Author Topic: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...  (Read 1425 times)

bluski

  • Padawan Learner
  • Posts: 2
There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« on: March 03, 2010, 08:30:57 PM »
Hi there.

Is anyone else a secular homeschooler, has been, or is homeschooling their kids?

I'm a homeschooler, and I'm starting to get tired of people thinking that I'm super-religious because I'm a homeschooler... but I'm not.
I usually introduce myself as a homeschooler, for fear of two things:

1: the word "secular" actually sounds like it could be related to being religious to me, and I bet a good chunk of today's society doesn't know what the word means

2: "unreligious homeschooler" might make people hate me.  :shake:  (though both my parents are Christians, they don't teach me religion... reading, writing, and arithmetic; the basics  :) )

But I can see why they think so. Secular Homeschooling is virtually unheard of... people automatically associate "homeschool" with "religion", it seems. On another forum I go on, they have a Homeschooling Club. I'd say 90% of the members are super-religious. The club even has a "prayer request" section. (the only other club that has that is the Christian Club... I mean, really, people... having a Prayer Request thing on a homeschool club is kind of like having... well, I don't know what it's like having, but it's somewhat unrelated to me. Like having an article about apples on a thread about bananas. There. Came up with something.)

Sorry for the somewhat-long and somewhat-rant-y thread. This is just a touchy subject for me.

Whitney

  • Global Moderator
  • Don't Pray in My School, and I Won't Think in Your Church
  • *****
  • Posts: 7358
  • Gender: Female
  • Mysteriously Absent - Like God
    • http://fellowshipoffreethought.org
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 08:56:07 PM »
A freethought friend of mine homeschools one of her kids.

Puddinhead

  • Beginning to See the Wedge
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 05:17:34 AM »
Hi Whitney!  Nice to meet you.  I'm pretty new here myself but had to respond to this.

Both my (Pastors wives) sisters homeschool and I said that I would never, ever do that to MY kids.  Yeah., you know where THIS is goin' doncha?  Last year I homeschooled my son Jack!  It was the best decision for us in that circumstance.  For the record, we used K-12 for curriculum and I couldn't say enough good about it.  In History he learned about Islam, Judaism, Christianity and the Hindu faith (as well as Confucionism, come to think of it).  And in English, it was amazing.  He went from scoring in the around 80th percentile to scoring in the 99th percentile and why-isn't-this-kid-in-advanced-placement.

And...yes, it is very lonely to be secular, even in K-12 where we had few meetings.  When we did meet, the vast majority were right-wing nutjobs. We made absoltuely no friends in it.  When Jack would join any kind of teleconference meetings with classmates, he felt oddly uncomfortable too.

I know that they're out there...but it's hard to find.  How old are your kids?  Jack is 14 now.  He's back in "regular" Jr. High, at his request.  He admits that he learned more in our year of homeschooling, but he says that he wants to be around other kids during the day.  So...he's 14 and I let him decide this one.

TheOGMamaBear

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 08:59:15 PM »
My children are too young yet, but we are also thinking of homeschooling. A lot of people think the same when I mention homeschooling. I even had a lady tell me I should rent books from her church.

I also occasionally had people ask if I was having a home birth for religious reasons. lol
"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it."

Don't we all love Mark Twain?

notself

  • Not Sure About That Kool-Aid
  • **
  • Posts: 339
  • Gender: Female
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 09:17:50 PM »
Quote from: "TheOGMamaBear"
My children are too young yet, but we are also thinking of homeschooling. A lot of people think the same when I mention homeschooling. I even had a lady tell me I should rent books from her church.

I also occasionally had people ask if I was having a home birth for religious reasons. lol

My nieces had been told again and again how terrible the local schools were.  I said again and again, put your kids in school.  Try it for a couple of months.  If they felt that the school was as bad as they were told then they could pull their kids out and home school.  Well the local school is very good.  They start teaching computers in the first grade.  They have music classes.  The science classes have hands on experiments.  All kids are regularly given lectures on bullying, drugs and alcohol.

Put your kids in school and volunteer as a classroom aide.  Make your decision about homeschooling by direct experience.

Whitney

  • Global Moderator
  • Don't Pray in My School, and I Won't Think in Your Church
  • *****
  • Posts: 7358
  • Gender: Female
  • Mysteriously Absent - Like God
    • http://fellowshipoffreethought.org
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 09:37:38 PM »
Quote from: "notself"
Put your kids in school and volunteer as a classroom aide.  Make your decision about homeschooling by direct experience.

I think it depends on the kid too, if they have problems keeping up or problems with being challenged at a local public school then homeschooling may be what they need even if the school is a good one.  I would think the big drawback to homeschooling is making sure the kid develops proper social skills that they would normally pick up by interacting with their school friends...oh and whomever is homeschooling them not being able to have a day job.  The social interaction can be taken care of by joining sports leagues and things like that; but there is also something to be said for being forced to interact with kids from differing socioeconomic background (I know going from private to public school in 8th grade was a culture shock; in a good way) it teaches understanding and acceptance of those who are different.

notself

  • Not Sure About That Kool-Aid
  • **
  • Posts: 339
  • Gender: Female
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 10:28:34 PM »
My nieces' children are a bit pissed that they were home schooled at all.  Now we use homeschooling as a threat if they misbehave as in "If you don't do you school work, we will pull you out and home school you."   :)

joeactor

  • That guy you know.
  • Global Moderator
  • Has an Invisible Dragon in Their Garage
  • *****
  • Posts: 3771
  • Gender: Male
  • Reading Invisible Ink Novels
    • Joe's Dump
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 09:15:54 PM »
No kids here, but by the looks of it, you may have some problems with finding a good science book:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100306/ap_ ... _evolution

Whitney

  • Global Moderator
  • Don't Pray in My School, and I Won't Think in Your Church
  • *****
  • Posts: 7358
  • Gender: Female
  • Mysteriously Absent - Like God
    • http://fellowshipoffreethought.org
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 09:39:19 PM »
Quote from: "joeactor"
No kids here, but by the looks of it, you may have some problems with finding a good science book:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100306/ap_ ... _evolution

You can thank the current Texas School Board for that.  Texas is so big that the texbook companies will edit their books to fit the approval of Texas so that they don't lose out on such a huge market.

TheOGMamaBear

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 01:22:36 AM »
Quote from: "Whitney"
Quote from: "joeactor"
No kids here, but by the looks of it, you may have some problems with finding a good science book:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100306/ap_ ... _evolution

You can thank the current Texas School Board for that.  Texas is so big that the texbook companies will edit their books to fit the approval of Texas so that they don't lose out on such a huge market.


Yuck that makes me want to vomit. I'm scared for my babies.
"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it."

Don't we all love Mark Twain?

Puddinhead

  • Beginning to See the Wedge
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2010, 04:08:07 PM »
I had to chime in again.  If it is the route you decide to go, I would strongly recommend looking into K12.  Their curriculum can't be beat.  In 7th grade science Jack did a over a month on evolution, including a few weeks just on what Darwin was like as an person and details about his voyage on the Beagle.

I don't errr....work for them or anything.  I had just seen scary "textbooks" that my fundy sisters had used and was delighted to find that the K12 stuff was far superior to the books in my own district.

notself

  • Not Sure About That Kool-Aid
  • **
  • Posts: 339
  • Gender: Female
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 06:34:45 PM »
You didn't say how old your kids are but if they are in the primary grades, you will find this link helpful.  It takes $20 per year to join and it is really worth it for interesting materials for the young ones, K-5.
http://members.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html

dogsmycopilot

  • Has Received Bacon
  • *
  • Posts: 104
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2010, 08:04:01 PM »
Hi, first post here. A friend pointed out this link on Twitter.
We are secular homeschoolers in Mississippi.
It does exist, although I agree it does get old having to explain we aren't religious. There are plenty of great resources out there for anyone considering it and you donot have to use the religious stuff so many recommend.
We did it for a number of reasons, my daughter was sick a lot for one. But when it came right down to it, unless we wanted our children inculcated with religion instead of education we had to do something.  It does greatly depend on the child but none of the stereo types are true. My children are now teens and they are healthy well adjusted and don't spend all their days with their noses in books- in fact, that was part of why we did it. Public schools have so much busy work that means nothing. We get what they do done in half the time and have time for fun and things like Astronomy club.
I'm not shy about telling people we aren't religious and that prepackaged curriculums don't work.
Anyway, I guess I'm going to stroll around your forum now! Nice to meet you guys :)

TheOGMamaBear

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 09:26:56 PM »
Quote from: "dogsmycopilot"
Hi, first post here. A friend pointed out this link on Twitter.
We are secular homeschoolers in Mississippi.
It does exist, although I agree it does get old having to explain we aren't religious. There are plenty of great resources out there for anyone considering it and you donot have to use the religious stuff so many recommend.
We did it for a number of reasons, my daughter was sick a lot for one. But when it came right down to it, unless we wanted our children inculcated with religion instead of education we had to do something.  It does greatly depend on the child but none of the stereo types are true. My children are now teens and they are healthy well adjusted and don't spend all their days with their noses in books- in fact, that was part of why we did it. Public schools have so much busy work that means nothing. We get what they do done in half the time and have time for fun and things like Astronomy club.
I'm not shy about telling people we aren't religious and that prepackaged curriculums don't work.
Anyway, I guess I'm going to stroll around your forum now! Nice to meet you guys :)
"The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it."

Don't we all love Mark Twain?

Businessocks

  • Made of Star Stuff
  • *
  • Posts: 86
Re: There is such a thing as Secular Homeschooling...
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2010, 01:34:26 AM »
Hi, another secular homeschooling mother here.   And another person who swore she would NEVER homeschool, :brick: ) and other pro-Christian tendencies.  I point this out only for the other posters who said they are considering homeschooling.  If avoiding the state's view of "appropriate" teaching materials is a concern, this option won't solve your problem.  It will, however, provide you with a ton of free--and some very awesome (I've browsed friends' materials) resources.

Glad to see other hs'ing famililes on here!
The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson