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  1. #1
    teresahy
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    Default What does secular mean to you?

    I'm wondering about this term to the users of this forum. I'm new, so want to understand more about the culture here.

    In my local homeschool group, which has secular in the name, the word secular is kind of "code" for "not fundamentalist Christian," even though the group itself includes a mix of folks who practice religion and those who don't. Is it similar here?

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  3. #2

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    That version of 'secular' was common around the neck of the woods where I live.

    Here, though, it means free from religion, not "Jesus lite". Just like in the dictionary.

    Curriculum offered as advice is going to be Jesus-free, unless there is a really good reason for it, and there is going to be a heads-up warning you and apologizing for it.

    Nobody will suggest you pray, or imply that any holy book is the way to leading a good life.

    That's my take on it, and we all know I get my panties in a bunch if someone suggests religious curriculum.

    There are other UU here, as well. I dunno if rabid atheists bother them, spoutin off against fundies.
    The UU OWL program gets a lot of attention, too.... Ive been assured its secular, even if it comes from something called a church.
    Last edited by alexsmom; 08-17-2016 at 10:49 PM.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    To me, 'secular' means NO religion...at all. Not in the print, not in the mind.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  5. #4

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    To me it means that we're all homeschooling primarily for non-religious reasons and with primarily non-religious materials. However, I would assume that anyone doing that, regardless of beliefs or religious practice in general, would be welcome here. The secular, to me, in the name refers to homeschooling, not to your life in general. And I know that, at least in the past, there were many atheists on the board, but also many people who have a religious or spiritual practice or set of beliefs, Christian or otherwise (probably more otherwise though).
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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  6. #5

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    It means that you want curriculum--and entire school day--that is not influenced by religious teachings. It doesn't mean you don't believe in a god, or don't attend worship services. Simple as that.

    You will find some more atheist-specific threads here, perhaps, but unfortunately, this is one of the few public spaces that is safe. If you are not comfortable with that talk, you simply skip over it.

    Like Alexsmom said, make sure you highlight any reference to religion in a curriculum you are recommending; if you are not sure, just state that. It lets people know that they have to research that part themselves (if someone else doesn't already know). If you don't mind some religious references in your curriculum, mention that when asking for suggestions to get the broadest amount of answers.

    It's not just atheists and agnostics on here. In fact, I just started a job a few months ago...as a youth minister. I feel kind of like I'm trespassing. But it comes down to this: I want my sons' education to be built on historical and scientific fact. Our belief system needs to stand on it's own two feet, not propped up by slanted history and false science, interjected into math and English like a pill in a sweet. I'm very thankful I found this site; it is the only HSing forum I visit. Maybe one of the things I love the most about it is all the extremely well-educated folks on here who dissect curriculum and will let everyone know when a book has wrong information. A lot of times that wrong information isn't glaring, but SHSers can see twisted logic or Christian-fallacy a mile away!

    I don't know if that helps you or not. I feel like SHS is for everyone in the end.

  7. #6

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    To me, secular means without religious slant in my homeschooling materials. It does not mean that I do not teach my kids religion- I teach them with historical, cultural point of view. I do not want Jesus in my math, Bible verses on my school planner, references to Bible stories and mini-devotionals in my literature, skipping evolution or the age of the earth in my science or a white-washed skewed view of history where missionaries are coming to save the poor heathen in Africa and the Americas. I know there are plenty of people who are religious in their personal lives but still teach real history and science. Welcome!
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  8. #7

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    For me, secular just means not religion based. That's not to say it can't include religious lessons (we teach about all religious groups in our homeschool), but the curriculum itself is not based with any religious philosophies or beliefs woven into the lesson.
    Farming, homeschooling, and living simply in Michigan's U.P. www.uppastured.com

  9. #8

    Default

    OOOOOHH! My kind of question But looks like I'm late to the party. I agree with so much that is here already...

    This...AM "Nobody will suggest you pray, or imply that any holy book is the way to leading a good life."

    This...Oksana "To me, 'secular' means NO religion...at all. Not in the print, not in the mind."


    This...Freethinker "To me, secular means without religious slant in my homeschooling materials. It does not mean that I do not teach my kids religion- I teach them with historical, cultural point of view. I do not want Jesus in my math, Bible verses on my school planner, references to Bible stories and mini-devotionals in my literature, skipping evolution or the age of the earth in my science or a white-washed skewed view of history where missionaries are coming to save the poor heathen in Africa and the Americas."

    Yep, yep, and yep
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  10. #9

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    This is a recurrent question in most secular groups. "Well, what do you *really* mean by secular?" Like it's a test, to see how much Jesus is ok.

    No Jesus. No Allah. No Buddha. No creation stories. No young Earth. No Adam and Eve riding dinosaurs. No no no.

  11. #10

    Default

    I think it depends on what you are asking, or WHERE you are asking, what response you will get. On a homeschool forum, for most, secular means the curriculum is without religion.
    For some of us, we live completely secular lives, so religion is not allowed at all.
    Still others will say secular is an absence of belief in religion, even if one teaches any, or all, religions.
    In certain religious circles, secular means "anything not our religion".
    And still others, secular is anything that isn't religious FIRST. So, a book could be secular if it just alludes to religion without specifically stating it.

    It all depends on WHO you ask. It's like the term "inclusive" in homeschool groups. Some mean actually really inclusive of every homeschooler. Others mostly use it to include the various flavors of christianity. Still others will include all religions, but the gods forbid you don't actually follow a religion.

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What does secular mean to you?