thing enough? Can't you expose your kids to your beliefs and give them glimpses into your mind and heart through regular converstation? My mother never once lectured me on anything, yet I'm fully aware of her viewpoint on most subjects and have carried most of that into my own adulthood. The idea of following math, science, language, spelling, and history lessons with a bible verse is just silly to me. Creepy even. And if regular (every half hour regular enough?) mention of God and the bible are what you're going for, can't you express that on your own? i.e. "We use math to make huge skyscrapers, build bridges, maintain all forms of electronic communication, and visit the moon. What a wonderful brain God has given us to manipulate some numbers and accomplish so much!"

So why the need for texts with bible verses? The answer is capitalism. Someone noticed they were using bible verses with their homeschool lessons, and their friends were too. They had a market, and making those textbooks was a way to make a lot of money. Whether it was for themselves or for a church organization, it was about money. It's funny to me how many people think they are doing something to strengthen or display their beliefs, when they're really throwing those beliefs to the wind. Living simply? Money is evil? Support small, God-fearing companies? I don't think capitalism supports any of those things.


knitsteel said...

I went to a curriculum fair a few months ago and saw almost only evangelical Christian curriculums. I was disappointed. I wanted to see a few more of the secular ones, for the same reason as you.
We're not homeschooling yet, but are trying to decide whether to do homeschool or private school next year.

Deanna said...

I got some abeka books from freecycle a while back...figured free, and I could look at them. I pulled out the grammer book, and saw that you were diagramming sentences about God...the math book had biblical references throughout as well. I didn't even look at the history book. I posted it right back to freecycle.

I've mentioned my new activist stance to only purchase secular secular homeschoolers need to stand up and be noticed, quit modifying Christian materials to meet our needs, and start demanding quality secular materials to meet our needs! I now refuse to purchase Christian materials. And I will do most of my purchases through secular companies like Classical Home Education.