Monday, January 17, 2005

ABEKA Science Text Contains False Information

I think Nathan's favorite subject right now is Science. He always has been fascinated with how things work and what makes things happen. And I like Science because it provides such a perfect opportunity to incorporate Biblical truth.

And, in my endeavor to have every subject surrounded and encompassed with God and Scripture, I use many of ABEKA's textbooks. And, as you may have already guessed, one of them is Science.

So, this year we are going through Exploring God's World 3 and having a great time doing it.

However, this week, in our study of plant life, I was reading to Nathan from the lesson on seeds and spores. As I do sometimes, I was reading and kinda thinking about other things, so I wasn't really paying attention to the words as much as I should have been. And I read a small paragraph without really comprehending what I was reading until that last sentence, "

"...yeast spores make our bread rise. Without them, we would not have bread for toast and sandwiches.”

I stopped.

"That's not true!" I exclaimed in disbelief. How could they make such a blatantly false statement?

Sure, most of the bread that is available for purchase - and even home made bread for that matter - is made with yeast.

But that doesn't change the fast - YOU CAN MAKE BREAD WITHOUT USING YEAST!

Now, you may not have even thought about it before, but trust me, I live it. And so do probably hundreds of thousands of other Americans who, like myself, are allergic or intolerant to yeast.

And, we still have bread - without yeast.

In fact, the bread that I eat can't have wheat, yeast, gluten, or egg white. But, even without those, I still have bread. And I can even purchase mixes to make bread without any of those ingredients.

My point?

It's not so much the issue about the bread. It's the issue of accurate information.

Our children have little sponges for minds. They accept and believe everything that they are told. They accept and believe everything from books too. I mean, really. How many of you have had to deal with the issue of "reality" when watching T.V.? They believe everything on T.V. is true too!

So, it's important to teach our children that things in books are not necessarily true. People write books and people make mistakes - and some people try to deceive you and get you to believe things that you shouldn't.

That day, Nathan and I had a large discussion about this matter of a book having information that is not true.

And, what else might not be true? You better believe that you won't catch me again reading to my son and not paying attention!

But the other issue on my mind? Getting the text book corrected. How long has that false statement been in the science text? How many kids have been reading the material on their own and think that you have to have yeast to make bread? Has anyone even caught this inaccuracy and addressed the issue?

And since I'm not one to let things go, I sent the following e-mail to ABEKA customer service:


"Who would I need to contact about erroneous information in the 3rd grade science text?
Thanks so much. Laura Bankston


Page 41-Exploring God’s World 3-“yeast spores make our bread rise. Without them, we would not have bread for toast and sandwiches.” This is not correct information. I’m allergic to yeast and have yeast free breads all the time. This information should be corrected to, “Without them, we would not have 
.(something that has to be made with yeast, or the same tasting bread that is commonly bought in stores). Most states have laws that textbooks must contain accurate information"

Yes, most states have laws that text books must contain accurate information. This is usually a state law that applies to even public school texts. So, as a parent, you have a right to address the false information presented in public school texts (such as the appendix being a "vestigial organ". Science has already proven that the appendix has a purpose and is important).

So, I sent my email, wondering if I would get a response. And today, I got one. But, it wasn't what I was expecting....

"Dear Mrs. Bankston,

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the science text. We will keep this information on file for our next reprint.
We appreciate your interest and prayers as we attempt to provide quality in textbooks for Christian schools and home schoolers."

Sincerely,
LuWanda Bowman
Education Consultant

Thanks for my suggestion????

Since when is correcting an error just a "suggestion'??? There should be someone admitting that it is an ERROR and can MISLEAD children and that it will be presented for REVISION. And, in the meantime, each text should have an INSERT or a STICKER of the ERROR.

If you are a user of ABEKA and are concerned about this complacency regarding an ERROR in a science text not only used by many homeschoolers - but is being read to students in Christian schools across this nation, then please contact ABEKA with me and let them know that FALSE information, no matter how "minor" is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Period.

ABEKA Contact information:

LuWanda Bowman, Education Consultant - bowman@abeka.com

ABEKA Fax
U.S and Canada 1-800-874-3590

Write:
A Beka Book, Inc.P.O. Box 19100Pensacola, FL 32523-9100, U.S.A.


And, may I encourage you to pay attention to the curriculum that you use. Make sure that it is accurate and truthful. And, by all means, don't accept anything less than that!

Laura Bankston is author of Internationally selling Cooking with Kids Curriculum: Homeschool Cooking in a Box and the Homeschool Cookbook. She currently home schools her three children, maintains home school support websites, and manages their family-owned service business. For information on her curriculum and free home school support services, please visit http://www.homeschoolcookbook.com

Copyright 2004, Abundant Learning Publications. All Rights Reserved.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Bankston,
I have complete confidence in ABEKA book and the fact that it will be changed as soon as possible. I have been involved with ABEKA since 1978 and have yet had any problems when something is brought to their attention. Please do not write me any more with slander about this organization or any other that is trying to put the Lord in first place inside of as a "filler". Without talking personally to someone, we read what we want to read and add attitude and self-righteousness where we want to add it. I believe instead of spreading gossip (Yes, this was gossip. This matter was between you and Mrs. Bowman- not anyone else), you should call the toll free number and speak personally to her.

Please do not respond to this email since I have nothing further to add. Have a great week. Tracy Hull

4:44 PM  
Anonymous said...

Hi :-) We use Were using Lifepacks and now we started using apologia science

4:45 PM  
Anonymous said...

yeast does make bread rise.unleaven bread is referred to in the bible,it doesnt rise so you can make bread without yeast...

7:24 PM  
Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder to pay attention to even our home school curriculum and Christian texts. I think I'll skim back through our curriculum, even though we don't use ABEKA to be sure something similar isn't in our text. It's so easy to assume that everything's going to be right!

7:30 PM  
Anonymous said...

hmmmm, that's odd. I suppose the author was trying to relate to kids, but I agree that it wasn't the best choice of words.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous said...

You mentioned in your followup email that your inbox was flooded with emails - are we going to get to see all of those too? I'm curious what everyone had to say

7:47 PM  
Laura Bankston said...

No, it will be too time consuming to post them all - that's why I included this address to post comments on your own. I don't know if anyone will redo what they already sent to me -

7:49 PM  
Anonymous said...

We use Apologia as well; it's fantastic! They even added two books for elementary kids this year (yippee!)

I use Abeka for language, but don't always like their examples, or wording, so was already used to skimming before assigning some things to my son so I would know what needed further explanation before he started his work.

I also agree that the author of your book used an unfortunate choice in wording their paragraph on yeast; quickbreads obviously don't contain yeast either, nor do tortillas. They could also add a sentence about natural leavening (although that may be a little too involved to keep young kids' attention.

Michelle C

9:11 PM  
Anonymous said...

Well, it doesn't appear to me as though ABeka was purposely trying to be deceptive. You know, things have probably changed a lot since they first started writing these textbooks. Years ago, who ever heard of yeast and dairy allergies anyway???? So much of this stuff that has come to the forefront is brand new. Since they are for the most part, a reliable textbook company and strive to print the truth, I would just give them the chance to reprint when the time comes around for that. I would not have e mailed the whole world to tell them about it. It's not like they were saying that Jesus is not the Lord or something. What they are teaching is a dietary matter that has changed a lot. I'm confident it will be corrected at re-printing. I don't feel you made the right decision in e mailing everyone about it. You are probably much more sensitive to this issue since you yourself have this allergy. We are having great success with ABeka curriculum and will continue to use their books. I, as the teacher in my home, have the authority and the ability to correct or, as someone else said here, "skim over" what I do not agree with. I can do so without slandering the entire company.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous said...

Laura,
I agree we need to examine the tools we use for correctness. Most textbooks print an errata (sp?) list to go with textbooks when errors are found to take care of problems like this and that should happen in this case before republishing in my mind.
We also can not get into the mind set that what someone says or does is OK as long as they are trying to put the Lord first. I see this far too much in churches today where people have not tested what they are being taught against what the scripture says. After looking for a new church recently I was amazed at the non biblical teaching going on in a lot of churches and seeing that what was said is OK as long as the person saying it loves the Lord. No wonder our Christian churches life style and beliefs are not much different than the worlds today. We should be like the Bereans and test everything against the scripture.
Thanks,
Carol Wiley

2:40 PM  
Laura Bankston said...

This post has been removed by the author.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous said...

Dear Laura.

I'm not much for getting involved in situations such as the one you find yourself in with Tracy, however, I just had to let you know that I am in full agreement with you. The intention of someone putting the Lord first does NOT give them the right to misrepresent or misinterpret anything - especially when it involves God's Word. Having a good reputation doesn't mean someone won't make mistakes. No one is perfect. Our children are our responsibility, therefore it is our duty as homeschooling parents to make sure that what we teach them is accurate. Intentions are great (if they're good) however, if intentions were all God required from us, He wouldn't have had to go to the cross.

God Bless You, Luisa

4:21 PM  
Anonymous said...

I read your email and understand your concern. I hope, though, that you are as adament on the stand in the accuracy of the Bible you teach your children as well. If every parent could be as adament on the accuracy of the Bible they read to their children, as you were on your stand to announce their mistake,there wouldn't be so many versions of the Bible, and people would see the the only true and accurate version is the King James.
I missed the part where you praised ABEKA, before "correcting" them for the wonderful books they provide for our children as Godly parents trying to incorporate Godly teaching into their schooling.
Please be careful as you step out so strongly and publically plant a "bad seed" in others minds about one of the few resources we have to Biblical schooling material. If you read Matthew 19, it will tell you how to properly approach "someone" about their fault Biblically!
I am not saying what you did was wrong, but because you did not like their answer did not biblically give you the right to "slander" them.

Julia Shock

4:26 PM  

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