While perusing my many homeschool sources the other day, I read an article that disturbed me. The author was listing some books she was using in her homeschool and she wrote that she had left one out (she didn’t mention the title) because it was a mythology book that wasn’t Christian-friendly.
I admit, I was a bit confused by this. What book on mythology could possibly be Christian-friendly? was my first thought. By definition, mythology books aren’t about Christianity. They’re about the myths of other religions. And at one time, the stories in them were considered as factual as we consider the Bible. I understand completely that some parents might choose to leave certain things out of their curriculum because they are at odds with the family religion. What I don’t understand is leaving out such a big chunk of human history because people no longer believe in it. How is it possible to learn about Greek architecture without learning who all those statues and temples and relief sculptures represent? How do we learn about Roman sculpture without learning about the religion that often inspired it?
Just as important, we shouldn’t keep our children from knowing these amazing stories. The reason they have been passed down through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years are the same as for any good story. They touch us, they teach us about human nature and human existence, they make us remember we are not alone. Mythology is a rich part of our past. Without it, to what can we compare Christianity or any modern religion? When we don’t know where we have been, our path to where we are going is harder to navigate. I have said this many times about all types of history, and really, at this point, that’s all mythology is. History. It doesn’t have to have a Christian bent. It just has to teach us something.
I hope you, my dear readers, are secure enough in your beliefs to acknowledge that mythology does indeed have something to teach your children. Otherwise, they are going to miss out on a lot of really engaging stories that will give you a starting point to teach them so many different things. I mean, where else will you get the opportunity to say, “This is not what we believe, and here’s why,” without sounding like your arguing Against something instead For something?
What are your thoughts on teaching mythology in your homeschool? If you don’t do so for religious reasons, I would love to hear your rationale. If you do, regardless of your belief system, let me know what made you decide to include it. Either way, I will continue to include mythology in the Lit Mama Homeschool curricula. Remember, the world wouldn’t be the same without it.