I have been asked in the past what exactly secular homeschool is, why we do it. My reason might not be your reason for homeschooling, and your reason may not be the reason your neighbor has chosen secular homeschooling. Secular homeschooling in a nutshell is homeschooling without religion. It is not an easy path, but it a rewarding one.
BookShark is Secular Homeschool Curriculum
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We are secular homeschoolers, meaning that our curriculum choices aren’t going to have a religious view of any type. They aren’t going to be negative about religion but only going to give the facts. Our curriculum choice this year has been BookShark, and we have loved it. In truth, it is the only “secular” curriculum that I really had my eye on when we first started on our homeschool journey. But…
Secular or not?
Secular definition: denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.
BookShark is, by their definition, a faith-neutral curriculum, not necessarily secular, but what is the difference between a faith-neutral and secular curriculum? In my eyes and my children’s education, nothing. But there are some who do not feel that way and that’s okay, I’m not here to tell you how to think, just sharing some facts, and how I feel about it.
BookShark Science and History programs do not teach evolution, creationism, or intelligent design theory. They leave the teaching of the origins of life and matters of spirituality to the parents rather than promoting any particular viewpoint in the curriculum. If I pick up an extra book to teach my kids about evolution, it is not the end of the word.
One example from our curriculum this year: One book in the Reading with History Level 1 that we loved was The Ubsorne book of Peoples of the World. It covered all the world religions, my kids did ask more questions, and I was able to either answer them outright or we could find the answers together.
I have always looked for secular homeschool options, and have found few options available. Here’s the thing, if you are willing to dig into a curriculum deep and hard enough you find something you don’t agree with. I am looking for a curriculum without God, just with facts. The books that are chosen for a given curriculum are what’s important. Usborne books are secular, and those are some of the books that were in our curriculum, and they are amazing books.
What makes a curriculum secular to you?
At the end of the day, you are going to want to choose the curriculum that fits how and what you want to teach your child, and that’s the most important thing, not how someone else feels about it. I know that BookShark is what fits our views and family, and I have in fact already been looking at their curriculum levels and choices for next year.
We really enjoy BookShark for the content of the curriculum and the open-and-go style that it lends to parents with everything planned out for you. Some of the subjects we have used have included:
Science for 6-8-year-olds and for 9-12 year olds