Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
View our frequently asked questions below:
After purchasing my kit, where should I begin?
- Read the green, Preparation for the Creation Reading Course, and First Lessons, Teacher’s Manual, when you open your kit. Seek to understand the philosophy of this approach to reading, and why it dependably works. It is Biblical, concrete, practical, and hands-on, and therefore uses the whole brain. Figure out which supplies you will use first and which later, and why. For example, there are several guidelines in the First Steps Chapter, which you need to understand.
- Make a family schedule and implement it in the home. Half the child’s day should be devoted to useful work (partly pretend useful work is appropriate for most preschool children, but teach them to truly help in small jobs). Children need hands-on nature exploration and contact, especially the youngest children. Take them outdoors to observe, smell, hear, and feel leaves, grass, bugs, worms, mushrooms, bark, birds, rain, flowers, etc. Tell them that Jesus made them all to make him happy. You must train each child to do necessary duties properly. Begin teaching the toddler and by 3 or 4 years he can begin bearing small daily responsibilities. Increase them as he matures, and require him to daily work both indoors and outdoors. Developing a responsible schedule is probably one of the most important duties you have to do so that the rest of the course will flow with it. Each child’s whole life must be considered, with prayer, to find this healthy balance.
The schedule must allow time for the Creation Reading Course oral lessons, crafts, memory work from Genesis 1, and singing the Song of Creation. In your schedule, reserve time to read something edifying (non-fiction) to your children, regular meals, bedtime, worship time. Allow time to work, hike, or explore and play in fresh air and sunshine. To fit all this in, draw on two or three of the sources of Christian education and combine them in one exercise. Sometimes, all four sources of true education may be included in one exercise. See The Preparation Manual to explain these Sources of Christian Education. EdenEducationServices has a Chore Card system for scheduling that coordinates well with the CRC. See the link under Resources.
Plan each child’s day individually, according to his abilities and age. It should include a balance of learning from the four sources of Christian education to ensure that each child will develop harmoniously and reach his potential, without anyone suffering burn-out. Every hour of the day he is learning. Plan to involve the children to lift much of the house work. This is a privilege for them to learn, which will otherwise fall on the mother.
Mother, you in turn, may then use the time that they saved you, to wisely individualize their schedules, to train them to do new jobs correctly, check up on their performance, and plan fun, little rewards. Then you can certainly find time to educate them in literary lines, and to nurture their hearts with compassion, prayer, and share wise counsels and promises from God’s word. You need their help; they need your guidance. Hard work and diligent study are necessary; play is not essential. Do not buy them many toys and you will avoid unnecessary clutter. A few, sturdy toys and tools, especially for the toddler’s and preschooler’s imitation-work, are appropriate. Useful work, supplies and tools for making crafts, and books that help with nature observation, study, and working with natural resources will nicely take the place of too many toys. These activities will be very satisfying to the children.
- Look through everything in the Kit. Collect and organize the extra teacher and student supplies needed for the oral CRC lessons. Study to understand how and when each supply will be utilized. If in doubt, contact us.
- Learn the Alphabet Phonograms. Use the Numeral-Alphabet Flashcards and the Alphabet Phonogram video under Resources to learn these most necessary alphabet phonograms. Be aware that children often learn these sounds faster than their parents. You must drill to learn them as soon as possible. Repeat them aloud to yourself 3-4 times every day, drilling on the more difficult ones 6-8 times daily, and you will know them in a week or more. If the children know them well, don’t relax and stop drilling until YOU know all the alphabet phonograms well. Do not allow yourself to refer to the letters by their names; call the letters by their sound, or groupings of sounds (in order).
Teach the phonograms to all the children from the toddler to the teen, orally as a rhyme. It takes 20-30 seconds to say them each time, after you know them. Do the other oral lessons along with phonogram drills, as fast as the children’s development allows. Scatter very short lessons throughout the day for preschoolers. The child who is just learning to speak is at his prime-time for learning to say the oral phonograms and this drill will help his speech to become clearer.
The flashcards and magnets, which are the pictures for the alphabet phonograms, are often connected with phonogram drills anytime after two years of age. From 3-6 years the Sand Letters give a nice variety to his phonogram drills and be sure to add the counting and listening skills. You may also drill on the Basic Multi-Letter Phonograms yourself, and teach them orally to the children who are not yet ready to write, after the Alphabet Phonograms are fluently mastered. Group the Multi-Letter Phonograms in various ways, and learn a few at a time, including the phrase when present. Use the Flashcards and the Phonogram Games for oral-visual drills. As a teacher, you cannot learn the phonograms too soon or too well. Do not teach the child to read by memorizing words. It will destroy his joy as he figures them out by phonics and his own efforts to write–the correct and dependable way to learn reading.
By 5-7 years of age children can generally follow the writing lessons and this is when the full course takes hold, if a good foundation has already been established. If a child picks up a pencil or other writing tool, even if he is only a toddler, guide him to a correct hold and good habits from the start. Then he can progress, rather than having to unlearn a bad habit and re-learn the easy pencil hold. Early drawing and coloring is good when the child is interested. School-age children need to begin drawing, even if they have had no particular interest in art. Children should be shown how and encouraged to draw simple, symbolic shapes and figures free-hand, like a flower, fish, tree, sun with rays, star, house, bird, stick person, car, cloud, rain drop, and leaf. Drawing nature objects, by looking at them closely, is excellent practice. He should also do small crafts that require rolling, sewing, folding, cutting, gluing, drawing, and develop his fine-motor muscles. You may make a little “school schedule” to check off that ensures your student is being taught at the times of day which you choose. Even if he is very young, you can schedule his short story, time out exploring in nature, singing, saying Bible verses, and his little work jobs, as his “school.” Children love regularity and knowing what to expect.
- Build your own Teacher’s log in a sewn notebook according to the ITB Progress Checklist, FFS Progress Checklist, and the AB Progress Checklist. Follow “Time to Write” Lessons. Your notebook, when finished, should look something like Appendix 3 in the Preparation Manual. Do not just copy Appendix 3, however. Write by following the lessons in the Preparation Manual and the Reader lessons, just as the student must do, to understand how to best guide the child.
- If you need more help to implement everything, you may contact our consultant, Lisa Quade, at Eden Education Services for a one-time phone call, for a once a quarter consultation, for 1-3 times a week tutoring by Zoom, or another schedule, to suit your needs. May you have a joyful and successful experience in teaching with the CRC. You may also contact us through the website. Our desire is to see you find joy and success.
What is the Creation Reading Course?
The CRC is a multi-sensory guide and break-though approach to beginning reading instruction. This method gives dependable results such as Christian parents and teachers have been hoping for. Our phonics is direct and simple, but thorough. Our spelling rules are likewise well-tested and refined. Using a step-by-step streamlined approach, cursive handwriting is taught in detail which is central to success and pulls the whole course together.
Cursive enables the student to become competent in other literary skills faster than he could otherwise. The Bible and its reliable principles are our guide and the essence of our reading material. Our aim is to develop the child’s natural capabilities to the fullest for the service of God and man, and to obey the counsel:
“When very young, children should be educated to read, to write, to understand figures, to keep their own accounts. They may go forward, advancing step by step in this knowledge. But before everything else, they should be taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” AH 386.
What grade level(s) does the Creation Reading Course (CRC) best serve?
The CRC is ungraded, but is a beginning reading course for all ages of individuals who are learning to read or having trouble reading. If you do not already know the valuable principles taught herein, it is for you!
Does this course require a teacher? Or can the student teach it to himself through workbooks and videos?
A child cannot properly teach himself rules which he does not know in a streamlined, effective manner. If left unguided, you will discover that serious gaps will be left and bad habits will be developed. If neglected during their early years, older children often resist correction to re-learn a better way because their mental template is already set. They feel behind and suffer feelings of failure. It is kind to lead the young student directly up the best pathway in an individualized manner for early lessons, even when teachers and parents must sacrifice their own convenience and put forth effort to learn these fundamental rules themselves.
The training videos are primarily for the parent or teacher. The phonogram videos are an exception. The alphabet phonograms especially must be learned by the adult so that he can guide the student to hear and pronounce each phonogram purely. Yes, studious and trained parents or teachers are essential to teach this course properly. If parents are not able to teach their own children, a missionary teacher who knows the method should be enlisted early. This is an important field of service for the Master.
When should I start using the CRC?
Ideally, begin applying early concepts in training your baby and continue with advancing skills through kindergarten. This method is so effective that it is also the best we know for remedial work at the middle to higher grade levels. The main body of instruction should ideally be taught between ages 3 and 9, according to the child’s natural development. Our oldest student, so far, is in his seventies and our youngest was a baby.
Realizing that many of the concepts are new or partially new to nearly all parents, it is best if you obtain your kit and immediately study it to prepare yourself. (Please do not just leave it set on the shelf.) Study well ahead of the time when your first child will need to it, if possible. If more babies come, you will find it more difficult to teach all the children. For this reason, be diligent to teach your first child the simplest concepts as soon as possible. He can be an example and at least progress himself.
Your personal preparation for teaching the CRC should ideally begin when you are a teenager, before marriage, and before becoming a teacher or parent. Prenatally is also a good time for your child, for those who are married. But if your child is already four to seven years of age or older, you cannot begin earlier, so start now. Although there is usually some unlearning for your child by then, you can use this course very successfully. If you are an illiterate adult and wish to use this wonderful approach to learn to read, enlist a tutor to help you. It will not take long if they are knowledgeable and if you are motivated and able to devote the needed time. Study regularly with diligence. You will learn to read.
If you begin to instruct a ready child, we advise that you give yourself two weeks or a month to devote to personal learning and training by studying the Preparation Manual. You can learn how to teach this course, and make or assemble the needed supplies. Consult with us if you have questions; then begin teaching the student according to the streamlined plan for the oral exercises. We want to support your efforts, so I may refer you to a consultant or teacher to answer your questions.
How can a teacher use the same curriculum for all grade levels?
The approach is based on true principles that work, in harmony with God’s plan of education. It contains essential rules and exercises that will benefit every individual who learns them. These are principles and skills will be useful for one’s lifetime. Consider the effort you must put forth as a privilege and long-term investment.
The advantage the young student has in being taught by this approach early, is that he does not have much to unlearn (hopefully) and in his early years he is able to soak in concepts like a sponge. Phonograms can best be introduced while speech is just developing. When this method is closely followed, young students learn clear speech, true phonics, cursive handwriting techniques, and other valuable rules by streamlined steps.
Knowledge of the alphabet phonograms is foundational. It must come soon, because most forward steps are built on it. This knowledge is partially new to nearly all students and adults. Success cannot be expected, and the method is not being properly taught, if this vital principle is glossed over lightly or omitted. Each chapter and exercise contains important knowledge that lends itself to reading.
Older students start with the beginning exercises, just like younger students because these concepts are not commonly known or taught. Older students will, as a rule, already know math concepts which they must prove. This enables them to progress faster than a very young child. However, if students must unlearn and re-learn very much, or if they argue against every new idea, progress will be slower. Willingness to learn new concepts and willingness to do the manual labor of handwriting, will expedite learning.
What is the Multi-Sensory method?
It uses all the senses and all parts of the brain which causes learning to happen with the greatest ease possible. This includes saying, seeing, hearing, feeling or touching– even smelling and tasting at times. The brain guides the hand in writing, thoughtfully, creatively, with mechanically easy swinging-motions for all students. Correct handwriting is used to link the essential facts together. Cursive, especially, draws in both sides of the brain, the frontal lobe, and the cerebellum, corpus collossum– literally, the whole brain. Perseverance in the Multi-Sensory method enables dyslexics to overcome their difficulties.
The Multi-Sensory method helps all students–the left-handed, the slower student, the older student, the student who speaks English as his second language, and the common, brilliant child. This method will enable all to excel to the extent of their abilities. This approach has been proven betimes to help students overcome (or to never develop) dyslexia, even when the “dyslexic-type brain” runs in the family. We aim to cooperate with the student’s neurological makeup.
Scientists claim that they have evidence that it is better to start school later than is customary (after eight years and up to twelve years of age), rather than in early childhood to avoid brain damage. What does God say and what example did Christ give?
“When very young, children should be educated to read, to write, to understand figures, to keep their own accounts. They may go forward, advancing step by step in this knowledge. But before everything else, they should be taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” AH 386.2. “The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor… Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. ” – DA 70. We know that Jesus knew how to read Isaiah 53 when He was twelve and that He had thought about it sufficiently to instruct the rabbis.
“The Jews had many wrong ideas about the Messiah. Jesus knew this, but He did not contradict the learned men. As one who wished to be taught, He asked questions about what the prophets had written. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah speaks of the Saviour’s death, and Jesus read this chapter, and asked its meaning. The rabbis could give no answer. They began to question Jesus, and they were astonished at His knowledge of the Scriptures.” The Story of Jesus, p. 32.
Why is early education dangerous? It is because the schools of these scientists who advocate late literary instruction were studying the public schools, which are godless. Or some may have been parochial schools who imitate public school methods and subjects, and therefore suffer the same ill effects. Most common schools today teach reading by a disconnected, backward, confusing approach. That which should be presented simply as a whole body of knowledge in an orderly arrangement is delayed, fragmented, and disorganized so that the student misses important connections. Students are asked to do a job without the necessary tools, causing them dyslexia, frustration, and discouragement. This results in damage. Illiteracy is promoted by harmful approaches to reading instruction.
Neither should children be subjected to the repetition of subtle errors, like evolution, witchcraft, and many other unspeakable, morally wrong, and horrible evils, which are currently being taught. This is a most important reason why we cannot place our youth in worldly schools. Exposure to evil should be delayed and avoided as far as possible. A young child is poorly prepared to discern truth from error and to resist covert enticements to evil. Guard the children faithfully. The better sheltered young children are from seeing, doing, and hearing evil, while being fully occupied in doing and learning the good, the better their hopes of becoming virtuous and honest citizens. By beholding, we become changed. 2 Cor. 3:18. When it becomes necessary to caution children against these prevalent evils, the child should be taught to resist the devil and his agents, in the fear of God. “It is written,” was Jesus’ watchword, and should be ours.
- Prov. 19:27 “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”
- Rom. 16: 17-19 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them….By good words and fair speeches [they] deceive the hearts of the simple….I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”
- Isa. 42:19-21 “Who is blind, but My servant? or deaf, as My messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant? Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.”
- Isa. 7:15 “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
- “Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the cities as fast as possible. Medical Ministry, p. 310.3.
Should mothers and fathers be the only ones to instruct their children until they reach eight or ten years of age? Is this the ideal (when parents are prepared to properly discipline) or is it a rule to be followed under all circumstances, regardless of the consequences?
“Mothers should be able to instruct their little ones wisely during the earlier years of childhood. If every mother were capable of doing this, and would take time to teach her children the lessons they should learn in early life, then all children could be kept in the home school until they are eight, or nine, or ten years old.” 6MR 351.
“Children should virtually be trained in a home school from the cradle to maturity. And, as in the case of any well-regulated school, the teachers themselves gain important knowledge; the mother especially, who is the principal teacher in the home, should there learn the most valuable lessons of her life.” CG 26.
“But many who enter the marriage relation fail of realizing all the sacred responsibilities that motherhood brings. Many are sadly lacking in disciplinary power. In many homes there is but little discipline, and the children are allowed to do as they please. Such children drift hither and thither; there is nobody in the home capable of guiding them aright, nobody who with wise tact can teach them how to help father and mother, nobody who can properly lay the foundation that should underlie their future education. Children who are surrounded by these unfortunate conditions, are indeed to be pitied. If not afforded an opportunity for proper training outside the home, they are debarred from many privileges that, by right, every child should enjoy. This is the light that has been presented to me.” 6MR 351.2.
“Those who are unable to train their children aright, should never have assumed the responsibilities of parents. But because of their mistaken judgment, shall we make no effort to help their little ones to form right characters? God desires us to deal with these problems sensibly.” 6MR 351.3.
“That is how it is, and my mind has been greatly stirred in regard to the idea, ‘Why, Sister White has said so and so, and Sister White has said so and so; and therefore we are going right up to it.’ God wants us all to have common sense, and He wants us to reason from common sense. Circumstances alter conditions. Circumstances change the relation of things.
“Sister Peck: ‘It has been a question in my mind on that point, Sister White, what our duty as teachers is–whether it was to try to help the parents to see and to take up their responsibility, or to take it away from them by taking their children into the school.’
“Sister White: ‘If they have not felt their responsibility from all the books and writings and sermons, you might roll it onto them from now till the Lord comes, and they would not have any burden. It is no use talking about responsibility, when they have never felt it.’ ” 3SM 225.1, 2. We conclude: Missionary teachers are needed to help neglected children whose parents cannot adequately care for them. If possible, give the children a chance through the services of a missionary teacher.
Why were parents advised to not send children to school before eight or ten years of age?
“There are children five years old that can be educated as well as many children ten years old, as far as capabilities are concerned, to take in the mother’s matters and subjects.” 3SM 219.1. “When I heard what the objections were, that the children could not go to school till they were ten years old, I wanted to tell you that there was not a Sabbathkeeping school when the light was given to me that the children should not attend school until they were old enough to be instructed. They should be taught at home to know what proper manners were when they went to school, and not be led astray. The wickedness carried on in the common schools is almost beyond conception.” 6MR 354.1.
“Here is a Sanitarium, and that sanitarium must carry the highest possible influence inside and out. Then, if they see children who come there– sharp-eyed, lynx-eyed, wandering about, with nothing to do, getting into mischief, and all these things–it is painful to the senses of those that want to keep the reputation of the school.
Therefore, I, from the light that God has given me, [declare] if there is a family that has not the capabilities of educating, nor discipline and government over their children, requiring obedience, the very best thing is to put them in some place where they will obey. Put them in some place where they will be required to obey, because obedience is better than sacrifice. Good behavior is to be carried out in every family.” 6MR 354.2-4.
[God] “calls us children in His family. He wants us educated and trained according to the principles of the Word of God. He wants this education to commence with the little ones. If the mother has not the tact, the ingenuity, if she does not know how to treat human minds, she must put them under somebody that will discipline them and mold and fashion their minds.” 3SM 220.3.
“Fathers and mothers, it is a marvel in the sight of heaven that the souls of your children are so little valued. Christ is grieved, and Satan triumphs.” Historical Sketches, p. 286.5
Should I wait to begin the CRC course until my child is at least eight or ten years old, to avoid damaging his eyes, brain, and body?
A. No, do not delay. When very young children may be educated, a little here and a little there by God’s plan, with full benefit to their health, eyes, brain, spirit, and the whole body. It is the worldly, backward, confusing approach to learning, forcing the intellect to many hours in the indoor classroom to the neglect of physical and moral instruction, that cause dyslexia and ill health. By following a direct, orderly course of instruction in short lessons in the home, including instruction in how to do plenty of manual work well, both in the home and out of doors, their development, understanding, and health will thrive.
This course has steps that may be implemented very early in a child’s life, as soon as the child can understand or form an idea. The first lesson he needs to learn is to follow directions, (“Go to sleep;” “Come;” “Do not touch,” etc.] and to obey willingly. This point must be gained for success in educating him later in more advanced lines. Clear speech, including the oral phonograms is a good early goal to implement as soon as the child is learning to speak. There is so much for a little child to learn about good manners and from nature!
Should I start my child’s “formal schooling” at six years of age or later?
Why should you offer him formal schooling at all? Teach him regularity, reverence and respect, order, cleanliness, courtesy, gratitude, a work ethic, clear speech, and contentment very early–as a baby and toddler. These will stay with him and give him affability at all ages.
What is “formal schooling”?
Schooling carried on “in accordance with the rules of convention or etiquette.” –Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. God has NOT called us to conform to the world in education, therefore, two or three years of formal schooling may be too much.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom. 12:2.
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:5.
“There is danger of attaching too much importance to the matter of etiquette, and devoting much time to education upon the subject of manner and form, that can never be of any great use to many youth. Some are in danger of making the externals all-important, of overestimating the value of mere conventionalities. The results will not warrant the expenditure of time and thought given to these matters. Some who are trained to give much attention to these things, will manifest little true respect or sympathy for anything, however excellent, that in any way fails to meet their standard of conventionality.” Christian Education, p. 201.2.
“Formality, pride, and love of display have taken the place of true piety and humble godliness.” Counsels on Education, p. 134.1.
“Can we educate our sons and daughters for a life of respectable conventionality, a life professedly Christian, but lacking His self-sacrifice, a life on which the verdict of Him who is truth must be, ‘I know you not’? Thousands are doing this. They think to secure for their children the benefits of the gospel while they deny its spirit. But this cannot be. Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with Him in His glory. They reject the training that in this life gives strength and nobility of character. Many a father and mother, denying their children to the cross of Christ, have learned too late that they were thus giving them over to the enemy of God and man. They sealed their ruin, not alone for the future but for the present life.” CG 483.2.
“Let the Spirit of God into your hearts, and it will sweep away all dry formality.”CCh 292.2.
How soon should I begin teaching my child?
As soon as he can form an idea. “As soon as a child is capable of forming an idea, his education should begin.” CG 26.2. This is not older than a young baby.
Are two or three years of literary instruction the best amount of time for a child to spend in scholastic training and culture in literary lines for life? Will this sufficiently supply his literary needs?
There is so much to learn that every child should be taught diligently from babyhood. So why rush and cram his education? Enjoy seeing the bud of a child unfold and gradually develop. Encouraged him to go as fast and far in all areas of true learning as his powers can encompass. The only way to properly fit in more training is to start earlier during the first of those ten golden years of learning, ages 0-10; then lead on gently and wisely. Foresight is a wonderful function of the mind that should be cultivated.
How long should it require to for boys and girls to gain a good education?
I will take their whole childhood and youth to gain an education for adult responsibilities. Then as adults, they should continue learning in their chosen fields of labor. Those who take the following quotes out of context and apply them to children are misunderstanding God’s counsel. The first quotes below apply to adults or older consecrated youth who are nearly ready to go out into the Lord’s service, but long for more education for that work. We must not misconstrue wise advice.
“The instruction which the Lord has sent us, warning students and teachers against spending years of study in school, does not apply to young boys and girls. These need to go through the proper period of thorough discipline and study of the common branches and the Bible until they have reached an age of more mature and reliable judgment.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 219.3.
In regard to older students: “There are many who are thirsting for the knowledge they should get in a few months; one or two years would be considered a great blessing. If all the means is used in putting a few through several years of study, many young men and women, just as worthy, cannot be assisted at all.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 404.2.
“All who connect with the work should first feel their need of an education, and a most thorough training process for the work, in reference to their future usefulness; and there should be plans made and efforts adopted for the improvement of that class [older students] who anticipate connecting with any branch of the work. Ministerial labor cannot and should not be intrusted to boys, neither should the work of giving Bible readings be intrusted to inexperienced girls, because they offer their services, and are willing to take responsible positions, but who are wanting in religious experience, without a thorough education and training.” Counsels on Education, p. 45.1.
What is the education that our younger children and youth should now be given?
“Students should be qualified to speak in an acceptable manner before congregations; and they should therefore train themselves to use pure, simple language, and to follow the best methods of speaking. Much attention should be given to the practice of reading with full, clear voice and distinct utterance, giving the proper emphasis to each word. To spell correctly, to write a clear, fair hand, and to keep accounts, are essential accomplishments. Bookkeeping has been strangely dropped out of our school work in many places, but it should be considered a study of primary importance. A thorough preparation in these studies will fit students to stand in positions of trust. The lessons given in Bible lines should be repeated over and over again, in plain, simple language.” The Review and Herald, October 4, 1898 par. 6, 7.
“I have been led to inquire, Must all that is valuable in our youth be sacrificed in order that they may obtain an education at the schools? If there had been agricultural and manufacturing establishments in connection with our schools, and competent teachers had been employed to educate the youth in the different branches of study and labor, devoting a portion of each day to mental improvement, and a portion of the day to physical labor, there would now be a more elevated class of youth to come upon the stage of action, to have influence in moulding society. The youth who would graduate at such institutions would many of them come forth with stability of character. They would have perseverance, fortitude, and courage to surmount obstacles, and principles that would not be swerved by wrong influence, however popular. There should have been experienced teachers to give lessons to young ladies in the cooking department. Young girls should have been instructed to manufacture wearing apparel, to cut, make, and mend garments, and thus become educated for the practical duties of life.
“For young men there should be establishments where they could learn different trades, which would bring into exercise their muscles as well as their mental powers. If the youth can have but a one-sided education, and it is asked, Which is of the greater consequence, the study of the sciences with all the disadvantages to health and life, or the knowledge of labor for practical life, we unhesitatingly say, The latter. If one must be neglected, let it be the study of books. There are very many girls who have married and have families who have but little practical knowledge of the duties devolving upon a wife and mother. They cannot cook, but they can read, and play upon an instrument of music. They cannot make good bread, which is very essential to the health of the family. They cannot cut and make garments, for they did not learn how to do these things. They did not consider these things essential, and they are in their married life dependent, as their own little children, upon some one to do these things for them. It is this inexcusable ignorance in regard to the most needful duties of life which makes very many unhappy families.” Christian Education, p. 18-19.1.
Which of these essential skills does the CRC aim to teach a child?
Our course has exercises in clear speech, clear cursive handwriting, and spelling where the student depends on phonics, handwriting, and the spelling rules. Bible lessons are central and counting is well represented. The emphasis is definitely heavier on the language arts than on math. Why? If children read well, they can better study all other subjects. We also need to communicate truth effectively to save perishing souls. Our youth need to be well trained to hasten Jesus’ 2nd coming. Jesus greatly desires for sin and suffering to end, but He is not willing to leave any to perish. The CRC language arts instruction must be balanced with exercise, crafts, useful work, and more Scripture and nature study, which lead toward service, industries, trades, and business.
Why should I choose the CRC to teach phonics, handwriting, spelling and reading to my child?
It will take them to the essential first rungs of the English “ladder of literacy” in a direct, logical, thorough, streamlined manner, that enables every child to read the Bible and comprehend what he reads. It teaches the student how to thoroughly study the nature of these English words and the first mention of each word found in Genesis 1-2:3, so that he can soon advance into grammar where he will more thoroughly comprehend the sentence. Word study, handwriting, and reading by the CRC lays a good foundation for grammar and further Bible study.
For how long should the principles taught in these lessons be reviewed, to fully retain them?
For at least four years, but even afterward, the student can review them occasionally, as needed, to keep them fresh in mind. These rules and methods of study are always applicable in spelling and aid in comprehension.
How soon will the superiority of following this approach be seen?
Much depends on the teacher’s skill and on the student’s cooperation. But as a rule, if the child is started early in conducive habits, by the time he is eight to ten years old, the benefits he has received will become evident and his skills will bloom. Even some seven year olds are reading on the eighth grade level. The Bible, taught with diligence, opens the mind to deep thoughts and develops the child mind as he surrenders to the Holy Spirit’s teaching.
If the child who has followed this course seems for a time to be slower than the average of his age, or behind those who learned to read by memorizing words, do not be dismayed. Think of the foundation you are building and be patient. “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Eccl. 7:8. Memorized words usually have little foundation, except pictures.
The more words a child simply memorizes without a deeper understanding, the more confused his deciphering may become as his vocabulary expands. During first grade he makes a good show. But by fourth grade it doesn’t look good. The phonics-trained student will be comfortable with about 20,000+ words by fourth grade. The one who memorized words will likely be weak in phonics, spelling, and handwriting, and may not be able to read more than about 1,600 words confidently, although he will guess at many more.
When will a student, following God’s true education, complete his education?
The true student’s education will never be finished, because the highest education if found in continual advancement. However, until we learn to use what we have already learned to bless others, our education is not complete, regardless of how much or how long we study. Thank God, we will continue learning throughout eternity. Application of what we know and sharing it with others is essential for further advancement.
“We are to ask God for sound judgment and for light to impart to others. There is need of knowledge that is the fruit of experience. We should not allow a day to pass without gaining an increase of knowledge in temporal and spiritual things. We are to plant no stakes that we are not willing to take up and plant further on, nearer the heights we hope to ascend. The highest education is to be found in training the mind to advance day by day. The close of each day should find us a day’s march nearer the overcomer’s reward. Day by day our understanding is to ripen. Day by day we are to work out conclusions that will bring a rich reward in this life and in the life to come. Looking daily to Jesus, instead of to what we ourselves have done, we shall make decided advancement in temporal as well as spiritual knowledge.” ML 109.2.
“Students cannot afford to wait till their education is considered complete, before using for the good of others that which they have received. Without this, however they may study, however much knowledge they may gain, their education will be incomplete.” CT 263.2.
“The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. It is the atmosphere of this love surrounding the soul of the believer that makes him a savor of life unto life and enables God to bless his work.” AA 551.1.
What is meant by “streamlining” the learning process?
Streamlining is keeping the process in logical order, which enables a student to have all the required “tools” or skills needed for each next successive step, before he is asked to take that step. Close attention to the order prevents frustration and discouragement.
Imagine a bit of dripping water trickling from melting mountain snow or rain drops falling on the hillside. As the drops puddle they form a trickle, which, guided by higher places, seek the lowest places. Other trickles from similar sources join it from this side and that side. As these small beginnings combine, the drips and trickles become a rivulet. As more drips, trickles, and rivulets are added to it, it grows into a small stream. Eventually many, little streams join to make a creek. The creeks join others and a river is soon on its way to the ocean, growing larger and larger as other rivers join it.
The beginnings of language arts may seem so small that you don’t sense that you are even educating or “schooling” your baby or young child at all, but you are. He is learning what he lives. Obedience (guided by the Higher Authorities) enables the child to be led into right practices and habits, like the trickle. Imitation is a potent teacher, so your attitudes and habits enforce your teachings. Correct speech and the basic speech sounds (phonemes) become trickles in building the literary river. All the oral exercises contribute more trickles, which together become a rivulet.
As correct handwriting is added with the phonograms, a small stream of literary knowledge is formed. Then more true skills and right principles are added. Take care to avoid overflowing the proper bounds, such as using letter names too early (instead of the sounds of the letters) or memorizing whole words apart from a phonetic understanding and handwriting each one. Beware of allowing the child’s energies to overflow into a stagnant slough of bad habits (bad posture, a wrong pencil hold, only play, and dyslexia-inducing practices, etc.). Keep all their young energies flowing in a useful and profitable direction. The multi-letter phonograms, spelling words with the spelling rules, punctuation rules, and capital letters with their capitalization rules, increase the flow into a creek of useful knowledge in literary lines. Many more skills will be added after this course is completed, but the most fundamental beginnings are here! They need to begin in an orderly way, drip-drip-drip!
Why should my little child write in cursive? Isn’t printing (manuscript) easier and more legible?
We use a short introduction to manuscript letters because they help us lead into cursive and enable children to read manuscript writing. Cursive handwriting, however, has been proven by multiple neurologic tests and practical experience to be very best form of writing for promoting thinking and to prevent dyslexia. Cursive is a little more complicated to teach and learn, but with clear explanations and guided practice, children are soon able to master it.
Whatever is learned first becomes the template for that individual’s handwriting. Therefore, students should avoid prolonged practice in manuscript and quickly move into the best kind of handwriting before manuscript becomes reflexive. Cursive slant and its connectedness is valuable, not only for his earliest writing, but for his life-long writing template for several reasons:
- What is learned first sets the mental template in the cerebellum for all future writing. With conscious effort, a variant form can be learned and become fluid; but when quickly writing a note without though of the form, you will find that you revert to what you learned first.
- Connected lowercase cursive prevents reversals of letters
- Cursive keeps the letters in a word in order
- Cursive is the refined result of hundreds of years of trial and error for the easiest style
- Fewer pencil lifts are required, making cursive faster to write
- It helps with blending sounds when reading, to see how one letter blends with the next
- It encourages individuality and beautiful handwriting
- It opens up more neuron activity in the brain than any other form of handwriting
- It draws in the right brain with its visualizing of curls and swirls and oblique shapes
- Cursive connects the right brain to the left brain through the corpus callosum
- It uses the whole brain, which makes learning easier
- It is an “endangered” form of writing which is greatly needed; preserve it from extinction
- Children enjoy writing cursive and dyslexics find it solves many problems for them
- Printing in manuscript can be practiced later for labels, forms, and maps
Printing is not easier to write than cursive. It is more difficult to correctly stroke because the pencil must be picked up and set down dozens of times to get any quantity of writing accomplished. With a correct slant, the same amount of neat cursive writing is a breeze to write, once it becomes reflexive–especially with arm movement.
Why does this course include three Readers? Isn’t the Bible the textbook?
Yes, the Bible is our textbook and every child is expected to read the story directly from the Bible. To lead into Bible reading, we have the words re-arranged in the stories, and continue adding previous words to new stories, so that we are assured that the child is not simply parroting the memorized passage without an effort to sound out the words phonetically. The readers also provide a platform for thought-provoking discussion and pictures that promote comprehension of the message the author intends. But the pictures are not of a nature that they reveal the exact words on the page. Memory work has value, especially Scripture memorization, which is part of the program. We do not allow it to detract from phonics and reading, but use it to enhance comprehension.
Why should I use this course instead of another reading course?
This method is the most successful method. There are other reading courses using the multi-sensory method, but no other course that I’m aware of that uses the Bible as extensively and directly for the beginner. Your child will be exposed to more Bible than with any other beginning course as far as we know. It has been proven to be successful in every case so far because the Holy Spirit graciously teaches your child as He has promised (Isa. 54:13). The approach is designed to work with your child’s natural developmental stage. Parents, who know and love their child are the ones best fitted to judge the child’s readiness. They ought to lead him gently along, without skipping any step. Each step leads to the next. Skipping essential knowledge will disadvantage your child. Doing everything in sequence based on logic will result in success. Pray for wisdom to give each student a balance. He can learn directly from the true sources of knowledge.
This method is the most direct, thorough, and streamlined of any multi-sensory program we know of. This lays the foundation for the broadest, most efficient approach for the development of a young child’s language skills. Secondly, this course is centered on the Word of God. We believe the child will be exposed unobtrusively to more Bible than with any other beginning reading course. And he will also receive a handwriting and spelling course in the process. Thirdly, this course is designed to work with your child’s natural development. The sequence of steps is logical, and you can progress from point to point without leaving unbridged gaps, or asking a child to perform tasks that they are not equipped for.
How do I plan or record my child's "Experiences of Life" category on the Weekly Education Plan and on the Weekly Education Record?
Write down what you hope and plan to have the student do on the Weekly Education Plan. Afterward, record what the student actually accomplished on the Weekly Education Record. Best-laid plans sometimes fail, but we must make a plan before we can accomplish it. This is why we have a record sheet separate from the planning sheet.
- The most necessary experience in life which every child needs to obtain is found in being a true Christian. This is a battle and march and requires courage and fortitude. Following Jesus’ example and seeking to understand how to please God in all things is the goal. This requires death to self and all self-pity, self-control which subjects the lower lusts to higher interests and faith in God. This is the most valuable and essential experience. Obeying the law of God conscientiously is a nutshell statement of how to gain this experience. This obedience springs from gratitude and love to God for the salvation He has extended to us through Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit changes our hearts from loving sin to loving to do right. Teach the student to pray and claim help because this request is the one plea that will always be answered in the affirmative by God. When children are obedient, loving to their parents, siblings and others, truthful, kind, pure, content with their own possessions and lot in life, (not idolatrous, covetous, or jealous), faithful in their responsibilities in the home, diligent and willing to take the hard place, reverent toward God and His word, they show that this experience has become theirs. Dealing with all heart struggles occurs in the experiences of life.
- Consider your own life history so far. Study your family history, your town’s history, your state and country’s history, and world history, searching for God’s blessings and teachings through it. Read Reformation history from the 16th century, Bible history, biographies of good and great men and women like Joseph, Daniel, Esther, and Job. Read mission stories where God’s providence is glorified. Discuss these stories with the student and glean heavenly wisdom from them. Study geography in connection with the stories by the use of a globe, maps, and by traveling to nearby areas, if and when possible. Students should always be made aware of where the story occurred. The people and cultures in other places can be a rich source of knowledge that will enable our children to be generous and sympathetically relate to those in differing conditions, who speak other languages, and have cultural habits which vary from our own. The climate, seasons, fauna, and flora in these countries may also be researched to give a realistic picture of the situation. Look for Spirit of Prophecy books on historical topics, such as: The Conflict of the Ages Series, Story of Redemption, The Story of Jesus, The Spirit of Prophecy, Volumes 1-4, Sketches from the Life of Paul, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, etc. Check out the Recommended Reading in the Resources section for more history books.
- Be Sociable. Treat younger siblings helpfully and teach them how to do something good that you already know how to do. Find lonely children in the family or neighborhood and visit with a desire to benefit them. Consider and discuss how you can point them to God and to His word. Offer to pray with others as appropriate. Opportunities for gaining good experiences are limitless when you commit your life fully to God! We often find we must narrow our activities to keep afloat and guard our health. Even if your circle is narrow, and this kind of sociability is exercised in the same way only in the home circle, it is sunshine and will be reflected back on you! It is the love and faith with which we work that matters. You may draw pictures to share, write encouraging notes with promises, sing or play an instrument, share some baking, cooking, or clothing, help others make a craft or sew something, or write letters to cheer the lonely, sick, elderly, or discouraged. All these provide valuable experiences.
Children and youth, after your first work of giving your heart and plans to Jesus, to be given up or carried out. Put forth effort to encourage someone in something daily. It will broaden your education and make life worth living. Naturally, when these experiences tie in with useful work, the Scriptures, and nature study, they become the most educational.