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Nurturing Young Minds: The Synergy of Bible Curriculum, Critical Thinking, and Hebraic Thought in Classical Homeschooling

Abraham is called God’s friend (James 2:23). The faithful of every generation are considered the “children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). Although Abraham was a person of faith, a prophet (Genesis 20:7), a war hero (Genesis 14), God’s election of Abraham to establish an everlasting covenantal bond with him was based simply that of an educator, “so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just” (Genesis 18:19). In a time where empires were building pyramids and other monuments to demonstrate the strength of their power, the God of the Bible wanted someone that would put children first and invest in their future.

As homeschooling parents, we have the privilege of walking in the footsteps of Abraham in shaping both our children's academic pursuits and also their moral and spiritual development. When it comes to teaching values and fostering critical thinking skills, a Bible curriculum can be an invaluable asset in the world of homeschooling.

Throughout the Bible, we are given a way to foster critical thinking skills that is often overlooked, even in Classical education. It’s called Hebraic thought. This is how ancient Hebrews connected to God and thought deeply about the world. It’s how Jesus taught his listeners to think.

In this blog, we'll explore how a focus on Hebraic thought can teach critical thinking skills, foster the art of asking good questions, and align our thinking with the Bible to enhance Classical homeschooling approach.

Classical Homeschooling and Its Foundations:

Classical homeschooling is an educational philosophy rooted in the time-tested principles of Classical education, which dates to ancient Greece and Rome. The Classical approach is characterized by three distinct phases: Grammar (knowledge), (Dialectic (understanding), and Rhetoric (communication).

Can a Bible curriculum complement this Classical approach while instilling Hebraic thought? Yes! Here’s how.

Hebraic Thought is Important to Critical Thinking

Hebraic thought is rooted in the worldview of the ancient Hebrews. It differs significantly from the Greek philosophical tradition. Some key aspects of Hebraic thought include:

Concrete Thinking: Hebrew thought is characterized by its relationship to everyday, concrete reality. Concepts are expressed through vivid, tangible imagery and storytelling. This makes them memorable, especially for younger learners.

Covenantal Perspective: The idea of covenant, a binding relationship between God and His people, is central to Hebraic thought. It goes beyond mere understanding and obedience to emphasize the importance of relationships, responsibility, and ethics.

Contextual Understanding: Hebrew thought values understanding texts and concepts within their cultural and historical context. This approach promotes a deeper appreciation for the Bible as a whole and how it applies to every area of life.

Biblical Excavations Bible Curriculum: The Bridge to Hebraic Thought and Critical Thinking:

A well-designed Bible curriculum can seamlessly align with all three stages of Classical homeschooling while introducing students to Hebraic thought:

Grammar Stage: In the Grammar stage, children absorb Bible stories and foundational knowledge. A Bible curriculum rooted in Hebraic thought introduces them to the rich storytelling tradition of the Hebrew Bible, making lessons come alive with vivid narratives.

Dialectic Stage: As students transition to the dialectic stage, they’re learning to understand the world logically. A Bible curriculum rooted in Hebraic thought enhances critical thinking skills by encouraging the asking of great questions. Plus, it emphasizes covenant (what the text expresses about our relationship with God), context (how each text weaves together with other texts to help us understand the whole Bible) and fosters a deeper understanding of the Bible's moral and ethical teachings that apply even in today’s confusing culture.

Rhetoric Stage: In the Rhetoric stage, students refine their communication skills. A Bible curriculum that incorporates Hebraic thought empowers students to articulate their understanding of complex theological concepts and moral principles.

The Art of Asking Good Questions:

One of the defining features of Hebraic thought is its tradition of asking questions. Encourage your children to embrace this practice by asking questions like:

  • "What can we learn about God's character from this Bible story?"

  • "How does this ancient text apply to our lives today?"

  • "What are the ethical implications (right ways of living) of this biblical narrative?"

By incorporating questions generated by Hebraic thought into your Bible curriculum, you can help your children develop critical thinking skills. This, in turn, helps them appreciate and apply the Bible in everyday life.

We need to think as Jesus thought!

Woven together with Classical homeschooling, a Bible curriculum rooted in Hebraic thought empowers your children to become knowledgeable scholars who think well, act ethically, and respect the timeless wisdom of the Bible.

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