A couple of years ago, I bought the book, Writing With Ease by author and professing Christian, Susan Wise Bauer. I based my purchase upon the rave reviews this book and the author received. At the time, I was exploring the copy and narration method and this book seemed to be ideal to fit that bill...that is, until I opened the book.
The reviews I read failed to mention some of her choices in literature. In this book, she uses several excerpts from Alice In Wonderland. I realize that many people think of this work of fiction to be innocent and fun, but I simply disagree. The author of Alice was known to be pedophile. And if that wasn't bad enough, he is on record as a suspect in the unsolved murders of the Jack the Ripper case. Whether or not these rumors are true, I don't find any redeeming qualiteis to the story itself.
I really think it's important to find out who an author IS because it is related to what that author writes. So personally, I think it is an ill informed literary choice to include in an otherwise promising book.
I later discovered that in her series, The Story of the World , she weaves a subtle, but decidedly humanistic philosophy which is a grave danger in the homeschool community for the simple fact that many parents who think of her books as a fantastic new curriculum may not discern the New Age philosophies she mixes in with the Bible. Indeed, many I know personally have not detected the heresy within the pages.
Her other works include a series of The Story of the World. I love the idea of putting the many events of world history into easy to read volumes, however even my sons pointed out the evolutionary spin woven in. Already they're learning discernment. I'm really surprised how many homeschoolers have swallowed her writing with no complaint.
2 Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Susan Wise Bauer undermines the ultimate and absolute authority of Holy Scripture and clearly teaches that God's Holy Word is insufficient to tell the whole story. This is not to say that other reliable history has not been written. It has.
But Ms. Bauer seeks to incorporate mythology and evolutionary fables into biblical history. This kind of subtlety concerning the Lord and His Word is nothing new.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
God made men generally skeptical - much than women tend to be. And it is such an advantage to involve them in our curriculum or educational resource directions. I try to remember that my husband is usually pretty maxed out from his business and appreciates my weeding out as much of the as possible beforehand.
So. My final conclusion on Susan Wise Bauer's literary work (which reflects her world view) is that I think it's contrary to sound doctrine and corrupts history. Therefore I cannot recommend her writings (including The Well Trained Mind).
James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
I am still compiling my research on which history materials I would recommend looking into for the coming year. I do like A Beka for the most part. They are thorough and up front in their biblical beliefs. Ray Notgrass also has an interesting looking curriculum for history, although I believe it is for advanced grade levels. Also History Through the Ages though I have not had opportunity to look through these in person.
If you have a favorite history resource, please share! :)