What does "Christian Perspective" mean? (A Beka Books) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-10-2005, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a secular person, but I got a A Beka catalog from a friend, to just look and see if there were any fun PK actvities or books that I might like to get. I was very suprised/taken aback by the amount of Christianity offered in these books. In the front of the catalog, where they speak about the subjects, the part on history keeps talking about a "christian perspective" and how they don't teach Marxism, socialism, communism, ect. What does that mean exactly? Are they really teaching HISTORY, or a watered down version. It seems scary to me, to not teach history in it's entirety, even when it's not the best (like when the Europeans forced the indians onto reservations, the massacres, crusades, ect.). I did expect to see creation vs. evolution in the science category, but they relate everything (math b/c G is the master mathemetician, English so that they can carry the gospel to others, ect.) I got to wondering about the Gov. books, and what they were teaching about Gov., is it a "christian perspective" (and what does that mean exactly?). I personally think that I want my kids to see all viewpoints, and be able to argue the qualities of each. Is it truely teaching, if you only teach one POV? What does "christian perspective" mean? Is it totally right wing, repulican, Pat Robertson type stuff? I don't even know if I could order the little readers, without them haveing this type of perspective? I know I'd never use it as a basic curr. but TWTM recommends the composition, so I thought I'd like to maybe look at that, but maybe I shouldn't? I have looked at Sonlight, and while I am not religous, I don't think I'd have a problem w/ most of the stuffin the PK/K category (I wouldn't do the bible part, but the rest seems fine?) Has anyone seen the books IRL, or used them? Should I just avoid them all? This woman is planning to HS her DD who is the same age as one of mine, so I thought we might do some things together, but if this is her curr., I just don't know?
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#2 of 12 Old 08-10-2005, 02:35 PM
 
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Speaking as a christian I can tell you I was deeply disturbed by the Abeka material as a whole. They offer watered down unfounded information on the founding fathers , the goverenment , and history. Science just about made me gag.
I also feel they take scripture verses out of context. Ex: Let's talk about feet. God made our feet. Our feet help us get where we need to go. [so far so good for me] Read and memorize this verse "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet".

That verse is not about FEET. argh.

Seeing as how you are secular and a free thinker..... I strongly advise against this curriculum.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-12-2005, 12:43 PM
 
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I took A Beka's Spanish high school video course. Every chapter included bible verses to translate and memorize in Spanish. It's definitely a fundamentalist right-wing 700 Club type Christian perspective. Anything associated with BJU is.

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#4 of 12 Old 08-12-2005, 01:01 PM
 
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Well, I have the 3rd grade curriculum from A Beka.......I should say HAD. My sister who is super super religious used A Beka to homeschool her girls their whole life. I also know some about it being raised in the whole fundamentalist christian environment A(don't get me started).

Anyway, a couple things---
I got rid of most of the stuff she sent me, but I did keep some of the books that are just straight reading. The ones she had at least were real old fashioned and had really cute pictures and cute poems and stories. I just plan to pick and choose (reading them ahead of time) which ones I'll have her read. I figure it was free to me and it's a good suplement. I WOULD NOT ACTUALLY SPEND MONEY ON THESE HOWEVER!

The other thing to think about or know is (what my sister told me) that A Beka moves very quickly in their curriculum and they also are about a year ahead grade wise. So, if your kid is in 2nd grade you would want to purchase 1st grade material, unless your kid has been doing it all along or is advanced.


A Beka is considered the standard for Fundamentalist christians. I would not spend my money on this for any reason. There is such a variety these days of curriculums and curriculum supplements that I would never bother trying to disect their books into somthing you could use.
Like I said, if they're free, then you can pull out a few pages here and there, as a supplement, but if you're talking about spending money...you're money is best spent on the tons of other material out there that matches your thinking.

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#5 of 12 Old 08-12-2005, 07:51 PM
 
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I think it would be just about impssible to use Abeka in a secular manner. However, Sonlight is another story. There is even a yahoo group called SonlightSecular.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-13-2005, 11:23 AM
 
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We've only just started on the Homeschool journey last year and we are using A Beka. We are Canadian so I don't buy the history or social studies stuff (you can get great Canadian supplementation packages for history/ social studies for each grade from The Home Works in Ontario). What I have loved for the Nursery and K4, K5 is the beautiful books that have really great colourful pictures. We really enjoyed the Readiness Skills books and Art Projects especially. We have the Reading Fun enrichment library and the Learn to read series and while some of them have a religious theme, many are just cute little readers about animals and kids and such. You could probably sell the extra religious ones if you wanted. I haven't tried the older grades yet. So, in my opinion, you could certainly use the early A Beka stuff and just pull out the religious stuff that you don't want (I did that with the American stuff, lol).
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#7 of 12 Old 08-13-2005, 11:41 AM
 
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This is really interesting for me to read, we are more fundamental Christian but we would not be compatible with Abeka. Everyone here that homeschools uses that curriculum. And I'm glad to read these reviews, I was interested in seeing what was it was like, but not so much to spend money. I like to go my own way and not follow the crowd so it already had something against it in my book. I am totally for learning true history facts and about the government, heck politics, history, and science were my favorite as a kid, and I cant wait to pass this on to my kids, at least the teaching part of it. I also want to pass on biblical truths and Christianity's history and so on, but I firmly believe there is more in this world to learn about then just the bible and verses. Ill stop here before I begin to ramble in a different direction.

Oh as for your question with the other homeschool mom, Id give it a try, but just skip her curriculum, your kids can still have playdates and you can do things together like art projects, maybe one week its from her books, and another from yours. And you can share ideas and tips on just basic things, like this really got my ds/dd's interest, or they really loved this book from the library!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-13-2005, 02:29 PM
 
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I know as you go down the road with their science and history books, "Christian" means "anti-Catholic".

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#9 of 12 Old 08-14-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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Just find another curriculum. There is lots of information and I am sure, curriculum material where God is not even mentioned, since that seems to offend some people.

Me, I think Abeka is great. I do not agree with every single word in the books, but overall, I think they are fairly sound. I do supplement with other material, as I do not like their Bible curriculum. I feel we do a better job teaching Bible to our son.

Also, I have never seen anything in the Abeka material telling people to hate Catholics. I used to be a Catholic and that would offend me if that kind of wording was used. I have my own ideas about Catholicism, with some HISTORICAL facts concerning the religion,but I will not elaborate on this board. Just because people do not believe Catholicism to be right, does not mean they dislike Catholics or teach their kids to do so.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-14-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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Anti-Catholic bias is most prevalent in books published by A Beka. One particularly striking aspect of the texts is the sense that theological battles of the Protestant Reformation continue unabated to the present day. In the texts, bias against Roman Catholics and the Catholic Church is exclusively theological rather than socio-cultural.

Descriptions of contemporary life in European countries that are primarily Roman Catholic frequently include derogatory statements about the Church: "Almost all the children of [the Republic of] Ireland grow up believing in the traditions of the Roman Catholic church without knowing of God's free salvation." 28

A Beka's seventh grade world history book, for example, describes the early Roman church (before 500 A.D.) as "a monstrous distortion of Biblical Christianity." 29 Speaking of the Crusades, the text speculates that "if Christendom had succeeded with its crusades, distorted Christianity might have been imposed on all mankind." 30 In the chapter titled "The Age of Darkness," which is subtitled "Distorted Christianity, Holy Roman Empire, Renaissance," the author writes, "The papacy had always distorted Christianity. ·" 31

In all, the seventh grade book uses the term "distorted" or its variants 28 times in the six chapters in which its discussions of the Roman Catholic faith are most concentrated.

Tenth graders using A Beka books are taught that "the doctrines and practices of the Roman church had digressed so far from Scripture that the church was compelled to keep its members from reading the Bible and discovering the truth." 32
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/spe...vinto162.shtml

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#11 of 12 Old 08-14-2005, 08:20 PM
 
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http://www.arthurhu.com/98/06/beka.txt
Quote:
You can often tell what side a historian is on by the stories they choose
to relate, the way they tell those stories, and the adjectives they use.
Once we're done reading the first few chapters, we know the Spanish
Catholics were cruel and greedy. That might not bug me so much if English
Protestants were also called cruel and greedy, which they were. But no,
English Protestants are godly and good.

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#12 of 12 Old 08-14-2005, 08:21 PM
 
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This text makes no pretensions of neutrality; it is clearly anti-Catholic and anti-Communist. It promotes a Protestant viewpoint, criticizing secularism, existentialism, and other rejections of God. The philosophy of government is inconsistent. It reflects modern conservative thought which leans toward government intervention in some places (e.g., commerce and education) but comes down hard on government social programs such as the Great Society.
http://www.cathyduffyreviews.com/his...tory-abeka.htm

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