Program Goals of Elementary Heritage Studies
God wrote a completely accurate history in the Bible. The Bible presents us with a view to examine history as we read and learn about it. That is a biblical worldview.
What Is Our Place in God's World?
God made humans to declare His glory by being like Him. He made each of us in His image, and in the Creation Mandate, He calls us to imitate His deeds.
“The story of the human race is the story of God’s redemptive acts to rescue His people and destroy His enemies.”
But shortly after Creation, people sinned. Adam and Eve disobeyed and failed to exercise the dominion given to them. God, however, did not abandon His image bearers. At that time He promised to redeem the world to Himself, principally by sending His own Son into the world to save His people from sin. The story of the human race is the story of God's redemptive acts to rescue His people and destroy His enemies.
The Bible teaches that redemption in Jesus Christ is the goal of history. God has planned and directed all events in order to establish Christ's kingdom on Earth.
One of the goals of the Elementary Heritage Studies program is to teach students to develop a greater knowledge of both God's great character and what He is doing in a sinful world. Focusing on those two aspects of God—His character and His acts—provides context to how history and social studies should be both taught and learned.
Mastering the various academic disciplines God created is a way of obeying the Creation Mandate. By learning the errors of history, students can learn what to avoid in their own future. By studying culture and geography with a biblical worldview, they should come away with compassion for a sinful world and a desire to spread the gospel.
By using BJU Press Heritage Studies, students are learning history the way it really happened. History according to the Bible.
Reading for Information
Getting More Out of Their Textbooks
Another goal of the Elementary Heritage Studies program is improving students' ability to read for understanding and information—an essential skill and one that is emphasized in the Common Core Standards. Every lesson in each grade focuses on that ability.
“If there is no enjoyment in learning, students will never reap the full benefit of their education.”
Our textbooks include numerous exercises where students are asked to organize information into chronological order and discern connections between events. Graphic information, such as charts, graphs, maps illustrations, and diagrams, are used to teach students to assimilate information from various sources and enhance understanding of the lessons. Questions have also been added to some maps and illustrations to aid students in making connections to the information gleaned from the text.
But it is not enough for students to understand what they are reading. If there is no enjoyment in learning, students will never reap the full benefit of their education. Through captivating text, illustrations, activities, and extras, we strive to cultivate a lifelong interest in history, geography, citizenship, economics, and culture.
Lessons for Life
In studying events from the past, right and wrong choices and their consequences can be seen. The main lesson that should be learned from these choices is that people should trust God and obey His Word. As students study and apply lessons from historical events, they gain not only knowledge, but also more importantly, wisdom.
Why Are Critical-Thinking Skills Important?
One of the goals of the Elementary Heritage Studies program is to get students to think critically. History and social studies are not just about memorizing dates and facts for a test. As an educator, you want your students to dig deeper academically—to study the dates and facts and to come to their own conclusions. You want your students to become more than just parrots; you want them to become good decision makers.
“You want your students to become more than just parrots; you want them to become good decision makers.”
Elementary Heritage Studies 1–6 provides a framework for good decision-making skills. Because history is taught within the context of a biblical worldview, students are taught why right decisions matter and how their choices can impact others—just as the choices of others have impacted the history they study.
Many Americans possess very little knowledge of their society's past. Because of this, they do not understand the values that have shaped our nation's story in order to preserve what is good about the past. They also lack the ability to critically evaluate the current conditions of our nation.
Studying Heritage Studies will help students understand who they are, not only as Americans but also as humans in a fallen world. As they study and discuss history, government, culture, economics, geography, and more, your students will garner a balanced overview of their heritage and learn to take that knowledge to become model citizens—of God's kingdom and of the United States.
With BJU Press, your students will not just know the facts; they will be given a foundation that will carry them far beyond elementary school.
They will learn how to live.