In an age when secular society is increasingly antagonistic toward Christian morality, it is essential that Christian young people are trained to be men and women of virtue. The Pearablescurriculum was created with exactly this in mind, calling parents to teach boys masculinity and girls femininity, and to call everything they encounter to Scriptural account.
The Bible is paramount for the authors of the series. Its study should be the foundation of all academics, and academics should be secondary to instruction in character. As homeschoolers (or "home trainers," as they prefer to call themselves), they stress the responsibility of parents to guide and instruct their own children, not to push them out the door to be indoctrinated by secularists and anti-Christian teachers.
Most of these books are highly practical, teaching girls how to be good wives and mothers, and sons how to choose a vocation, cultivate a good work ethic, and one day be able to lead a family spiritually. Girls learn to cook and sew; boys learn to do yardwork and fix electrical problems. But attention is always redirected toward Christ, and children are always reminded that it is to please Him that they are learning these skills.
This isn't our favorite character curriculum. Often the writing is difficult to follow because not much attention is paid to stylistic concerns or even good grammar, and there is a pervasive pietistic tone (the authors, while nondenominational in these texts, come from Baptist and Mennonite backgrounds primarily). Also, many of the skills and virtues covered are those taught by most careful parents in the course of day-to-day life.
Throughout the series are little stories, allegories illustrating a particular virtue or character trait. Pearables got its name from the authors' desire that these parables would yield fruit, and that students would actually practice what is taught rather than just read it and move on. If that is your goal, too, you'll want to go through each text carefully with your children and not just have them work through the material on their own.
(For those who want a similar whole-life character curriculum less rooted in legalism and with a much stronger emphasis on careful Bible study, we suggest you check out Doorposts. Kids are taught the reasonfor obedience and virtue, not just how to behave.)
The following people helped design and produce Pearables:
- The Jim Coffee Family
- The Paris Coffee Family
- The Paul Annon Family
- Carol and Tom Kerns
- Anne White
- Mary Greider
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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