As owners of Peppermint Stick Learning Company Inc., we believe:
1. Parents have the primary responsibility to teach and train their children to know the truth and encourage them to make wise choices in life.
2. Teaching and training of godly values in the home is a Biblical directive for the godly parent, whether or not a Christian parent also provides a child’s academic education. This involves:
- teaching the Bible (for example, in daily family devotion time(s) and in life situations throughout the days and years) (Deut. 6:7, 11:18-21, Isaiah 38:19, Psalm 78:2-8, 89:1, 103:13, 145:4-7, Prov.10:1, 22:6, 29:15, 31:1, 26-27, Eph.6:4, Col. 20-21,1 Thes.2:11-12)
- living a holy life (1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Titus 2:11-12, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Peter 1:15-16, 2:11-12, 2 Timothy 1:9 )
- being prepared to respectfully tell other people of the hope they have in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:24-25)
- not allowing the ungodly values of the world to squeeze us into its mold (for example, in entertainment choices) (Romans 12:2, James 3:13-17, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 Peter 4:1-7, 2 Peter 3:14, 17, James 1:27c)
- not learning details of pagan religious practices. Although a very basic understanding of other philosophies can be of benefit to know how to respectfully share with others the good news of Jesus Christ, care needs to be taken as to what information is taught and how much time is spent on it compared to other topics. And the incorporation/blending of humanistic psychology and philosophy in trying to teach spiritual truth from the Bible is a troubling mixture that confuses rather than clarifies. (Deuteronomy 12:30, 7:26, Jeremiah 10:2, Matthew 6:13, Romans 15:17, 19b, Psalm 101:3, 6-7, John 14:23, 1 Corinthians 1:20, 2:4-6, 13-14, 3:19, 2 Corinthians 1:12, 1 Timothy 6:20)
- being a thankful and grateful people in the home, in the world, and in their regular gathering together as believers, bringing honour and praise to their Lord and Saviour. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 147:1, Titus 3:8, Hebrews 10:25)
3. Parents need to make the best education choice they can for each of their children, taking into consideration family values, learning styles, special needs, and other individual and personal matters. We believe that homeschooling is a choice, not a Biblical mandate (see here for an article to explain).
4. Education should be considered a blessing and enjoyed as much as possible by the teacher and student. A daily dose of unhappy attitudes in “just get your schoolwork done quickly and then you can play” leads to a poor work ethic of living only for the weekend. While diligence is needed, a teacher needs to help a child enjoy learning as much as possible, rather than teaching that school is something to be endured. Academic schooling therefore should incorporate a variety and combination of effective and interesting methods for a student to take in information and present their knowledge. “Fun” should be part of all learning styles!
5. In today’s Canadian society and workplace, there is a general call to be especially literate in reading, science, communication, and mathematics. Most home-based businesses or outside employment for future graduates will likely involve these fields of study and should the Lord tarry, they should be prepared to be generally literate in these fields, even if some are employed in other areas of work and ministry.
Some Applications of the Philosophy of Education (above)…
WHOLESOME: In practical application of point # 2 of our Philosophy of Education, we purposely look for resources which have no or minimal content relating to the following: violence, lust, greed, rebellion, anti-God philosophies, evolution, mysticism, fairy-tales/mythology, the graphically sensational themes, and similar content. We try to be prayerfully discerning in our choices and desire to be “family-friendly” in what we offer.
REAL-LIFE EMPHASIS: Children learn very well when taught with authentic and real-life based experiences. Why not use themes of nature, play-time with toys and pets, helping family members, discovery of what happens when, sheer delight with daily life adventures, etc.? Such themes do not need to be presented in a boring fashion either—we’re not in favour of dull lesson material or methods at all! Many of us can remember a dry-as-dust textbook, a hard-to-endure monotone professor (or one who talked so theoretically/philosophically high in the clouds beyond our interests at student-age), or an author who was intoxicated with his own verbosity providing “thought” for the tedious assignments we were subjected to – we were supposed to chow those lectures down somehow and spit out academic proof we had learned from such – we certainly do not want to repeat that style! “Real life” CAN be presented in an interesting manner!
IMAGINATION, BEAUTY, and MEANINGFULNESS: Imagination is wonderful when used tastefully, for example, to embellish a tale to make it funnier or more descriptive in beauty, however sometimes Christians forget that not all forms of imagination or so-called artistic expression are “good”—it has been affected by the sin nature (Genesis 6:5). The old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out” applies to home school choices as well. It is concerning that some people think it is wise to emphasize popular rotten literature for the goal of keeping them from making bad choices in real life by using such for regular discussions. Of course, discuss bad examples as well as the good some of the time. But the amounts of the rotten type of literature expected to be digested and appreciated on a yearly basis sometimes seems larger in some home schooling situations than in secular classrooms. It is also distressing to see the wasted time that both classrooms and families can spend on learning worthless themes that just blow away like fluff in the wind (e.g. I recently was given unit study curriculum to look at – all about “clowns”.) We see no point to learning many of the classics (e.g. Shakespeare, Homer, etc.) which have no relevance to today’s generation, especially when there are better titles to read. We encourage everyone to choose to learn from good things that ARE good to begin with, as well as from things that are more meaningful and valuable to the present and future of the student.