Jim's Blog: Observations and Perspectives

Back to School: Bob Jones Academy–Middle School

A New Term Begins . . .

Matthew: first day at BJU Middle School

After a lengthy summer’s break, Matthew, our son, returned to school, this time embarking on his experience of middle school. Seventh grade is a whole new ballgame, for parents and students alike. Greater maturity is expected. Students are now beginning to attain a new altitude in terms of more demanding work (the pre-algebra is an interesting case in point for me!) and in the requirements of assuming greater levels of independent responsibility when it comes to taking ownership of projects, such as in life science.

What’s Bugging You?

Matthew’s bug collection (a BJU life science project) has kept us all engaged, with a butterfly net kept to hand in case of a sudden find (he has to present 35 pinned and identified bugs, each specimen to be mounted on a board). As we were driving somewhere the other day, an unfortunate ladybug made her belly visible through the windshield when we were about halfway to where we are going. “Dad, why are you stopping here?” Matthew’s voice asked from the back seat. With hazard lights blinking, and the car parked as much off the road as possible, I responded shortly before jumping out, “Look at what’s on our windshield,” and, with that, I managed to capture the insect in one of the containers we were keeping near to hand for this kind of eventuality. An hour in the freezer is usually enough to end the life of a bug like this, and, presto, another one is ready for the collection!

Worldview

It’s interesting to see how worldview comes through in such a practical way in the teaching of a subject like science. Consider a few excerpts from a science worksheet Matthew recently brought home:

Worldviews shape the way we think… help us make sense of what we are doing…help us to answer other questions regarding our purposes in life.

We believe our worldview is based on the truth of God’s Word; a non-biblical worldview would be based on something else that a person considers more reliable than the Bible–…church traditions, scientific theories, philosophies, or other ideas that have originated from human beings.

We can bring God glory through our work of dominion… relieving human suffering and proclaiming the gospel we become instruments for God’s redemption of the world, reclaiming life science for God’s glory, valuing a life created in the image of God as opposed to just another animal*

I could wish that I had received such a robust worldview when I was twelve years old!

Vision and Values

The university (of which the school is a part) defines its mission in these words: “Bob Jones University exists to grow Christlike character that is scripturally disciplined, others-serving, God-loving, Christ-proclaiming and focused above.” You can read more about Bob Jones University and schools here.

 

(Excerpt from Seventh Grade Worksheet, Life Science: What is Science?)

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