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Misha
03-27-2015, 06:27 PM
I wonder if might not be more practical to have a "religious materials question" section since there seem to be more as of late? That way anyone who prefers to avoid the topic doesn't even have to see it, keeping the rest of the site fully secular for those who joined for a truly secular forum.


Thank you for considering this.

TFZ
03-27-2015, 07:15 PM
There is. It's under "Every Other Homeschooling Site on the Internet." Lol

alexsmom
03-27-2015, 07:26 PM
I just dont see why someone looking for or promoting religious material would be here.
Other than some people who dont know the meaning of secular - maybe the term can be defined in the sites banner - because its apparently unclear to all.
Asking how we deal with religious material is, to me, a perfectly reasonable and legitimate question.

Pushing religious curricula, especially without having used it, or claiming that its secular friendly.... seems wrong.
Imagine a new person coming to the site asking for recommendations, and being told that Robinson is a good secular-friendly program?

And I think there are some religiously based curriculum that some legitimately secular homeschoolers use.... is Beast Academy one? I dont know if it could be separated... would suggesting it be forbidden unless it was 100% secular?

I guess in the overall scheme of publishing curriculum for homeschoolers, the majority of whom seem to be Xtians, adding bible verses can be an added selling point to distinguish it from its competitors.

Riceball_Mommy
03-27-2015, 07:38 PM
So far I haven't seen any religion in Beast Academy, but Sonlight is something that some people use and we have discussed before on here no problem.

KittyP
03-27-2015, 08:04 PM
I'm not really comfortable with this suggestion because that's exactly why I'm here, because I don't want to have to ignore certain bits of a group just to not feel ostracized. There are plenty of other places on the internet - most, I would dare say - where religious curriculum and belief are wholly welcome and often required. I would like just one little place where I don't have to see it, hear it, or pretend like I'm ok with constantly being bombarded with it. Not only are we not going to have a lot of advice in that department, simply because that's not what we use as a group, the entire point of this forum is to have a place to talk about and socialize with other people who secular homeschool. And just in case we've all managed to forget the meaning of secular (adjective): denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. Synonym: nonreligious. That doesn't mean you personally don't have a faith system, it means your faith system has no basis in you schooling, i.e. no religious curriculum/materials.

And yes, some of us use religious materials as a part of a broader subject (studying christian mythology along with history or other mythos), and some choose to work around the religious content because they like the rest of it, but that should not be a gateway to accepting religious curriculum endorsements in a small subgroup of society who already feels harangued and assaulted by religion on a daily basis. Creating a section for religious topics would be sort of like if I went on to a fundy forum and asked to make an atheist section, but they could just ignore it if they wanted to keep their well branded, plainly labeled, fundamentalist christian forum, y'know, christian.

I'm not saying we should have some ridiculous 'declaration of (non)faith' like some other groups do, and I definitely don't think we should exclude or try to degrade members for their faiths or beliefs, but this is not the place for religious materials sections, debates, or conversations. It would only serve to make many of us uncomfortable and feeling the same unwelcomeness society offers us every day, and as history has shown, will probably end in a sh*tfest. The internet won't burn if you join a religious group elsewhere to ask your questions, even if you are (*gasp*) an atheist.

Sorry, I don't usually get involved in these things, but I'm tired of coming here and finding religion in what was my haven from religious persecution and the fundamentalist community I was raised in. I get enough of it from my family, thanks. Just because all of us aren't terribly vocal doesn't mean the steady creep of religion hasn't gone unnoticed by us and it doesn't mean we are ok with it, we just don't want to stir the waters and make trouble. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been sitting on the sidelines wishing it would all just go away so we can be a happy community where religion gets checked at the door.

CrazyMom
03-27-2015, 08:26 PM
Another vote for no religious crap. Thanks.

It's cool if you're into that stuff....but literally 99.9% of all homeschool sites out there....are available for that kind of discussion and resource sharing. There is no shortage of sites where you can get what you need if that's your preference.

But there is a massive shortage of sites for Secular Homeschoolers.

What's special about this site...is that it's geared toward people who do Secular Home School.

Secular means:

sec·u·lar
ˈsekyələr
adjective
1. denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.


Just my $.02

CrazyMom
03-27-2015, 08:44 PM
Reading another post Misha wrote about this....I wanted to point out that her idea was having a place to direct those who insist on religious discussion....sort of a....central thread where we can send people who like to bring up religious topics to so they can talk amongst themselves....and don't contaminate the rest of the board.

Her comment was that she didn't want to be on a religious board. I agree, I don't want to be on a religious board, either.

I think she meant to address the issue of.......if we're going to allow it, couldn't we sequester them somewhere? That way, those who really don't care to deal with religion don't have to. (I appreciate this sentiment)

I still have misgivings about this....because I believe the board should be...AS THE NAME SUGGESTS...Secular. That said, I don't speak for everyone. As long as religious topics are allowed an audience here....I can see the value in putting them all in a specific place....so they can be avoided.

In my perfect world though....secular means secular.

Way too many options for religious folks, not enough for the rest of us.

I thought this was the point of the board.

CrazyMom
03-27-2015, 08:47 PM
"I'm tired of coming here and finding religion in what was my haven from religious persecution and the fundamentalist community I was raised in. I get enough of it from my family, thanks. Just because all of us aren't terribly vocal doesn't mean the steady creep of religion hasn't gone unnoticed by us and it doesn't mean we are ok with it, we just don't want to stir the waters and make trouble. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been sitting on the sidelines wishing it would all just go away so we can be a happy community where religion gets checked at the door."

Awesome post, Kitty. I agree 100%

alexsmom
03-27-2015, 09:04 PM
We could call it *The Boxing Ring*.

Or, more accurately, *The pirannah pit*.

But probably spelled correctly.

CrazyMom
03-27-2015, 09:06 PM
Meh, I wouldn't even give it that much esteem. Just call it...."People who don't know what the word Secular means. Where you can talk about religion all you want, but it's like farting in the wind." LOL

BatDad
03-27-2015, 10:41 PM
Kitty gave a top-notch answer and I did laugh at Fox's reply. I come here because I can not escape religion. I live in FL, which is the deep South if you do not live in a metro area. I love ice tea, I love seafood and gator tail, I love our state parks, but I am tired of being judged once I calmly say I have not joined one of the bazillion churches because I am atheist. Our door has a no soliciting/no religious queries sign because I grew tired of religious folk coming to my door because I have a homeschool bumper sticker on my truck. I left FB because my wall was covered with relatives who post xian messages, yet never actually talked to me. The atheist groups I joined on FB also added to my disappointment in humanity just due to the behaviors; just because you have atheism in common, does not mean you will get along.

I like how we can ask others about the religiosity of a curriculum because I hate wasting money. Beyond that, many of you have already pointed out that is as far as it needs to go.

There are religious here who have been polite and add to conversations without a word of preaching beyond stating what faith they believe. That is about as polite as one can be here, and I appreciate that. Again, beyond that, one becomes a troll. The forum is clearly labeled in the above banner.

Solong
03-28-2015, 01:52 AM
Block 'em. That will be my strategy. I also block anyone that I suspect to be a vendor.

I honestly don't mind the religious folks that are secular homeschoolers - best case scenario, imo.

Starkspack
03-28-2015, 08:04 AM
BatDad, I am just home from your neck of the woods. A couple days in FL, and now back to NC where it *snowed* last night, after a week of 65-70 degree weather. Boo!

Your post, and others on this thread are great. I just wanted to chime in because I get so put out when I buy something for homeschool, and it turns out to have a Christian perspective. I try really try hard to vet these things out, and this forum is great for that. But still, occasionally it happens, and it is irritating.

Lately I've been on a kick of reading "simplify your life" books (which is a passion of mine), and I have bought several Kindle books on the topic. Several times now, I open it up to find it has a very Christian slant, and I'm ever so disappointed. WHY can it not be stated clearly in the description (ditto for homeschool materials) that it is written from a Christian perspective??? (I'll stay on topic here and post another comment about Kindle books in the Hater thread.)

I don't particularly mind if there is a separate thread section on this forum for religious based content (but I would avoid it), but I also do agree with the posters that suggest it has no place here. What DOES have a place, imho, are questions regarding "does this curriculum have religious aspects" and such. Or perhaps persecutions we secular homeschoolers have incurred at the hands of Christians everywhere. LOL I was not offended by Jennieblue's thread - she was asking about and giving input on curriculum that might or might not have Christian content, and was polite in doing it. I know several people got ruffled by it, but it seemed to me that that was not the place to have any religious conversation - if you don't want to contribute to a poster's thread by answering the question, then don't. No big deal.

Above all, I have always found the folks here to be so kind and helpful, and it really disappoints me when things turn ugly. We've had our share of trolls in the past, and I am much more inclined to support things devolving into rudeness when the troll starts the "mean" ball rolling. :_laugh:

alexsmom
03-28-2015, 08:37 AM
I womder if we were all reading the same version of that thread. While JBlue22 wasnt outright inflammatory, every post she made was patently saying *religious curriculum is good for secular people, they dont mind it.* After that thread was closed, she went and did the same thing to an old Pearson thread.
Its especially frustrating because she does not say any one particular curriculum is okay for seculars from any experience.... she says its okay because it is easy enough to overlook the religious content - again not from any personal first hand experience.

It was our frustration with her not accepting that secular means secular that led to the not very nice posts about why we dont want xtian perspective, which led to the ugliness.

No, portraying Xtians as believing in Zombie Jesus wasnt a nice thing to say. I know that at times it must get tedious for the religious on this board to hear theists on this board criticizing religion. Usually we try keeping it in check out of respect for them. This came out AFTER all the dismissals of secular means secular.
Why is she dismissing all curriculum that is secular, instead looking for only religious stuff?

How could she have written all that stuff and yet there were two definite interpretations of what the thread was about, rational, level-headed people on both sides? Not philosophical differences, but about basic what was being said?

Riceball_Mommy
03-28-2015, 08:51 AM
Like I said earlier in this thread we haven't had problems before with people talking about modifying things like Sonlight, we've also had people ask "is this religious?" or "how religious is this?" with no problems. What no one wants is a place for discuss things like Abeka. If it comes down to it and we get people that are coming here to troll us and tell us how amazing religious curriculum is, they won't be limited to a small sub-forum section. They'll either think as they do now that posting else where is totally relevant to what they have to say or they'll be posting outside of that section just to get attention because that is their point.
With the thread that got closed down, it's not the base idea of "how did you modify something religious?" that upset people, because the simple answer was some people do, some people don't. Some of those that don't were getting the impression of judgement. As with all things that are said in text or voice sometimes you think you are being clear sometimes you think someone else is being clear, but to others they are not. Some things got pushed a little too far but it wasn't the subject matter that did it really. It was what was said and how it was interpreted.

Lohavio
03-28-2015, 01:49 PM
What a time to be busy with real life.

Um, just no place for the religious materials. Too, much! I'm overwhelmed with sadness from thoughts of if this forum were to join the rest of the HS internet.

darkelf
03-28-2015, 03:54 PM
I don't mind the "we used this curriculum and it worked for my kid", "we used this curriculum and it was easily modified to be secular", and " yeah this curriculum is Christian but it isn't preachy, it knows the subject, there are sample pages for you to look at. Why don't you see if it would work for your family?"



Beyond that, I don't want to see it.

panama10
03-28-2015, 04:26 PM
I don't mind the "we used this curriculum and it worked for my kid", "we used this curriculum and it was easily modified to be secular", and " yeah this curriculum is Christian but it isn't preachy, it knows the subject, there are sample pages for you to look at. Why don't you see if it would work for your family?"



Beyond that, I don't want to see it.
I'm just going to ditto this statement. Every HS site I've been to pushes the heavily religious curricula.
Personally I enjoy this place because materials are discussed intelligently and I get to see what has worked for other families and get ideas on what may work for mine. Most of what we are using now, I found out about reading and asking here.
I think those looking for secular curricula will come here, regardless of what faith if any they follow; and they won't come ask what "Insert faith here" curricula works for you.

We come asking what works for you: and assuming we will get 100% secular suggestions.
At least I do. And I'm 100% ok with those responses.

CrazyMom
03-28-2015, 05:59 PM
The more I think about this, the more I feel like blocking them and ignoring them is the right way to go.

With one notable condition.

They can block and ignore what they don't like, too. No crying "I'm hurt because you have no respect for my beliefs"

Here's a reality. Many of us DONT have respect for those beliefs.

If I want to say zombie Jesus...that's fair game. Jesus WAS a fecking zombie. Dead people DO NOT come back to life. Those that do, by the very definition...are zombies. Multiple religious scholars have posted extensive evidence that there probably wasn't a Jesus. Why must I tiptoe?

My point here is that...if I have to go to the trouble of blocking things that morally offend me.....like the notion that Zombie Jesus is some big deal....

So should they.

You can't have it only one way.

This idea that my HEARTFELT BELIEF...that I BASE MY LIFE AROUND...that religion is a DANGEROUSLY HARMFUL PACK OF LIES....is somehow "offensive" on a secular site....boggles me.

It is no more offensive than putting crosses up on highways and intrusively introducing religious bullshit into every orifice on the planet...including a SECULAR homeschool board.

I think it's FAIR to make EVERYONE play by the SAME rules.....If you don't like it...block it.

Personal attacks are not cool.

Criticisms of belief systems are NOT personal attacks. No beliefs are so precious that they are above scrutiny and criticism.

If you think that "well, just by criticizing their beliefs...you've made it personal."

Bullshit.

My beliefs count too. My offense and discomfort counts too. Their religious posts hurt my feelings and offend my beliefs...my zombie Jesus posts hurt them and offend their beliefs. Why does one side get more rights than the other? BOTH perspectives must be honored.

And BOTH perspectives can be blocked by sensitive individuals.

alexsmom
03-28-2015, 06:36 PM
I am the one who said Zombie Jesus in that thread. I think its one of the standard *jokes* about christianity. It is a mean thing to say. In my post I used it to go along with being as wrong as shoving religion at us expecting us to accept it.

Ive never had a poster comment negatively here about athiests. Criticizing christianity and religiousocity comes up not infrequently, though. My feeling is that out of fairness and respect for them as individual people, its nicer to keep whatever frustrations Im feeling from coming out in posts. As best I can. Im feeling more philosophical now, I guess.

So it does go both ways.

But I sure was riled up! Im certainly not one to let things go by.

And I really enjoy the athiest discussions we get to have here. :)

muddylilly
03-28-2015, 08:07 PM
Hmmm. Wow. I've been off the site for a few weeks. (Out of town family invasion at my house...ugh) Now I have to go back and find out what all the hubub is about.
And to think I just posted a Zombie Jesus reference on the easter poll! LOL! I thought is was something my nephews came up with.....and I've been atheist my entire life.
I don't think I'm an "angry atheist". (which seems to be what most xtains I've encountered would label ANY atheist) I just try to have a sense of humor. Some people don't find it funny though when they say "bless you" if I've sneezed and then I reply with "yeah, yeah, whatever". I guess that goes to the point that it goes both ways. People who are believers don't understand how exhausting it is dodging that crap all the time.

alexsmom
03-28-2015, 09:07 PM
Hmmm. Wow. I've been off the site for a few weeks. (Out of town family invasion at my house...ugh) Now I have to go back and find out what all the hubub is about.
And to think I just posted a Zombie Jesus reference on the easter poll! LOL! I thought is was something my nephews came up with.....and I've been atheist my entire life.
I don't think I'm an "angry atheist". (which seems to be what most xtains I've encountered would label ANY atheist) I just try to have a sense of humor. Some people don't find it funny though when they say "bless you" if I've sneezed and then I reply with "yeah, yeah, whatever". I guess that goes to the point that it goes both ways. People who are believers don't understand how exhausting it is dodging that crap all the time.

I totally get you on the uninvited sneezing. I taught my boy to say Gehzuntheit.

I had meant it meanly, at the time, and in context.

Kidding about it is different. ;)
Zombie Jesus is what easter is all about, isnt it? Chocolate eggs actually represent decaying brains that zombies like to feed on. Just saying.

MoonSprite
03-28-2015, 11:09 PM
Since the inception of this forum, I have loved the fact that I have a place to go, where there are other homeschoolers, and I don't have to deal with a constant barrage of Xtian content.

But I have also always appreciated when I came here how respectful ppl generally were. Total breath of fresh air, that, and not all that common. I have been playing on homeschool forums for like 15+ years. This is a special place, imo.

I don't know how I feel about an *area* for that kind of discussion, tho. It is kinda like when the SL forums did the whole "brown forums" for ppl who wouldn't agree to not post anything that "could sway others from the (SL-approved) faith system." It was kind of pointless. And not really useful in any way.

It just seems that this a secular board, and should remain so.

(but just as a side note...and it really is no big deal, I know it is *my* issue, lol...it does get just a bit tedious that "religion" and "christian" seems to be used interchangeably. The actual curricula I buy is 100% secular (unless I've been duped & didn't realize! LOL). But the idea that the majority of religious homeschool boards welcome *any* religion is laughable. I once saw a poll on a Xtian hs board, asking if ppl would be more upset if their child decided they were atheist or pagan. Overwhelmingly, the response was that they would rather their children were atheist. So go figure. :rolleyes: )

Topsy
03-29-2015, 12:35 PM
I've been out of town for a few days, and didn't get to see this feedback thread until just now. I'm going to do something weird and link back to the very first article I ever posted when I created SecularHomeschool.com....

The Secular Homeschool Community - The Elephant In The Room (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/166-elephant-room/)

Does it help, overall, with determining the true nature of how to construct the site forums to address Misha's original question? Probably not a lot. But it WILL give you a sense of where I'm coming from in my overall conception of what the site is about.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 01:58 PM
Here's the problem, Topsy, and maybe you can clarify?

We just had a thread shut down because someone came in and promoted religious curriculum as viable option for secular homeschooling...ie: you can just ignore the religious parts.

I posted my opinion that I would never use such a curriculum because it is based on thinking that I find irrational, offensive, and I gave some very specific criticisms I have of Christianity. My post was considered to be offensive by some, but I don't think it was. It was my honest, very sincere belief.

My post was not directed AT the poster as a human being, etc. It was a response...that addressed WHY I would never never use religious curriculum. Was it very very FRANK? Yes it was. Was it my opinion...yep.

I'm not condoning the idea of making random attacks on people just because they are Christian or whatever other faith......but I DO think I should be able to respond with my VERY FRANK opinion when they're trying to sell me a load of horseshit that you can "Secular Homeschool using religious materials" And I think I should be allowed to offer my criticisms of those beliefs.

If we are so tolerant....that we allow discussion of the value Christian curriculum here.....surely we should also tolerate dissenting views about Christianity, no? That's my feeling, anyway.

If one perspective is expected to buck up and ignore what they don't like.....shouldn't the other perspective have the SAME burden of tolerance for things they don't like?

If someone here is talking fondly about Christian curriculum, don't I have a right to say.....Yuck, no, and here's why....because I think the people who believe that crap are willfully ignorant and dangerous? I do believe that, incidentally. In fact, it's a huge part of why I home schooled.

If we want to ban religious criticism in all it's forms, can we also ban religious promotion in all it's forms?

muddylilly
03-29-2015, 02:06 PM
Agreed indeed. :)

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 02:43 PM
Nobody other than batmanswife wrote their offense about what was said about *what christians believe*. And she apparently didnt realise that this was a secular site. She was the one who said if you want to mention the sacred holy of religion to go do it in some dark corner where nobody will see.
I think Cara and a few others were upset that we were not being helpful and nice to jenniblue22.
Yuck though.

ikslo
03-29-2015, 03:16 PM
CrazyMom and alexsom - Did either of you actually read the post that Topsy linked?

"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)."

There are people who feel they can secularly homeschool by adjusting religious curriculum. You have a right not to feel that is the way you want to go, but others have the right to see that as a viable option. Both views should be welcome and tolerated. You two repeatedly seem to think that your opinion should be the final say and others (jenniblue22) should stop posting once you've had your say. Why is your view the only one? Secular means many things to many people. Please respect that and move on.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 03:27 PM
When someone is posting 28 curriculum related posts to the same thread in a 3 hour time frame...mentioning dozens and dozens of curriculum by name....it does kinda make you wonder of they're really here for advice...or here to seed a social media site with band names and links for search engines. (seeding social media sites is a cottage industry) I wasn't the only one who thought there was something very unusual about her story and her posting behavior.

And then there's the question of how you expect to be received, and how helpful people can be....when you come to a secular site and ask for "the best religious curriculum that can be adapted to secular homeschooling...where the parents are too busy to sit down with the kids."

What do you even do with that?

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 03:30 PM
Secular Homeschool curriculum....by definition....is Secular.

Starkspack
03-29-2015, 03:31 PM
Nobody other than batmanswife wrote their offense about what was said about *what christians believe*. And she apparently didnt realise that this was a secular site. She was the one who said if you want to mention the sacred holy of religion to go do it in some dark corner where nobody will see.
I think Cara and a few others were upset that we were not being helpful and nice to jenniblue22.
Yuck though.This certainly applies to me. I don't particularly care if people debate religion (of any sort) or not. I can ignore at will. I will say that I think it was the wrong thread for that sort of debate, and yes, I was taking issue with the fact that I felt people were being unduly rude to a new member of the forum. My history with this forum is that we are all very friendly and helpful, so it was startling to see the turn the thread took.

If she was a fake (and I don't believe that, but respect others' opinions if that is how they feel), then eventually we'd all ignore her. Unlike some past trolls we've dealt with, she was calm and polite with her posts. I didn't get the sense that she was trying to be inflammatory, I got the sense that she was genuinely seeking info.

Thanks, Topsy, for posting!

Solong
03-29-2015, 03:56 PM
Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Drop_the_stick_and_back_slowly_away_from _the_horse_carcass)

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 03:58 PM
Ultimately, I agree, I should have ignored Jennie's posts.....regardless of what I believe is her motive for being here. If she is, indeed, a Brand Name seeder.....it's really the admin's place to decide whether or not that's allowed.

By definition, I really don't believe you can do "Secular Homeschool" using religious materials. The concept baffles me.

TFZ
03-29-2015, 04:11 PM
By the original definition then, this site is also for homeschoolers. JB22 admittedly has never in the past homeschooled nor has any children to homeschool and none due in the foreseeable future, yet she continues to give advice on curriculum that she has never used.

I'm not referencing the thread-that-shall-not-be-named but the multiple threads she is spamming with curriculum advice, new and old. In the span of a week she has gone from 7 posts to over 120 with the majority giving (not asking for) curriculum advice. In the controversial thread she repeatedly asked, "What about this? What about these? What about this one?" which makes me believe that she did not come here for advice. Why would she with her vast -eh hem- knowledge?

People get offended in online forums. It's inevitable with the amount of people participating, differing viewpoints, what have you. However, I believe it's more detrimental to a site like this, where people come seeking advice, to have a member posting as if she is a seasoned homeschooler and giving advice to other new members to use curriculum that is not secular on a secular site.

If I had not seen the controversial thread I may be exploring curriculum that she continues to suggest. Seeing that many are non-secular, I would have probably lost interest in asking for advice here as I can get religious guidance just about everywhere else.

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 04:17 PM
I really am seeking to understand this - how her posts, although seemingly emotionally detached - could not be interpreted as inflammatory. All of her posts were, to me, of the *yes, but* variety. *I understand, but you are wrong*. is what she wrote. Plus around post 56, the comment that secular people might enjoy getting the moral lessons from bible verses in their science textbook.
To me, thats very inflammatory. And she was very squirrely about who she was, what she was representing. It didnt occur to me that other people wouldnt be as skeptical and suspicious of her.

I dont like upsetting the long-time members on this forum. I do like how this forum is outright helpful and supportive of people looking for information.

My patience was at an end with her. I dont feel she has any honest intentions toward secular homeschooling. By any loose definition of secular. She wasnt looking for any particular curriculum, but for religious only curriculum.

I can move on, even without understanding the other point of view here.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 04:34 PM
"If I had not seen the controversial thread I may be exploring curriculum that she continues to suggest. Seeing that many are non-secular, I would have probably lost interest in asking for advice here as I can get religious guidance just about everywhere else."

EXCELLENT point, FoxZoo.

HawaiiGeek
03-29-2015, 04:41 PM
I watched the thread that shan't be named like I was watching a bad car accident, I really should look away, but yet I couldn't. I found the multiple posts by Jenniblue to be annoying, but she was polite. I wasn't interested in what she had to say so I stopped reading them. I was offended by what Crazymom said, not because I am Christian, but because I don't pick on anyone's believes in that way. I would never say something awful about an Atheist's belief (or any other belief system) so therefore didn't like it said about a Christian's belief. At the same time, I have been here long enough to know that Crazymom says some impressively blunt stuff and just took it with a grain of salt. I have learned a lot of really good homeschooling stuff from Crazymom so I wasn't upset, but I can understand how someone else might. It just makes me sad that some long term people that posted information that I valued are no longer here. Like someone posted in the hater thread I too miss Farrar and Cara. It is too bad, but I guess that this is how life is on any forum and I shouldn't get too attached. I did like Topsy's original article and it sums up my feelings well.

TFZ
03-29-2015, 04:45 PM
Thanks CrazyMom. I know we really don't know if what anyone is saying is true here, but JB22 repeatedly recommending non-secular products sure makes the site seem a lot less credible.

Especially now, because after one week of posting she is by her tag a "Senior Member" that has been with the group since July 2014. She hardly appears to be new anymore.

Misha
03-29-2015, 05:24 PM
I'm tired of seeing Judeo-Christian themed suggestions or questions littered about here; I simply don't understand why someone would post it here. If I had a question about religious curricula, etc., I would ask on another site.

I respect other beliefs, I just want the same respect, and to me that translates to a site that is free of religious suggestions/questions.

justabout
03-29-2015, 05:30 PM
I'm a Christian minister so obviously I have no problem discussing religion. On a really personal level, yes it would be nice to have a place on the internet where us liberals who AREN'T fundamentalists could discuss homeschooly stuff from a spiritual perspective. But frankly I think that is small beer besides the fact that atheist homeschoolers need to have a space where they feel safe and secure and not assaulted by religious stuff. So I would probably vote NO to a space to discuss religion here if it was making people uncomfortable because it is a secular site and atheists and agnostics need to feel they can be themselves here without apologising. I mentally check my religion in at hte door when I post. and I could always go and set up a Facebook group called "woolly vague liberal homeschoolers who believe in god on a good day" if I wanted that kind of very specific support.

Misha
03-29-2015, 05:36 PM
To clarify - I asked mainly because I don't want to exclude anyone, but I also would truly appreciate not having to see religious mentions in various areas on the site.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 05:48 PM
I don't mind the "we used this curriculum and it worked for my kid", "we used this curriculum and it was easily modified to be secular", and " yeah this curriculum is Christian but it isn't preachy, it knows the subject, there are sample pages for you to look at. Why don't you see if it would work for your family?"

I'm glad at least some don't see this extent of it as a problem for being here and posting about. I have used some from religious publishers after I had already tried several secular options that didn't work. I do end up recommending the religious-published ones I used, with the disclaimer that they are not secular, because they were what worked, and the religious stuff was easily skipped over. At the end of my day, it's about what works for our homeschool. I have been in other groups where I was treated with what I can only see as hostility, because I was apparently *not secular enough* to be there. That's a serious laugh - I have the kids who have never been to a church service, don't know bible stories beyond what's in SOTW (and they know those are stories, not history), and combined Moses and Jesus into "Joses" in a conversation at a co-op one day. I will also use a fence-straddling science book if it's exactly what I wanted in every other way and supplement the information that is missing. I'm easygoing about being secular. I don't want to think that I have to police everything I might recommend, just in case it might be contaminated. If it's obvious that something I used is from a religious publisher, I will be up front about that, but I would not agree with the idea that I could only go tell someone else what worked for us in some quiet corner so other people don't have to be offended by my recommendation.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 05:52 PM
I'm pushing for some clarification....because if the same situation occurred......I would likely have the same reaction and do the same things. If there is a set standard that i'm supposed to be observing to participate with this site....I need to know about it.

If this is a site that embraces the idea of religious curriculum being used to "secular homeschool" that's information I'd like to have.

To me...using religious curriculum utterly negates the concept.

And yes, I am duly pissed off...that once again..."secular" is not truly secular....and instead has turned out to mean...turn around and take it up the hoohoo from Christians. AGAIN.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 06:06 PM
I'm pushing for some clarification....because if the same situation occurred......I would likely have the same reaction and do the same things. If there is a set standard that i'm supposed to be observing to participate with this site....I need to know about it.

If this is a site that embraces the idea of religious curriculum being used to "secular homeschool" that's information I'd like to have.

I have no idea what the standard is. I only know that I am in fact a non-religious homeschooler, in a non-religious family. I sometimes have used stuff from a publisher that is not secular, because it worked. I have kids with LD issues and that is already enough of a challenge - it's already difficult to find stuff that works well, and I'm not going to further restrict my curriculum choices. I am not ashamed of what I chose, or why. When I recommend these here, I believe I usually point out that they are not 100% secular so nobody would be surprised. If I can't be that open here, there is no reason for me to be here - and IMO that would be really stupid, because I have always been a secular homeschooler, I've been here for a long time, and I think I'm a pretty good fit. I've never seen this online community as a place where anyone has to hide anything like this as long as it's not being pushed. Recommending something that worked well to someone who is asking for recommendations, with a disclaimer that it's not secular, is not the same as trying to promote religious materials or religious ideas.

fastweedpuller
03-29-2015, 06:12 PM
Crazymom, can I ask why you care? If your daughter were 10 years younger and you were still homeschooling, you--by your own self-definition-- would not even be using curriculum of any kind?

I am sure I am not alone in wondering. It seems terribly strange that you can't help yourself from commenting about something you will not now, would not then, ever use.

The discourse just seems so unnecessarily heated from your corner. Heated and ugly.

Free Thinker
03-29-2015, 06:19 PM
I think it should stay secular, I was so happy to find this site! A group of moms who are free of religion! It's a unique place, and I think it should stay that way. Some of us have been hurt by religion, and really do not want it in our homeschool. There isn't another place that I have found on-line that is as open here about what religious references some curricula have in them, and I have greatly appreciated that. ANy other place I feel like a freak- like I don't belong because we do not go to church or believe in God, and I want to teach my kids that the world is millions of years old instead of 6K. Here, I feel free to ask exactly what religious references materials make- and I think I get honest answers.

I think the message from this place has been clear via the name- SECULAR homeschool. Maybe there needs to be a disclaimer that we can refer people to, to explain what secular means.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 06:20 PM
No, actually I'm SAYING OUT LOUD things dozens of people are saying.

And I will continue to say them.

Misha
03-29-2015, 06:33 PM
I think it should stay secular, I was so happy to find this site! A group of moms who are free of religion!

There are quite a few awesome homeschooling dads here too! :)

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 06:34 PM
Laundrycrisis considers herself secular. For her to recommend something with the caveat that its religious, seems the right thing to do, and entirely appropriate.
It chaps my little athiest hide that SOTW seems to be the only pre-made *history curriculum* palatable for lower elementary. But it needs to be on the available options list when someone asks about history. It gets suggested, its bias is noted, and we continue.
A gag order on it would be counter productive. Because at the end of the day, we are homeschoolers, looking for the best product that will teach our kids.

But also, Laundrycrisis is speaking from experience using it. Not arbitrarily recommending it off the cuff.

If a random person comes here looking for advice on a science program, I would be annoyed if jb22 (or anyone) lists a whole stream of religious curriculum.

Theres a clear difference to me.

Was there an issue about this before last week?

Riceball_Mommy
03-29-2015, 06:38 PM
I understand that some people "secularize" religious programs, and I don't mind those being recommended as long as there is a warning of "hey it's a bit religious." For me I would still avoid using it, because I will narrow down my options to completely secular because that's what I'm comfortable with and that's what fits best with my family (with a few exceptions). I don't like being told to try something and then finding out after the fact that it's a religious. There is also the issue with otherwise secular history programs that include some non-facts because the myth originated in the bible but has long been held as fact and sometimes people don't bother to challenge those because it's what's always been taught. For example, I have a history book that I'm using that I love, covers evolution and the whole ape to human progression, but it still perpetuates the Jewish slave in Egypt myth. If I would recommend the book I might want to point out that as is the case with most history around that time period you might want to double check facts around anything that could be linked to the bible, but it's great for evolution and the different time periods and changes in species of animals.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 06:39 PM
I think it should stay secular, I was so happy to find this site! A group of moms who are free of religion! It's a unique place, and I think it should stay that way. Some of us have been hurt by religion, and really do not want it in our homeschool. There isn't another place that I have found on-line that is as open here about what religious references some curricula have in them, and I have greatly appreciated that. ANy other place I feel like a freak- like I don't belong because we do not go to church or believe in God, and I want to teach my kids that the world is millions of years old instead of 6K. Here, I feel free to ask exactly what religious references materials make- and I think I get honest answers.

I think the message from this place has been clear via the name- SECULAR homeschool. Maybe there needs to be a disclaimer that we can refer people to, to explain what secular means.


And any other place, I feel like a freak. And now, I am starting to feel like one here as well.

I'm a SECULAR homeschooler who used math books by two different religious publishers, for my son with very challenging learning issues, because after spending a lot of money on various secular programs, the religious ones I finally bought worked. If I would not be allowed to say what worked, to help someone else out, along with a disclaimer that they are not by secular publishers, because some people are so disturbed to have to read the titles of what I used that they can't even ignore it without feeling that I'm "shoving religion down their throats" by listing a book title with a disclaimer, then I will reach the point of not thinking much of this community.

As long as it is allowed, I will not refrain from saying what I have used. Those who feel oppressed by the fact that I openly say that I used Horizons Math (by the way, it's not secular, and we skipped the silly bits !) for two kids, with great results, are more than welcome to put me on your ignore list. IMO suggesting that we shouldn't even be allowed to say it, or can only say it in one special area, that is oppressive.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 06:49 PM
Many people find having to read the promotion of religious curriculum at a SECULAR homeschool site....equally oppressive. What would be wrong with making recommendations of religious materials privately?

This is one of those ugly crossroads...where BOTH perspectives have merit. I don't think it's inappropriate for laundrycrisis to share her experience. But I DO think there's validity to what a previous poster was saying about a new poster coming here and seeing religious curriculum being promoted. It just seems utterly contrary to the mission of the board.

I'm NOT trying to insight problems here. I want CLARIFICATION.

I'm being told ten different things from ten different sources....and the only post so far made in an official capacity....is pretty nebulous.

Misha
03-29-2015, 06:59 PM
I personally would like to see a fully secular site, as the title states, that is void of religious materials. I recognize and respect that many, many homeschoolers, even some secular ones, utilize religious curricula with success. I just don't want to read about it on a secular site.

As a poster claimed, there are a lot of people hurt by religion and that's just first world. People die every day based on "My invisible man is better than yours". To reiterate, I want to see a fully secular site and I believe quite a few people agree with me.

Starkspack
03-29-2015, 07:12 PM
I just have to point out that for all the years I have been on this forum, situations like laundrycrisis describes have happened - secular homeschoolers using religious materials (and ignoring the silly bits, as she said!) to good success and sharing that info here. What is the friggin' problem with that? We haven't had to have a segregated section for that, and I don't think we should now. I certainly appreciate reading about curriculum that might have crossed my interest and learning that it does, in fact, have religious undertones. Hearing people's experiences with it (e.g. the religion was overbearing, or it was minor and easy to overlook) is HELPFUL. If you want to avoid ALL religious reference in HS materials, this sort of discussion should be helpful to you, too.

This whole conversation has devolved into what sounds like an ultimatum - either forbid discussion of religious HS materials or don't. That is absurd. We've managed all these years just fine. The thread with jennieblue took an unfortunate turn. Let's just say for the sake of argument (since this, too, is an apparent area of disagreement) that jennieblue DID and DOES have an agenda other than what she stated initially - needing help evaluating curricula. So what? If you don't like it, ignore it or report it to the admins and let them decide whether forum rules are being violated. Based on Topsy's repost of her article, I would interpret that to mean she would not have had an issue with jennieblue's part of that thread, but I could be wrong.

I, for one, would second someone's suggestion to take this sort of debate over to the Boring People Who Love Debate (or whatever it is called) thread. That is the appropriate place for it. There is no need for continued heat over this. I cannot understand why we can't just drop it and move on. Crazymom, while I have enjoyed many of your posts over the past several months, I have not at all appreciated your continued poking at this subject. It is my opinion, and you and anyone else are welcome to have a different one, that when the thread was closed it should have been done. You are stirring the pot unnecessarily.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 07:12 PM
I, too....would like to see the NAME of the site MEAN what it says.

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 07:20 PM
Misha, was this upsetting you before last week?

I consider myself pretty firmly in the camp of *religion is a blight upon humanity*.... I did not *cave in* and use SOTW.... but I havent noticed annoying religious curriculum promoters (prior to last week) here.

That being said, I think the religious people who come here give me some comfort and common ground with them. It soothes my seething prejudices that group all of *them* together as intolerant bigots trying to mandate church attendance on Sundays and put guns in everyones hand. The ones that come here eat pie, want the best education for their kids, and dont seem to buy into the fundamentalist nonsense any more than I do.

Does the CNN Athiest thread bother you? The How to teach Christian mythology thread? Im trying to understand what is bothering you.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 07:21 PM
Starkspack....I wasn't the person who started this thread. The fact that someone else was unsettled about what transpired enough to pursue it...in my mind shows that this is an issue that needs addressing so we don't have repeat occurances of unpleasantness.

I would like resolution. That's my whole point. And yeah...I really would like a bottom line answer about the promotion of religious materials here. That seriously effects the way I regard the site.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 07:23 PM
Many people find having to read the promotion of religious curriculum at a SECULAR homeschool site....equally oppressive. What would be wrong with making recommendations of religious materials privately?

This is one of those ugly crossroads...where BOTH perspectives have merit. I don't think it's inappropriate for laundrycrisis to share her experience. But I DO think there's validity to what a previous poster was saying about a new poster coming here and seeing religious curriculum being promoted. It just seems utterly contrary to the mission of the board.

I'm NOT trying to insight problems here. I want CLARIFICATION.

I'm being told ten different things from ten different sources....and the only post so far made in an official capacity....is pretty nebulous.

IMO there is a difference.

Situation 1: Hi, I'm new. BTW I found something awesome for zoology ! You should try it ! (several posts later...ppl pointing out that it's not secular...) Right, it is a bit religious, but still awesome ! You might love it !

Situation 2: "I really need to find something for zoology. The situation is getting hopeless. " "We used xyz, and it worked really well. It does have religious content, the author is ID, but it's not obnoxious and we easily skipped those parts or supplemented critical missing info from other sources. So not 100% secular, but worked for us anyhow. YMMV."

When I read situation 1, here or elsewhere, I generally ignore. It really doesn't fit in a secular forum, but I would rather ignore it than legislate around it and impact freedom for a really small benefit - unless the board was swarmed by evangelists coming here to promote religious materials, which would be a different problem.

When I read (or post) situation 2, IMO it is 100% appropriate for a secular forum. I would not do it privately because there no reason it should need to be done undercover (outside of an atheist echo chamber with super strict content rules). If I had to do it privately or risk being treated with hostility, I would not see any value in the forum in the first place.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 07:29 PM
So...your discomfort with not being allowed to share religious material on a secular board......trumps my discomfort with seeing promotion of religious materials on a secular board. Got it.

So again...religion wins and disbelief has to absorb the discomfort.

Misha
03-29-2015, 07:32 PM
Misha, was this upsetting you before last week?

I consider myself pretty firmly in the camp of *religion is a blight upon humanity*.... I did not *cave in* and use SOTW.... but I havent noticed annoying religious curriculum promoters (prior to last week) here.

That being said, I think the religious people who come here give me some comfort and common ground with them. It soothes my seething prejudices that group all of *them* together as intolerant bigots trying to mandate church attendance on Sundays and put guns in everyones hand. The ones that come here eat pie, want the best education for their kids, and dont seem to buy into the fundamentalist nonsense any more than I do.

Does the CNN Athiest thread bother you? The How to teach Christian mythology thread? Im trying to understand what is bothering you.

I've always accepted that some people have mentioned whatever religious material they may have found useful. I have found that helpful at times myself. But when people come on board and start talking about how secularists shouldn't mind religious morals being thrust upon them in whatever curricula, I am offended. To me, all of Jennie's posts, however polite she came across, were offensive. And that those posts are permitted on a secular site is a violation of a formerly safe place.

I don't want the implied preach. And, imo, however polite her posts were, they were chock full of that preach.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 07:36 PM
Here, it seems generally expected that recommendations that are not known to be 100% secular come with a warning label, because people here would want to know about the religious content, or religious publisher, or maybe that the publisher declines to share his or her position. But I have not ever known this to be a place where someone isn't allowed to even say what they use, along with the disclaimer.

skrink
03-29-2015, 07:41 PM
IMO there is a difference.

Situation 1: Hi, I'm new. BTW I found something awesome for zoology ! You should try it ! (several posts later...ppl pointing out that it's not secular...) Right, it is a bit religious, but still awesome ! You might love it !

Situation 2: "I really need to find something for zoology. The situation is getting hopeless. " "We used xyz, and it worked really well. It does have religious content, the author is ID, but it's not obnoxious and we easily skipped those parts or supplemented critical missing info from other sources. So not 100% secular, but worked for us anyhow. YMMV."

When I read situation 1, here or elsewhere, I generally ignore. It really doesn't fit in a secular forum, but I would rather ignore it than legislate around it and impact freedom for a really small benefit - unless the board was swarmed by evangelists coming here to promote religious materials, which would be a different problem.

When I read (or post) situation 2, IMO it is 100% appropriate for a secular forum. I would not do it privately because there no reason it should need to be done undercover (outside of an atheist echo chamber with super strict content rules). If I had to do it privately or risk being treated with hostility, I would not see any value in the forum in the first place.

Agree completely with this.

I am afraid the conversation is devolving into what I've seen on free thinking sites, where some feel there needs to be a litmus test of who REALLY belongs and who doesn't. I've been under the impression that what has been going on since I've been here works for the majority. Not one of us lives in a perfect world, some compromises to the ideal have to be made for the sake of our goal - educating our children the best way we know how. One of the reasons I've enjoyed being here is the lack of judgment. I hate seeing that change.

Misha
03-29-2015, 07:50 PM
Okay then - to clarify for the last time. I want a preach free site. If someone suggests something based on a person's question and says it's religious. Okay. But I don't want to see this become a site where religious curricula is offered in a preachy manner. That's the offensive part.

As much as I'd like to see an entirely secular site - I recognize that it's not practical. Just like I've certainly seen secular recommendations on WTM and I consider that a religious-ish site. I'm sure there are some truly religious homeschoolers who use secular materials because it works.

I just really, really don't want preaching and the condescension that comes along with that - the "You're secular but you shouldn't mind this religious material. After all, most secular families I know don't."

I can be as sweet as pie, but if what I'm saying is offensive, then it's offensive.

Solong
03-29-2015, 07:53 PM
Are we actually debating freedom of speech at this point? Jennie can post until she is blue22 in the face. CrazyMom can go ALLCRAZY on every single post.

We don't need a special place for any special people. We have an ignore feature and a report feature. I'm as atheist as atheist gets, but this seems very simple to me.

This poor horse.

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 07:53 PM
I've always accepted that some people have mentioned whatever religious material they may have found useful. I have found that helpful at times myself. But when people come on board and start talking about how secularists shouldn't mind religious morals being thrust upon them in whatever curricula, I am offended. To me, all of Jennie's posts, however polite she came across, were offensive. And that those posts are permitted on a secular site is a violation of a formerly safe place.

I don't want the implied preach. And, imo, however polite her posts were, they were chock full of that preach.

Im totally with you about Jenni.... how others here that I trust and respect dont see it, I'm still mystified. Its like that white/blue, or blue/black dress picture.

Id rather not lose the resources of experienced secular homeschoolers giving honest opinions, just because of this one person. JB22s comments didnt go unanswered.

laundrycrisis
03-29-2015, 08:02 PM
Are we actually debating freedom of speech at this point? Jennie can post until she is blue22 in the face. CrazyMom can go ALLCRAZY on every single post.

We don't need a special place for any special people. We have an ignore feature and a report feature. I'm as atheist as atheist gets, but this seems very simple to me.

This poor horse.


ITA. I hated to poke it with a stick, but this entire thread since post 1 was striking me as as a bit of a free speech discussion, beginning with a suggestion of a bit less freedom.


Okay then - to clarify for the last time. I want a preach free site. If someone suggests something based on a person's question and says it's religious. Okay. But I don't want to see this become a site where religious curricula is offered in a preachy manner. That's the offensive part.


Preachiness never goes over well here. The community is pretty good at saying, hey, are you evangelizing ? Whoops, wrong house...please stop.

Trying to sell religious ideas is very different than someone saying well, I settled for this math book because the math part was great once the fluff was ignored. Maybe the OP in the other thread was trying to tiptoe that line as carefully as she could, and maybe not. Over the years, I don't see it as something that has been a problem here...at least not enough to need special areas.

muddylilly
03-29-2015, 08:09 PM
I don't think religion wins and disbelief loses here. I think open discussion wins, and questionable intent (financial or otherwise) loses.
Look, I'm an atheist...out and proud. I don't like or appreciate others sharing the good word with me, I find it offensive to reason. I realize they might believe themselves to be doing good, others are not, so I let it roll off as best I can. Then I admittedly smile when I am poking fun at what I believe is nonsense/mythology in religion. And I'm admittedly aware it may offend....I'm not perfect....some would say not very godly. Whatever, at least I'm honest.
But I have to say that when I registered to join here I knew this was a secular site....not an atheist site, and I think there IS a difference. I knew Christians and others are here. If I have the time on my hands and care enough about it, I can start my own Atheist Only site.....but I don't. I could also simply remove myself from the site and not come back. However, I get more by coming here and listening to more that just my own echo chamber....the echo chamber gets tiring as well. I like it here because I can say what I think without censoring my thoughts too much, but I don't feel comfortable saying the most inflammatory things just because I can. For what purpose? Doing the right thing is not owned by either end of the religion spectrum. We are all avatars here, but we really are all people with feelings. I'll stand up for myself and my right to call bull dookie when I need to, but to start a fight and watch others swing...no thanks.

CrazyMom
03-29-2015, 08:11 PM
"Are we actually debating freedom of speech at this point? Jennie can post until she is blue22 in the face. CrazyMom can go ALLCRAZY on every single post."

If this were true, then there would be no problem and I would need no clarification.

I don't mind ignoring the things that I don't like....as long as the things I might say....that I truly believe....are not shut down. Literally, the thread was shut down..... by those who want to be religiously correct. If you want to talk about free speech....start by addressing that.

muddylilly
03-29-2015, 08:27 PM
This is an open forum CrazyMom. Some may be offended here, even by the feeling that their right to free speech was infringed upon.
I agree about the horse. Who brought a shovel.

TFZ
03-29-2015, 08:42 PM
I have no idea what the standard is. I only know that I am in fact a non-religious homeschooler, in a non-religious family. I sometimes have used stuff from a publisher that is not secular, because it worked. I have kids with LD issues and that is already enough of a challenge - it's already difficult to find stuff that works well, and I'm not going to further restrict my curriculum choices. I am not ashamed of what I chose, or why. When I recommend these here, I believe I usually point out that they are not 100% secular so nobody would be surprised. If I can't be that open here, there is no reason for me to be here - and IMO that would be really stupid, because I have always been a secular homeschooler, I've been here for a long time, and I think I'm a pretty good fit. I've never seen this online community as a place where anyone has to hide anything like this as long as it's not being pushed. Recommending something that worked well to someone who is asking for recommendations, with a disclaimer that it's not secular, is not the same as trying to promote religious materials or religious ideas.

I know this was two pages back, but it speaks directly to my point.

As a new member who is looking for information on homeschooling secularly I want real suggestions from real homeschoolers. THIS is where the line is.

One one side you have a secular homeschooler, LaundryCrisis, saying, "Hey this is my personal experience with the product and what worked for me. You can use it and remain secular by..... "

On the other side you have JB22, a non-homeschooler, posting multiple curriculum suggestions and then refuting comments that the materials she is suggesting are not useful to secular homeschoolers because of xyz.

I understand where you all are coming from regarding free speech. However, this is a membership site that reserves the right to boot members and close down threads. It is monitored by admin who make those decisions. No one, as far as I know, was removed because of the thread-that-shall-not-be-named. We're there warnings issued? I'm not sure.

It seems that the site has decided to allow people to offend/be offended/voice opinions of offenders/be offended by others being offended/etc. without consequence. Well, other than closing the thread which has basically opened up several other conversations instead, which is what admin suggested, "Take it to In Other Words..."

Solong
03-29-2015, 08:43 PM
"Are we actually debating freedom of speech at this point? Jennie can post until she is blue22 in the face. CrazyMom can go ALLCRAZY on every single post."

If this were true, then there would be no problem and I would need no clarification.

I don't mind ignoring the things that I don't like....as long as the things I might say....that I truly believe....are not shut down. Literally, the thread was shut down..... by those who want to be religiously correct. If you want to talk about free speech....start by addressing that.

I can't even find the thread anymore. Who shut it down?? Admins... moderators... exactly how crazy can CrazyMom get in defending her position? Exactly why was the thread shut down?

There was nothing in that thread that I found offensive, beyond it's extreme length and repetitiveness. But, that's just me, and I am but one member.

darkelf
03-29-2015, 08:51 PM
For example I use McRuffy Math.
I know for a fact k-2 has no religious content. It is 100% math. It is manipulative based, it is fun, it is easy for me because it is scripted. I like it 1000% more than Right Start Math.

But McRuffy has some Religious handwriting sheets. (Purchased separately from the math) So the company may be owned and ran by Christians (I don't know or care.) Can I suggest it? Is it wrong?

I think this is a gray area, not black and white.

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a program is secular or Christian. Sometimes a noob, is going to ask a question that needs an answer because it is hard to wade through all the curriculum out there.

Someone else mentioned they bought a Christian math program because she knew it was good, it was priced right and she could take it home that day. I would think if she wanted or needed help with some aspect of this curriculum she would go to a different forum. However IF she needed advice on how to secularize the program, this might be a better forum. (This is just an example, I'm not saying anyone needs or wants this help.) I would also understand if no one responded to the thread.

Just like SOTW, we should be able to discuss how to change the program, the pros and cons of the program. What works, what should be skipped ect.... How History Oddessy helps secularize SOTW.

I get we aren't promoting Christian curriculum. And we can tell people to go to other homeschool forums to discuss the in's and out's of said curriculum. There should be a little leeway however.

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 09:14 PM
Here is the thread that shall not be named:
http://www.secularhomeschool.com/homeschool-curriculum/15924-secular-homeschoolers-using-faith-based-curriculum.html

I interpreted aandsmom's closing it (see page 2,408 of the thread) to be because the thread had devolved and nothing was going to be accomplished there. Not to curtail freedom of speech, to protect religion, but because nothing good could come of it at that point. Too many people were upset or riled up.

I received no warning or comment about my contribution to the mayham.

Riceball_Mommy
03-29-2015, 09:17 PM
This is a private site though, it's not run by the government and until a government agency steps in and shuts down a thread free speech is not in danger. The admins are the ultimate authority here, if you get banned, deleted, ignored etc, no one is taking away your freedom. You have the freedom to go elsewhere and say whatever you want.

pdpele
03-29-2015, 09:30 PM
I think the thread should be called 'the thread that will not die'. Talk about zombies. :p Here's some more brains:

Anyone ought to be able to post about anything - be it Christian or faith based curriculum or frustration with faith based curricula / homeschool groups. No segregation. We can all wear our big girl pants to this party.

I don't think the zombie thread ran into freedom of speech / freedom from religion (;) issues. It just got...rude. I mean, it is rude to say that something someone believes in is sociopathic. Even if you are just being honest. "I'm just being honest" can cover a lot of mean s&#t . Sure, I can already hear the argument...people used to believe in beating their wives...doesn't mean it wasn't sociopathic. But still, we can all recognize, I think, the general line. Maybe not in the heat of the moment. So oh well, we're all guilty sometimes. It should just be left at that, I think.

The one thing I'd say is that this site has been a really supportive haven. A place to come and learn and ask and vent and get propped up and challenged, both. I'd hate to see the tone degenerate. Not saying people should walk on eggshells. Just saying there's plenty of online vitriol out there, sites where people post about something difficult and get piled on. It doesn't usually happen here, and I'd like us to keep it that way.

And for what it's worth jb22 is no homeschooler and I don't know what she's up to...but it doesn't pass the smell test.

Blue Ipsy
03-29-2015, 09:55 PM
Topsy article I think explains it. NOT everyone here is Atheist. NOT everyone here is Agnostic. Not everyone here is (fill int he blank). When I first entered the homeschool world the sheer amount of information was enough to put me off. Add in the terms YO and other religious stuff I had NO IDEA even existed makes it even more difficult to wade through all the choices. I appreciate the veterans viewpoints and opinions who have used religious material in a secular way... it has helped me out tremendously. SL is a perfect example.........Before Bookshark came along there was always someone asking "Well how do I make SL work for us if we are X?"

Evangelizing/proselytizing is not welcome. If you are looking for a forum that is for ONE sect of secular this is not it. I think the majority of members here can appreciate that we are all here b/c we are homeschooling our kids or have homeschooled our kids not for religious purposes. To me that is what "secular" means. Personally, have I used religious materials in the past... YES. Does this no longer make me a secular homeschooler.... NO......guess what? sometimes you just have to use what works. If I am contemplating X religous curriculum b/c nothing secular thus far has worked I'm going to ask about it and I don't expect to be raked over the coals about it either. Life isn't perfect. Humans are not perfect. Curriculum is not perfect.

alexsmom
03-29-2015, 10:23 PM
This whole brewhah is from jb22's posts, and she doesnt qualify as any of the normal, rational scenarios listed above.

It was compounded that not everyone sees the contents of her posts as being so inflammatory.

*sigh* I dont think the site needs an overhaul over this. Everyone else on the site seems to be secular at heart.

Topsy
03-29-2015, 10:36 PM
Some great discussion here. And well, this thread is, in essence, sort of what the site has always been about. Discussion. RESPECTFUL discussion.

It's about recognizing that while we all have different definitions of secular, different definitions of what constitutes a secular curriculum, and different definitions of well - - just about everything - - we are all still homeschoolers who want to find what works for our kids.

Like I said in the article, SHS is always going to be more about what it IS that what it ISN'T. It's much more of a catch-all secular h-sing site than any specific angle for or against one thing or another. Instead, that's what I see the Groups section (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/group/) of the site as being...a place where any sub-set of secular homeschoolers can create their own forum-within-a-forum to discuss things that are important to them (or perhaps avoid discussions on subjects that don't apply to them). The other admins and I honestly don't even really moderate those group sections much because we feel like the creators of each group should have the wherewithal to be able to determine how the conversations in those groups should be guided.

But as far as the main forum (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/forum.php), we will always try to keep discussions there moderated via the original intent of the site toward respectful discussion of all things secular-homeschooling, including all it's various definitions. And will be moderated according to the site rules (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/faq.php). With that in mind, I think my decision on this one for now, is that I don't see any reason to include a "religious materials discussion" forum. We've made it for 6 terrific years without one, and by continuing to focus on respectful discussion as we have in this thread, I think we can forge ahead by continuing to learn from one another's differences and by taking things one thread at a time.

TFZ
03-30-2015, 04:46 AM
... we are all still homeschoolers who want to find what works for our kids.

I think its been established that we are NOT all homeschoolers. The controversial thread was started by a non-homeschooler who continues to (however politely) dole out advice to homeschoolers regarding non-secular material and how it is applicable to secular homeschoolers. Precisely what some members found offensive to begin with.

From the site rules: "If you are NOT a homeschooler, or not considering homeschooling, this forum is probably not the appropriate place for you to share your information."

Dead horse, I get it.

However, this is my perspective as a new member. I don't have any complicated, long standing relationships built up here. I'm not easily offended. But I want to know - Is this a site where posts continually are spammed with posters gently pushing religious content or if I can trust what members say about their own experiences?

muddylilly
03-30-2015, 08:51 PM
The silence is deafening on a very good question. There are several posters that I have become comfortable listening to and trusting. You seem to be (thefoxzoo) a person with good judgment, and most posters (in my experience, with the HUGE exception of jb22) here are quite forthcoming about who they are, their beliefs, their experience or lack thereof.
Like any forum, you will (quite quickly I suppose) be able to weed out the baloney, and the baloney salesmen. ;)

laundrycrisis
03-30-2015, 10:17 PM
I've been here for a long time. I have never felt that there is an issue with proselytizing here. I've seen it maybe a few times, but it goes away. It isn't well received or fed. This isn't fertile ground for those seeds. There are people here with specific beliefs, but this has not been a place where people are trying to get others to convert.

justabout
03-31-2015, 04:13 PM
No, I agree with laundrycrisis. I dip in and out. Sometimes there is a post where someone is asking for advice and a religious perspective is useful. I am thinking in particular where a lady was being bullied horribly by her church. There it was appropriate to discuss the difference between not liking a church and not believing in God. So sometimes religious perspectives DO need to be discussed in order to be useful to the other person, but it is more in response to people's needs I think than as prolytisation. If that makes sense.
Of course you could argue that the lady who was having problems with church shouldn't have posted here at all and that's a valid point, but what I like about this community is that it is inclusive and genuine. She was a secular homeschooler who went to church (as am I). She brought her church problems to this community because she trusted the group. I would be sorry to see that kind of discussion closed down.

Heather62
03-31-2015, 05:04 PM
I'm tired of seeing Judeo-Christian themed suggestions or questions littered about here; I simply don't understand why someone would post it here. If I had a question about religious curricula, etc., I would ask on another site.

I respect other beliefs, I just want the same respect, and to me that translates to a site that is free of religious suggestions/questions.




I honestly hope this isn't in reference to my "which Bible" question. I was/am frightened to ask that question on the only other homeschool site I belong to, WTM, because I know response would be negative.

alexsmom
03-31-2015, 05:17 PM
i interpreted the *which Bible* thread as (Heather) asking how to expose her kids to have some familiarity with the stories. So entirely a secular question. Like asking what are the best books to learn greek or nordic mythology from.

Everything gets talked about here, but its that the answers are from a secular perspective that make the difference. To me at least.

My hackles go up at postlytizing, too.

Topsy
04-01-2015, 10:23 AM
Is this a site where posts continually are spammed with posters gently pushing religious content or if I can trust what members say about their own experiences?

Just following up on your question, TheFoxZoo. Sorry for a delay on response. While yes, obviously this site is for secular homeschoolers, certainly we get some "hopeful homeschoolers", some lurkers, and some trolls along for the ride too. The hope is that they either fall into the homeschooling category at some point in their journey or (in the case of the trolls) disobey enough of the site rules (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/faq.php) to get kicked right on out. Don't forget that lovely "report" option on posts. Since the admins can't possibly moderate each and every post, if you ever notice anyone not playing by the rules, all you have to do is use that little feature and we will be notified about it immediately. We have an infraction system, and when enough infraction points are incurred by any member, they are automatically banned. Hope that helps!!