Sunday, March 25, 2007

Addendum to List of Curricula We Will Use This Fall

When I wrote up my earlier post about the curricula we will be using this fall, I forgot several items. For penmanship, we are using Letters of the Alphabet Wipe-Off Activity Book by Learning Horizons until DD is ready to begin Charlotte-Mason style copywork. For vocabulary study, we are using Scholastic's Vocabulary Word of the Day. To supplement our study of Ancient History, we are using the first 21 chapters of The Story of Science Volume 1: Aristotle Leads the Way by Joy Hakim.

As an important caveat about the last book- the last 80 pages covering the medieval period are marred by a serious anti-Catholic bias. For example, in the chapter entitled "A Saint Who Was No Scientist", Ms. Hakim promotes the false story that St. Cyril had the Library of Alexandria burned, when in fact it was most likely done by a lawless mob of peasants that included both Christians and pagans. She also criticizes monasteries for "locking up" knowledge behind closed walls, when actually they were sanctuaries in a continent overrun by barbarians. She selectively quotes early Christians such as St. Augustine, St. Jerome, Tertullian, Lactantius, and Cosmas to portray them as backward and anti-intellectual while portraying Islamic, Jewish, and Chinese scholars in a completely positive manner. The great Catholic intellectuals Sts. Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas are only portrayed positively because Ms. Hakim considers them to be "rebels" against the Church. For these reasons, I strongly recommend that the last 80 pages of Ms. Harkin's book be skipped.

No comments: