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Actively Integrating Faith into a Faith-Based Curriculum

March 23, 2020

By: Elizabeth Kelsey, Kendall Hunt RPD Intern, with contributions from the writing team of Pathways 2.0, ByDesign Science, and Kindergarten Stepping Stones

Whether you’re a homeschool parent or an administrator of a private or religious school, it can be a challenge to find a faith-based curriculum that addresses your students’ academic needs while also nurturing their spiritual growth. We at Kendall Hunt Religious Publishing Division (RPD) offer faith-based curricula, developed in connection with Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) educators, that do exactly that.

Jim Drexler, dean of social science at the Graduate School of Education at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, stated that a faith-based education should “[seek] to integrate God’s Word into every facet of the curriculum as well as all co-curricular activities.” Many teachers in faith-based educational settings, rather than making the “faith” part of “faith-based” education merely an add-on, want it to be a prominent part of the information presented and discussed in their classes.

See how our faith-based educational options, such as ByDesign Science, Pathways 2.0 Reading and Language Arts, and Kindergarten Stepping Stones, do exactly that.

ByDesign Science

The ByDesign Science curriculum includes special features such as Scripture Spotlights, which direct students to related passages in the Bible, and Faith Connections, which educate learners about religious beliefs in connection with a scientific view of life. For example, in a chapter on reptiles and amphibians, the Faith Connection lets students know that that the Bible asks us to avoid eating fish without scales, and the Scripture Spotlight draws a connection to the frogs of the Exodus plagues.

In addition to these intentionally directed features, the text of ByDesign Science incorporates lessons about God’s place in a scientific understanding of our world, without sacrificing academic rigor or accuracy. For example, when learning about parts of the body, students are reminded that God made their bodies with specific love and intention. When studying plant life, children are told that it is God’s natural law that seeds grow into the kind of plant that made them. Thus, God’s role in the creation and protection of life and science is made clear, and students realize His presence in the world around them. 

Pathways 2.0 Reading and Language Arts

Each Daily Lesson Guide (DLG) begins with a Faith Connections feature, which demonstrates the four components of the Adventist worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Re-Creation, with specific comments on how those four components connect to the theme of that DLG. By also incorporating the theme’s Essential Question and Big Idea, our Faith Connections demonstrate to students how within any theme and every context, God’s plan has applications and effects.

Some of our nine themed units, such as “Walking with God,” include literature with explicit faith connections, such as Song of the Trail by Seventh-day Adventist author Mabel Earp Cason. However, even in units based on secular trade books, our Teacher Edition provides resources for educators to structure a spiritually nurturing discussion, based on characters’ moral development, judgments, and actions. Pathways 2.0 brings faith into every aspect of children’s lives, prompting them to see faith as not exclusive but ever present: Drexler’s goal and ours.

Kindergarten Stepping Stones

Madonna, one of our homeschool reviewers, said it best: “The folks at Kendall Hunt Religious Publishers get it. They know that an early learner must be nurtured to think, learn, choose, and grow, but more importantly, that the early learner was made in the image of God.”

Each chapter of Kindergarten Stepping Stones begins with Spiritual Connections (mirroring the Faith Connections feature children will experience in Pathways 2.0). This feature connects the Theme Books used in that unit with corresponding Bible stories and verses that teachers will use throughout.

Later in the unit, specific suggestions for worship and Bible routines are offered, from songs to prayers to crafts, to get children used to the Bible routine and help them bring the stories of God’s miracles to life. By providing multiple suggestions for how to review the Bible stories, you can choose the best one for your students that will make faith-filled learning fun.

Kendall Hunt RPD’s faith-based curricula help you put faith at the center of your day, not at the edges. Take advantage of our actively integrated curriculum today!

What are your favorite actitivies to bring faith into the spotlight with students?