Secular Home Schooling

The majority of parents who opt for home schooling do so because of either their dissatisfaction with the way education is imparted in regular schools, the unpalatable influences a child is subject to or because of their children’s special needs. There are a vast variety of home school programs available for parents to choose from. Most are based on specific religious principles – Christian (and more specifically Catholic), Jewish and other faiths.

But there are a growing number of parents who want to give their children a secular education away from all religious dogma and are looking at the secular home school option. This does not necessarily mean that they do not subscribe to religious beliefs. They may just feel that religion and education are separate issues and that they will educate their children about religion away from the schooling process.

While there are a number of non religious or secular home school programs available, the problem with them is that since they are not bound by any specific religious codes of conduct, the material that comprises the programs may often be controversial and possibly objectionable. Also because of their open approach to education many of these secular home schooling programs are very loosely structured. While home schooling is all about allowing the parents to educate children in their own way and at their own pace, many families find that a structured program works as a guide and signpost that allows them to better evaluate their children’s progress.

Secular home school is popular even among those with strong religious beliefs. These people often feel that while religion is a dominant factor in their lives, allowing it to influence their children’s education may affect them in the pursuit of their life goals. For example, a Catholic family will not accept the theory if evolution or any form of Darwinism, but feel that their children should be exposed to this school of thought and to other such issues. The children need not subscribe to these views but they will be better off by having an unbiased appreciation of contrary viewpoints.

Although secular home school programs like the Calvert home school are growing in popularity, families going in for secular home schooling are still in the minority in this country and face the problems of all minorities – lack of support because of a limited number of support groups and other institutions and prejudice from the majority of home school parents who use religion based education.

There are some things parents opting for a secular home school need to keep in mind to ensure that their children get the best possible education. Since there are no fixed parameters for what may be conveyed to children in a secular home school program, parents need to go through all the course material themselves or get advice from like minded parents, on what matter should or should not be used. Those opting for internet based home schooling should monitor what is being taught in the internet classes. The same applies to home school DVD’s which may contain concepts that parents are uncomfortable with.

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