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  1. #1

    Default Why does SecularHomeschool.com allow nonsecular items to be advertised on the site?

    Why does SecularHomeschool.com allow nonsecular items to be advertised on the site?

    An Open Letter to SecularHomeschool.com
    Words matter. The words used to name a business, website, blog, or article matter. The description words businesses use should have significance. When people read the words chosen for a business they should have a better understanding of the intent of the business. The word secular has important significance in the homeschool community. With one word, secular describes the academic materials customers do or do not want to use with their children.

    In the homeschool community, if a business uses the word secular it is making a claim that the materials, products, information, ads, and recommendations given on and sold through it will be secular. Anyone can make a mistake. But to consistently and willfully label your business as secular, when in fact many of the materials, products, information, blog articles, ads, and recommendations on your site are not secular, lacks integrity.

    This misinformation is a real problem, especially for new secular homeschoolers. This is the group most in need of recommendations they can trust because most people new to homeschooling are not familiar with many of the products and programs used by homeschoolers.

    The companies providing non-secular products are not doing anything wrong. They have customers who like and use non-secular materials. It isnít their fault that a website claiming to be secular is willing to mislead its customer base by allowing their non-secular products to be advertised on their site. Because letís be clear:

    My Fatherís World is not a secular product, and the authors do not intend it to be.
    The Apologetics Study Bible is not a secular product, and the authors do not intend it to be.
    The Great Homeschool Convention is not a secular convention, and the people who put it on do not want it to be.
    Real Science 4 Kids or any of the other products from Rebecca Keller and Gravitas Press are not secular, and Keller does not intend them to be.
    When Bookshark chose Kellerís Intelligent Design biology course for the year classification is covered, that was a conscious choice to provide a non-secular product.
    Rush Revereís history is not secular, and that is intentional on the authorís part.
    (These are just a few examples from your site. There are many more.)

    Another group negatively impacted is those companies developing secular materials. The secular homeschool community is a new community compared to the non-secular homeschool community. Most companies developing materials for the secular homeschool community are start-ups, and without as much money to market their products. By not being exclusive about promoting secular businesses, these start-ups are not able to compete with companies that have been around longer.

    It is expensive to run a website. We understand the need to sell advertising. But that is no excuse for the people running SecularHomeschool.com to sell ad space to any company with money, secular or not, making it appear that even non-secular products are endorsed by SecularHomeschool.com.

    Instead of thinking of your own bank account, what about secular homeschoolers, the community you say you serve? What about our money? If you cannot afford to run the site honestly, it is time to delete the word secular from your name.

    SecularHomeschool.com, if you leave the word secular in the name of your business and website, as secular homeschoolers, we ask you to please:

    Stop taking advertising dollars for non-secular products and materials.
    Stop sending out email blasts for non-secular products.
    Stop advertising non-secular materials on your website.
    Remove all non-secular companies from your list of secular products.
    Stop allowing positive reviews for non-secular products as if they are secular.
    At the very least, have the integrity to be honest with the secular homeschool community that yours is not a secular site so that secular homeschoolers can make informed decisions about the materials you promote.

  2. Global Village Forum Post - Dec2018
  3. #2

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    Yes. I agree that this is a big problem. I like that this site is a bit more flexible than some others. I feel like, if a curriculum does not contain evolution but also does not contain religious content, then I can supplement. That’s what we do with elemental science. I appreciate that we are allowed to talk about, and decide for our own family what constitutes secular for us. However I’m seeing in the giveaway post companies that are soooo far from being secular! It concerns me for new homeschoolers that might not know better, and it’s also just a bit frustrating as a secular homeschooler who is bombarded with xtian home school companies ads on other sites. This one should be a refuge from that. Jmo...

  4. #3

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    I mean, is the site secular or not? The name says it all...and that’s incredibly false advertising to allow non secular resources on it, period. Otherwise, change the name to “mostly secular but sometimes religious homeschool”! Homeschoolers are inundated with religious curriculum, this should be the one place where we should be able to trust we are getting truly secular recommendations.

  5. #4

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    Are you talking about paid advertising, like from banners, or site-supplied content? Ive got pretty severe allerjesus, and when anyone even suggests anything non-secular without the caveat, I cant help but to point that out.

    I think some of the ads are based on where *you* have been recently - I know I was annoyed for several weeks when I kept seeing wool sock ads here after I had been shopping them on amazon.

    But Ive seen the xtian banner ads here, too, have commented on it.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  6. #5

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    They send out email blasts with non-secular items too. And place them on the front page here sometimes. The letter from the SEA people is not based on Adwords or other placement ads. These are products they are endorsing.
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  7. #6
    Site Administrator Arrived Aandwsmom's Avatar
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    Paid advertisements do not mean that we endorse a product... in fact I think it's pretty cool that we've convinced religious organizations to pay to support a secular community
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  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aandwsmom View Post
    ...it's pretty cool that we've convinced religious organizations to pay to support a secular community
    I think eventually your secular advertisers will suffer and you will get less overall advertisement support. This is my favorite "forum" type of homeschooling website. I normally click on lots of ads from my favorite websites and try to always buy from their affiliate links, because I realize that's how many of them make money. But after quite a few surprises from some of your advertisers, I just ignore them all. So I still visit the forums, but that's it. I'm probably missing out on some good companies, but I want my ad revenue to go elsewhere.

  9. #8
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
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    I would take with a grain of salt any "open letter" that one site sends to another site that they are competing for ad space with.

  10. #9

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    Dubious nature of the open letter aside.... if SHS is offering religious products in giveaways, AND sending email ads for non-secular products, and has religious banner ads.... I dont think thatís ďpretty coolĒ.
    This site was a refuge, a haven in the sea of religious crap that has to be waded through elsewhere for homeschool parents.
    Im disappointed.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  11. #10
    Site Administrator Arrived Aandwsmom's Avatar
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    The Gift Guide contest was/is a contest being run across an entire network of homeschool sites. It is one guide that was created to be used by all. Secular Homeschool only promoted the non-secular items via social media. We felt that members could and would bypass the non-secular items and vote for your favorite secular items with a chance to win one of them.
    Homeschooling Mom since 2008
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    Childcare/Preschool Mom since 1991
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Why does SecularHomeschool.com allow nonsecular items to be advertised on the site?