Sweet friend, you are loved. I am so glad you are here – reading this. This post came as an outpouring of my heart on a day when the world felt like it was screaming and being filled with hate. I hope the words written below fill you with hope and encouragement today.
To the mother, to the daughter, to the childless, you are loved.
To the Christian, to the Jew, to the Muslim, to the deconstructing, you are loved.
To the LGBTQ+ person, you are loved.
To the hurting, to the addict, to the depressed and anxious, to the lonely you are loved.
To the immigrant, you are loved.
To the BIPOC, you are loved.
To the Republican, to the Democrat, you are loved.
I love you. I love you because you are an image bearer of the Creator of love itself. A love that is beyond understanding. I love you because He commands me to love first, always. Because He lives in me, it is the easiest command to follow. When you truly know the One who orchestrated love, it is easy to love those whom He loves. It is easy to love you.
I know this is not my typical post. But it needs to be said more. It needs to be shouted from the rooftops. I am honored to use my little space here to hopefully allow others to feel seen. I hope you feel seen by a Christian woman, especially when the Church is currently at such a crossroads. I see the talk all over social media about the hurt and the trauma people have suffered in the name of the Church. And while those traumas are deeply personal and complex, at the very least, I want you to know – you are loved. And if you are reading this and you want to show love to the people God has placed in you path, you might like this post.
Teaching my children to have a world view has always been a priority to me. When we first decided to homeschool back in January of 2020, I did what any mom would do. I joined as many local homeschool Facebook groups as I could, so that I could learn all the things from other moms who were actually doing the things. It was in one of these groups where I first heard about the curriculum I want to talk to you about today. It’s called Torchlight, and it is our social studies and geography curriculum. Guys, I love this thing so much. It’s my favorite thing we do, and I am learning just as much as the kids are some weeks. What’s that? You’ve never heard of Torchlight? I’m not surprised. It seems to be a newer curriculum, that is also secular. Let me tell you about it.
Teaching from a World View Point
Torchlight is in the Charlotte Mason lane. You learn through books. The author (a homeschooling mom!) grew up reading with a flashlight (torchlight) under the covers every night after she was supposed to be asleep. Her heart is for kids to love books. This is what first peeked my interest. I want my kids to love reading. Up until earlier this year, books have kind of been take it or leave it for them. That broke my heart, because I love reading, and I want my kids to also love reading. The next thing that got me really excited about this curriculum was that it covered everything except math and language arts. That meant I could use the same level for both of my children, even though they are two grades apart. Torchlight covers literature, science, geography, cultural studies, and art. We are nine weeks into using the curriculum and have decided to not use the science aspect, but that is only because my kids had some specific unit studies they wanted to do (more on that later).
Geography and Culture
Let’s talk about the geography and cultural studies aspect of this curriculum, because that is what sealed the deal for me. When looking at other curricula, I honestly found a lot of them to be very ethnocentric and white washed. I don’t mean that to sound harsh, but it is just a fact. And let me be clear, I do not judge anyone for choosing a different program for their kids. Seriously. We all have our own priorities, and different things are important to different people. This is something that is important to our family. It is important to us that our kids realize that we live in a great big world with billions of people who all live and believe differently. For example, when we learned about the formation of Central Park in New York, we also learned about Seneca Village. Have you ever heard of it? I definitely hadn’t. When we learned about Nepal and Bangladesh, we read a story about a little girl who worked and saved all her money to buy an oil lamp for her home, because her family didn’t have electricity. Furthermore, if you are wanting to ad a Christian perspective, you can check out this resource.
Choosing Your Own Pace
I chose to do Level K with my kindergartener and second grader. Torchlight tends to run older in its themes and books, so this is a really great fit. I can scale things up and down as needed for each child very easily. For Level K, we learn about a different country or small group of countries each week. Last week, we learned about Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, and Zambia. We read various books about the country and its people. We also do an art project and read a piece of literature, usually an early chapter book. It has been so.much.fun.! Next year we will start learning ancient history with Level 1. I really like the idea of teaching to have a world view, then diving into the actual history of the world.
The fact that Torchlight is a secular curriculum is a nonissue for us. Before homeschooling, our kids were enrolled in public school where they were receiving a secular education. We are also doing our own Bible routine, which you can read about here: https://intentionallywell.org/2020/08/12/our-bible-curriculum/
Intentionallywell.org is a place to find present intentionality in every day life. I hope you find grace and encouragement here to live on purpose with purpose.