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coala
Secular Curriculum
by coala
July 7 at 1:21 PM

Hi All,


I am just trying to see if I can gather some information for a friend of ours.  They are looking into their options with for their son.....he tested with an IQ of 149 at the end of 1st grade.  They aren't sure if the local district will be able to meet the educational needs of this little guy.  They are very much interested in seeing what is available as far as secular curriculum is concerned.  I am personally familiar with the more Christian curricula.  If anyone can help me point them in any direction that would be immensely helpful.

Replies

  • AutymsMommy
    July 7 at 2:01 PM

    Unless she has a very generous budget, I would advise her to go eclectic and that she may need to be comfortable with some texts with a religious POV, preferencing those with little of that, which can be easily "fixed".

    Oak Meadow is completely secular, but in my experience it is very, very gentle, behind other programs (as per the method they follow, so it's understandable), and I would never put a gifted child in the program (just my two cents, which is sure to be flamed, lol).

    Then you have Calvert. Incredibly pricey compared to most homeschool curricula. She could possibly buy it used on Ebay, but it is still pretty public school at home (uses mostly public school texts, at that.

    Some religious curriucla mixed with secular, that is pretty easily "made" secular:

    Story of the World for history

    Most math programs. I'll be honest, we aren't Amish but we really like CLE, religious references or not, for math (and I have mathy kiddos).

    Mr. Q science is secular, but really not meant for the under grade 3 or 4 crowd; same with Ellen McHenry. She would probably do best with a Catholic program here - most Catholics are theistic evolutionists (age of earth isn't a salvation issue in the catholic church) and their science books reflect that. We really like (science degrees holding husband included) Behold and See from Catholic Heritage Curriculum; thorough, enjoyable, easily implemented at home, solid science - there are mentions to the church (catholic scientists and saints).

    She could also go the literature and nature study route for science. We're using Let's Read and Find Out Science series for my kindergarten son this year (they have higher leveled reads in the same series). DH really feels that science shouldn't be heavy on the textbooks until 8th or 9th grade. We also invest pretty heavily in logic games, to help set the stage for critical thinking skills.

    Writing. At this age, he could go with PAL Writing from IEW. This is secular and the writing package includes All About Spelling Level 1.

    If he still needs phonics he could do PAL Writing's sister phonics program "PAL READING" (we use this and are adding in the writing second semester or sooner).

    Handwriting. Handwriting Without Tears if he struggles; if he doesn't, as much I dislike their overall company worldview, we're going with Abeka for handwriting. I've heard great things about it, but it should be fairly easy to find a secular handwriting.

  • anzm33
    by anzm33
    July 7 at 2:49 PM
    I buy all my secular curriculum from pearson homeschooling and saxon homeschooling these can run pricey but I only spent 300 for all my subjects for my daughters 4th grade load and my pre-k load which is mainly workbooks and phonics based so her pre-k was only about 50 of the 300 also our public school last year gave us old textbooks and workbooks they could no longer use

    Quoting coala:

    Hi All,

    I
    am just trying to see if I can gather some information for a friend of
    ours.  They are looking into their options with for their son.....he
    tested with an IQ of 149 at the end of 1st grade.  They aren't sure if the local district will be able to meet the educational needs of this little
    guy.  They are very much interested in seeing what is available as far
    as secular curriculum is concerned.  I am personally familiar with the
    more Christian curricula.  If anyone can help me point them in any
    direction that would be immensely helpful.

  • kmath
    by kmath
    July 7 at 3:24 PM

    Check out Secular Homeschool.com.  They have a ton of resources for just about any subject you can think of.

    http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/519-complete-curriculum-multi-subject/

  • No_Difference
    July 7 at 6:23 PM

    As far as secular - do they car if its from a Christian publishing company, or do they want to stay away from that all thogether. For the most part, I try to stay secular - neutral - views, but don't care where its published... 

    That being said,
    REAL Science Odyssey, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental Science
    Story of the World, History Odyssey, See Time Fly Series by Gander Publishing (this one in particular is very boastful about being with common core, but there aren't many choices in secular history I've noticed...I honestly haven't looked too much into Geography)
    I think in general most math is secular, but I could be wrong - I just went with something that worked with us...
    Writing there is a ton, but my kids have liked Write Shop Primary/Jr so far...
    Mosdos Press is a secular reading program, but its costly, and very much like what they use in schools. It was nice, but for me, it was overwhelming in information in the teacher's manual.
    All About Spelling & All About Reading

    I have found with some things, I have had to take things out, or easily change things if religious bias does get presented in a few things, or if "touchy subjects" are left out...but it was usually pretty easy. I know with science in particular, there are many that skirt around creationism vs big bang or w/e it is these days... which is fine, because then I can do something on my own between the two...  

  • BellaRose17
    July 7 at 9:28 PM

    I am using a combination of All About Reading + All About Spelling + Math U See + Bookshark History + Bookshark Science

    Bookshark is a new secular version of Sonlight (which has really good reviews) so I'm looking forward to checking it out. 

  • DesireMM
    July 8 at 10:43 AM

    Critical Thinking Co. has a lot of secular curriculum. That is where I got a lot of my children's subjects this year.

  • coala
    by coala
    July 8 at 12:56 PM

    I'm not completely sure.  The dad is becoming close friends with my SO...and I think he told him once that they just don't want to push religion until he is old enough to decide for himself.  I find it a little different in thinking from the way we are raising our children.

    I do know that they want a "good grammar base" because that is really important to the parents.  I know this little guy is only 7 and his parents are just wanting to do what is best for him.

    Quoting No_Difference:

    As far as secular - do they car if its from a Christian publishing company, or do they want to stay away from that all thogether. For the most part, I try to stay secular - neutral - views, but don't care where its published... That being said, REAL Science Odyssey, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental ScienceStory of the World, History Odyssey, See Time Fly Series by Gander Publishing (this one in particular is very boastful about being with common core, but there aren't many choices in secular history I've noticed...I honestly haven't looked too much into Geography) I think in general most math is secular, but I could be wrong - I just went with something that worked with us...Writing there is a ton, but my kids have liked Write Shop Primary/Jr so far...Mosdos Press is a secular reading program, but its costly, and very much like what they use in schools. It was nice, but for me, it was overwhelming in information in the teacher's manual. All About Spelling & All About ReadingI have found with some things, I have had to take things out, or easily change things if religious bias does get presented in a few things, or if "touchy subjects" are left out...but it was usually pretty easy. I know with science in particular, there are many that skirt around creationism vs big bang or w/e it is these days... which is fine, because then I can do something on my own between the two...  


  • No_Difference
    July 9 at 4:30 PM

    That is kind of the view point that my hubby and I have with our kids. We will let them decide which religion they prefer when they are old enough. In the mean time, I don't want any one view pushed. Instead, when we learn about different countries, we also learn about their cultures, and their religions, and how their religious views affect their culture. We by no means go into mastering any type of religion, but we will go so far as to check it out if we can locally and try and partake in some of their religious holidays if the kids want to. Nothing is forced, but to allow experiences. I want the kids to believe in something, and truly BELIEVE in it, and not "believe" because "thats what mom and dad told me to believe"...  

    As far as actual grammar, we're starting "Grammar and Writing" by Curtis Hake, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Not sure what grade it starts at.... I didn't mention that one before if I'm not mistaken. 

    Quoting coala:

    I'm not completely sure.  The dad is becoming close friends with my SO...and I think he told him once that they just don't want to push religion until he is old enough to decide for himself.  I find it a little different in thinking from the way we are raising our children.

    I do know that they want a "good grammar base" because that is really important to the parents.  I know this little guy is only 7 and his parents are just wanting to do what is best for him.

    Quoting No_Difference:

    As far as secular - do they car if its from a Christian publishing company, or do they want to stay away from that all thogether. For the most part, I try to stay secular - neutral - views, but don't care where its published... That being said, REAL Science Odyssey, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental ScienceStory of the World, History Odyssey, See Time Fly Series by Gander Publishing (this one in particular is very boastful about being with common core, but there aren't many choices in secular history I've noticed...I honestly haven't looked too much into Geography) I think in general most math is secular, but I could be wrong - I just went with something that worked with us...Writing there is a ton, but my kids have liked Write Shop Primary/Jr so far...Mosdos Press is a secular reading program, but its costly, and very much like what they use in schools. It was nice, but for me, it was overwhelming in information in the teacher's manual. All About Spelling & All About ReadingI have found with some things, I have had to take things out, or easily change things if religious bias does get presented in a few things, or if "touchy subjects" are left out...but it was usually pretty easy. I know with science in particular, there are many that skirt around creationism vs big bang or w/e it is these days... which is fine, because then I can do something on my own between the two...  



  • Mommy2Phenley
    July 10 at 3:00 AM

    We're using Singapore Math and REAL Science Odyssey. For history, we're using SOTW but I'll be skipping some chapters/activities. This one is because I already had it, otherwise I think I would go with History Odyssey (which actually uses SOTW as one of the resources, though HO itself is secular). I've read through bits of it and looked through the AG and while it is more religious than I like, I think it will be easy enough to adapt.

    For grammar and writing we're using FLL and WWE. Though from a religious publisher, I have yet to notice any religious content. That's only looking through planning though, we haven't started those yet. We started New American Cursive recently. I admit I have no idea if the publisher is religious at all, but the handwriting curriculum does not have any religious content.

    I will likely be backing off further from religious curriculum and publishers in future years, but for now since I had already chosen and purchased some of the curriculum, I am content with what we have for this coming year. SOTW will (sadly) probably be the first to go. I love what we've used of it so far, but I want a completely secular lineup.

  • coala
    by coala
    July 10 at 10:19 AM

    Thanks for the added grammar resource.  I gave him a list from everything that was listed here.  I gave him my opinion  on some of them.  I hope he can decide what will be best for this little guy.  I can tell you after hanging out with him a bit....I don't think he is emotionally mature enough to skip a grade and I think he will be teased horribly if he does.  He is UBER smart but talks so SLOW.  It is really odd.  He acts like a very young 7 yo, but is approaching his 8th birthday.  I know his parents love him and want what is best for him.  According to Dad they may not have a lot of options and find the "perfect fit but will have to choose the least of all the evils".  I need to get him a copy of our state laws to help put him more at ease.

    Quoting No_Difference:

    That is kind of the view point that my hubby and I have with our kids. We will let them decide which religion they prefer when they are old enough. In the mean time, I don't want any one view pushed. Instead, when we learn about different countries, we also learn about their cultures, and their religions, and how their religious views affect their culture. We by no means go into mastering any type of religion, but we will go so far as to check it out if we can locally and try and partake in some of their religious holidays if the kids want to. Nothing is forced, but to allow experiences. I want the kids to believe in something, and truly BELIEVE in it, and not "believe" because "thats what mom and dad told me to believe"...  As far as actual grammar, we're starting "Grammar and Writing" by Curtis Hake, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Not sure what grade it starts at.... I didn't mention that one before if I'm not mistaken. 

    Quoting coala:

    I'm not completely sure.  The dad is becoming close friends with my SO...and I think he told him once that they just don't want to push religion until he is old enough to decide for himself.  I find it a little different in thinking from the way we are raising our children.

    I do know that they want a "good grammar base" because that is really important to the parents.  I know this little guy is only 7 and his parents are just wanting to do what is best for him.

    Quoting No_Difference:

    As far as secular - do they car if its from a Christian publishing company, or do they want to stay away from that all thogether. For the most part, I try to stay secular - neutral - views, but don't care where its published... That being said, REAL Science Odyssey, Real Science 4 Kids, Elemental ScienceStory of the World, History Odyssey, See Time Fly Series by Gander Publishing (this one in particular is very boastful about being with common core, but there aren't many choices in secular history I've noticed...I honestly haven't looked too much into Geography) I think in general most math is secular, but I could be wrong - I just went with something that worked with us...Writing there is a ton, but my kids have liked Write Shop Primary/Jr so far...Mosdos Press is a secular reading program, but its costly, and very much like what they use in schools. It was nice, but for me, it was overwhelming in information in the teacher's manual. All About Spelling & All About ReadingI have found with some things, I have had to take things out, or easily change things if religious bias does get presented in a few things, or if "touchy subjects" are left out...but it was usually pretty easy. I know with science in particular, there are many that skirt around creationism vs big bang or w/e it is these days... which is fine, because then I can do something on my own between the two...  



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