Paul F. Taylor examines God’s Design science curriculum. This biblically based curriculum can be used for homeschooling or for supplemental teaching at home for children in state schools.
I have previously written about the parents’ biblical responsibility to educate their children, even if they choose to delegate that responsibility to a school. This biblical responsibility is particularly acute in science education. I find that many parents assume that their children’s science lessons occur in a moral vacuum, ignorant of the secular evolutionary worldview that underlies the lessons.
One place to turn for help is Debbie and Richard Lawrence’s science curriculum, God’s Design. This series of eleven books covers four important areas of science.
The curriculum is designed for “grades 1 through 8,” roughly corresponding to the National Curriculum years 2 to 9. However, I suggest using them for years 4 to 9; i.e., ages 8 to 14. The simpler parts of all eleven books are useful for ages 8 to 11. From ages 11 to 14, the more advanced material is useful.
This curriculum constantly reaffirms the truth of Scripture. The lesson on water, for example, found in God’s Design for Chemistry, reminds children that “God designed water to be the perfect compound to sustain life.” This opens the way for older pupils to study such issues as the remarkable “coincidence” that the majority of the earth’s water is in the liquid phase, which would not be the case were the earth slightly closer or farther away from the sun.
The Lawrences are not afraid to tackle difficult topics. Issues of evolution and old ages (millions of years) are examined critically, as they should be. The books superbly illustrate how the biblical account is a much better explanation of observed science; for example, the section on the Flood in God’s Design for Heaven and Earth engagingly explains how the Flood can explain the greater part of the earth’s sedimentary rocks and fossils.
This curriculum constantly reaffirms the truth of Scripture, and the authors are not afraid to tackle difficult topics.
The curriculum includes a considerable amount of extra help. Each book opens with a useful theoretical introduction to the series. Then each lesson opens with suggested resources to prepare, and extension work or extra research is usually suggested. The appendices list resources, give answers to questions, and tabulate works cited and pages.
For the Christian homeschooler, I would think that the curriculum is essential. I also see its value for Christian schools.
But what about the Christian parent of a child in a state or secular independent school? Surely any caring parent will do their best to have good books available for their children. A set of these books in the home, for reference, would be of great benefit.
These books encourage good science. They challenge children to think critically about scientific issues, and they do not ignore the difficult questions. Yet the books honour and praise God.