Robin Sampson's
Bible First Approach to Homeschooling

This book explains their homeschool journey, from 'coming out of Egypt into the desert' to re-establishing priorities and how they were then able to 'get into Canaan'.

One identifies with this approach if you are still in the ‘desert’ place of homeschooling.

The HOW approach is the overview book I will recommend for everyone. Their other books are Unit studies on History and Science units, recommended for people feeling comfortable with unit studies and the resources suggested.

The homeschool movement has brought about (or restored) different teaching approaches.

These methods verify that we need to renew our thinking concerning education.

The HOW teaching approach is a way to organize several different teaching methods into one, such as

  • Charlotte Mason,
  • a bible first focus,
  • Unit studies,
  • Delight directed learning and
  • Notebook or Portfolio approach.

There are several books one can buy, however the most comprehensive one is:

The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach: Bible Based Homeschooling

This book explains the whole Heart of Wisdom approach, rationale and logic.

It gives a detail description of the path followed by their family in leaving public school but then not being satisfied with just ‘doing school at home’.

She shares how God has then led her to rethink her homeschool priorities and learning from Exodus, that God’s Word is and should be first priority before all else.

A whole section is devoted to rethinking Christian education vs Secular education, and also comparing Greek models of education to Hebrew models of education.

Section 3 describes the HOW teaching methods and how different homeschool approaches have been incorporated into HOW.

Her 4-step process of

  1. Excite,
  2. Examine,
  3. Expand and
  4. Excel

is simple to understand and apply in learning any content.

HOW’s foundation states that a child should learn God’s Word first and foremost through Bible study.

An excellent chapter on how to do Bible study and how to build a portfolio is included.

Thereafter a chapter giving guidelines on language arts, how to approach history chronologically and science according to the days of creation is explained.

For history, HOW has a four-year curriculum plan divided into four periods:

1. Ancient History (a whole Unit study is available from HOW for this period. This can be used as a full year curriculum)

2. Early Church to Middle Ages

3. Early America to the American West

4. Industrial Era to Modern Times

An excellent chapter teaching you to create your own Unit study is included, where she lays out step by step how you can go about creating your own Unit Studies for your child’s interests, or what you deem important.

Dozens of activity ideas are given and an example is walked through to demonstrate the steps.

At the back of the book is an exhaustive list of suggested resources to use for bible, history, science, literature and life skills.

For every book, its title, author and a brief description is provided and it is graded for appropriateness per grade level.

Within this book many references are made to other homeschool books worthwhile to either buy or read, and almost always she gives a review of the books.

She is also not ashamed to explain if she does not agree with some books that are available in the homeschool circles and also if a homeschool approach has its disadvantages to a Christian education.

All in all this approach is suitable for all grade levels for all homeschoolers who want to make the Bible the center of their school day.

I will recommend this book to everyone within the homeschool community – starters or veterans.

It has a lots of information taken from all sorts of other resources, as well as Robin Sampson’s own experience and value adding insights into what works and what not.

It is also filled with many explanations and questions that will challenge one to rethink priorities.

This book is very informative and will be a good read for all serious believing Christian homeschoolers.

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