You’ve landed here because you’re the curious type. I like that. You’ve heard the term - - maybe from friends, maybe on social media, or maybe via a search engine. Now, you want to really understand. What is secular homeschool?
Secular homeschool - a definition from a secular homeschooler
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 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.
Why the need to differentiate?
You may be thinking that homeschoolers are already in a league of their own. So, why would we need to label them further? It really stems from the fact that the early growth of the homeschool movement in the 1990’s and early 2000’s was among families who chose to homeschool for religious reasons. Either to instill a biblical worldview or to keep their children from secular teachings and influences they would receive in a traditional school setting.
Slowly, though, as homeschooling became more and more popular, families of all types, regardless of religion, began embracing the option to school their children at home. Many of these families found themselves painted with a wide brush and grew tired of not only the assumption that they were homeschooling for religious reasons, but that most of the curriculum available to them was written from a Christian worldview. Thus, the term secular homeschool was coined to help these homeschoolers distinguish themselves.
What is secular homeschooling?
Just because we can define what a secular homeschool is, however, doesn’t mean that you can put all secular homeschoolers into one box. SecularHomeschool.com is the web’s largest community of families homeschooling with a secular homeschool approach, but if you were to interview all 30,000+ members you would probably discover that each and every one of them practices secular homeschooling differently. We recognize that every child is different, and that every homeschooler deserves a unique and customized education.
Have more questions about what secular homeschool is? Drop into our forum
and ask our members!