See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
One of the roles of Christian educators, including homeschool parents and caregivers, is to wisely discern the philosophical and theoretical approaches to education which become integrated in curricula and methods. These philosophies and theories will affect how a student does or does not develop a biblical worldview.
SEL directly contradicts God’s Word and undermines a biblical worldview.
One such approach that has crept into education is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). A report by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) defines SEL as “the process through which individuals learn and apply a set of social, emotional, and related skills, attitudes, behaviors, and values that help direct their thoughts, feelings, and actions in ways that enable them to succeed in school, work, and life.”1 Under this approach, success is defined in terms of social acceptability. The result is that students are trained to define right and wrong as whatever is collectively determined as appropriate. In other words, morality is defined by cultural majority view. In this way and others, SEL directly contradicts God’s Word and undermines a biblical worldview.
The above-mentioned study funded by the U.S. Department of Education reports that more than 90 percent of schools and districts in the U.S. focus on developing students’ SEL skills. Beyond public school, SEL is affecting educational design and has infiltrated both Christian school and homeschool curricula. Many of these materials claim to be Bible-based and God-centered, but if we understand the philosophical intent behind SEL, we should reject SEL materials as anything but biblical.
Only God can provide the solution to matters of the heart.
One of the most important advantages of homeschooling is that we can select God-honoring materials that help students develop a biblical worldview. Only God can provide the solution to matters of the heart, giving a new heart through the rebirth of the Holy Spirit. We should choose curricula that draw our students’ hearts to the Lord, encouraging them to walk with him and bear the fruit of the Spirit in increasing measure.