Many teens are interested in psychology, but most psychology texts are written from a non-Christian or anti-Christian point of view. On the other hand, Christian psychology courses, such as Sonlight’s AP course, are available for homeschools but are too difficult for many teens.
In her Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective, Vicki Tillman, M.A., licenced counsellor and long-time homeschool mom, overcomes both of these problems. As a Christian, she discusses psychology from a biblical point of view. Also, her course is accessible to the average grade 9 or 10 student, although she has included college prep, advanced, and honors level options as well.
Designed to give an overview of psychology and its various fields, from the workings of neurons to human behavior and misbehavior, Vicki’s course also explores the question, “What theories can stand next to scripture and what theories are faulty?” In 15 chapters of varying length and complexity, she addresses the following basic topics:
- The Brain and How it Works
- History of Psychology (2 chapters)
- Needs and Motivation
- Looking at Personality and Theory
- Sleep and Dreams
- Abnormal Psychology
- Psychological Testing
- Christian Counseling
- Careers in Psychology
- How to Help a Friend in Crisis
In each chapter, sidebars explain relevant vocabulary, homework questions help consolidate learning, and tests provide objective evaluation. Clear solutions are available for both the homework and the tests. Most chapters include enrichment exercises that often involve watching movies, reading, observation, or writing. The writing is clear, there’s an occasional sparkle of humor, and there are frequent comments on concepts that are being studied. Some of the chapters are technical, some historical, and some almost hands-on, giving variety to the course.
The level and credit value of the course can be altered by varying the amount of enrichment and reading activities, and a table clearly summarizes how to do this. It would be easy to teach a group of students at different levels simultaneously using the various options, and this course could be used in homeschool co-ops as well.
We had considered using Sonlight’s AP level homeschool psychology course, but it turned out to be too advanced. Instead, we are looking forward to studying Vicki’s course this winter. After going through it myself, I think it will be just the right thing for Miss 14 and Miss 16. If they are really interested, we will add more of the enrichment exercises and turn it into a higher level course. I will also recommend it to other young people who are considering studying psychology. The Sonlight course would, however, be a good follow up to Vicki’s course for teens who want an AP level credit or are contemplating a career in psychology.
Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective is a balanced overview of the field with discussions from a Christian point of view. The assignments are clear and helpful, the enrichment exercises have many choices, the tests are well-written, and the answer keys are easy to use. This course is recommended for any homeschooled teen who wants to learn what psychology is all about. It would also be a helpful Christian introduction for those teens who will need to take a psych course during their post-secondary education.
Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective by Vicki Tillman is available from 7Sisters Homeschool or as a kindle text from Amazon. Lesson plans are also available if you wish additional resources and hints. For more information about this course and others, see 7Sisters Homeschool Helps or visit Vicki’s Homeschool Psychology Resources on Pinterest.
Disclosure: I received a free etext for the purposes of this review and have given my own honest opinions.