I spent a good amount of time recently redoing the pages of my website. I wanted to make things a little easier to read and find. I also added in entire new sections (educational apps for kids and useful apps for homeschooling parents) for added information. I am hoping that it is becoming a fairly fleshed out resource, and I am constantly trying to add new things as I find them. It is quite a bit faster to add one new item than to surf through my backlog of saved materials.
I’ve also been refining my secular or not warnings. There are a lot more neutral curriculum out there than I originally thought. There are also a lot of brands that do both secular and religious materials, and their idea of secular isn’t exactly aligned with true secularism. Thus even if an item is stamped as secular on a website, I encourage you to do more in-depth looks to see if it is the kind of secular that fits in with your family, so you aren’t wasting money on materials you might not end up using.
I’ve recently been taking a harder look at some boxed all in ones that are very popular and promoted as secular (I won’t list them but they are marked on my all in ones curriculum section), but they actually have religious overtones. These items might work great for religious families that are attempting to secular homeschool, but not be secular enough for those of us who are not religious.
That is because these curricula are created by religious based companies. Changing one or two items to make it ‘secular’ unfortunately does not change the overall tone of the rest of the materials, that were selected for the religious version of the package.
Things like Story of the World or other religious items end up getting used as reference materials, which are controversial items in the secular community, some people find them useful and a lot of people don’t. Life of Fred is another high-profile item that lots of secular people end up using but a lot of people dislike. The writer injects gender stereotypes, unhealthy relationships, and other items that secular homeschoolers do not enjoy.
These are things that we who try to take a more balanced approach to religious teaching need to be aware of, because the worldview of one religion is not necessarily how we want our children to learn. I personally plan on teaching all religions as equal. Therefore a curriculum with things like religious overtones or items would not be for me. I am trying hard to get materials that homeschoolers like me can use.
If you are still reading this you probably feel as strongly as I do about the topic, and this blog is for you. We might be the minority in the homeschooling community, but we have resources available to us, although they can often be hard to find in the masses of religious material. I am hoping that this blog will eventually have comprehensive resources for every style of learning and homeschooling method.
I hope you can enjoy and get some use out of my new updates and easier to read format so that we can all benefit from the constant research I end up doing. I am always on the hunt for new resources that look interesting, and are actually useful for us non religious folks.