Have you ever wished for a Bible curriculum that didn’t choose between being devotional and academic? A curriculum that taught details in a fun way while slowly revealing the big picture? One that included memory verses, children’s catechisms, vocabulary and geography, so that the work is all done for you? I have been using Classical Academic Press Bible with my three youngest this year and it does all this. I absolutely love it. CAP Bible is a four-year, full Bible curriculum written from a Covenantal point of view. It is great for parents who want to take Bible seriously as an academic subject, while still keeping it Christ-centered and fun.
First, I love this Bible because it weaves so many aspects of Bible knowledge together. It teaches chronologically and includes a wide variety of story facts, but it always shows how every story is really about Jesus. God’s character and His unfolding Covenantal plan are central. It teaches children’s catechism, Bible geography, and basic theology. It also teaches Biblical and theological vocabulary. My third grader is now comfortable with words like Elohim, Sanctification and Redemption. Nothing is dumbed down in this curriculum, but true to Classical Academic Press style, difficult concepts are broken down and taught in such a clear way that even small children can understand.
My fifth and sixth graders are working through book 3, the Gospels. This level moves chronologically through Jesus’s life. My kids read the passages from each gospel having to do with the story for the week. Together we work through comparative charts, maps and worksheets. They can now tell which gospel a person is reading from without hearing the passage because they understand the audience each gospel writer was focusing on. They learn many story facts, vocabulary, and basic theology, but again, the central them is Jesus’ character, His goodness, mercy, justice, and grace.
This is a great curriculum to give kids a foundational knowledge of scripture so that they can move on to doctrinal studies in junior high and high school. Most importantly, it’s fun. I don’t want my children to just know the Bible, I want them to love it. I wish this curriculum had been around when my teens were younger.
Saw this on the “Hard-Core Christianity” blog and would like to pass it on. It is an easy to watch, well made video. I think it would be a great introduction for young teen who are beginning their studies in logic.
There is an interesting phenomenon in apologetics debate: skeptics attempting to argue against the existence of God using evidence thought to discredit Christianity.
This tactic is fundamentally flawed. Whether or not Christianity is true is a different question than whether or not God exists. (Note that I am using the minimal definition that the skeptic usually has in mind for “God”: an immaterial, transcendent entity with agency. It’s key to clarify this in your discussions.) So, even a skeptic’s strongest arguments against the Christian faith are not automatically arguments against the existence of God. Now, it is possible to argue in the opposite direction; any good argument against the existence of God (an immaterial, transcendent entity with agency) would automatically apply against the truth claims of Christianity, since Christianity requires God’s existence.
There seems to be widespread confusion on this, so I hope I have helped to clarify things. Friends don’t…
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I switched from Singapore to Saxon to Rod and Staff. I plan on staying. R&S Math seems to have all the things I liked in Singapore and Saxon without all the drawbacks. For example, Singapore does a wonderful job with concrete to abstract teaching. R&S does this too, but instead of using base 10 blocks for the concrete, they simply use real life examples. I also liked Singapore’s mental math, R&S Math has that built into the teacher’s manual, a bit more slowly, but it does get taught. They also have the drill and review that Singapore is missing.
I liked the review in Saxon, but realized my kids did better with a mastery approach. They need the big picture in order to memorize the details, and Saxon never seemed to give the big picture. Instead of breezing through the Saxon review section in order to over learn, my kids were re-learning every concept every day. Rod and Staff builds on one concept at a time in a logical sequence till my kids really get it. Then they continue to review the concept, but at that point it really is just easy review.
At first, I was concerned about R&S Math’s slower scope and sequence, but my children have been easily completing the texts a year ahead of schedule, and I plan on following advice to simply skip 7th grade. Eighth grade has pre-algebra integrated, so my kids will still be ready for Algebra in 8th grade. I was concerned about test scores until I read Highland’s Latin School (makers of Memoria Press) uses Rod and Staff and they score in the top 2% of the nation.
Other things I like, Rod and Staff has lots of story problems and real life math such as finding interest rates, etc…They also do the best job at teaching fractions I’ve seen. Saxon was taking my kids almost and hour and a half everyday, Rod and Staff takes about 45 minutes. After my children had been using Rod and Staff for a few months I began to see a difference in their attitude toward math. Of course, they would still rather play out side than do math, but they have started integrating math into their play. At the grocery store they will calculate prices for fun, because it has become so easy for them.
Things I change: I plan on adding a little more pre-algebra with the last book with Kahn’s Academy (free online). And I only have my kids do the odd problems after the 3rd grade book. This is a lot less tweaking than I’ve had to do with other programs.
“If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God’s glory is not scholarship, but insurrection.”
– John Piper