Hooray for Secular Homeschool Curriculum!! - Articles - Parent Community and Forum
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Hooray for Secular Homeschool Curriculum!!

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by , 05-19-2010 at 09:14 AM (8266 Views)
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There are many definitions of the term "secular homeschooler." According to different opinions, a secular homeschooler is:

  • all homeschoolers except evangelical Christians
  • athiests who homeschool
  • Pagans who homeschool
  • someone who uses secular curriculum
  • a homeschooler who believes in evolution
  • an anti-religious homeschooler

I'm going to step out on a limb and say that there are probably a little of each of those within the secular homeschool community, but that they still don't give us a complete definition of what a secular homeschooler is. So how about I provide my own? You can take it, or leave it, of course, but here it is:

A secular homeschooler is a person who, whether or not they ascribe to any particular religious faith, is not homeschooling for religious reasons, but because it is the best choice for themselves and their child(ren).

I especially like this definition because it focuses on what secular homeschooling IS, instead of what it ISN'T. It says that we are simply a group of people who understand that educating our children at home is the best option for our families, and that everything else is just beside the point.

One of the most difficult things ABOUT being a secular homeschooler, though, is that you can feel a bit like a "minority within a minority". Because faith-based homeschoolers make up such a large population of the homeschooling demographic, homeschooling sites and curriculum often target only that demographic. It takes a lot more effort to find quality materials and curriculum for homeschoolers that aren't written from a Christian perspective.

That's why I was so thrilled when we discovered Time4Learning four years ago! Not only did it fit my son's learning style, and meet his educational needs, but it also was a completely secular homeschool curriculum. A win/win scenario!! Although I had been able to adapt some Christian homeschooling materials for our use in the past, with Time4Learning, no adapting was necessary - - each lesson was written from a secular standpoint. Hooray!!

In recent years, secular homeschoolers have begun to be less of a minority. As homeschooling has moved its way into the mainstream, parents are starting to homeschool their kids for any number of reasons - - not just religious ones. Whole websites dedicated to secular homeschooling have appeared, and their membership and resources are growing daily!

Homeschooling has been one of the grandest adventures of mine and my children's life. I am so thankful for curricula such as Time4Learning that has made this adventure possible for a secular homeschooler such as myself!!
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  1. mcmary's Avatar
    Thank you for your thoughts. When I first started homeschooling I joined an online local homeschool group where I live. It's not a very large or active group, but does provide great ideas on outings, museum discounts, and that sort of thing. Recently someone posted a comment though that referred to the group as a "non-Christian" group. That label irritated me. I joined it for academic/educational support. Most of the other people in the group have never even met me in person. They do not know my religious affiliation! My daughter attended public school for three years and private Christian school for three years. I attended public school as a child and Christian colleges for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. All schools have their negative and positive attributes. I too have always chosen schools based on social/academic needs/likes. We have chosen to homeschool for reasons specific to our daughter. She learns best in a one-on-one setting and we do not think a middle-school environment would be a good match for her. I like that curriculums such as T4L are not affliated with any type of religion. But I also love that T4L has a forum dedicated to parents that are Christian. It's a win-win situation that allows families to customize the education of their kids!
  2. topsytechie's Avatar
    Well said, mcmary!!!