A Scientific Conundrum
Right now, at all of our schoolhouse campuses, we are halfway through the Paleontology Science Unit from The Good and the Beautiful. It is an amazing curriculum full of fun facts and scientific concepts. But, there’s something missing. There are no dates anywhere in the curriculum. So, how do we teach kids about the age of the earth then?
Why No Dates?
Since we have started studying dinosaurs, many of you might be wondering how we are staying age-of-the-earth neutral when examining such a subject. The curriculum writers at The Good and the Beautiful are dedicated to remaining neutral in this area for very specific reasons (keep reading…).
The paleontology unit looks at types of fossils, how they are discovered and treated, and different kinds of dinosaurs and other ancient animals. But it never assigns a date to any of these things. Also, no periods of dinosaur development are discussed. These are things that you can add at home to match your family’s and/or church’s beliefs.
Wait, the age of the earth is up for debate?
But maybe you are new to this topic, and you have no idea what I am talking about. (What on earth is she talking about???) Let me start by assuming that most of our schoolhouse readers have explored creationism. But, within the domain of creationism, there is a hot topic of debate especially amongst religious homeschoolers. Age of the earth. Things are divided into two camps: young earth and older earth. (This may be news to you!)
The “young earth” view holds that the world is only thousands of years old, whereas the “old earth” view holds that it is probably millions of years old. The difference between the two stems from differing interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis.
The young earth position tends to affirm that Genesis 1 speaks of six consecutive days of approximately 24 hours each and that its account is scientifically accurate. Many who believe in the young earth group also believe that the genealogies in the Bible allow us to reconstruct a reasonable timeline of history, such that the earth is only about 6,000 years old.
The old earth position denies the young earth’s interpretation of Genesis 1 but is not unified in its own interpretation. Some believe that the days of creation were literal but not consecutive. Others believe the days were literally ages or time periods. Still, others believe that the days were a poetic figure that was not intended to communicate the actual length of time it took to create.
What the Schoolhouse Teaches
We teach that God created the earth, the earth is very old, and dinosaurs are now extinct. When a difficult question is asked, we always refer the student back to their parents for the final answer.
Finally, not all resources and field trips can take this un-dated view. We encourage parents to share with their children their beliefs on the age of the earth. But, we want each family to know that we are all unified in emphasizing God as the creator of the earth.
But, what about our high school students? The Good and the Beautiful does not offer high school science courses. So what does the schoolhouse do for science? For the past two school years, we have offered our high school science students three options.
This year, all of our high school parents decided to go with the Friendly Science curriculum. So far, we have used Physical Science and Biology. They have Chemistry and Anatomy also.
Guys, I love this high school science program! Like The Good and the Beautiful, they remain neutral on the creation of the earth and its timeline. It leaves these teaching items up to parents.
The lectures, books work, written work and tests are provided at a very affordable rate to participate. The labs are included in the text and use everyday household products.
Furthermore, the text is written in a user-friendly format, with helpful diagrams and pictures. Friendly Science courses are here to stay at the schoolhouse.
I want to shout from the rooftops that we have found a truly “friendly” high school science program!
How are you tackling homeschool science with your children? Any curriculum or resources you love? Drop us a note in the comments!
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