Frequently Asked Questions
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- What does ® mean—what is a trademark or copyright?
- Do you offer testing and grading?
- What is The Noah Plan®?
- What makes The Noah Plan classical in nature?
- How does the classical nature of The Noah Plan differ from other classical educational programs?
- Are there unit studies in The Noah Plan?
- Why is French the modern language taught in The Noah Plan elementary curriculum?
- Can I teach The Noah Plan to combined grades?
- Do you have a list of schools or homeschool groups using The Noah Plan?
- Is The Noah Plan Right for my family?
- How can I receive free insights, tips, and notifications regarding specials from the Foundation?
- Should we teach classics that have elements of magic or the occult?
- What is the Principle Approach®?
- Where do I start?
- What is the notebook method?
- How do I fit the Principle Approach to children with special needs?
- Is it too late to begin the Principle Approach in high school?
- What kind of results have you seen in students who receive a Principle Approach education?
- What if I’m an educator or parent of a student at a public school? What are my options in using Principle Approach curriculum?
- What is the tutorial method?
- What is the Chain of Christianity®?
- Where did the seven principles originate? Are there Biblical references for each one?
- What is 4-R’ing?
Q: What does ® mean—what is a trademark or copyright?A: View our trademark and copyright page!Q: Do you offer testing and grading?A: The Foundation for American Christian Education does not offer testing, grading or an association for home schooling families. We do offer extensive training for classroom and home educators. Because the Principle Approach is based upon God’s Principle of Individuality, it frees teaching and learning from the lock-step limitations of "canned” curriculum and allows the liberty of a tutorial approach, honoring the learning style and interests of the student and changing the nature of testing and grading.
Q: What is The Noah Plan®?A: The Noah Plan is:
- The name of the premier complete Principle Approach curriculum
- The resource (many books) needed to apply the whole Principle Approach methodology and philosophy in your homeschool or school setting
- A product for educating children using the Word of God in every subject
- The result of decades of research
- Curriculum that replicates the educational approach that shaped the character and reasoning of America’s Founders when literacy was at an all time high
Q: What makes The Noah Plan classical in nature?A: Why look to medieval Europe for classical education when the pinnacle of classical education was reached in our own nation with a Biblical and governmental mission two centuries ago? The tools of learning are ours. They’re not medieval, they’re Biblical and governmental.The "classical Christian” education trend looks back to medieval practices for a classical adaptation for today’s education of tomorrow’s Christian leader. The medieval system, known as the trivium and the quadrivium, represents a sequence of learning in which raw data is logically analyzed and then derived principles are expressed. It adds on Latin, logic and classical methods such as rote memory, copy work, recitation, Bible and spiritual training.The Principle Approach is bibliocentric, with the Bible at the heart of teaching and learning. It looks to the practices developed in America, based upon Reformation Christianity. The Principle Approach is Biblical-classical American education—the product of the educational practices of the founding era when literacy was at its peak, when all education was classical, and when the end result of schooling was in producing leaders of character, conscience, Christian self-government and governmental principles.The Noah Plan curriculum is classical. Literature classics are taught beginning with the children’s classics in kindergarten and expanding through the grades giving language development the model and inspiration of classical literature. Children develop language and vocabulary skills that enable leadership and service. History is taught from the earliest grades with the providential approach showing the Hand of God in the affairs of men and nations and providing the Chain of Christianity as the structure of Western civilization. The curriculum practices methods that develop writers, speakers and leaders. All subjects employ the Notebook Approach which requires research, reasoning, recording and relating what is learned.Most importantly, the Principle Approach is governmental, achieving the goal set forth by Samuel Adams, American patriot and founder, when he said, "that we should unite our endeavors to renovate the age by understanding the importance of educating our little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”The Principle Approach, as American classical education, is Biblical and governmental. It looks to leadership of the next generation to be well-educated in the Bible and its governmental principles. It acknowledges America’s Christian history and Biblical form of government, teaching them in every subject. It applies Biblical principles in scholarship, reasoning, character formation and developing Christian self-government. It values the worth and dignity of each student and nurtures each one to achieve his fullest potential in Christ. The Principle Approach produces a Biblical Christian worldview, holding the student accountable for his character and his learning. It places the responsibility for the character and preservation of our Christian constitutional republic upon the parent to teach children "the art of self-government.”Q: How does the classical nature of The Noah Plan differ from other classical educational programs?A: The Principle Approach is American classical education—the product of the educational practices of the founding era when literacy was at its peak, when all education was classical, and when the end result of schooling was the development of the character of Christian self-government.The "classical Christian” education trend spurred by the essay of the British Christian apologist, Dorothy Sayers, called "The Lost Tools of Learning,” looks back to medieval practices for a classical adaptation for today’s education of tomorrow’s Christian leader. The Principle Approach response to this movement is this: We never lost our tools—they’re not medieval; they’re Biblical and governmental. And they’re uniquely American. The Principle Approach looks to the practices developed in America, based upon Reformation Christianity, that reflect the achievements of the era that reached the pinnacle of educational practice in producing leaders of character, conscience, and governmental principles.Q: Are there unit studies in The Noah Plan?A: The Noah Plan curriculum was developed with literature, history, geography and the fine and performing arts woven together, as much as possible, throughout the grades.By its very nature the Principle Approach is most adaptable to unit studies. Many of Rosalie Slater’s teacher guides for the children’s classics in the literature program have been written with unit studies in mind.Q: Why is French the modern language taught in The Noah Plan elementary curriculum?A: The French language is taught from kindergarten through sixth grade in The Noah Plan. Latin is taught in fourth through eighth grade. In high school, the student chooses one language to study in-depth, including the literature of the language, for four years.One of the most important of many reasons to teach French is that it helps establish a broad English vocabulary—over sixty percent of English words are of Latin or French derivation. Therefore, while giving our young children the educational advantage of learning a foreign language early, by using French we also build stronger English vocabularies.A second reason is that French is the world-wide language of diplomacy, the official language of the United Nations. French is also useful in the study of law, medicine and philosophy.Because of the position of France on the Chain of Christianity, God used several key French individuals to further the Gospel and Christian liberty. The writings of those individuals, such as Montesquieu and Calvin, are significant in the understanding of His Story. France also played a significant role in the founding of our nation through the Huguenot influence in the colonies, as well as the contributions made by the French to the American Revolution.Q: Can I teach The Noah Plan to combined grades?A: Absolutely! The Noah Plan can be easily adapted to teach several grade levels in one classroom simply by selecting the Bible and history courses that best fit the ages of your children and choosing the children’s literature classics that bridge their ages. Because the Principle Approach is driven by principles and leading ideas from which to reason and relate (not facts and information to be memorized and regurgitated) it is possible to teach these inspirational subjects to children of varied ages and develop age-appropriate assignments and tests for each child. For skill subjects such as arithmetic, reading, composition and penmanship, you would schedule the time to teach each child these subjects at his specific grade level.Q: Do you have a list of schools or homeschool groups using The Noah Plan?A: There are numerous schools across the country using The Noah Plan; however, the Foundation for American Christian Education has no "association” or formal connection to any of them. It does suggest a demonstration school in Chesapeake, Virginia as a site for observing the Principle Approach in action.Q: Is The Noah Plan Right for my family?A: In a recent review of The Noah Plan for The Big Book of Home Learning, Mary Pride, an esteemed reviewer of homeschool curricula, wrote that The Noah Plan "is designed to steep [students] in the worldview of America’s Founding Fathers (and Mothers), with an eye to raising a generation who will once again demand—and lead—a constitutional government, rather than our present "government” of whatever the media and judges say is the law.” She went on to say that "FACE has chosen excellent resources for each of their courses,” and that "serious-minded Christian families who are not afraid to do a lot of reading, analyzing and writing, and who are deeply concerned about the world we will leave to our grandchildren, will likely find The Noah Plan attractive.”Q: How can I receive free insights, tips, and notifications regarding specials from the Foundation?A: Click here to request a catalogue and to be added to our e-mail list.Q: Should we teach classics with elements of magic and the occult?A: The difference in references to "magic” in classic literature and the occult themes in Harry Potter, for instance, should be understood. In classic literature, "magic” elements such as the "wick” of The Secret Garden or the witches in MacBeth, are used to contrast good and evil, life and death, and the nature of sin in the universe against the goodness and righteousness of God. The greatest works of classic literature tackle these themes imaginatively, artistically and convincingly, often using elements of magic. Such works as Milton’s Paradise Lost or Spenser’s The Faery Queen have won generations to Christ and instilled eternal truths using "magic” or dragons. C.S. Lewis credits his conversion to the rich literary life of his childhood when the "magic” of fairy tales lured him towards the spiritual. The Christian parent or teacher discernment of the appropriateness of a book should be: does this literary work teach my child a Biblical perspective of the theme elevating Jesus Christ, imparting the correct principles and teaching my child to know and love God? The best books do this while they delight, entertain and inspire. In contrast, the Harry Potter genre is in another category. It purports to elevate man and his powers and fails to transcend the humanistic in its use of magic.
Q: What is the Principle Approach®?A: "The Principle Approach is America’s historic Christian method of Biblical reasoning which makes the Truths of God’s Word the basis of every subject in the school curriculum. America’s Biblical education produced America’s Christian history and Constitution. The method was The Principle Approach.” (Rosalie June Slater, author of Teaching and Learning: The Principle Approach, p. 88) The Foundation for American Christian Education publishes The Noah Plan for the purpose of reviving this method to restore the Christian character of the Republic and the foundations of American liberty.Click here for more on the Principle Approach.Q: Where do I start?A: The Principle Approach Resources and the Catalogue of The Noah Plan will answer all your questions about getting started.Q: What is the notebook method?A: The notebook method is an essential component to the Principle Approach that governs the teacher and student in their participation in each subject. It establishes a consistent tool and standard of Christian scholarship. The learners are producers as they build their own daily record of a subject, taking ownership of the learning process. The notebook method embraces the four steps of learning: research, reason, relate and record (called 4-R’ing). It aids in the Biblical purposes of education by "enlightening the understanding, correcting the temper, and forming the habits of youth that fit him for usefulness in his future station.” (excerpted from the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary definition of education). The notebook method is the product of the student’s creativity and a permanent record of his productivity. It assists parents and teachers in overseeing progress and visually demonstrates the character development, diligence, and responsibility of the student.Click here for more on the notebook method.Q: How do I fit the Principle Approach to children with special needs?A: When every child is taught tutorially with the Principle Approach, he is able to think and reason and articulate his ideas and answers. The teacher inspires through the rich curriculum content and re-mediates in the skill areas. Homework, quizzes, tests and projects are mediated for each child to build confidence and success in every subject.Q: Is it too late to begin the Principle Approach in high school?A: While beginning the Principle Approach at the outset of school is obviously advantageous, it is never too late. Begin wherever you are and, with patience, you will see results.The Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government course should be taken by the high school student beginning the Principle Approach, no matter what the entrance level. Realize that an adjustment time is in order to give the student help in developing new methods of learning along with a new and vastly demanding curriculum. It is advisable to select from the middle school Bible, literature and history curriculum for students for whom the high school program is too great a stretch. A year of adapting and preparation should be all that is necessary to move the student into the full Noah Plan program at the next grade level.Q: What kind of results have you seen in students who receive a Principle Approach education?A: Click here to see the results for yourself!Q: What if I’m an educator or parent of a student at a public school? What are my options in using Principle Approach curriculum?A: If your child is currently in the public school system you can always use Principle Approach resources, as well as the philosophy and methodology to enhance your child’s education. Employing the notebook method in conjunction with the 1828 Dictionary as much as possible in their learning process, and reserving Saturday nights as family time to read from A Family Program for Reading Aloud are just two examples of how you can integrate Principle Approach education in your home.Unfortunately, at this time Principle Approach resources and The Noah Plan curriculum are not accessible in the public school system. However, we do have a great suggestion for educators and parents who want to see the Bible taught in their school.Elizabeth Ridenour, founder and president of the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools, has written outstanding curriculum for high school students interested in taking Bible as an elective. Her curriculum has been implemented in over 900 high schools’ electives course programs across the country. The curriculum does not proselytize, but it does teach the Bible as history and literature, and its impact on history, art and literature. Ms. Ridenour has a heart to see the Bible taught in every school in our nation. The curriculum’s bibliography includes Principle Approach foundational books as sources for teaching the Bible’s impact on America’s founding. If you want your child or community to learn about the Bible in their school, log on to http://www.bibleinschools.com/.Q: What is the tutorial method?A: "As teachers, the Principle Approach methods, curriculum, and philosophy of education allow us the liberty and creative expression to satisfy the real needs of our students in a whole way. We see each child as an individual of infinite value, made in the image of God and worthy of our respect. We see the tutorial needs of students, that each one as an individual is entitled to his own learning style and instruction, that every child can be elevated to a worthy standard. We see that our students need to produce, not consume only—expressing themselves in the arts, music, drama, and athletics, developing every talent, exercising their whole potential.”The above quote, from page 140 of The Family and the Nation—Biblical Childhood, mentions the basis for the "tutorial method” that is a distinctive concept of the Principle Approach methodology and philosophy. The tutorial method takes into account the individuality of each child, acknowledging that each student, as unique, has a correspondingly unique set of strengths and weaknesses, skills and challenges—a learning style. It is the responsibility of the teacher to "study” each student in order to determine his innate gifts and abilities, perceptual strengths and weaknesses, to wisely teach each individual. The goal is to bring each student to the fullest expression of his individual value in Christ.Q: What is the Chain of Christianity®?A: The Chain of Christianity is the path of the Gospel through history and across continents as God used men and nations to bring about His purposes. The idea of the Chain of Christianity moving westward to bring internal Christian liberty and (ultimately) external civil liberty was understood in the founding generation and was described by Christian reformers, historians and thinkers. Verna Hall in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government, Vol. I, describes how the Gospel traveled through history from the Middle East in Biblical times westward through Europe and to the Americas and beyond. History from a providential perspective includes the hand of God and recognizes the influence of the Bible in forming men and nations. The Chain of Christianity is a simple reference to God’s hand in history for the use of teachers and parents in teaching and learning providential history.Q: Where did the seven principles originate? Are there Biblical references for each one?A: The first FACE publication, The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States: Christian Self-Government, Vol. I (CHOC I), is a compilation of the original sources that influenced the construction of the Constitution—the Reformers, Christian thinkers and philosophers, the histories and major treatises that our founding fathers read and discussed. Among those were John Locke, Montesquieu, William Bradford, Samuel Adams, William Blackstone, William Penn, Edmund Burke and many others. The Bible and its principles were prevalent in these writings. The book of excerpts by Verna Hall shows that Christ and American liberty are indissolubly linked.The second FACE publication, Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: the Principle Approach (T&L), written by Rosalie Slater as a companion to CHOC I, is a study guide for teachers to make the understanding of Christian liberty transferable to each new generation. T&L identifies the recurring principles that formed the reasoning and debate recorded in CHOC I. Each principle is presented with its Biblical support (or "index”) in the teacher section of T&L. Q: What is 4-R’ing?A: 4-R’ing—in every subject at every grade level, the student is required to actively participate in his learning by:
Click here for more on 4-R'ing.
- Researching the subject, word, or study
- Reasoning through identifying the leading idea and basic principles
- Relating it to other areas of study and the world around them
- Recording what he has learned in his notebook using his writing skills and his own ideas, conclusions, and creativity. Each child’s notebook is a reflection of his unique individuality!