View Full Version : We need more than just secular curriculae!

03-14-2010, 12:34 AM
I went to the library yesterday and checked out a bunch of magazines. As usual, all the homeschooling magazines offered are the Christian ones. No matter, I can find good information in there too, although it would be nice to see Secular Homeschooling Magazine (http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/) offered as well. (no hope of that, considering that my local library is fighting for remaining open at this point in time!)

Anyhoo, reading through back issues of Practical Homeschooling magazine, I am reminded of just how many other resources have a Christian slant... and I haven't been able to find a secular equivalent (someone correct me, please, if you know of an equivalent!).

1) National Honor Societies for Homeschoolers. Two were mentioned in an article, but although they claim to accept most everyone, there is definitely religious language in their bylaws. (http://esa.homeeducationpartnership.com/ and http://www.mathhonorsociety.com/)

2) National Secular Sports Associations for Homeschoolers. I was reminded just how much school sports are dominated by Christian organizations, both for public school students and homeschoolers alike. The one organization mentioned was the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships (http://www.homeschoolbasketball.com/general-information). I also found the National Homeschool Volleyball Tournament (http://nhsvbt.org/information.html) and the Home School Sports Network (http://www.hspn.net/default2010BETA.asp) and the Home School World Series Association (http://www.hwsa.net/purpose.html).

I would venture to say that those organizations exist because Christians already are used to the idea of belonging to a community that serves their needs -- their churches! It is up to us, secular homeschoolers, to promote a real sense of community as well by joining forces, creating and supporting our own institutions for secular homeschoolers.

Topsy has already started this by creating the Secular Homeschool community. Thanks Topsy!

My kid is only in 2nd grade, but I sure hope that such resources will be available to us when we reach the high school years. If not, well I might have to look into starting our own!

If you know of secular organizations for homeschoolers such as the ones mentioned above, kindly post about them here!


03-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Honestly, as far as sports go, I am hoping to dual enroll my children and let them plaly with the public schools. (no classes, just sports)

03-14-2010, 08:22 PM
Yes, you can always go that route. Here in Florida, public high school sports very often start with a "student-led" prayer. YMMV. I also read somewhere recently that some districts (can't remember where exactly) are trying to get around the requirement of letting homeschoolers play in p.s. sports by requiring them to be taking a certain percentage of classes at the p.s. ( I think I may have read that in an old issue of Practical Homeschooling).

03-15-2010, 05:47 PM

I completely agree with you! While my ds isn't much interested in sports right now I'm beginning to research what our options are when/if it becomes and issue. So far it has been rather disappointing.

03-15-2010, 07:22 PM
Student led prayer? Wow. Yucko. I would think by high school my kids would be able to say, "You guys are weirdos." and decline to participate, or start their own prayer circle asking Thor for his blessings. We'll just have to wait and see what it's like. I'm not sure there's enough secular homeschoolers in my area to start a team of just us.

03-15-2010, 09:05 PM
Hey crstarlette,

Unfortunately I think that at that point, for team sports, it becomes a matter of either shutting up and being a "team player" (since the vast majority of people here are believers), or speaking up and being ostracized. My p.s. kids aren't into team sports so that hasn't been an issue for them and Noah, so far, isn't athletic at all, so it might not be an issue for him either when he gets to high school. However, wouldn't it be nice to be able to play sports and not have to worry about this?

04-16-2010, 10:25 AM
Where I live (NJ) all the sports up to high school are Community leagues - non-religious, run by the town or a group of towns (we have three local towns that do their sports teams together). Once they are in high school though, the only options are school sports (which are not open to homeschoolers) or Travel teams if they are good enough. We also have a local gymnastics school that offers homeschooling classes. None of these are Christian based and none would have prayers before a game.

I think some areas of the country it's a lot easier to find secular resources and activities than others. I'm very glad I live somewhere that it's pretty easy.

04-16-2010, 03:40 PM
In virginia, kids arent allowed to play high school competitive team sports unless they have a certain grade point average, and no one has found a way to work around this for home schooled kids yet, so home schooled kids are not able to participate in the school sports programs. The state groups are still working on it. Just to throw in another (local) thing, the local christain homeschool group here does a prom and a graduation, too . . . i really hope my boys dont have any interest in those things. My daughter went to a prom or two, but didnt miss it when she started going part time to school and part time to college, and has told me dozens of times that she's not interested in attending her graduation.

04-16-2010, 09:02 PM
I could care less if my boys attend any kind of prom, but a graduation ceremony is a rite of passage I definitely hope they get to participate in. I'm definitely not willing to join with the big local Christian support group just for that, so if our small inclusive group isn't able to offer it, then we're going to do our own big to-do somehow.

04-16-2010, 09:36 PM
We don't have graduations or proms in France... or school teams or any school spirit whatsoever. Well, a little when you get to college but only if you're in the French Ivy League schools and only to show off to others, lol. So this whole premise of having graduations ceremonies and proms is (still, after over 20 years here) very foreign to me and I don't buy into it AT ALL. This year I have a kid graduating from 5th grade, one graduating from 8th grade, and one graduating from 12th grade (my stepdaughter). I'm not attending the 12th grade graduation because it's going to be a circus and I don't deal with crowds very well... and my SD could care less if I show up. The other 2, I'm going to have to attend with Noah in tow and we're both dreading it because it's boring and since it's always in the middle of the day, it ruins a whole school day for us. Prom is a big waste of money as far as I'm concerned. Just my opinion.

04-16-2010, 10:05 PM
At our annual convention, there is a bit of a graduation ceremony for those children who have completed their homeschooling. I think there's usually 6-8 kids taking part if I remember correctly. It would be nice if there were more sports available for homeschoolers around here, but I think that would require that there actually be more homeschoolers around here. For now we make due with non-school sports, which for now is plenty for us. It seems school sports is a much bigger deal in the US than in Canada. We do have some school sports, but beyond those directly involved, nobody really cares.

04-17-2010, 10:08 AM
I'm not really into team sports. James is very athletic, but so far, much more into playing and not team sports, which I think is healthy. There is a company here which runs (inclusive) teams for homeschoolers that play against the high schools if you want your kid to compete (and have, I'm not sure what the abbreviation is CIS? certification for college).

I think "graduation" is a load of shit. I used to teach middle school and we had to have a rule that they couldn't get limos. For 8th grade?!

04-17-2010, 10:46 AM
The limos are a bit ridiculous for 8th graders. It's also not so much needed for 11th and 12th graders for prom in my opinion. I didn't even have a limo for my wedding. That's just me though.

04-22-2010, 09:45 PM
I could care less if my boys attend any kind of prom, but a graduation ceremony is a rite of passage I definitely hope they get to participate in. I'm definitely not willing to join with the big local Christian support group just for that, so if our small inclusive group isn't able to offer it, then we're going to do our own big to-do somehow.

The only homeschool graduations around here that I know of consist of the graduate performing his or her MANDATORY testimony.

I am totally not cool with that. If my oldest had a personality that was more outgoing and she was interested in public speaking,....fine, she could give a 'testimony' that had nothing to do with religion. However, she is rather reserved and would NOT do the speech.

Maybe we will just have the out-of-town family visit and do a big (smallish, really ) party that way?

She's 13, so I have a bit to think about it.