Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who Knew? Religion Curriculum is the Hardest to Find!

I had it so easy this semester with curricula.  Really, I didn't know truly how easy it was. Sure, just using the same as Amber's parochial school was clearly a low-brain usage answer.  We did have to deal with the Social Studies issues and select our own Latin curriculum.  Still those were just minor annoyances compared to selecting an entire year's worth of curricula. 

I won't even discuss how I'm trying to decide if "my style" is truly my style.  If I really need curriculum for all the various subjects we plan to continue or if I can "wing it" for some of them.  I am hoping that if I simply review my notes on the curricula I'll be back on track.

The real problem is Religion class.  Oh, the agony this is causing me.

Amber has attended Lutheran schools since three year old pre-school and had daily religion classes at school.  We have instructed her at home as well, but she had formal daily lessons at school with weekly chapel.  We take her to church and Sunday school weekly, as well.

In our homeschool we continued with the workbook from her parochial school for our daily religion instruction.  I am not impressed with it and neither is Amber.  It is basically a review of the same Bible stories she has reviewed year after year with little additional insight.  I've never been terribly impressed with any of the religion curriculum, but this year's seems outstandingly bland and uninformative.  Amber has also been asking questions of me that show how little she understands other than the details of the same Bible stories she has always studied.  I'd like to rectify these gaps with more than talking to her myself, but have something concrete in front of us for her to read.  She is such a visual learner.

My quest for Religion class curriculum has gone poorly, to say the least.  I have scoured Concordia Publishing House's website for something appropriate and informative.  I have come up empty.  I have looked around at other homeschool publishers and still not found the right thing.

In a shocking revelation, we are Lutheran (Missouri Synod).  This means we are also theological snobs.  I'm willing to admit that we are very particular in our theology, especially those of us from German descent born and raised to the religion.  All the jokes about Lutherans are pretty much spot on. 

This also means that we are going to have trouble with the ever so subtle wording differences in curriculum from other religions.  It's not that I'm unwilling to use them, I just want to be able to LOOK all the way through before I buy.  I don't want to have to re-work or tell Amber we are skipping large section of a curriculum.

My last caveat is that Amber will start weekly confirmation classes at church in 7th grade.  While, I'm not opposed to teaching her from the catechism, I would like her to get the full benefit of confirmation classes and not have her assume she knows it all because she did it with Mom.  Unfortunately, the curriculum I am leaning toward the most right now deals with the 6 chief parts of Christian doctrine.  It's basically catechism with pictures.  It also isn't long enough for an entire year of daily instruction, so we are back to the random Bible stories.

If any one has any advice on how to find a Religion class curriculum tolerable to conservative Lutherans that provides more information than the same set of Bible stories that Amber has been learning for the past 7 years, but something that is engaging, then I am all ears!   

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