Homeschooling is a wonderful way to provide your children with a flexible, personalized education. But if you're not religious and want secular homeschool history curriculum for middle schoolers, what are your options? It can be difficult to decide which one will work best for your family.
In this article we'll explore what secular homeschooling is along with some of the best history curriculum options for middle schoolers. If you're looking for a way to expose your children to the world's best thinkers without religious dogma, then check out our list below!
What is secular Homeschool Curriculum and why would you want to use it?
Secular homeschooling is the process of teaching children at home without using any methods sourced from religious practices in the lessons or your teaching methods.
Homeschooling secularly is a great option for families who are nonreligious or have beliefs that don't want to be included in the curriculum or wish to not include any religious aspects into their homeschooling. Families may want to teach their children at home without any religious bias to the curriculum that will influence the output of what that curriculum teaches. And thankfully, you'll find a list of what I think is the best secular homeschool history curriculum available!
Some families may also elect to get a secular, or non-religious, curriculum even if they are religious, because a lot of times, what one person believes may not be the same as what another person believes and this extends to curriculum teachings as well.
The times I opted for secular curriculum (even though I'm a Christian)
Speaking from experience, one time I did this very thing. I loved this particular language arts curriculum so much – I loved how many concepts were included all in one and how it kept the kids' interest levels up the entire time.
However, there was many religious examples and statements regarding a particular belief (or should I say branch of Christianity?) that I didn't believe in. Unfortunately, it was all the way through the curriculum, so I made the decision not to continue it.
Another time, almost the opposite of the first story yet still a belief I didn't agree with, a science curriculum spoke often of evolution. Again, it was a curriculum I loved and both the kids and I were learning some interesting things. They had their curriculum set up in a way that included a hands-on approach and notebooking, which I thought was super cool (and actually I adopted this approach to teaching science to this day!).
This super cool science curriculum didn't just mention evolution once or twice – it actually seemed to be the basis of many of their concepts and I suspected evolution silently served as the foundation of their science lessons. So, again, we had to dump it. It got irritating to have to repeat to my kids “well that's not true” or “well, don't believe that part – oh, but believe this part…the science part…” I also feared it was causing more confusion with what to believe and not to believe (from our personal beliefs) than was necessary.
So even if you are a Christian, choosing a secular homeschool curriculum doesn't mean you're going against your religion! You're just opting not to have the curriculum itself add in the religion. In fact, you can add in the religion to the curriculum yourself and know exactly what your kids will learn in context to the curriculum because you created and added it.
Why just secular homeschool history curriculum – why not other Subjects for secular curriculums?
Why did I choose to give options and information about only nonreligious history curriculums here? Because of all the subjects, including science with their evolution and big bang theories, history seems to be the one subject that is overflowing with religious texts.
And for good reason! History is His-Story! History is the timeline according to my Christian beliefs of God and Jesus and prophecy.
However, non-religious history curriculum can provide your kids with a secular, critical analysis of the world's major events and movements. It can be an effective way to give kids an appreciation for knowledge and intellectual curiosity, all without bias or any conflicting or clashing religious beliefs between you and the curriculum company or author.
Again, I'm a Christian so most of the time it's cool with me to have religious curriculum, especially history curriculum, just as long as I can see what they're going to include in the curriculum. Or as long as they don't talk about a belief that I'm against (I'm against anything that conflicts with the Word of God and/or the Bible).
Therefore, secular history curriculum is far less easier to find in the midst of all the homeschool history curriculums available. And a GOOD history curriculum, at that.
Where to find secular homeschool history curriculum
There are lots of secular homeschool curriculum options available for middle schoolers that teach kids about US History, World History, World War II, American Revolution, etc. There are also colleges that exist in the United States that offer secular homeschool history courses for homeschooled high schoolers.
You can find secular history textbooks and parenting blogs to help you decide what curriculum will work best for your secular homeschooling needs.
But not all secular homeschoolers use secular history textbooks.
Keep in mind that there are also college course options available online and through other organizations like local colleges where you can learn about secular homeschooling yourself!
One good place to start is the Secular Homeschool Database. They believe educational material should be just that, educational. It doesn't matter what you believe or don't, we should all be able to access material that is clear in its intentions for our children.
You can also do a Google search for “where to find secular homeschooling” and a few decent search results pop up. You'll know it's secular because, usually, it'll have that in the title.
Another place to check out is Yellow House Book Rental because they don't discriminate to just only secular or religious items. You'll find a ton of great stuff here to rent or at least to learn more about homeschool resources, products, and, on top of that, at a great value and price!
Timberdoodle is one of my favorite places to find the best secular homeschool history curriculum because their educational material is most definitely not just textbooks and workbooks! Many of their stuff, yes, are curriculum packages for both secular as well as religious, but you can also grab things individually separate from the packages, which is unique for a curriculum company.
I have many items from Timberdoodle, ranging from games to toddler educational toys, block building toys/games, books, preschool workbooks, writing material, curriculum, and so on.
Timberdoodle creates two different curriculum packages to make sure secular families have options too! They have a curriculum package for each grade level, one called a Secular Curriculum Package for X Grade and another called Religious Curriculum Package for X Grade.
Different secular homeschool history curriculum options
There are many secular options out there that can be used for secular homeschool curriculum and secular middle schoolers, including textbooks such as the Ancient Civilizations textbook from the Wonders of World History series by Susan Wise Bauer.
This book includes a more secular friendly version of how ancient civilizations formed, their rise and fall and it does not have the potential to offend anyone with differing views on religion or secularism but still includes all of the most important parts of ancient civilizations without including any religious aspects.
Here is a list of different secular homeschool history curriculum options:
The Story of the World (though many say it has a general secular worldview and others argue it is not secular at all. It does mention different people from the Bible, though it treats the Bible as just another book and just another story, which doesn't mesh well with me either).
Girls of American History
The Great American History Timeline
Big History Project
Blossom & Root: US History
A History of US by Joy Hakim (11-volume set)
A Young People's History of the US (Zinn)
Royal's Fireworks Press: Adventure on the American Frontier
All In One Secular Homeschool Curriculum that includes history by Timberdoodle
Moving Beyond the Page
Global Village School
Magic Forest Academy
Secular History Books
Everything You Need to Ace American History In One Big Fat Notebook
Story of the World
Kingfisher's History Encyclopedia (Grade level 4-6). (It does have evolution references and arranged in chronological order with dates beginning 40,000 BC.)
And if you're interested in checking out local secular homeschool groups, A2Z Homeschooling has a fabulous list.
Best Secular Homeschool History Curriculum Options for Middle Schoolers
Secular homeschool history curriculums are designed to be non-religious, with the goal being for students to have a secular education with any religious input from the company. The content is usually less religious in nature and more secular—which means that it promotes critical thinking over blind faith or dogma.
Again, if you are Christian like I am, you can choose a secular homeschool curriculum and then add in your own religious material so you will know exactly what will be taught to your children that's aligned with your beliefs. With all of these secular options popping up and becoming more frequent, you’ll never run out of options!
Do you have more secular history resources to add to this list? What do you think is the best secular homeschool history curriculum? Put them in the comments below! I'd love to hear about them!
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