Before we dive into this topic, you to understand a couple things about me. First, I am a christian, an unwavering believer in the Bible. I believe God’s truths in the Bible are just as true today as they were when they were written. The Biblical account of creation is how I believe the world began, it is non-negotiable to me.
Unfortunately, most science and dinosaur books are from secular perspective. Often, they promote the theory of evolution to be fact. This is true of books for toddlers all the way up to adulthood. Grasshopper didn’t go through an obsessive dinosaur stage like many children, so this wasn’t a huge problem for us. When he was younger (before he could read) I would change phrases in books from “millions of years ago” to “thousands of years ago”. I also avoided anything that discussed evolution in detail.
Our Children Need a Strong Foundation First
It wasn’t out of fear that I avoided evolution, but because he was young. I wanted him to establish a strong foundation in Christian truths before throwing theories at him. The last thing I wanted to do was confuse him by reading the creation story one day, and the big bang theory the next. Trying to sort through truth and theory is a lot for a young child to try to process and understand. As our kids get older however, I will make it a point to introduce the theory of evolution to them.
Why Introduce Evolution?
So if I’m such a big believer in Creation, why would I introduce our kids to the theory of evolution? It’s simple really, someday they will grow up. They will leave our nest, spread their wings and fly out into the big wide world. Even if we shelter our children from the many worldviews out there, they will eventually be exposed to them. If we intentionally shield them from everything that is contrary to what we believe as Christians, like the theory of evolution, we will be setting them up to fail. You can’t expect anyone to be able to stand firm in their faith if they don’t know what they will be up against.
I believe our number one priority as parents is to raise our children to have a strong foundation in their faith, and help them find their role within God’s family. How can we expect them to flourish when they go out on their own if we haven’t prepared them for what they will face? I want my children to be ready to stand firm in what they believe no matter what the world throws at them. If they’re going to stand firm, they need to be equipped for what they will face. This, my friend is why I will introduce evolution.
When to Introduce the Theory of Evolution
Even though I plan to introduce evolution, I will do so at the right time. It’s appropriate to wait until your child can understand the difference between truth and theory, so it isn’t something I would start in preschool. We addressed the fact that there are people who don’t believe in the Bible, or that God created the world in first grade. We also discussed how these people have other theories as to how the world was created; but, we know the truth because God tells us through the Bible. This discussion came naturally while discussing our science material last year. We did not at this point go into the whole theory of evolution, that will come later. Of course I will present it as it is, a theory and stress that we know the Biblical account of creation is true.
I believe it’s also important to wait until you child has developed their own faith. It’s important they’ve built a foundation knowing that God’s word is true, and by extension creation is truth. This is especially true if your children are still young. Spiritual concepts are difficult enough for children to wrap their minds around. We don’t need to throw secular theories/worldviews like evolution at them right away. Let them have a chance to develop their faith and experience God themselves. When they are ready, you will know.
One last thought, this is one of the reasons I LOVE homeschooling so much. I can teach topics like this on my terms, from our Christian perspective.