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Why Teaching Christian History Matters

Some of the objections I’ve heard to learning history are that it’s “not relevant” today and can be boring. Those objections aren’t even just from students, but from parents! Of course, my opinion is that nothing can be further from the truth when you’re homeschooling. We have the opportunity to bring history to life beyond dry textbooks, to show our children the relevance of learning about history, and to make it applicable to today’s world.

There are many today who would prefer to forget the lessons we’ve learned from history. They politicize and propagandize everything they can to deflect and distract. That’s why I feel it’s more important than ever to teach history, teach it accurately, and use living books and primary documents whenever possible. I believe that’s especially true when it comes to Christian history. Accuracy matters. Truth matters.

Sonlight Christian History curriculum package
blog review disclosure

History of the Christian Church

We are currently going through History of the Christian Church from Sonlight curriculum. It’s a History/Bible/Literature 200 level for ages 14-17 (or grades 9-11). Both of my daughters (14 and 16) are doing this together.

I always appreciate the fact that Sonlight uses quality literature and takes an objective stance on meaty topics. I’m sorry to say that this fair and balanced approach isn’t always the norm for some of the curriculum I’ve seen from other companies. Sonlight encourages critical thinking and deep discussions, which we love in our homeschool. I recommend reading about the Sonlight educational philosophy for yourself.

Sonlight Christian History curriculum package for high school

Content and Structure

Sonlight’s History of the Christian Church is a comprehensive curriculum package that offers an extensive exploration of Christian history over the past 2,000 years, integrating historical context with biblical literature.

The curriculum includes a wide range of resources:

  • thorough Instructor’s Guides that leave no guesswork for you as the teacher
  • The Story of Christianity as the foundation of the course
  • The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History as a timeline spine
  • historical fiction
  • biographies
  • theological studies

It all comes together to create a well-rounded educational experience. The program emphasizes critical thinking and encourages students to understand the impact of Christianity on world history and culture.

From Sonlight’s description: As The Story of Christianity says, “For Christians and non-Christians alike, the story of Christianity is a major part of the world’s history. The Christian faith has affected every sphere of life, from morality to politics, from art to literature, from science to philosophy.”

This is the most in-depth curriculum I have used to teach my daughters about Christian history. It is a stretch for them (and for me) as we tackle these important ideas.

Sonlight curriculum

Highlights

  • Comprehensive Coverage: The curriculum covers significant events, figures, and movements in Christian history, providing a balanced perspective.
  • Engaging Materials: The use of diverse resources, including primary sources and engaging narratives, helps maintain student interest.
  • Integrated Learning: The combination of history and biblical literature ensures a holistic approach to understanding Christian heritage.

Benefits

  • Well-Organized: The curriculum is thoughtfully structured, with detailed lesson plans and study guides to support both students and instructors.
  • Critical Thinking: By examining historical contexts and theological developments, students are encouraged to develop their analytical skills.
  • Supportive Resources: Sonlight offers excellent customer support, including a 100% money-back guarantee and accessible customer service.

Some of our favorite books are included in this stand-alone history package, including:

  • The Screwtape Letters and Until We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • The Best of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

There are also books that are new to us, which is always a joy to discover. I really appreciate the way that Sonlight carefully curates an ideal reading list and weaves it all together for us. It brings a beautifully layered and compassionate perspective to the study of history.

Sonlight Christian History curriculum package for high school

Teaching Christian History Matters

The study of Christian history is more than an academic exercise; it is a journey into the heart of a faith that has shaped and been shaped by countless generations. By exploring this rich history, we gain valuable insights into our beliefs, appreciate the cultural contributions of Christianity, learn from past experiences, and strengthen our personal faith. In a world where understanding and respect are more important than ever, studying Christian history offers valuable lessons and inspiration for believers and non-believers alike.

Understanding the Foundations

Studying Christian history is crucial for comprehending the foundational beliefs and practices of Christianity. It provides insight into the development of key doctrines, the formation of the Bible, and the evolution of church practices. By examining the early church, the Councils, and pivotal events like the Reformation, students gain a deeper understanding of the theological underpinnings that shape contemporary Christianity. Sonlight’s History of the Christian Church covers this foundation very well.

Sonlight Christian History curriculum package for high school

Appreciating Cultural Impact

Christianity has profoundly influenced art, literature, law, and ethics throughout history. Learning about Christian history allows us to appreciate this cultural heritage. From the architectural marvels of cathedrals to the ethical frameworks guiding modern laws, the impact of Christianity is evident. Understanding this influence enriches our appreciation of Western civilization and the global cultural landscape. I love the way that Sonlight shows us this through their reading choices for the course.

Learning from the Past

History often serves as a valuable teacher, and Christian history is no exception. By studying past events, such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the various schisms within the church, we can learn from both the triumphs and mistakes of our predecessors. This historical perspective helps us navigate current challenges and fosters a more informed and compassionate approach to contemporary issues within the church and society. Sonlight’s History of the Christian Church does not shy away from the tough questions. They illustrate these ideas and events with a positive light without underplaying the darker times. Just as our faith gives us hope, learning from mistakes does as well.

Strengthening Faith

For believers, studying Christian history can deepen their faith. Knowing the stories of martyrs, reformers, and missionaries who shaped the church provides inspiration and a sense of connection to a larger spiritual heritage. This historical awareness can strengthen personal faith and commitment, offering role models of courage, perseverance, and devotion. Strengthening faith during the teen years can be a challenge because it’s so counter-cultural, but Sonlight’s History of the Christian Church can help to accomplish this by calling your teens to maturity and ownership of their faith so they will be able to defend it.

Sonlight’s History of the Christian Church is an excellent choice for homeschooling families seeking a thorough and engaging Christian history curriculum. Its comprehensive coverage, engaging materials, and supportive resources make it a valuable educational tool.

For more information on their curriculum packages for all ages from preschool through high school, visit the Sonlight website.

You can also find information about the latest sales at Sonlight and more about their 100% money back guarantee.

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Sara
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