While the twins were at Space Camp, Scott, Connor and I had a mini vacation.  Apparently, being a homeschooled student never ends,  so we drug our poor college student to historical sites in the south.  

One of the things that I say a lot while teaching is that ideas have consequences.  Consequence is defined as, “a result or effect of an action”. Consequences can be either good or bad, they are the result of an action.  We can see in history that an idea, even a little, seemingly innocent idea when brought to its fullness can have dire consequences or can make the world a better place. 

As we have been touring battlefields in the Civil War, we have noticed that there were several ideas that were in conflict.  The idea of a state’s right to dictate their future versus the idea that a strong, united union was a better path for the future.  The idea that all men are created equal versus that only some men are equal.  The idea that home should be sacred and regardless of other ideas, an army marching on my home  should be protected against. Ideas that come to fruition have consequences. 

I use this in two ways in our homeschool. 

1.  When we study history, science or even the Bible, I have my kids try to pinpoint the idea that caused the conflict or that propelled a major breakthrough.  Why did the Romans decide to conquer the known world?  What was the idea that spurred that on? What were the consequences?  One of the positive consequences was that the gospel spread much faster because there were safe travel ways. The little idea that perhaps animals evolved and changed over long periods of time had giant, world shaking consequences. These are questions I asked even when mine were little and doing history narrations. “Why did Columbus want to explore?  What was the idea that made him so insistent?  What happened (consequences) because of his idea?  Okay, now write that down.” 
2. As my kids got older, I started challenging them to not only notice the ideas and consequences of others but to start taking stock of their ideas and start thinking through those consequences, for good or evil.  

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬ says,

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

I memorized this verse as a teenager and it has been one of my life verses.  I say it so often that not only do my kids know it, but their friends do too.  We need to take our thoughts and ideas and think through the consequences and determine whether those ideas and consequences are God honoring.  This is how we take our thoughts and ideas and make them obedient to Christ. Teaching Logic as a subject has really helped with this level of critical thinking. I start teaching Logic and Philosophy in 6th grade and teach several levels through early high school.  They help to continue this thought process.  We also read, “How Then Should We Live” by Francis Schaffer to further illustrate that ideas have consequences. 

Resources I recommend- 

Thinking Toolbox
Fallacy Detective
Art of Argument

Philosophy for Kids
The Examined Life
How Then Should We Live
The Story of Western Science
I need to note that I never just handed these to my kids.  We either did them in a co-op or I used them in our morning meeting and discussion time.  We have a morning meeting and prayer time each day and I usually have a book or two we are going through for discussion and critical thinking.  I think this is a vital part of the homeschooling day in middle and high school, training our kids to think.

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