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Best resources for educating children?
Posted: 08 April 2012 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey everyone,

I have two little girls, a six year old and a four year old.  We live in Kentucky where we are surrounded on all sides by religion.  We are trying our best to keep our kids away from religious indoctrination but the environment we live in makes it a challenge.  I really need to start educating my kids in science, evolution, critical thinking, humanism and secularism, a rational overview of comparative religion, etc. 

Can anybody suggest good resources for topics like these?  My six year old does not read well yet because of a developmental delay so I need to find video.  I thought I had seen someplace that Richard Dawkins had a video series for kids about evolution but I was never able to find it again.  Does anybody know of any good secular/humanist/scientific educational videos for kids?

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Posted: 08 April 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I know CFI has a summer camp for kids so they may have teaching materials available.  I hope someone else here can point you in the right direction.

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Posted: 08 April 2012 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Charles Terrano - 08 April 2012 07:04 PM

Hey everyone,

I have two little girls, a six year old and a four year old.  We live in Kentucky where we are surrounded on all sides by religion.  We are trying our best to keep our kids away from religious indoctrination but the environment we live in makes it a challenge.  I really need to start educating my kids in science, evolution, critical thinking, humanism and secularism, a rational overview of comparative religion, etc. 

Can anybody suggest good resources for topics like these?  My six year old does not read well yet because of a developmental delay so I need to find video.  I thought I had seen someplace that Richard Dawkins had a video series for kids about evolution but I was never able to find it again.  Does anybody know of any good secular/humanist/scientific educational videos for kids?

As far as movies/t.v is concerned, there’s always good old “Bill Nye The Science Guy”; “Scigirls” http://www.pbs.org/parents/scigirls/ might be a cool thing for small girls.  Dawkin’s most recent book http://www.amazon.com/The-Magic-Reality-Whats-Really/dp/1439192812 is geared towards kids.

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Posted: 09 April 2012 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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You’re talking about children of kindergarten and pre-school age whose cognitive abilities are somewhat limited. Although there are several programs available on youtube and science programs (the Discovery Channel FI), you might try one of the electronic i-pad like machines such as IXL. They have games and stories along the lines you are looking for and by all means keep them out of private christian schools where indoctrination takes place! Your best bet is to bone up on elementary science even using a text from a local school. I don’t know where in Ky. you are (I’m from there, Eastern, Ky) but you may visit your local elementary school and request a text on science. BTW Ky has no law on the books to demand creationism be taught in public school. Our granddaughtera are exactly that age and we are using the above. Luckly our daughter has a degree in biology and is teaching the kids about reality! Dawkins book BTW is way above their level. You should wait to read that one to them, but it is pretty inclusive and teaches evolution in a positive way that pre-teens could understand. Most of all, your kids will reflect your values for now, at least until they become teens. Then you can have some heady discussions!


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Posted: 09 April 2012 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton is also another great book geared toward children. You can find it on Amazon or order it through your neighborhood bookstore.

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Posted: 09 April 2012 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Three children’s books that are fun and subtly promote critical thinking are “Alice in Wonderland”, “Through the Lookingglass”, and “The Phantom Tollbooth”. 

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Posted: 09 April 2012 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You might also get children’s versions of mythologies from around the world to read to your children, and slip in a children’s book of bible stories, and give them all the same weight. Talk about why different cultures had differing mythologies to describe questions they could not answer. They could point out the similarities and differences. Ask about the morality of some of the choices made. I loved world mythologies as a child.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You! You are the best resource. Rather than keeping them away from religion, why not ask them if it makes any sense? Ask them what they think. Get them to analyze their own thoughts and to defend them reasonably. Enjoyable, open discussion; a breath of fresh air.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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asanta - 09 April 2012 07:44 PM

You might also get children’s versions of mythologies from around the world to read to your children, and slip in a children’s book of bible stories, and give them all the same weight. Talk about why different cultures had differing mythologies to describe questions they could not answer. They could point out the similarities and differences. Ask about the morality of some of the choices made. I loved world mythologies as a child.

That is awesome. What a great way to introduce biblical mythology. I can’t imagine any child having been so exposed, being susceptible to the Christian religion later in life. Or any religion based on ancient mythology.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Sounds like they are still too young for GOOD science fiction to me but I started reading it at 9 though I went to Catholic schools.  SF that is worth reading contains ideas that you won’t get from most adults.

Try the Far-Seer series by Robert J. Sawyer.  It covers astronomy, orbital mechanics, evolution and psychology in fewer pages than textbooks on the subjects and does it in an interesting manner.

psik

[ Edited: 10 April 2012 02:55 PM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 10 April 2012 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 09:53 AM

Sounds like they are still too young for GOOD science fiction to me but I started reading it at 9 though I went to Catholic schools.  SF that is worth reading contains ideas that you won’t get from most adults.

Try the Far-Seer series by Robert J. Sawyer.  It cover astronomy, orbital mechanics, evolution and psychology in fewer pages than textbooks on the subjects and does it in an interesting manner.

psik

That’s a horrible advice. I never read anything by Sawyer, but I found this quote saying that: “There is no indisputable proof for the big bang,” said Hollus. “And there is none for evolution. And yet you accept those. Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”

Yeah, read Sawyer to learn that there is no indisputable proof for evolution.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 10:10 AM
psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 09:53 AM

Sounds like they are still too young for GOOD science fiction to me but I started reading it at 9 though I went to Catholic schools.  SF that is worth reading contains ideas that you won’t get from most adults.

Try the Far-Seer series by Robert J. Sawyer.  It cover astronomy, orbital mechanics, evolution and psychology in fewer pages than textbooks on the subjects and does it in an interesting manner.

psik

That’s a horrible advice. I never read anything by Sawyer, but I found this quote saying that: “There is no indisputable proof for the big bang,” said Hollus. “And there is none for evolution. And yet you accept those. Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”

Yeah, read Sawyer to learn that there is no indisputable proof for evolution.

I don’t understand what you are saying that has anything to do with what I wrote.  Who is Hollus?  What does he have to do with Sawyer?

psik

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Posted: 10 April 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 10:19 AM
George - 10 April 2012 10:10 AM
psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 09:53 AM

Sounds like they are still too young for GOOD science fiction to me but I started reading it at 9 though I went to Catholic schools.  SF that is worth reading contains ideas that you won’t get from most adults.

Try the Far-Seer series by Robert J. Sawyer.  It cover astronomy, orbital mechanics, evolution and psychology in fewer pages than textbooks on the subjects and does it in an interesting manner.

psik

That’s a horrible advice. I never read anything by Sawyer, but I found this quote saying that: “There is no indisputable proof for the big bang,” said Hollus. “And there is none for evolution. And yet you accept those. Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”

Yeah, read Sawyer to learn that there is no indisputable proof for evolution.

I don’t understand what you are saying that has anything to do with what I wrote.  Who is Hollus?  What does he have to do with Sawyer?

psik

That’s a quote from one of his book, “Calculating God.” You said that reading his books is superior to actual science and I showed you that Sawyer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But maybe Hollus is the bad guy…  smile

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Posted: 10 April 2012 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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You! You are the best resource. Rather than keeping them away from religion, why not ask them if it makes any sense? Ask them what they think. Get them to analyze their own thoughts and to defend them reasonably. Enjoyable, open discussion; a breath of fresh air.


IMO, Traveler’s advice is the best. Your children will reflect your beliefs and enthusiasm in learning about the World. Also, as he mentions, open discussion will allow the kids to ask some hard questions that can be answered honestly and without an agenda. They can explore answers but first they have to form the questions. If you don’t know the answer show them where they can find it.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 10 April 2012 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 10:23 AM

I don’t understand what you are saying that has anything to do with what I wrote.  Who is Hollus?  What does he have to do with Sawyer?

psik

That’s a quote from one of his book, “Calculating God.” You said that reading his books is superior to actual science and I showed you that Sawyer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But maybe Hollus is the bad guy…  smile

You said that reading his books is superior to actual science

Where did I say that? 

You interpret “in fewer pages” as superior?  Do you think a novel is going to contain the equations and sample problems? 

On what do you base the assumption that I think the same thing about all of any author’s books?

I have read Calculating God.  I don’t have a problem with authors presenting different ideas.  That does not mean I agree with them.  But I have no comprehension of your projection of stupidity about what I say.

psik

[ Edited: 10 April 2012 03:30 PM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 10 April 2012 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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psikeyhackr - 10 April 2012 02:11 PM

But I have no comprehension of your projection of stupidity about what I say.

psik

That just comes naturally for you, doesn’t it?  cool smirk

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