Why We’re Not Secular Homeschoolers

Reader participation requested!

As I wrote Part I of my review of Story of the World, I realize I often refer to secular homeschooling materials.  I’m not, however, a secular homeschooler.  The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines secular as, “1 a : of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secular concerns> b : not overtly or specifically religious <secular music> c : not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts> <secular landowners>”.  I think most homeschooling families would agree with that second definition of the word, and that’s the definition with which I’ll work.

I’m a Unitarian Universalist, a member of a liberal religious tradition respecting the dignity of all people and encourages individuals to seek a spiritual path that works for them.  We have no creed but rather a set of principles.  Our roots are Judeo-Christian, and some UU churches are closer to these roots in practice than others.  The church the boys and I attend has, for the last few years, focused on religions of the world, encouraging a search for a spiritual path while examining the paths well-travelled by others for millenia.  I follow an eastern bent, finding meaning in Buddhist and Hindu belief systems, but I would largely call my spiritual search a work in progress (I blog about that work at findingmygrounduu.wordpress.com).  My boys have pronounced themselves UU atheists, for now.  I’m sure they’ll explore plenty of paths as they grow, and the choice of how to honor what is greater than themselves is entirely theirs.

Simply put, we’re not secular homeschoolers.  Thanks to an outstanding RE program and a good deal of at home study of the world’s religions, religion is a part of almost all we study.  My beliefs about the inherit dignity and worth of every living thing (the first UU principle) colors the way we study history, science, and literature.  We’ve studied the Jewish diaspora, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the settling of North America by Europeans each with the rights of the people involved first in mind.  Understanding religion increases our understanding of history, whether the history of war or of peace, and our UU religious tradition underscores our view of events.  We look for injustices and the peacemakers who work to overturn them.  We’re hardly secular in our study of history.

The UU Chalice, surrounded by symbols from religions of the world.

I teach the science of evolution while exclaiming the wonder and mystery of this universe we share.  Since I’ve yet to find a Unitarian Universalist science curriculum, we use largely secular materials (of which there are few designed for homeschoolers).  Evolution, natural selection, and the interdependent web of life (UU principle 7) take center stage in biology study.  Discussion about the very large and very small turns philosophical quite quickly, and I imagine as we understand more about our universe and its origins may become more frankly religious.  Certainly the tender spot where science and faith meet is fertile ground for much discussion in our home. 

Literature selections often spring from science and history study.  Largely classical works, these books provide another forum for discussing our beliefs and exploring how others have expressed their beliefs in their point of history.  When we studied World War II last spring, I exposed both children to some age-appropriate, carefully chosen holocaust fiction.  My younger adores reading about the war, but he’s openly anxious about that portion of WWII.  The stories we read were largely about Jews being hidden or escaping, and they allowed up to discuss a bit of this deeply disturbing part of history in a non-frightening way.  It allowed us to discuss injustice and helped him make connections to that time and other attempts to wipe out those who a group in power didn’t agree with.  It was far from a secular study.

I’m disturbed by an undercurrent of anger at and derision for the religious on sites and blogs promoting their secular stance, and undercurrent not different from that of some openly religious homeschooling sites.  Rather than promoting a spirit of acceptance of our different beliefs and philosophies, these self-proclaimed secular folks come across as if they feel superior to those with any religious beliefs.  Not all of them, of course, but enough make me, a liberal UU, uncomfortable in the presence of that discussion.  Secularism to be the reasonable and logical choice to many of these folks –no problem.  That’s their choice.  But condemning those who make different choices?  That’s where I won’t go.

So while many other evolution-teaching, free-thinking, liberal folks do,  I don’t participate in Secular Thursday, a practice some bloggers use to discuss secular homeschooling issues.   And I don’t subscribe to Secular Homeschooling Magazine, a newer publication that purports to be “a non-religious bimonthly magazine that reflects the diversity of the homeschooling community.”  After reading some copies a few years back along with some articles online from the current issue (#11), I find their tone anti-religious, especially anti-Christian.  Not every article, but enough that I don’t want to financially support the endeavor.  And that hardly seems to “reflect the diversity of the homeschooling community.” 

I think it’s quite possible to hold discussion about homeschooling without referring to religion in a way that offends or disparages.   I think it’s possible to write about homeschooling in a way that is inclusive of those of all faiths, as well as those who choose no faith at all.  In fact, many issues facing homeschooling parents aren’t about religion at all, although for any family, faith or lack there of underlies all living.  Homeschoolers, like the larger population are diverse, just as Secular Homeschooling Magazine notes.  Reflecting that diversity doesn’t happen without respecting religious differences as part of that diversity. 

Let’s start a conversation, a respectful one, about this topic.  Do you consider yourself a secular homeschooler?  Do you follow a spiritual path that isn’t a dominant one?  How do you teach your children about the range of beliefs in our world and still focus on the beliefs your family has?  Do you do it with love and respect?  Let’s talk.

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33 thoughts on “Why We’re Not Secular Homeschoolers

  1. I have a similar problem with the word secular, and there’s a paragraph in this particular post where I address that, at least as it happens in my community:

    ‘ “Secular” homeschooler generally means “any homeschooler who is not a very conservative, creationist Christian.” If you’re a liberal, evolutionary Christian – you’re secular. If you’re an Orthodox Jew, guess where you will be lumped (unless you have a large community of other Orthodox Jews homeschooling near you) – yep, secular homeschooler! Pagan? Secular! Actual atheist? Secular! ‘

    Despite that, I noticed the same undercurrent in Secular Homeschooling and didn’t renew my subscription. My ‘about me’ on my blog says we’re “evolutionary, classical” homeschoolers, because I firmly believe that that is what people think ‘secular’ means – that you teach evolution.

    Still, I do participate in Secular Thursday, which often has little to nothing to do with religious issues of any type (i.e., my post from yesterday, “A Host of Strange Skills”, which would only be ‘secular’ in that I did not include specific goals about religion or faith for my children). It does serve as a convenient shorthand, and sadly is less incendiary than “evolutionary.” When I’m feeling witty and a little snarky, I like to call us “(r)evolutionary homeschoolers.” 😉

    • I like that term – “(r)evolutionary homeschoolers”!

      I am a contradictory bag of adjectives:

      fairly conservative (societal and political), non-Christian, evolutionary, “agnostic” for lack of a better word

  2. Pingback: Why She Isn’t a Secular Homeschooler » Smrt Lernins

  3. Interesting (tho i admit i skimmed a few parts). I go to a UU church, but not regularly and I dont consider myself a UU. I also dont really think much of the RE program there, nor have I really felt my spiritual needs met there, only my need for community.

    I do consider myself a secular homeschooler, but I commented the first ‘secular thursday’ i saw, that i found the tone too negative. I also started the ‘i homeschool and i teach the science of evolution’ fb page and specified that i wouldnt tolerate hate.

    I dont think I’m currently on a spiritual path beyond doing what I think I must, but I still try to let love and respect be my guides, and try to recognize and name and turn away from fear and hatred when I see it.

  4. I’m not a homeschooler, but I consider myself secular. I really enjoyed the book by David Cortesi, “Secular Wholeness.” You can buy the book at Amazon or read it online:

    http://www.tassos-oak.com/index.html

    “Can a skeptic reap the benefits of a religious practice? When you can’t abide ideas of the supernatural, when no religious account of the world satisfies, how can you satisfy the need for depth, engagement, serenity in life?”

    secular ways to:
    * Gain existential validity, the sense we have a right to exist.
    * Weave a richly connected, suppportive community.
    * Gain the psychological benefits of meditation and prayer.
    * Enjoy the stability and comfort of meaningful ritual.
    * Formulate and justify a personal ethical code.
    * Prepare for deaths: our own, and those of people we love.

  5. Interesting post. I am Christian, but not from a mainstream church. I disagree with many of the doctrines of traditional Christianity. Like you, our homeschooling is not secular. It is difficult to leave your beliefs completely out of teaching.

    When discussing other beliefs and practices, we do it with respect. I never put down another’s beliefs, as wrong as I may find it is. My son is young still, so its easy enough to just focus on the similarities and the differences without getting into big discussions.

    I find that I have no place in most of the homeschooling community (which is really frustrating). Many of the Christian groups, magazines, etc follow a traditional doctrine and my non-traditional doctrines are not always welcome. Many of the co-ops require you to sign a belief form, with beliefs I don’t believe. In the secular groups, the emphasis is on evolution and anti-religion.

    If you want to study evolution, that is your right. Just as it is my right to teach Creation (and I also teach what evolution is and why others believe in it.) I don’t think it needs to be the emphasis of all that you teach. I ‘teach’ our religion by a daily living of it. Yes, we study the Bible, we go to church, and at times we will discuss how our beliefs relate to what we are learning. But not every subject, every moment of teaching needs to have an emphasis on Him.

    I believe there is a need more truly secular homeschool materials, sources, and community. A place where religion is not banished, but not preached either.

  6. I have blogged a lot about this very subject. It is a sensitive one for me, as we have found ourselves being shunned by our Christian “friends”. We are Buddhist (although we have gone to the local UU church on occasion). I think if people could just put aside the need to make everyone just like them, we would all be better off, huh? Why the need to convert? We all have much more in common than we have different. We could be so much more helpful to other members of our homeschooling community if we could just embrace our differences.

      • I’m not Buddhist, but I’m definitely influenced by Buddhist and other eastern thought. My spiritual practice right now is largely of that bent. My kids have learned meditation at the Unitarian Universalist church we attend, but I’ve done little of that with them at home. We discuss watching thoughts and emotions and trying to let them pass rather than nurture the destructive one, living in the present, loving kindness, and compassion. When I started attending some chant (Kirtan — Hindu-based and in Sanskrit but interspiritual generally), my older expressed some confusion. He thought I was “mostly buddhist”. It’s a work in progress here.

  7. I categorize myself as a “secular homeschooler” because we are a secular (non-religious) family that happens to homeschool, as opposed to homeschoolers (of whatever personal view) who happen to separate their beliefs from their educational materials. I just happen to benefit from the term, regardless of each person’s definition, because it’s typically a sign that curricula suggestions and activities are likely to “fit” in my comfort zone.

    This isn’t to say there is no religious content in my kids’ studies. We are SOTW/HO fans, we concentrate heavily on the history of world religions, and my kids learn without any preconceived notions of “right” or “wrong” religious beliefs.

    Having been raised in a Christian church myself, I find enormous beauty in my kids’ ability to view all religions without any bias or prejudice. They call a spade a spade, and they embrace the wonderment and strength. Instead of comparing rules, they evaluate intent, actions, and results. They find worth (or lack thereof) in the people, not in the religious identification.

    To use (and teach as written) materials that declare a “right” view in any subject, would not only go against what I know to be true, but would interfere with my kids’ ability to work toward their own understanding. Being able to easily identify programs that avoid doing that is an enormous planning help.

    Personally, I fail to see any anger or judgment against anyone being used under the heading of “secular homeschooling”. If I did, I’m afraid I would have to begin taking offense to the term “Christian homeschooler”, or feel persecuted when reading posts that discuss the dark side of tank tops, interfaith marriages, premarital sex, mixed swimming, Obama, and the Big Bang.

    Those things don’t strike me as ANTI-secular-peoples, but as a different path that one should walk proudly if they’re going to bother walking it at all. In that vein, I claim the title of secular homeschooler equally proud.

    • >>>To use (and teach as written) materials that declare a “right” view in any subject, would not only go against what I know to be true, but would interfere with my kids’ ability to work toward their own understanding.
      <<<

      Well stated! Thank you!

  8. I consider us secular homeschoolers. My husband and I are non-religious by conscious choice. Our children may choose differently. Right now they are quite young so we’ve taken the approach of exposing them to various beliefs as we come into contact with them and our approach is to acknowledge this is how someone believes and to respect it. As they get older, I hope to study many religions and spiritual beliefs with them. I think it is impossible to study history without examining the religious beliefs of the time.
    Thank you for your post. Interesting topic for discussion.

    • Thanks for your post. Learning about the religions of the world makes for interesting study and fantastic discussion at any age. Good luck with your young ones!
      Sarah

  9. I have always considered myself a secular homeschooler as in the 2nd definition you gave (1b.) But your article has given me pause for thought. You have put into words something that I have been feeling in the “secular homeschool” world. Just because I try to use secular homeschool materials (particularly in the sciences) doesn’t mean that I don’t want the topic of religion to ever get discussed in my homeschool. When I look for secular materials it is only to avoid materials that preach religious indoctrination through the subject matter. I don’t want materials for my children that tell them “this is the way it is because God said so.” I want them to think for themselves, explore all opinions – those that are faith-based as well as those that are fact- and theory-based – and come to their own conclusions. We don’t subscribe to any specific religion. I am one of those “don’t know what to believe but it doesn’t involve a religion where some unknown, unseen *deity* controls the day-to-day life of people on this earth, punishing those who don’t follow a list of rules and rewarding those who do.”

    Like you, though, I also don’t believe that one can truly study the history of our world WITHOUT talking about the world religions involved, what the people believed and how they were driven by their beliefs. Most of what happens in history revolves around religion in some way. So I too don’t like the bashing that goes on in some circles from secular homeschoolers that want to basically excise all discussion of religion from everything they teach and seem to hate those who don’t feel the same way. I feel that is what is happening in our public schools, and in the nation in general, and I don’t think it is good for our society.

    So while I consider us secular homeschoolers to separate us from those who homeschool for religious reasons, we are using a core curriculum that has some Christian overtones. We use Trail Guide to Learning. The book itself, be it Paths of Exploration (did last year) or Paths of Settlement (doing now), is entirely secular. But the literature that is included in the program often times is from the Christian Sower Series of biographies. At first this worried me – I was afraid of them being too “preachy” assuming that I belived the same as Christians. But for the most part, the books have been very good living books and have mostly only used religion to show how it affected the lives and motivations of the people in the biographies. And, for the most part, we have really enjoyed the books.

    But I know of a circle of secular homeschoolers who wouldn’t use this program if you tried to force them to just because it was written and published by a Christian family/group and uses books published by another Christian group. I don’t mind the Christian *influence* or *overtones* as long as it is not *preaching doctrine*. And I also don’t tolerate hate.

    So when I say we are “secular homeschoolers”, it is only to say that we don’t feel that religious doctrine belongs in our learning materials, not that we will never discuss or learn about religion, Christianity or not.

    • Thanks for joining the discussion, Cindy. I’ve logged plenty of computer time looking for high quality science materials that teach evolution. The offerings are paltry. It’s a hole, and hopefully someone (my plate is full, thank you) will fill it. If evolution is omitted, that’s not my idea of high quality science materials (I’m thinking of Real Science 4 Kids). When we’ve used materials that are overtly religious (and I did use a Zoology text with my younger two years ago), I do plenty of editing and spend lots of time conversing. That’s another post, though. As for history and literature, as I’ve posted previously, all is written through a lens. Learning to understand the lenses used (religion, gender, time, location) increases understanding of the written work. We’ve read frankly Christian and Jewish materials. I’m open to literature accessable to my kids from other faiths. I think it increases understanding of the complicated world we live in.

      I laughed out loud at your description of the unknown, unseen diety. My younger insists he doesn’t believe in God, “At least not that guy-in-the-sky pulling the strings kinda God.” I’m with you there! I’m far from anti-Christian. Jesus taught unconditional love and radical inclusivity. Good stuff.

  10. Interesting post. That’s very similar to how I feel. I also blogged awhile ago about how I felt funny sometimes calling myself a “secular” homeschooler, when actually I feel that religion is a part of why I homeschool and is an essential part of life. I often find the tone of the atheist community (perhaps understandably) defensive and vitriolic and a huge turnoff for me. I haven’t found that’s so much the case in the people who identify as secular homeschoolers – including through the Secular Thursday blog posts and the magazine (though the magazine is not… well… it’s not my cup of tea, let’s just say).

    • Sounds like we’re on a similar page. I have a number of friends who identify themselves as secular homeschooler, and they’re generally a welcoming lot. But I’ve seen too many blog entries and magazine articles that are more anti-religion than pro-their-own-belief. Supporting what works for you? Great. Slamming others? That doesn’t work for me or my belief system.

      • Yeah, why can’t people just let people be and not always judge them or try to convert them or convince them they are wrong? Why can’t secular groups be more of the type of “pro-their-own-belief” and not have to be anti-religion to the point of making the entire subject taboo?

  11. I am from the Netherlands (currently living in Belgium) and for me the religious aspect of homeschooling is troubling. In West Europe we keep a few things to yourselves, we don’t talk about religion, sex and salary uninvited. These subjects are regarded private. You can discuss them, however only with good trustworthy friends. I have lived long enough abroad to know this is a (West European) local custom. In other countries religion, like in de US, religion works like social glue, it is part of your personal P.R. and is communicated clearly and openly. But I don’t feel comfortable with that.

    Paula (with one foot in her Christian background and one in Buddhism)

  12. I am a devout christian homeschooler, but I don’t consider the bible an appropriate science text. Is it really that difficult to consider judeo-christian beliefs separate from my science curriculum? Why are there so few non-christian science choices available to homeschoolers?

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, JC. While science discussions lead us to moral, ethical, and religious discussions at home, science and religion are very different in nature, and I whole-heartedly agree that the Bible isn’t an appropriate science text. Why are there so few non-Christian science choices? It probably reflects that, in the past, more homeschoolers were at home for religious reasons (don’t know the numbers now, but I do know that religion is not the number one cited reason). And I’d venture to guess that evolution was a sticky point for many of these families. The market was there. Just my guess.

      Sarah

  13. I claim the title “secular homeschooler” as a matter of convenience and clarification mostly.

    I live in an area of the country with a very large population of homeschoolers– support groups with literally a couple hundred homeschooling families on the rolls are not uncommon around here. When speaking with someone about the fact that you homeschool, the local culture sorts homeschoolers into two categories. The first is the creationism-teaching, ultraconservative who is homeschooling to instill a Christian world view through every subject and only socialize with those who do the same. These homeschoolers make up the largest portion of the population here.

    The second? Basically the second is a family who is not the first. And the term used for them most of the time is “secular” homeschooler.

    As with any good Venn diagram, there is a small section of the population that belongs to the middle. If you belong to the middle (usually referred to around here as “inclusive”) or to the “strictly secular” portions, the use of the word secular makes it easier to identify each other and to share resources that meet our needs. In my life, those who use these words are using them as a helpful community building tool, not an instrument of hate.

    I understand the frustration you’re expressing here. What would be a good substitute though? Not that a label is necessary as a badge of honor or something, but what words would help reflect the growing diversity of the homeschooling population, foster community and encourage connection among those of us who do often identify as “secular” but don’t eschew religion/spirituality completely from our lives and homeschooling efforts?

    While we don’t currently attend a UU congregation (have in the past,) we also take a fairly UU approach to spirituality in our house. I walk my spiritual path and help the children to explore what spirituality is from as many different perspectives and traditions as they are interested in so they can make choices for themselves as they grow. We also address the role various religions have played in history over time and how religion affects different cultures’ perspectives of historical events.

    • Thanks for contributing! I don’t have an issue with the secular as an adjective to define oneself of one’s homeschooling, and I use almost all secular materials (and I’d agree this term sometimes is used to include anyone or anything not creation-based). My point was that I’m not a secular homeschooler: I have religious beliefs that permeate my living and teaching. It may seem like semantics, but it’s more. I’d call myself inclusive, certainly. I have fine friends who are conservative, creation-based, Christian homeschoolers who use plenty of “secular” materials. I have Catholic homeschooling friends, some conservative some not, who use Catholic and secular materials. And I have many “others”. Some would call themselves secular, some wouldn’t, and many would likely prefer to be referred to as inclusive.
      Additionally, plenty of Christian homeschoolers are home for the same reasons I do it: they couldn’t find an affordable, appropriate education for their children.

      But it doesn’t take looking too far to see that secular doesn’t equate with inclusive. There are angry secular homeschoolers out there, and I see Secular Homeschooling Magazine as a fairly angry publication. I don’t want to be identified with that anger. But also, inclusive is different. My Catholic and Christian homeschooling friends belong to Catholic and Christian homeschooling groups. Makes sense. But they’re inclusive (after all, they hang around with me). They don’t marginalized me for what I believe, and I don’t ridicule them for what they believe. We’ve recognized we have more in common than not. After all, we’re moms at home, educating our kids, wanting the best for them. Just looking for more connection around here!

  14. Briefly, I would regard ‘secular homeschooling’ to mean not that we exclude the study of religion and religious topics from our education, but rather that we approach our learning from a non religious perspective. I have no anger towards religious people, or towards religious parents who wish to educate their children about their religion. I do get irate when people try to compel my children to absorb religious beliefs, either overly or subtly. So yes, I’m a secular homeschooler. But because I’m a secular homeschooler, my personal spiritual beliefs are not relevant in this context.

    • Thanks, Isabel. I appreciate your comments. I’m sure many secular homeschoolers share your stance on religion. The outspoken and angry ones (and there are those of every belief) have caught my attention in the past. I know my choice of materials are generally secular, but, as my post noted, I’m not a secular homeschooler. I think that regardless of our beliefs, we pass on our biases and beliefs to our kids. My kids hear quite a bit about loving kindness, acceptance, the Golden Rule (in all its forms), and the sacredness of the universe and all in it. We light a chalice with dinner and read a passage/blessing/prayer/thought from a world religion. In short, I practice beliefs and they’re along to see that done, participating as they wish. I ask for respect only. In a home without religion, that absence of ritual, habit, and language is a message in itself. I’m not criticizing the message — we each have a choice of how or if to follow a spiritual path. But I’ll maintain that it is communicated to one’s children.

      Teaching world religions is actually a separate issue, IMO. It’s pretty center stage around here, given recent years of religious education at church, and I think it’s critical for every child, if only to see that there are many paths people choose, no one more right than another, and that these paths influence the way the world works, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I’m glad your family is including that in your studies and that you stopped by to comment. Thanks!
      Sarah

  15. I would categorize our approach as “using secular materials/resources” for core subjects. I also pick/choose various resources/approaches depending on the topic we are studying and where my kids are in terms of their abilities and interests. So if forced to pick a label I would call our approach eclectic and secular. But, I had never thought of the term “secular” from the perspective that you present. I don’t think I’ve encountered the intolerance to the extent that you have. Maybe this is because I don’t participate in secular group blogs where “being” secular is discussed. I have not joined because I really feel I’ve resolved my own beliefs and time is precious & I need to spend it in more productive places.

    I do follow blogs and join groups who share productive educational information (like yours). For example, I did join a yahoo group that shares information about secular science materials but there are no discussions in that forum about “being” secular. That group simply shares ideas for educational resources. I have not experienced intolerance on that site either. With that said, I have no doubt that such intolerant individuals/groups exist. I’m sorry to hear that intolerance has confounded the use of the word “secular”. It is a convenient way, for me, to categorize a type of learning material. For example, the way I found many of our educational resources was by searching for “secular home school curricula” on the web. It was a very efficient way to quickly find resources we would appreciate.

    I found certain parallels in the materials I chose to use to the ones you chose to use – so it is then interesting that I would have defined myself as “secular” and that you don’t. I, like you, insist that our science resources are what I would call “secular”. I want straight science without any mystical or spiritual beliefs sprinkled in. However, our history text, The Human Odyssey by K12, is categorized as secular, yet it covers many of the religions, their influence on human history, and even the individual tenets in these belief systems (at a high level). All of this is presented in the interest of how beliefs and religious systems impact the course of human history. I would not have it any other way. Religious, philosophical and other beliefs (laws) are such heavy players in the twists in turns of history that if not covered some of the most powerful forces affecting human history would be missed. Without covering these topics, history would be distorted and also not very interesting. And, I think it helps with the understanding of that nature of humans. Also, ignoring or not covering these systems would be ignoring the questions about what makes humans human.

    I guess I would not define “secular history materials” as ones having no religious content and no exploration of various religions. I would expect, though, that secular history materials would be absent of an emphasis from a specific dogma or influence from only one specific belief system. And if something is defined as a secular science resource, I would expect a complete absence of spiritual content. I feel I need the word secular for the purposes of identifying/defining these materials. I would be more likely to use the words skeptical agnostic or atheist, rather than secular, to describe my own personal beliefs since secular can have such broad interpretation. But I would add tolerant as an adjective when defining my personal beliefs because intolerance is one of the most troubling facets of the human condition — intolerance leads to the nastiest outcomes in human history.

    BTW – I really like the resources you share on your blog. Thanks! Marilyn https://sites.google.com/site/sterlinghomeschoolacademy/

    • Thanks for weighing in! I’m glad you’ve not run into the intolerance that can rear its head in secular homeschooling circles as much as it can in religious circles. I think it’s largely thoughtless kickback from folks who’ve felt excluded, but it really bothers me. I’d agree that history and religion are inseparable. I guess I’d define secular history material is material without a particular religion’s “worldview” (not my favorite word).

      Glad you like the resources.

  16. What a fantastically encouraging blog! I’m a second-generation homeschooler, and I was raised Independent Fundamental Baptist, used A Beka materials, learned Young Earth Creation… now my son and I are UU and study all religions; we’re doing a study of evolution now, and I’m probably learning as much from our journey as he is. It seems that in the homeschooling world, the majority is still fairly evangelical, so it’s refreshing to see a progressive homeschool blog!

    • Thanks, and welcome! I’m always delighted to “meet” another UU homeschooler. Heck, I’m delighted to meet another UU! You are not alone in the more liberal wing of homeschooling, although that’s hard to tell from the materials at homeschool conferences and in the catalogues. I do know what you mean about learning at least as much as the child learns. I can’t believe how much my own education lacked, and I’m grateful to fill in some of those gaps as my own kids grow up. Again, thanks for writing.

      Sarah

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