Generally speaking, one of the first big steps when choosing to homeschool is determining if you are going to include religious content in your students’ curriculum or lesson plan, or if you are going to avoid it.
A large portion of homeschoolers left public school in order to teach their own faith to their children on an ongoing basis, mainly because public schools are slowly but surely removing the freedom of religion from the school system entirely.
However, it isn’t always about religious freedoms when people decide to bring their children home, and some parents may seek methods that do not depend on a foundational beliefs system and want to focus on the subject matter that their children will need to be successful.
There is nothing wrong with that either, it’s what is often refered to as “non-religious” or “secular” homeschooling, but that doesn’t always mean the prohibition of religion or that parents are trying to sway our children’s minds on these delicate subjects either.
Some parents simply choose to teach the history associated with different faiths and when a question comes up about someone or something, they answer it to the best of their abilities and encourage kids to research it in further detail to make their own decisions about religion and faith.
If this aligns with the direction you have gone or would like to go with your homeschooling efforts but are still kinda asking yourself “What is secular homeschooling?”, I encourage you to read on to find out more about this sometimes controversial topic so you can make more informed decisions regarding your children and the form of education that will best suit them.
Hey there, my name is Jerromy and I am all about that homeschooling life!
I was homeschooled on a farm and I do my best to apply the same values I was brought up with as I teach my own children at home to this very day.
My main goal is to help other homeschooling parents make educated decisions about their kids’ schooling by providing resources and information to help them avoid the mistakes I have made on my journey homeschooling my kids.
If you are new to homeschooling, check out my article on how to get started the easy way.
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What is Secular Homeschooling?
Secular homeschooling allows you to teach your children without any indoctrination that could accompany religious teachings and practices. Instead, it works toward preparing your child for the future, both as a critical thinker and as an active participant in a world that is no longer built the religion of its citizens.
If anything, it is more important now to be aware and respectful of the faiths and beliefs of others than it is your own these days, which agree with that fact or dont, but that is a fact we must all face at some point in my opinion.
Why You Need to Know
By identifying the elements that make up secular homeschooling, parents can determine if this would be a good fit for their family or if they should lean to a different method entirely. Primarily, newer homeschoolers may be trying to avoid a Christian-based homeschooling curriculum, as those are the most common.
It is very important for parent-teachers to understand that they are not bound to follow a certain curriculum or set of guidelines as long as it remains within the legal bounds of your home state or country; rather, we have the ability and right to choose to teach our children and that includes choosing to teach nothing at all or everything in great detail regarding faith.
If you are one of the many that have chosen to go the non-religious homeschooling route and omit strict faith-based education techniques for your lesson plans, you are most likely going to be considered “secular homeschoolers” more often by those who are involved with faith-based homeschooling.
While this isn’t really a stereotype thing, its just that public schools are generally considered secular because they dont enforce religious teachings, so non-religious homeschooling is grouped in with it by most homeschoolers who focus their teachings on a set religion.
Cons of Secular Unschooling
The fact that there is a metaphorical line in the sand between religious and non-religious homeschool curriculum, it often creates somewhat of a barrier when trying to decide what homeschool materials to include in your curriculum as there are seemingly more faith-based options out there.
There may also be those that try to look down on you for choosing to no teach your kids a certain faith, and while this isn’t always the case, I have personally received backlash from family members that led to my lack of faith being exposed, which was another issue all on its own.
Fear not though, as there are entire communities that are established for those specifically choosing no to go down the path everyone else thinks they should, and if you ever start to question your choices because of what someone else says about your homeschooling choices all you need to do is seek out “secular Homeschooling” groups online. Who knows, you may even find a larger Co-op in your area that is full of like-minded parents and children!
Pros of Secular Homeschooling
Secular homeschooling is about complete freedom of religion (or lack of religion) and freedom of thought, both of which are inalienable rights that belong to all of us, so we can make the best decisions for ourselves regarding faith and beliefs systems.
Aside from simply not being faith-based, secular homeschooling has a strong focus on the scientific method and critical thinking skills to help kids decipher information and make their own opinions as they grow and learn about the world around them and its rich histories without a particular bias getting in the way.
How My Kids Fare Without Religious Teaching
Most secular homeschoolers recognize that they have a moral obligation to be good citizens and we do our best to teach our children to contribute to the greater good of society, even those with opposing ideas and upbringings.
I have found that not enforcing a specific religion has given my kids more tolerance for others and their beliefs, as well as encouraging them to learn more about where other people come from and how the ideas we all share can build a better tomorrow for generations to come.
Removing the distractions of religion can open your children’s minds in new ways so they become more receptive of information simply because they arent looking at everything through a lens.
Affordable Secular Homeschooling Curriculum
Every platform, program, or curriculum I have listed on my website is going to fall under the category of Secular Homeschooling, so if you need some ideas check out these articles to learn more:
By far, the best option for ANY new or experienced homeschooler looking for something that aligns with the thoughts and ideas covered in this article would be Time4Learning.
Check it out risk-free for 14 days here.
I personally incorporate this online homeschool curriculum in my kids’ daily lesson plan, even though we are technically unschoolers. It works out great and my kids can handle 80% of the work on their own, which leaves a lot of time for me to work and I still feel confident about the level of information they are interacting with on the very easy to navigate interface.
So far I have seen ZERO religious references, and the content is focused on teaching them what they need to know in order to stay aligned with what their public school peers are learning.
Remember to Share This Article
If you know someone in need of advice or information before moving forward with secular homeschooling, send them here!
We can all use a little help and direction at times, and that is why I write for this website. I have made a lot of uninformed decisions during mine and my kids’ homeschooling journey, so I want to help everyone I can stay on top of information and make the best possible decisions for their kids’ education!
For now, I bid you farewell, but know that I am here to help you on your path to home education, and I encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chit-chat about homeschooling stuff; Just comment on one of my posts, and I will respond ASAP!
Have a great day!