I wrote earlier the ten ways you are teaching worldview to your high school teen. Did you know that you are already teaching worldview to your preteen, too?
First off, remember our motto:
Worldview isn’t a subject. It’s your point of view. Keep sharing it.
And here is how we share our worldview with our middle school student:
Ten Ways to Teach Worldview: Middle School Edition
1. Bible. Your preteen is likely comfortable with Sunday School stories, understands how to find specific references in the Bible, and can read your family’s preferred translation independently. Now is the time for her to begin taking notes on the sermon (at first, writing down main points and Scripture references). With the help of a daily reading guide and journal, she can make a habit of private devotions, too.
2. Math. High school math is right around the corner, so this is the time of preparation. If she has not yet, she should begin a systematic study of math principles and application (i.e. math curriculum). Besides basic fact memorization, she should begin solving complex, multi-step problems independently and the apply the same principles to real-life application (i.e. story problems). She will enjoy proving her answer is correct when challenged, both with written equations and real-world application. Her math worldview is likely the true answer is out there because God is a God of Truth.
3. History. Middle school students want to know the truth behind the tales: what is fact and what is legend. Your student will enjoy reading multiple biographies on the same historical figure and comparing each author’s viewpoint to determine what is fact and fiction. This is a good time to encourage frank examination of lives and characters of heroes and villains. She is developing a worldview of man — his sin, his accomplishments, and his need of a Savior.
4. Literature. This age is such fun for literature as the preteen begins reading classics unabridged while still relishing the best of children’s literature. Encourage her to enjoy the best of both and to scrutinize the viewpoint of the author, again asking what does he say about truth?
5. Writing. Grammar and writing really take off in middle school as the preteen begins to understand how parts of speech work together. Take the study of both seriously while constantly asking her how could this gift of language be used for good and for evil in each assignment. She is learning to communicate truth and to appreciate the same in others.
6. Science. Explore it. Purposefully. Even those of us who are rather laid-back in science instruction for the early years realize that the language of our day is science. Now is the time to study the major disciplines and discuss the ethical and philosophical questions raised. Middle school students critically evaluate science videos and picture books as well as lectures and museum displays to find what does this scientist believe about truth.
7. Logic. Middle school students relish their new-found abilities to reason and understand. Now is the best time to indulge their critical thinking skills with both academic logic (puzzle books, logic texts) and real-life application (“what do you think will happen?”).
8. Fine Arts. Middle school students (especially boys) may find a slump in their enthusiasm for the fine arts during these years. Practice becomes a chore and art museums lose their charms. Shift the focus from action to thinking to increase interest. Allow the preteen to chose her next piano pieces from different time periods (requiring research); give her control over which paintings will be inspected at the museum, provided she explain her choices to the family. Compare and contrast a few works in different mediums. Ask her to find a flaw or motif. Praise detailed evaluation or a surprise criticism. Allow her to express disdain for any piece provided she can express why in detail.
9. Work and chores. Preteens can take increased responsibility and often crave teen-aged independence that comes with work. Channel that urge for good with more responsibility and privilege at home: later bedtime with finished chores; freedom to choose family meals she cooks herself; watching a younger sibling in exchange for a privilege or spending money.
10. Friendships. Preteens are exploring society outside family with an increased social life. Parties, neighborhood friends, and Sunday School activities give opportunities to learn how to behave toward others. Take advantage of the opportunity to teach phone manners; making and receiving invitations; gift-giving and -receiving; and other etiquette rules. This is a great time to encourage her to look outside her usual circle and to reach out in love toward others.
You ARE teaching your preteen worldview. Keep it up. Pass it on.
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