Our curriculum for Religion and Philosophy (homeschooling)

Our daughter is only eight years old, but she is starting to ask some very philosophical questions about God, good and evil, truth and knowledge, etc. So I decided that I would include religion and philosophy as regular subjects in our homeschool, beginning with this academic year, to help her work through those questions.

My goal is to provide a survey of the primary texts in each of the world’s major religions / wisdom traditions, starting with the Bible and Christianity as that’s our family’s background. I am going to pair that with attending a religious service for whatever religion we are studying. I would like for our daughter to be able to relate to anyone she meets, regardless of where they come from. I have resources lined up for other religions in future years, but I still need a good one for Judaism. (Recommendations welcome!)

I am going to try to make this year special by taking her to a Latin Mass. We are also going to read through the stories of dozens of Catholic saints.

And we are going to work our way through a couple philosophy textbooks.

Here are my lesson plans for this year:

TEXT: The Bible Book (DK) / Oxford Annotated Bible

Genesis

  • Creation
  • The Garden of Eden
  • The Fall / Original Sin
  • Cain and Abel
  • The Origin of Prayer
  • The Flood
  • The Tower of Babel
  • Covenants
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • The Testing of Abraham
  • Esau and Jacob
  • Jacob Wrestles with God
  • Joseph the Dreamer

Exodus to Deuteronomy

  • Moses and the Burning Bush
  • The Ten Plagues
  • The Passover
  • The Exodus
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Golden Calf
  • The Ark and the Tabernacle
  • The Twelve Spies
  • Balaam’s Donkey
  • Only One God

The Historical Books

  • Entering the Promised Land
  • The Fall of Jericho
  • Gideon and the Judges
  • Samson
  • Ruth and Naomi
  • The Prophet Samuel
  • David and Goliath
  • The Wisdom of Solomon
  • A Prophet in Hiding
  • Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
  • The Chariot of Fire
  • The Fall of Jerusalem
  • Queen Esther
  • Rebuilding Jerusalem

Wisdom and Prophets

  • The Psalms
  • The Nature of God
  • The Suffering of Job
  • Proverbs
  • Song of Songs
  • The Suffering Servant
  • The Prophet Jeremiah
  • Lament for the Exiles
  • The Prophet Ezekiel
  • Daniel in Babylon
  • The Disobedient Prophet
  • The Prophet Micah
  • Call for Repentance
  • The Day of Judgment

The Gospels

  • The Annunciation
  • The Birth of Jesus
  • The Magi
  • Herod’s Infanticide
  • A Child in the Temple
  • The Coming Salvation
  • The Divinity of Jesus
  • The Baptism of Jesus
  • The Temptations of Christ
  • The Calling of the Disciples
  • Sermon on the Mount
  • The Golden Rule
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Parables of Jesus
  • The Good Samaritan
  • The Prodigal Son
  • The Temple Tax
  • Workers in the Vineyard
  • Demons and the Herd of Pigs
  • The Raising of Lazarus
  • Feeding the 5,000
  • Jesus Walks on Water
  • The Transfiguration
  • The Nature of Faith
  • Jesus Embraces a Tax Collector
  • Cleansing the Temple
  • Jesus Anointed at Bethany
  • The Last Supper
  • Betrayal in the Garden
  • Peter’s Denial
  • The Crucifixion
  • The Repentant Thief
  • The Empty Tomb
  • Road to Emmaus
  • The Great Commission

Acts, Epistles, and Revelation

  • The Day of Pentecost
  • The Healing of the Beggar
  • The Word Spreads
  • The Road to Damascus
  • The Council of Jerusalem
  • Paul’s Arrest
  • The Way of Love
  • The Holy Trinity
  • Fruits of the Spirit
  • Salvation through Faith
  • Armor of God
  • The Power of Resurrection
  • The Body of Christ
  • The Bible as God’s Word
  • Faith and Works
  • Holiness
  • The Final Judgment
  • The New Jerusalem

TEXT: Finding Faith (Level E Philosophy Curriculum Guidebook from Royal Fireworks Press)

  • Chapter One: A Disturbing Note
  • Chapter Two: Why Will is an Atheist
  • Chapter Three: Anselm’s Ontological Proof
  • Chapter Four: Anselm’s Ontological Proof, Continued
  • Chapter Five: The Fujimotos and Buddhism
  • Chapter Six: The Haunted Forest and Buddhism
  • Chapter Seven: Thomas Aquinas and the Argument from Design
  • Chapter Eight: Response to the Argument from Design (Evolution)
  • Chapter Nine: Descartes’s Perfect Idea in an Imperfect Mind
  • Chapter Ten: Response to Descartes
  • Chapter Eleven: Pascal’s Wager
  • Chapter Twelve: Response to Pascal’s Wager – Competing Wagers
  • Chapter Thirteen: Finding Faith

TEXT: Philosophy for Kids (David White)

Part One: Values

  • Question #1: Are you a fair and just person? (Plato)
  • Question #2: How do you know who your friends are? (Aristotle)
  • Question #3: Should you be rewarded for your efforts in school? (Confucius)
  • Question #4: Should you let little things bother you? (Marcus Aurelius)
  • Question #5: Is it your duty to give to charity? (Moses Maimonides)
  • Question #6: Will having fun make you happier than studying? (John Stuart Mill)
  • Question #7: Should you ever tell a lie? (Immanuel Kant)
  • Question #8: Are there times when you should be violent? (Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • Question #9: Do you sometimes feel weird when you are with others? (Simone de Beauvoir)
  • Question #10: Do we control technology or does technology control us? (Martin Heidegger)

Part Two: Knowledge

  • Question #11: How do you know for certain that things move? (Zeno)
  • Question #12: What makes something you say true? (Aristotle)
  • Question #13: Can you doubt that you exist? (Rene Descartes)
  • Question #14: Does a tree make a sound if it falls in a forest with no one around? (George Berkeley)
  • Question #15: Are you certain that the law of gravity is really a law? (David Hume)
  • Question #16: How can you tell when you know something? (Immanuel Kant)
  • Question #17: Can another person understand your feelings? (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
  • Question #18: Can you lie to yourself? (Jean-Paul Sartre)
  • Question #19: Do you perceive things as they are or only as they seem to be? (Bertrand Russell)
  • Question #20: Can computers think? (Daniel Dennett)

Part Three: Reality

  • Question #21: Can you think about nothing at all? (Parmenides)
  • Question #22: Does anything ever happen by chance? (Democritus)
  • Question #23: What happens to numbers when you are not using them? (Plato)
  • Question #24: Are numbers and people equally real? (Aristotle)
  • Question #25: Is time what you see when you look at a clock? (St. Augustine)
  • Question #26: If the universe came from the Big Bang, where did the Big Bang come from? (St. Thomas Aquinas)
  • Question #27: Are you the same person you were five years ago? (John Locke)
  • Question #28: Do you have a free will? (Thomas Hobbes)
  • Question #29: Does anything depend on everything? (Georg Hegel)
  • Question #30: Are impossible things ever possible?

Part Four: Critical Thinking

  • Question #31: Is it important to speak and write so you can be understood?
  • Question #32: Should you always listen to the opinions of others?
  • Question #33: Should you criticize people or the opinions people have?
  • Question #34: Why is “because” such an important word?
  • Question #35: Is it easy to tell what causes things to happen?
  • Question #36: If many people think something is true, is it true?
  • Question #37: Do two wrongs balance out and make an action right?
  • Question #38: “I am lying.” True or false?
  • Question #39: Can something logical ever not make sense?
  • Question #40: “I wonder…” What it means to define something.

TEXT: The Book of Saints (Loyola Kids)

  • What is a Saint?

Part One: Saints Are People Who Love Children

  • St. Nicholas
  • St. John Bosco
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Part Two: Saints Are People Who Love Their Families

  • St. Monica
  • St. Cyril and St. Methodius
  • St. Therese of Lisieux
  • Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Part Three: Saints Are People Who Surprise Others

  • St. Simeon Stylites
  • St Celestine V
  • St. Joan of Arc
  • St. Catherine of Siens

Part Four: Saints Are People Who Create

  • St. Hildegard of Bingen
  • Blessed Fra Angelico
  • St. John of the Cross
  • Blessed Miguel Pro

Part Five: Saints Are People Who Teach Us New Ways to Pray

  • St. Benedict
  • St. Dominic de Guzman
  • St. Theresa of Avila
  • St. Louis de Monfort

Part Six: Saints Are People Who See Beyond the Everyday

  • St. Juan Diego
  • St. Francis of Rome
  • St. Bernadette Soubirous
  • St. Padre Pio

Part Seven: Saints Are People Who Travel Far from Home

  • St. Boniface
  • St. Peter Claver
  • St. Francis Xavier
  • St. Francis Solano
  • St. Frances Xavier-Cabrini

Part Eight: Saints Are People Who Are Strong Leaders

  • St. Helena
  • St. Leo the Great
  • St. Wenceslaus
  • St. John Neumann

Part Nine: Saints Are People Who Tell the Truth

  • St. Polycarp
  • St. Thomas Becket
  • St. Thomas More
  • Blessed Titus Brandsma

Part Ten: Saints Are People Who Help Us Understand God

  • St. Augustine of Hippo
  • St. Jerome
  • St. Patrick
  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • St. Edith Stein

Part Eleven: Saints Are People Who Change Their Lives for God

  • St. Ambrose
  • St. Gregory the Great
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola
  • St. Camillus de Lellis
  • St. Katharine Drexel

Part Twelve: Saints Are People Who Are Brave

  • St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
  • St. George
  • St. Margaret Clitherow
  • St. Isaac Jogues
  • The Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne
  • St. Maximillian Kolbe

Part Thirteen: Saints Are People Who Help the Poor and Sick

  • St. Elizabeth of Hungary
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • St. Martin de Porres
  • St. Joseph de Veuster

Part Fourteen: Saints Are People Who Help in Ordinary Ways

  • St. Christopher
  • St. Blaise
  • St. Anthony of Padua
  • St. Bernard of Montjoux

Part Fifteen: Saints Are People Who Come from All Over the World

  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha
  • St. Paul Miki and Companions
  • Blessed Peter To Rot
  • Blessed Maria Clementine Anuarite Nengapeta

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