Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum is a biblical worldview curriculum that targets students from about fourth grade through eighth grade. The course is available online through yearly subscriptions, and all lesson content can be accessed from an easy-to-use dashboard. It can be used in homeschools, private schools, and church settings.
There are five units with five or six lessons per unit (27 lessons in all). Since each lesson should be completed in one session, you might use these once a week for most of a school year, or you can complete two or more lessons per week to finish the course in a semester or less.
Titles of the five units are What is Truth?, What Should I Worship?, How Did Life Begin?, Who Am I?, and How Can I Tell Right from Wrong? From these unit titles, you can see that the course is tackling significant, foundational worldview concepts.
Elizabeth Urbanowicz, author of the course, provides an overview for each unit and summarizes key ideas the lessons within the unit are intended to convey. For example, in the overview for the first unit she says, “Teaching children to have a biblical worldview is essentially training them to identify and live according to the Truth while simultaneously equipping them to recognize and reject the countless lies they encounter. This first unit explores what Truth is, why knowing Truth is important, and why it can be difficult to discern between Truth and lies. This unit is designed to begin building a biblical foundation for recognizing, seeking, and living out Truth.”
The first unit lays the groundwork for the rest of the course as students consider the truths of both Christianity and competing worldviews, specifically naturalism, new spiritualism, postmodernism, and Islam. Students complete graphic organizers that she calls worldview maps as they learn about concepts such as the nature of man, relativism, and the problem of information in the creation vs. evolution debate.
Within these larger topics, Urbanowicz addresses some topics particularly relevant to today’s youth. For example, the question, “Does it matter whether I am a boy or girl?," tackles gender issues in light of the previous lesson that teaches that all people are made in the image of God (from Lessons 1 and 2 of Unit 4).
Each lesson has four primary components: videos, a lesson plan, student activity sheets, and an assessment. An additional “home connection” component that extends the lesson and involves the entire family is supposed to be used for group classes, but a homeschooling family might find some of these useful as well. There are also optional sets of PowerPoint slides that can be used for teaching group classes.
Urbanowicz includes a short video for the teacher for each lesson, giving teachers a heads-up on teaching strategies. These include vital information, especially for activities in just about every lesson that serve as object lessons. For example, the teacher needs to prepare a number of sets of instructions for a treasure hunt in advance and hide a small treasure. Occasionally, the course requires you to find a specific video clip to use as part of a lesson. For example, in Lesson 4 of Unit 4, she uses a clip from the Disney show “Austin and Ally” as a springboard for discussing differences between humans and animals. In Lesson 3 of Unit 3, she uses two clips to illustrate the creation/evolution debate, one from Mysteries of Life (intelligent design view) and one from Bill Nye the Science Guy (evolution view). I was able to find them, but since there are sometimes numerous options for any one of these, clickable weblinks would have been very helpful for ensuring that teachers locate the correct links for these videos.
There’s another video for each lesson on the curriculum website which is the actual lesson presentation. Urbanowicz teaches each lesson in short video segments interspersed with pauses for interaction. The course is designed primarily for group classes, so in these pauses Urbanowicz often instructs students to, “Discuss with a partner…,” or something similar. A solitary student working with a parent can still discuss these topics as long as the parent is careful to not jump ahead with correct answers or conclusions. It is important that students think through and arrive at conclusions on their own. Even so, lessons are set up to guide students to predetermined conclusions such as, “God and His Word are True because God is Truth and always tells the Truth” (Unit 1, Lesson 4). While a teacher can prepare and teach the lessons without using these teaching videos, I don’t see why anyone would bother since Urbanowicz is such an excellent presenter.
There are two or more student activity sheets for each lesson in a printable PDF file. Activity sheets have lines for students to write responses to questions, drawing boxes for illustrations, and graphic organizers that students use to map out world views by writing in information. Activity sheets require responses that will let you know whether or not students have grasped the concepts for each lesson. A few of the activity sheets have maps or color images for which a color printer would be helpful, but printing in color is not essential.
As far as supplies, students will use pencils, crayons, and a Bible frequently. Occasionally, they will need other supplies such as highlighters, poster paper, sticky notes, tape, index cards, and LEGO™ blocks. Required resources are listed in each lesson plan. You will need to look ahead to be prepared with resources for upcoming lessons.
Printable PDF files for pre- and post-assessments—both with multiple-choice questions—can be used to judge the overall effectiveness of the course.
Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum should be most effective when taught with two or more students since discussion and interaction with peers is assumed within the lesson plans. Nevertheless, homeschoolers with only one student should still be able to accomplish the goals of the discussions and interactions with minor adaptations. For example, in a lesson where different versions of a world map are given to different students to figure out how using one or the other might cause problems, one student can simply compare two maps side by side.
Whatever the setting, Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum should do a great job of building the foundations for a biblical Christian worldview at a critical stage when children are beginning to encounter challenges in their surrounding culture.