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Common Core State Standards

image - Common Core State StandardsOver the last few weeks, we’ve been personally contacted several times about our stance on the Common Core State Standards (or CCS).

Foundations Press, our publishing company, has therefore prepared an official statement:

We believe that God’s Word, the Scriptures (all 66 books), are the only “Common Core” that matters. If the states pass a standard that happens to match up with Scripture, we’re in agreement with those parts only. Of course, we’re fully aware that many parts of the state standards do not match Scripture. So we want nothing to do with those.

Do we believe there are certain things that all people should be taught? Yes. We believe that reading and writing are necessary, because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” We believe that math and science are essential, as long as they are taught from a young-earth, literal, 6 24-hour day viewpoint. We believe that history is revealed in the Bible, and that all time is known by God before it happens (and so we want our children to know that). And so on…..

We’ve seen a lot of people opposed to high standards. On the other hand, Foundations Press is in favor of high standards. The people King David chose to serve in the Temple, for instance, were amazingly well educated. And then there was Daniel and the young men taken captive from Israel to Babylon, who were “without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace” (Daniel 1:4). But WHOSE standards are the question.

In other words, we are making no changes to the materials at Foundations Press based upon the Common Core. We remain committed to the belief that Bible should be the primary textbook both for homeschooling and for life.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Educational Freedom Coalition has a website where they are listing all of the various stances taken by the big name curriculum publishers.

Honestly, I’m glad people are concerned. However, let’s be sure that we homeschoolers are characterized by excellence. As I said above, I often hear homeschoolers complaining about standards in general. I’m referring to a type of “all natural” learning style that wants no oversight, no accountability, and no specific lesson plans. As I have stated in “About Biblical Homeschooling Methods,” I do believe that there IS a specific body of information that children need to learn:

I don’t see that “flying by the seat of our pants” is bibilical, do you? “Natural” methods that let life happen as it comes don’t appear in Deuteronomy. Yes, the discussions “just happen.” But the visual aids and most especially, the specific body of information to be learned, are “set down in stone” ahead of time. Are we better than Moses, not needing to write it all out and to communicate it to our students? Do we think we can be effective without a plan?

I also hope that this doesn’t turn into a witch hunt of sorts. Some of the curriculum companies that have chosen to align themselves with the core standards are committed to high standards, such as Easy Grammar, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Bob Jones University Press, Math-U-See, and Handwriting Without Tears, and they are excellent companies I would still be happy to do business with. Be careful that you judge a curriculum company based on their actual content, not solely on whether they are aligned with the Common Core State Standards or not.

I also believe that we are to show honor and respect to our local government authorities. I wrote,

Accountability is a bad word in many homeschooling circles. We want the right to homeschool, without any responsibility to prove that we are being effective, in the eyes of our children or the society that is watching us.

I propose that, without giving up our homeschooling freedoms, we should embrace our local homeschooling laws, carefully abiding by them and being accountable to those whom God has set over us.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” (Romans 13:1-7).

Thankfully, we Americans live in a country where we can participate in the legislative process. Please do continue to stay abreast of this issue. (Here’s a good resource.) Do continue to search for biblical standards that can be applied to the education of your children. Most of all, put your trust into the Word of God, that it will remain sufficient for all we need.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

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Comments

  1. Amen! Well said!

  2. Janna Pyle says:

    WELL SAID!!!!!

  3. Dawn Kilgore says:

    As a homeschooling mom, I believe we should be accountable unto God, by keeping portfolios and such. Thank you for writing this proclamation. As a family who will continue to enjoy your foundations curriculum as well as the others on the list. I will be one mom who continues to use what God leads me to whether it aligns with common core or not.

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  5. We like using our own.Working in textbooks and woorkboks is basically a small part of our day (we call it skills practice ) We have Language Arts, Spelling, and Math school text books we kind of gathered from odd places the kids do a page per day in each; I’ll go over new concepts with them or read their writings and check over their work. If they need more work on something I’ll print up some free worksheets from the web. For my youngest, when he is learning his letters and numbers now, we mostly use the free worksheet sites and a bunch of dollar store woorkboks. For the rest of the time, we like to read real books from the library, discuss things together, or watch educational TV, or do web searches or do hands-on activities, crafts, experiments, projects we like the diversity, where learning is part of everything. I’ve never found that in a boxed curriculum.

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