lot of confusion or misinformation in the secular homeschooling community
regarding what makes a curriculum or resource secular. I find this both troubling and
frustrating. To me, and perhaps I’m just
oversimplifying things, it’s a very easy distinction to make. If any materials include religious content
for any purpose other than academic discussion as they affect or impact a
subject, then those materials/curriculum are NOT secular. Period.
at a few examples.There is a math
curriculum that uses religious content for their skip counting songs.Guess what?That means that curriculum is not secular.It doesn’t matter if you use it and aren’t
bothered by the inclusion of the religious material (because you skip it, or
whatever).The inclusion of religious
content negates the ‘secular’ label and potential purchasers should know what
they are getting.
There is a history curriculum that uses Story of the World
as one of their spines. That curriculum
is not secular. Story of the World
treats Christian mythology as historic fact – through the language they
use. Another curriculum incorporates
Elemental Science into their literature based curriculum, thereby negating a
secular label. Neutral science isn’t
science any more than Intelligent Design or Creationism is science.
to say you can’t use what you want and call yourself a secular
homeschooler. If you don’t mind the
religious slant/content and/or are willing to modify or enhance the curriculum
to use that’s your business. However,
the secular homeschooling community deserves to know, clearly and distinctly,
what curriculum/resource does and doesn’t use religious content and real
points out that a resource isn’t secular that should mean one thing and one
thing only – there is either religious content included outside the realm of
academic application and/or it is void of real science (evolution is not
taught, generally speaking). It doesn’t
mean that there is anything wrong with being a religious person, it’s not an
attack against religion.It isn’t
PERSONAL.It’s academic.The religious homeschoolers have more than
enough resources that are created specifically for them.We, as secular homeschoolers, need to STOP
accepting curricula that includes religious content when labeled as
secular.Let secular be secular and use
whatever the hell you want, but don’t tell me something is secular because you
don’t have a problem with the religion in it.
the one clear definition as secular homeschoolers and let’s be strong in our
curriculum/materials have NO religious content other than that which is used
for academic study and it teaches scientific principles as accepted by the
scientific community at large.
Use what you
want, but don’t call it secular unless it really is.