As the mother of a more-than-likely college-bound 17-year-old son, I’ve been taking a look at colleges and college requirements lately. One class concerns me: Psych 101. I think we’ve done a good job, mostly, of imparting a solid, biblical worldview.
Yet, college psychology is still scary.
I loved psychology in college. So much so that I took all the courses I needed to earn a psychology minor. I was mostly oblivious to the anti-Christian views being shoved down my throat, I confess. Somehow, I came out of college with a stronger faith. Sadly, that is not the experience for most when it comes to psychology.
At their website, Dr. Rice comments about “subtle worldview challenges embedded in psychological theories.” I want my teens to be prepared for that subtlety.
Homeschool Psych was written specifically to prepare teens to take Psych 101 in college, to make it so Christian students are able to see the worldview assumptions that are so prevalent in modern psychology. The original was published in 2008, and this second edition came along in 2013.
Homeschool Psych comes in two parts. There is a student textbook and a student workbook. One marvelous feature of the textbook is that the chapters are really pretty short. Dr. Rice sums up the concepts without pages and pages of jargon, and that means a fairly un-intimidating text.
The workbook includes a number of different helps and I would consider it essential to the course. It is reproducible for members of your household.
How we used the course:
- Monday: My son read the chapter in the text, and the chapter outline, summary, and learning objectives in the workbook. He would complete the Study Guide portion of the workbook (mostly a fill-in-the-blanks type of notes from the reading).
- Tuesday: He completed the short essay questions, and we’d discuss them (I had the answer key portion of the workbook). We’d talk about the suggestions for additional learning, specifically any I felt he needed to do.
- Wednesday and Thursday: He would choose from the extensive activities and further study ideas, and complete at least a few items.
- Friday: We would wrap-up the chapter and complete the quiz.
The “For Further Study” and “For Further Discussion” sections are fabulous. Many of the study suggestions involve reading or watching additional material online. We could pick and choose there, and get deeper into the things he found fascinating, or the things I thought needed more explanation. When there was a chapter like Chapter 4: Brain and Nervous System, where he was particularly interested in the more “hard science” aspects; we could stretch the additional study suggestions out and spend two weeks on a chapter instead of one.
Having some background in psychology—just enough to be dangerous, as the saying goes—I sat down and read the text myself for purposes of this review. My overall impression of the material is that this is a solid introduction to the study of psychology and that it does what it sets out to do. That is, it introduces the major areas of psychology from the perspective of understanding God’s creation.
I did not find material that would necessarily be objectionable for younger (high school) students, but this is a course I plan to save for the senior year of high school for all of my students whether they are college-bound or not. Having a basic understanding of psychology is important for everyone, but at least as important is being able to recognize the subtle attacks on Christianity that are everywhere, really.
The only warning I would give is that this isn’t a course I would just hand to my student and have them tackle. The chapters are short, so a parent reading ahead of the student shouldn’t be too hard, and it will be far easier to discuss Freudian theories with your near-adult if you have actually read the material too.
Homeschool Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for
Psychology 101 is a comb bound book of 160 pages with cardstock cover pages printed in black and white. An Introduction of two pages is written to students, but should be read by parents as it stresses the importance of learning about Psychology before going away (or sending your children) off to college. The Table of Contents is extensive with many sections only being a portion of a page. There are 93 line items in the Table of Contents for a book of 160 pages with thirteen chapters, a list of References completes the book. Developed as a pre-requisite for college level Psychology courses, Homeschool
Psych was created to prepare home schooled high school students for the worldview assumptions made in Psychology courses in colleges and universities across the country. Written by a home schooling father of four children with 13 years of experience working in the public mental health field, Homeschool
Psych is the culmination of his effort to train students to better recognize the humanist, evolutionist, and naturalist assumptions in the theories presented in college level Introductory Psychology classes. A student workbook with quizzes and an answer key is also available, but is not included for the purposes of this review and is not a necessity for the course. Assignments are included in the main text of the Homeschool
Psych book and are designed to encourage students to begin thinking from a solid Christian stance in regard to Psychology. Students are encouraged to create an additional notebook for included assignments using a three ring binder. Internet access is ideal, as there are research assignments included with extensive website references. When allowing additional time for greater research and ample time for discussion, the text can be completed within one semester of home school high school or lengthened to a year long course with greater research.
College and University Psychology departments are some of the most atheistic and humanistic groups of people and the classes will challenge a Christian worldview. Few Christian high school students are prepared today for the theories that will confront them when they arrive on college campuses. Homeschool
Psych is intended to fill a gap previously left open where Christian students questioned their worldview, often walking away from the church and losing their way upon leaving home. The book is divided into two sections: Section One will help prepare Christian homeschoolers for the worldview challenges found in modern Psychology, while Section Two offers an overview of key concepts taught in Psychology with opportunities for further study. Section Two covers biological issues connected to Psychology and provides a wonderful overview and partial review of high school Biology. Assignments are scattered throughout the pages in framed boxes and range from vocabulary, internet research, essays, biblical comparison, and more. Plenty of opportunity to gain additional knowledge and understanding through research is provided. The assignments are numbered by chapter and the number of assignment; "3.2" will be the third chapter and second assignment. Additional boxes include pertinent information and opportunities for deeper research, as desired. This is definitely a high school level course with difficult vocabulary and subject matter appropriate only for older high school students preparing for college. I would also stress that your student needs a well anchored Christian faith and open lines of communication with parent/teachers as discussion and firm understanding of the presented material is essential. Many of the assignments are essays, providing incredible opportunity for college level practice in essay writing, there is no clarification for grading so parents need to be prepared to grade accordingly. As a high school level course the material is well suited for older students, but those who enjoy writing or discussion will equally enjoy the material as parents teach to a given learning style and focus appropriately for their individual student. The text includes discussion of Personality Tests and Personality Theories before approaching developmental disorders, including autism, ADD, eating disorders, and cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Mood, Anxiety, Somatoform, Factitious, Dissociative, Sexual and Gender Identity, Personality and other disorders and their Treatment and Therapies are discussed along with integrating Psychology and a Christian worldview. The final chapter explains Research Methods and defines research terms before providing explanation on both Qualitative and Quantitative research designs. The references are extensive with six pages of alphabetized resources providing options for greater research.
Homeschool Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for
Psychology 101 is a tremendous blessing for homeschoolers heading off to college campuses. The discussion over the need for Christian Psychologists in a predominantly atheistic field is very well written and provides good argument for young Christians to follow God into every area of science, including social sciences. The assigned essays provide great practice for college entrance exams, even though parents will need to research appropriate grading, it provides an opportunity to write on solid subject matter. Great information on dreams from a Christian viewpoint is included. Coverage includes information on alcohol as a depressant, sedatives, caffeine, cocaine, nicotine, and medicinal stimulants, opiates, hallucinogens, and marijuana. The text includes an incredible number of websites and research to delve deeper, and the website includes all the links organized by chapter for easy verification and updates on changing web addresses. The assigned definitions will provide a fairly lengthy vocabulary listing by the end of the course, although many of the definitions had to be found via internet searches rather than our physical dictionaries and are not included in the reference or close of the book. God and His work as Creator and ultimate authority in our lives is an underlying part of the entire study. Dr. Rice leads the reader to a better and more firm understanding that a Christian is fully capable of entering and working in the field of Psychology with a solid Christian worldview as their foundation. Christian college students are often required to take a Psychology 101 course in their freshman year, as teachers we need to be sure our students are prepared for the coursework with a Christian understanding of its place in Godly science. I believe Homeschool
Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for Psychology 101 will bring more young Christian students into the field of Psychology successfully at the start of college coursework, taking the field of Psychology back for the cause of Christ.
Our copy includes typos with full word grammatical issues, placing "of in" as if the writer or editor was unsure which to use and incorrectly used both instead of making the selection. It is frustrating to read material with excellent information written poorly, particularly at the high school level. We would have appreciated having the dates of life listed for the various individuals who influenced psychology in discussion about historical significance throughout the material. Chapter six of Section One provides an excellent historical overview of prominent figures, their influence on Psychology, and the dates they lived, but other comments and references of various people throughout the book do not include helpful dates. This information would be great help for anyone using this course alongside history for a unit study or for the sake of historical reference to better understand the time frame for the various scientists and theories. The author is a little obsessive with his "ology"s when he could have more easily written in understandable terms, using context clues, the knowledge would have come more smoothly if defined more directly in the text. Many of the "-ology" words had to be found using internet searches because standard dictionaries did not even list them. We suggest assigning the vocabulary words and various reading material before discussing any given chapter text, then assigning essays afterward. This will better prepare the student for the vocabulary words and lead to better discussion and greater overall understanding. We also strongly encourage parents to take the time to check out every internet listing as we found one that does include artistic nudity, but nothing not commonly presented in secular high school level coursework. Due to the subject matter including humanistic and atheistic information, we can not stress to parents enough that students must have a strong basis in their faith before taking this course without guidance. The very nature of this course is intended for students to gain better understanding and solid footing before leaving home and entering the college world, be sure you have open lines of communication with your student and a solid Bible foundation to build upon so that you are strengthening an existing faith rather than questioning an unstable one.
Dr. Tim Rice has provided a much needed course for college bound home schoolers
to be better prepared for college coursework and the worldviews they will confront
there. Psychology has fallen away in the world of science for many Christians
as a forgotten field, or one thought about in a much less than favorable light. Homeschool
Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for Psychology 101 will educate
Christians thoroughly and better prepare families to discuss the deeper subject
matter of science and Christianity in relation to worldviews. I wish I had been
prepared before going off to college years ago as a student from the public school
system for the many confrontations to my Christian belief system. Homeschool
Psych will aid your student in thinking from a solid Christian worldview
in subjects far beyond Psychology, which makes this course an incredibly minimal
financial investment for a tremendously large contribution to their faith. God
created our minds with brilliant capacity, understanding the questions introduced
by atheists, humanists, and their theories alongside the Bible and the saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ will strengthen your high schooler in ways you cannot
imagine. The occasional typos will not cover the strength of the message within
the pages of Homeschool
Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for Psychology 101, there is much
more to be gained within these pages. My daughter was having eye opening moments
after studying this material, better understanding how the fall in the garden
and our sinful nature has influenced our mentality and everything about the world
of psychology has prepared her for college and raising and teaching her own children
better than I could have dreamed. The discussions drawn out from Homeschool
Psych and the incredibly extensive internet resources will save you hours
of research time had you attempted to respond to even a few of the Psychology
theories approached in this course. The updated website with corrected links
and the possibility of informational blog entries on the Homeschool Psych blog
will provide additional information over the coming years for upcoming students
in your home school. Prepare your student solidly for a college campus or for
teaching their own children a thorough biblical worldview ready for any science
field and every aspect of the world of Psychology by taking the Homeschool
Psych: Preparing Christian Homeschoolers for Psychology 101 course right along with
them, you will both grow in knowledge and faith.