Using the Bible for Credit in the State of Florida
Suggested Listening: Workshop 23 May 2009 at FPEA
Earn high school credit through the State of Florida for studying the Bible while using Balancing the Sword. The assistance that we provide for these courses in growing. Please send an email at Grow@BalancingTheSword.com with your specific question if additional clarity is needed.
Balancing the Sword was first developed in the highbrow environment of the University of South Florida's main campus of academe. Although many individuals and families use Balancing the Sword for devotional reading, the academic strength of BTS should not be forgotten. BTS is a serious set of books used by college students to earn 12 credit hours as a senior-level literature course. High school students may also use the Bible combined with BTS to fulfill Florida's graduation requirements for credit in two major elective categories: humanities and language arts.
Course Levels: 1 for Basic Remedial, 2 for General, 3 for Honors, and 4 for Accelerated.
Intro. to the Bible I is focused exclusively on the Old Testament. Intro. to the Bible II is focused exclusively on the New Testament. Each course is designed to survey the Sacred Text as a "introduction." Attention is given to learning major thematic concepts and events recorded in biblical history. Both courses consider the Bible's impact upon Western culture and upon the individual reader. These courses do not study systematic theology. Both courses will explore some of the literary aspects of the biblical books, as is done in language arts.
Language Arts: Reading.
The various reading courses are focus on the literary aspects of the Scripture. You will cover samples of all the biblical genres in each course. You will consider issues of literary interpretation which will deepen your insights into each authors’ intent. However, the reading courses are not direct studies of theological systems. Likewise, we will deal with issues of historical context, but will not emphasis the origins of the biblical books nor their compilation as is addressed in Introduction to the Bible I and Introduction to the Bible II.
Reading I, Reading II, Reading III, and Advanced Reading follow the exact same format and assignments.
As such, Reading I will present the typical challenge of growing familiar with new vocabulary words and tasks.
Although assignments will remain constant between these courses, your focus in each course will be completely different due to the changes in reading assignments.
Reading I, Reading II, and Reading III earns 1.0 credit over one school-year or 36 weeks.
Advanced Reading earns 0.5 credit over one semester or 18 weeks. Reading I and Reading II are Level 1 courses which means that the reading intensity is basic. Reading III is a Level 2 course; therefore, expect the material to be more difficult.
Finally, Advanced Reading is a Level 3 or honors course with the equivalent challenge of a basic college class. This is further explained under Reading - Book Selection.
First, determine which courses you will take. You may take Intro. to the Bible I and Intro. to the Bible II simultaneously, however, I would suggest that you take the courses one after the other if possible. You may also take one of the reading courses with a humanities course, but you should not take more than one reading course at a time. What do you want to gain? There will be overlap between the approaches, but your goals will determine your emphasis. If the general information above does not offer enough clarity, please read over the course descriptions to gain better certainty.
Second, select a Bible translation that matches your reading fluency. I recommend the New King James for average readers. The State of Florida does not specify a specific translation. The translation should give you a mild challenge. That is, a children's Bible should not be used by a proficient 10th grader. In some cases, especially for Advanced Reading, it would be helpful to increase the challenge by using the King James Authorized Version (KJV), the Young's Literal Translation (YLT), or the Geneva Bible. (Warning: The easiest translations are usually the least accurate.) Balancing the Sword corresponds best to "word for word" translations. For your convenience, I've compiled a ranking of English translations by difficulty level. Again, use the New King James Version (NKJV) if you are uncertain.
Third, follow the opening steps found at the top of the courses' descriptions. See the links above to each course.
Fourth, begin to sample the Balancing the Sword books to get a better feel for the books if you have not already.
Florida statue 1002.41 "Home education programs" says the following:
For your records,