Uh, Oh . . . We Wrote A Biased Curriculum

Just in case you were wondering, our homeschool curriculum here at Layers of Learning is biased.  Everybody who writes, speaks, or breathes is biased.  There has never been an unbiased textbook, history book, science book, or even cookbook.  But unlike most of those sources we admit up front – we wrote a biased curriculum.

michelle_and_karen_1
Hello, we are human beings. We have experiences and beliefs that color how we see the world. But we’re going to let you in on  our biases. Read on.

So let me clue you in to our slant.

We’re Americans

We’re Americans and our units are written from an American point of view.  We cover all of world history and countries all over the globe, but we do focus on the west and especially on America, because that is our heritage and we must know who are we are and where we come from.

Where we're from changes how we see things and it definitely has a big effect on what we included and did not include in our curriculum.
Where we’re from changes how we see things and it definitely has a big effect on what we included and did not include in our curriculum.

We Think You Can Think

We believe in presenting facts, asking deep questions and letting you decide.  Of course we have our own moral codes and our own belief systems.  Of course we think we’re right about absolutely everything (If we didn’t, we would hardly believe in what we believe in now, would we?)  But we’re not quite arrogant enough to force what we believe on you.  Cuz’ after all there’s a slim chance we’re wrong.  We think you’re plenty smart enough to look at the facts and figure out life for yourself.  Even so, our biases and beliefs probably show through from time to time.

Every person has the fundamental right to obey the dictates of their own conscience.
Every person has the fundamental right to obey the dictates of their own conscience.  We trust you to come to the right conclusions or at least the conclusions that will lead to your happiness and growth.  We have no compulsion to force you to believe what we believe.

Parent’s Should Teach Morals To Their Own Kids

We believe it is a parent’s responsibility to teach morals, religion, and beliefs to their children and we won’t insult you by calling what you teach your own children in your own home “indoctrination”, even if it’s completely different than what we teach our children in our homes.  In our units we do our best to steer clear of specific belief systems.  For example, in our science units we don’t assume creationism, but we don’t assume evolution either.  We assume you can figure out what you believe and teach it to your kids.  We do try to warn of Christian or evolutionary language in books and other resources we recommend, for your information.  We just try to present facts and let you make deductions.

My kids gathered around me I can teach them right from wrong and how to find happiness.
With my kids gathered around me I can teach them right from wrong and how to find happiness.  This is how it should be done, not from a text book.

We Believe in Freedom With All Our Hearts

We are absolutely in the tank for freedom and the rights of the individual.  We believe that more evil is done by people seeking power over others than in any other way.  You’ll notice this in particular in our history units from the Roman Republic to the American Constitution and beyond.  If you’re into totalitarianism, communism, or stat-ism in any form, you’ll probably hate our curriculum.

Freedom, both personal and political, are essential to human happiness and development.
Freedom, both personal and political, are essential to human happiness and development.

The Innocence of Kids Should Be Protected

We are also in the tank for kids.  We think kids deserve to be raised in loving homes and protected from evil.  We don’t think kids should be exposed to violence, sexuality, abuse, foul language, or other offensive behaviors and we will never recommend a book or resource that could hurt their tender feelings.  Occasionally more controversial material could be recommended for high schoolers, but we’ll warn you and urge you to discuss the contents with your kids.

Innocense can never be recovered once it's lost.
Innocence can never be recovered once it’s lost.  We would never purposely lead your kids to materials that are offensive.

We Encourage You To Think

From time to time through our units we’ll remind you that the sources you read are written by humans and are biased.  We remind you to think, think, think.  We strongly believe in teaching kids to think, not just to regurgitate information to pass a test.  We teach our own kids the specific tenents of our faith, but we don’t assume your beliefs are identical with ours.  At the same time though, we don’t think that Christian kids who read Darwin will be scarred for life.  Nor do we think secular kids who read Bible passages will whither and die from misinformation.  Being informed means learning about other people’s philosophies as well as your own.

Ooo . . . The Bible! So scary! This is a US Marine praying with a Bible. Photo by US Dept of Defense, public domain, Wikimedia.

Like it or not, both Darwin and Jesus are part of our western heritage.  We’re also not afraid to point out the beliefs and motivations of people of faith through all of history.  Newton believed his scientific discoveries glorified God.  The American Founders based our government system on the Christian value of the individual and on God-given rights.  Darwin’s observations completely destroyed his faith in God by the end of his life.  If you know firmly what you believe, none of this should threaten you.

In Conclusion

There’s probably stuff I failed to mention, but again, you are smart enough to be able to sort fact from opinion.  Hopefully you’ll do that regardless of the resources you’re using.  It is a parent’s job to educate the morals and belief systems of their child – not a school’s, not a curriculum’s, and not an author’s.

 

7 Comments

    1. Layers of Learning

      Yeah, I remember when I was young being under the impression that if it came from a BOOK or my TEACHER it must be true. As I started teaching my own kids I had some major mental adjustments to make, some of which left me gasping for breath.

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