Christ-Centered Philosophy of Learning
When we say we are a Christ-centered program, what does that mean? How do we design for Christ to be the center of an educational experience?
In design, we wanted a program that was Christ-centered in more than just a name. That our spiritual life was given as much attention as the academic disciplines - or more. There are a number of Christ-centered learning programs and options for families, here is how we approach what that means.
1) In the Beginning, God… - We suggest starting each day with Bible study and provide lesson plans to do so each morning. We assume that there is a God, that God has spoken to humanity, and that Jesus is the incarnate God fulfilling the Law and the Prophets which all point to God’s plan for our salvation. You can check out our statement of faith for more detail on this. If this is true, then everything we do should glorify Him first.
So we start each day with a verse to memorize/recite and a passage to read, think, and do a project around. Over the course of three years, students cover content in both the Old and New Testaments.
[Deut 6:1 NKJV] "Now this [is] the commandment, [and these are] the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe [them] in the land which you are crossing over to possess,
2) Whole Counsel - Bible curriculum includes both Old and New Testaments with a goal of reading the Bible in its entirety 2-3 times. We want Portals learners to be exposed to the whole counsel of God's Word. Throughout their time, they will learn what the Bible says, and study it in text, audio, video, and projects that are progressively appropriate for their age. We provide plans for reciting, memorizing, reading, and doing projects around the Bible itself. These resources are to equip you to provide guidance within your faith traditions.
[Act 20:27 NKJV] "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
3) Christian Worldview - All subject areas are His too! No matter what discipline, the search for Truth is a search to understand God’s Word, God’s Creation, God’s Plan, and God’s Will. We integrated a Christian perspective in all subject areas, for all ages, throughout the curriculum. We study tough issues and other perspectives openly, and without fear, alongside the wisdom God has given us. We select literature that includes noble heroes and role models of faith that model what Christian character looks like and how it develops through the sacred journey. The Bible has much to say about history, science, literature, and life it should be and is part of every subject area in Portals learning.
[2Ti 3:16 KJV] All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
4) Ministry - Service is part of learning. If a child completes thirteen years of school without learning the importance and value of service, why would we expect them to start on their own? The Christian life is a path toward service. We are not saved by works, but works show the world that we are redeemed and renewed in the Spirit of God. They will know us by our love. We build our curriculum to provide opportunities, challenges, and good works that developmentally scale with age and maturity. Service projects increase from small acts of sharing to service in your Church ministries and projects to support sharing the Good News.
[Rom 2:13 KJV] For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
[Jas 1:22 KJV] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
5) Time - All too often the busyness of life can push aside the things of God. To render to God what is God’s, often requires that we allow time for it! By design, the structure of Portals and ‘Project Time’ or ‘Friday Quests’ are open to taking advantage of chances to glorify God in service, exercise spiritual disciplines, or to pray. We plan less busy work, to make time for more good works! An education is lacking if it does not allow time for God.
[Luke 6:12 KJV] 12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
6) Flexibility - The flexibility of Portals allows you to build on these elements as you see fit and emphasize teaching and aspects of the faith that fit to your Church and traditions. We equip you with prompts to confidently teach them the way they should go, then you have the options to try or skip suggestions - but you’ll never be without great ideas to discuss spiritual issues.
[Pro 22:6 NKJV] 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Christ-centered education is much more than a morning devotion, it’s about a fully integrated, multi-modal, multi-subject design that allows time for and flexibility for parents/teachers to guide their learners in a journey of faith.
We can also note that a Christ-Centered approach to education is the dominant one over the last 2000 years of Christian history. The idea of segregating God from a child's learning is a relatively new idea fueled by secularists. Below is a short video giving an overview to the ongoing progression away from Christ in American government schools.