View Full Version : Atheists of Florida and Secular Homeschoolers

04-06-2011, 05:12 PM

I just got off the phone with the President of the group because I started to receive phone calls from the Sheriff in another county (no less) regarding the "attack" Atheists (and AoF) are doing on "prayer in the government"--so basically, I reported this caller to AoF and was talking to the President of AoF about it.

And that led to me stating to him that there is an untapped market with homeschoolers. We are secular, we are atheists, gay, straight, etc.. and we NEED representation. Basically, he was VERY positive towards setting up a division of AoF strictly for Secular Homeschoolers and asked ME to be the leader of it! :)

Guess what my first thing to tackle is? Overpowering the FPEA convention with one of our own where we actually have a decent choice of selection!

That's all I know right now, but if this pans out the way I envision it, Secular Homeschoolers who fit the bill will finally have some seriously strong representation in the homeschooling market.

I see this as a good thing. The FPEA has let me down, the market is saturated with religious materials and very difficult to find GOOD secular materials (that don't cost us a fortune at that) and I think it is time to get this up and running. I'm going to be communicating with him more about this and hope it pans out.

So, all that said, tell me what YOU would like to see in a group that will identify itself as fully secular and be able to align itself with secular publishers that will hopefully bring us up to a level playing field within the homeschooling community.

BTW, I am a member of LIFE of Florida as well, I do not see this as competition with them but will definitely be in contact with that group leader to work together to make this a strong force to be reckoned with. :)

04-07-2011, 05:55 PM
46 views and zero responses? Really? Wow... guess it isn't that important to some.

04-07-2011, 06:06 PM
Well, most of what you mentioned is specific to FL, or abbreviations I dont recognize. I find generally organizations that identify as athiest to be to 'anti' for me, and I'm fairly satisfied with my curriculum choices. But I can only speak for myself.

04-07-2011, 06:11 PM
I think it sounds great that you can serve Florida homeschoolers in concert with AoF, and perhaps others will follow suit in their states and find ways to bolster their secular homeschooling community by working with other organizations that might benefit from such a partnership.

04-08-2011, 06:14 PM
Well, most of what you mentioned is specific to FL, or abbreviations I dont recognize. .

Yeah that was my problem as well, not in FL anymore, and really didn't get all of the abreviations, but very happy for you and Florida.

04-08-2011, 06:46 PM
Could you back up and tell me who the acronyms stand for? I am very new but I want to know more.

04-08-2011, 06:48 PM
I think it would be major headway to have any state level organization available to homeschoolers that are secular. In my area after finding another secular homeschooler via this site, I started a group in our area with a "if you build it, they will come" approach. We've found a dew more secular homeschoolers along the way since we started in July- and I'm sure that statewide there must be so many more that are secular/athiest/open minded out there. Our group is mostly openminded Christians with me probably being the lone Athiest- but the open mindedness is the key for us. I found the entire FPEA agenda offputting and haven't even tried to find another state level group. I think starting communications and looking for ways to bring secular curriculum fair would be a fantastic thing for me and my family.

04-08-2011, 08:31 PM
Sorry :( I meant to comment when I first read this but got called away and then forgot. I think that's really great for you and probably a challenge too in FL. I would never have thought about using a local atheist group as a way to reach homeschoolers. But then here in MA there aren't strong atheist groups because we are much less religious as a state.

04-09-2011, 11:37 AM
As a future resident of FL, and as a group just starting out, I would get some advise of where to head on this from someone in the know, John Taylor Gatto, here's his contact info.... http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/contact.htm. If you are not familiar with him, he was an advertising copywriter for about 10 years and then decided to go into teaching instead. For 30 years he taught school in the NYC public system. During that time he discovered that factory schools were "dumbing kids down" and through sand in the wheels of the institutional education system every opportunity he got. He is a big time advocate of homeschools and think public education should be demolished and the tax money returned to the people so that can take those dollars to the private sector to educate their children, let schools compete or educate them a home like has been done for eons. After 30 years of being part of the public school "prison" system, he defected to become a homeschool advocate. I'd write him for advise. He is open-minded religiously too, but not atheist.

04-11-2011, 05:20 PM
I'm in FL! I think this is great :)

04-11-2011, 05:36 PM
FPEA= Florida Parent Educators Association (that was just discovered to be religiously biased in nature, to my disappointment)
AoF= Atheists of Florida

And Gatto is a pioneer, yes. I have reservations about contacting him though due to his militant way of handling things. *I* do NOT agree with shutting schools down. Forget the fact that my husband would be out of a job, but I do NOT and never will believe homeschooling is for everyone.

04-11-2011, 08:28 PM
Mommyskickbutt--I love your avatar and your tagline. GothicGyrl I get what you are saying. Too many families are dual income. It would take a restructuring of a lot of families to achieve that, and with the current housing bubble in the second half of the double dip, this would make it at least a triple scoop if one parent had to quit to educate kids because free market charter schools would be like a Macy's White sale type of insanity once that hit the fan and a lot of people who cannot afford not to work, would also not be able to afford to educate their children in that system--We are stuck with tax payer-funded public schools--however flawed for the time being.

04-12-2011, 06:58 AM
Thanx GM!

Have you guys read Gatto? Yes, he is very much in the homeschool camp but he doesn't think schools need to go away, he suggests major reforms, and one in particular is that taxpayer's money that goes to government education should stay with taxpayers and that parents should use those dollars for an education premise that best suits them and their children. If the government wants to run schools that's fine but they should compete for those education dollars with all the other schools and not expect the usual governement handout of cash per head.

In comparison to the number of public schools, the current private school choices are slim for us secularist. Keeping the failing (and declining) status quo is not the way to fix the educational system. An overnight closing of public schools is not the solution to handling this but rather a gradual transition over an extended period of time. Homeschooling isn't for everyone (and yes, I know families that homeschool with both parents working full-time outside the home!) but failing schools shouldn't be a parent's only choice because of financial (or time) reasons. Yes, the truth hurts, but if something isn't done the pain will only get worse not better.