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  • Secular Homeschooling

    by Published on 09-20-2016 01:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling


    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!

    Published on 08-26-2016 08:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling,
    4. Site News

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    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling

    When you begin homeschooling for the first time, especially if the decision is sudden, choosing curriculum can be one of the most anxiety-producing parts of the process. Maybe the idea of teaching math, science, and more to your kiddo seems way out of your comfort zone. Or, even if you are excited about the idea of sharing what you know, you would feel a lot better if you knew you had a solid curriculum support system to help.

    The following suggestions will help those brand new to homeschooling by outlining some approaches and programs that are super-parent friendly for those new to the world of homeschooling. Each one is vetted to be from a completely secular worldview across all subjects.

    Virtual Charter Schools

    While it’s technically not considered “homeschooling,” many parents new to the idea of homeschooling feel most comfortable easing into home ed with a program that is done from home, but completely supported and administered by the public education system. Virtual charter schools (also known as virtual schools, or cyber schools) are accredited public charter schools available in specific states of the U.S. and in countries like New Zealand, the U.K., and Australia. Courses are all online, are taught by certified teachers, and are usually free to students. Students registered with a virtual charter school are considered public school students, but will simply be participating remotely from their home.

    Even if your state does not offer public virtual schooling, you can still sign up as a homeschooler by using the program as a “private school” or “homeschool” option. This opportunity is available through many state sponsored virtual schools and with sites like K12 International Academy and International Connections Academy. Be aware, though, that tuition costs for online virtual schooling are comparable to brick and mortar private school costs.

    The main advantages of virtual schooling for new homeschoolers are cost and the fact that the teaching, grading, and record-keeping are all taken care of by the schools themselves. The main disadvantage is that if you are choosing to homeschool because of the instructional style, focus on standardized testing, or rigid scheduling of public schools, all of these will still be present in a virtual school environment.

    Online Homeschool Curriculum

    For new homeschoolers who want the support of a standards-based online curriculum but desire the flexibility to customize their schooling to their individual student(s), another alternative is to sign up with an online homeschool program. Online curricula usually involves either animated or video style lessons with practice activities, review, and assessments all completed online by the student. Grading is usually automated as well.

    Time4Learning is one of the most popular programs for new homeschoolers. It covers preschool through high school and is ...
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SecularHomeschool.com was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. Secularhomeschool.com aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted.

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