An organized and methodical approach to studying an individual in history is using James Rose’s method of these four important influences.
Key People: who was important to this individual? Family, friends, teachers, pastors, neighbors, employers–any of them can be instrumental in forming this person’s character and life choices.
Key Events: what happened to shape who they are? This key lends itself to a timeline to get a visual of how their life developed through the years, and also allows you to see what other things were happening in the world that could have had a remote influence as well.
Key Institutions: what type of education, government, worldview, financial system and philosophy contributed to the individual’s
Key Documents: what religious, governmental, and educational documents were in the individual’s sphere of influence? What correspondence was exchanged? Did they contribute writings or other creative works? What literature was important to them?
Studying these four keys will give you great insight into the individual and help you form a clear picture of them as a 3 dimensional person in history, not just a name in a book.
This letter is the most important in all the BPA alphabet. It is the fulcrum on which everything else is balanced. History—or HisStory—rests firmly on Christ. It is with this knowledge that history comes alive and gives significance to every person, place and event. When we understand that everything is Providential and has an ultimate purpose set for by God, we see innate value in others and in ourselves.
Jesus is the focal point of HisStory.
All of human time is either looking forward or back to the fullness of His time here on earth. He is the highest example, the most perfect sacrifice, the greatest king. SDG!
[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20
See the rest of the BPA alphabet in the tag cloud
The next letter in our alphabet is fundamental, not just to biblical principles or to home education, but to all of life.
Individuality is where it’s at. It’s our relationship with God. It’s the biblical principle from which at the others spring. It is what gives us liberty in home education and in life. Independently dependent upon God. As we understand individuality as God intends it our relationships flourish, our liberty grows and our faith deepens.
Once we are able to truly be what God designed all the masks come off. Once we shake off conformity to the world and embrace independence in Christ we can enjoy life as God intended. It is not easy but it is immensely rewarding.
This doesn’t mean we don’t lean on others or seek relationships or guidance. Far from it! God’s Principle of Individuality helps us form tight bonds. Embracing others in their uniqueness and pulling on their strengths only serves to benefit a relationship. We add to one another and we celebrate the differences.
FACE offers a helpful resource for those new to BPA. It’s short and sweet and chock full of helpful info. It helps you take a deep breath and say, “I can do this!” It is written by a home educating moms who have been there and done that and lived to tell about it.
The Noah Plan Homeschool Companion is free with purchase at the FACE bookstore or it’s only 6 bucks if you want it alone.
The Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) is the largest organization in BPA. Originally in California, they moved to the east coast. Visit their About Us page here. They are the publisher of the Red Books, the Noah Plan and hundreds of other materials. (They have trademarked the phrase Principle Approach.) They are an invaluable resource for Christian history and home education the BPA way.
The Commonwealth is an online community that members can use to connect with other members, to access material from FACE and to interact with FACE staff.
Please visit their site for info on everything BPA. They offer many articles and materials that will help you on your way.
Katherine Dang is one of my favorite BPA teachers. She is so knowledgeable and gentle and kind and, well, wonderful. Her organization is Philomath Foundation and she is available for consultations, conferences and the like. Ms. Dang has been in BPA education for over 30 years. Her wisdom is inspiring and her materials are top-notch. I hope you’ll take time to listen some of her conference audio (her Series on the Introduction to American Christian Education is wonderful. I’ve probably listened to each session a dozen times!) Material from the Wednesday Night Salons she holds in California is also great for sparking discussions in your own small group setting.
Her materials are available here. Dang’s Universal History volumes are excellent texts for high school and beyond. She also offers others materials such as a science project guide and several literature guides on this page.
The Noah Plan Curriculum Guides (CG) from FACE are wonderful tools for almost every subject. They are chock full of info on lesson planning, teacher notebooks, foundations of the subject, timelines and more. There are projects and checklists and sample student work. They are a terrific resource for newbies and experienced BPA’ers alike. I talked more about them in this post.
There are CG’s for history/geography, literature, mathematics, art, English, and reading. They are useful for K-12 and are useful for planning lessons because they have quarterly lesson outlines for K-12 in the front of each guide (except art). Science is not available but I hope it they write one. For some BPA help with planning science lessons and laying a science foundation from PMom click here.
They are also excellent resources if you don’t use the Noah Plan and even if you don’t homeschool. They offer each subject’s Christian history, resource lists and more.
In our trip through the BPA alphabet we can’t pass up the chance to highlight the Bible. It’s our most valued tool and our educational guidebook. All subjects have their foundations in the Bible and therefore this book must be honored here.
The Bible is also irreplaceable in core subjects like literature and HisStory. It is full of material to help your family master the subjects and see how they fit into Providential history.
As Christians we should look to God’s Word for help in every area of life. There is wisdom for how to gain wisdom, what true wisdom is and more. We learn how to interact with one another, what God feels is most important and how to relate to Him.
The Bible is the foundation for all subjects and as we turn to His word we are changed into His image more and more.
This is the start of a new week and a new series. In case you can’t tell, this is a series going through the alphabet the BPA way!
For those new to BPA I decided to make A for Acronyms. Here’s a list of basic terms
- BPA : Biblical Principle Approach
- C&P: Christian History of the American Revolution–Consider and Ponder (book)
- FACE: Foundation for American Christian Education (organization)
- GACE: Guide to American Christian Education (book)
- PI: Pilgrim Institute (organization)
- T&L: Teaching & Learning America’s Christian History (book)
- CHOC I: Christian History of the Constitution I (book)
- CHOC II: Christian History of the Constitution II–Christian Self-Government with Union (book)
- MWOG: Mighty Works of God (HisStory curriculum)
- Rudiments: (training and education)
- SDS: Self-Directed Study (training)
- Webster’s 1828: American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828
Am I missing anything? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it!