Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Secular Homeschool Curriculum at a Glance

Secular Homeschooling (magazine)
Secular Homeschooling (magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Carol A Henderson

In the United States and abroad, the secular homeschool curriculum is not only considered to be the most common type of curriculum for families that elect to educate their children, but the most commonly accepted.

In reviewing homeschooling definitions and guidelines, you will quickly discover that the secular homeschool curriculum is a bit on the open-ended side. There are numerous explanations on what the secular curriculum encompasses.

It is generally agreed that this form of homeschooling does not affiliate itself with any type of religion. The curriculum and the individuals that engage in it are considered to be neutral when it comes to religious and/or spiritual beliefs.

If you are interested in educating a child in a homeschooling environment, you will find that there are several types of educational methods and teaching philosophies that you may choose to utilize.

Examples of the most popular types include "Unit Studies", "Classical Education", "Unschooling" and "Public Virtual School". While all of these methods and philosophies may integrate religious concepts, they may also be taught utilizing a secular homeschooling curriculum.

Many families elect to homeschool their children due to their religious beliefs. The families that utilize a secular homeschool curriculum typically are not engaging in this educational preference due to religious beliefs and/or purposes.

However, based on statistics involving families that utilize secular homeschool curriculum materials, it has been found that many Christians find that this type of curriculum is ideal and utilize it to educate their children.

Many are under the impression that homeschooling with secular materials indicates that the family considers themselves to be agnostic, or even one that holds atheist beliefs. Then, there are many that believe that this type of curriculum is used by those that refuse the concept of God or religion or at least question these concepts.

While there are cases where this holds true, it is not the case in most instances. A family may consider themselves devout when it comes to their religious beliefs, but they find that the secular homeschool curriculum is most appropriate when it comes to the educational agendas that they have for their children.

Secular homeschooling is not only an educational philosophy or type, but it is also an identity. If you are searching for curricula that are not based on or stem from religious and/or spiritual beliefs, you will find that you have numerous options available to you.

As you research homeschooling curricula that are secular based, you will quickly find that there are numerous publishers that specialize in this type of educational system. The following highlights some of the most popular publishers:

*Addison Wesley Longman
*Barker Creek Publishing
*DIVE Into Math
*Educational Fontware
*Great Source Education Group
*Hooked on Phonics
*Jensen's Grammar
*Key Curriculum Press
*Life Education
*McGraw-Hill School Division
*Oak Meadow
*Robinson Curriculum
*Scott Foresman
*The Shurley Method
*W.H. Freeman and Co.

Several of the above-listed publishers offer a curriculum that includes a variety of subjects, such as math, grammar, handwriting, social studies, science and art. However, there are several that focus on just one subject such as grammar or math.

When choosing from these publishers, it is considered ideal to review the subjects that you want your child introduced to and the subjects that your state requires. This will allow you the freedom to select multiple publishers, or to choose one publisher that offers information in all subjects.

As far as reviews from families that utilize these publishers of secular homeschool curriculum materials are concerned, the highest rated publishers include Calvert, Hooked on Phonics, McGraw-Hill School Division, Scott Foresman and Zaner-Bloser.

These curriculum options are not only used in homeschool environments, but they are also used in public schools, public virtual schools and private educational facilities as well. All come from a long line of educational tradition and are known for their attention to detail and accurate, unbiased facts.

I hope the information contained in this informative guide will assist you in easily identifying and choosing the homeschooling materials that are most appropriate for your child's education.

Carolann Henderson, homeschooling mom, website editor and researcher. You'll find lots more homeschooling information, free resources, tips and encouragement on my website. I also have a free gift for you that you will find instrumental in getting and staying organized in homeschooling and all areas of your life. Claim your free gift by visiting my website and signing up for our free newsletter "Homeschool Helping Hands".

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