What is a secular homeschool and how is it different from any other homeschool? It is often thought that the main reason people choose to homeschool is because they want their child(ren) to have a more religious base to their education. Thousands of people search for information on Catholic homeschools, Christian homeschooling, or Bible-based homeschools every day. The main difference in religion based home schools and secular homeschools is not so much in structure, or even subjects that are covered, as it is the fact that parents choosing to use a secular homeschool method are doing it because they don’t feel like the public school system is providing the quality of education they would like or because they feel like the schools in their area are dangerous or not able to handle a special need of their child(ren).
The word secular, according to thefreedictionary.com means “not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body”. The public school system has certain federal regulations that must be followed in regards to teaching anything from a religious point of view. On the opposite end of the pendulum are Christian, Muslim, or other religious based schools where the curriculum is almost all based on religious principles. Secular homeschools, rather than basing all of the teaching and educational materials around a base religion, tend to focus on providing their children with an excellent, safe education without using a single base for shaping the curricula or methods of teaching. Some types of homeschooling that often, but not always, follow a secular homeschool approach include: Montessori, Waldorf, Eclectic, and Unschooling. These types of schools tend to focus more on the child’s interests, educating the “whole” child, and using a variety of teaching methods to ensure a broad but thorough education for each child.
Secular homeschool is a term sometimes used to help parents/teachers in their search for homeschool materials, be able to easily find resources that are not religious in base. Because there are so many religion based home schools it can become frustrating for parents trying to find homeschool curriculum that is not based on religious teachings. There are many websites that focus completely on secular homeschool education, these websites can be a great resource for materials, support groups, extra-curricular activities, and much more. Having a network of people to share information, ideas, and tools with makes the whole homeschool experience more enjoyable and successful for everyone involved.
There is no real need to define or categorize a homeschool but, especially when searching for homeschool information online, the more narrow the focus the easier it will be to find the results that each homeschooler is looking for. If a homeschool teacher searches for homeschool curriculum in Google, he/she will have literally millions of results to sift through. Narrowing that search to secular homeschool math curriculum narrows the results to only 183,000 results. This still seems like a ton of information to sift through, but the fact that you have weeded out millions of sites makes the task much more manageable. For general homeschooling information visit letshomeschool.com or educationbug.org.