Homeschool Corner

The Bible as the Main Textbook

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Quotations that come to mind first are not from homeschoolers, but, instead, are ones that I would like to direct to homeschoolers, especially Christian homeschoolers who believe the Bible is the main textbook on which to raise children. Northrop Frye, a famous literature professor in Toronto wrote that the Bible …

… should be taught so early and so thoroughly that it sinks straight to the bottom of the mind, where everything that comes along later can settle on it.

Settling on it will be all Western literature with its fertilizing influence from the Bible, and all history, which Westerners see as a process, which view could only have grown out of Bible typology, according to Frye. I haven’t seen him mention science, but the worldview and technique of science as learning about God’s orderly creation comes from the Bible, too. He wrote on reading (and thinking) that “To know how to read the Bible is to know how to read.” Preliminary reading skills and advanced reading skills can all be learned from the Bible better than any one other book.

In Western civilization, the Bible is so omnipresent that Frye in his colorful language says it insistently raises the question:

(Why does this huge, sprawling, tactless book sit there inscrutably in the middle of our cultural heritage like the “great Boyg” or sphinx in Peer Gynt, frustrating all our efforts to walk around it?)

All this from a man whom I do not see as a Christian believer. How important is it to us as Christian believers?

Biographical Information

Copyright, 2009. All rights reserved by author below. Content provided by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC.

Dr. Ruth Beechick, a longtime educator and writer, now lives in Colorado and writes for homeschoolers, whom she sees as the brightest light in today’s education world.


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