We are considering homeschooling our children and are having a hard time determining what program(s) to go with. I was wondering if you might give me your advice. Can you tell me what you use?
I know that most of the programs have religious components and I’m not worried about that, as we consider ourselves to be Christian, but I don’t want the science to be dumbed downed or distorted from the scientific evidence for evolutionary theory. I don’t want creation totally discounted, but I also don’t want evolution to be discounted. So, I guess I’m asking what might be a good route to take with their science education given the route that I want to take?
Are there any non-religious homeschooling options? Those would also be something I’d be interested in, as we can always do the Bible study outside of their homeschooling program.
Thanks so much for your time!
Inquisitive Homeschool Dad
I’m so glad you and your wife are considering homeschooling. I think you will love it, just as we have.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with too long a list of all the different books and programs we’ve used over the last 24 years — especially as I do not know the ages or grade levels of your children — so I’ll briefly address your specific questions here, then refer you to our curriculum page for details about the various books we like for different subjects at different levels.
Regarding science, I’m not sure any of the programs with which I’m familiar are going to meet your criteria during the lower grades, but once you get to high school level texts, I think Apologia does an excellent job of discussing evidence for evolutionary theory in a fair and balanced way (although it is definitely written from a Creationist viewpoint).
As for your question regarding homeschooling options, if by non-religious you mean non-Christian, the answer is yes, I am certain such programs are available, although I’m not personally familiar with any of them.
If by non-religious you mean philosophically neutral, I would have to say no.
Every book, every curriculum ever published was authored by someone or some group who holds to some system of belief based on presuppositions (even if that system is atheism or secular humanism), and those beliefs and presuppositions will inevitably inform and influence what is written, to a greater or lesser degree — maybe not discernibly in fields like mathematics or electrical engineering, but certainly (and often blatantly) in courses such as biology and history and literature and ethics.
This is one of the primary reasons our family chose to homeschool in the first place. Not that we think every assignment in every subject should be turned into some sort of Sunday school lesson — in fact, I rather dislike “preachy” sounding textbooks and moralizing literature.
And not that we think every book our children read should be written by a Christian — we enjoy reading a wide variety of books from broad range of authors.
But we try to be cognizant of the perspective from which each book is written and to examine every idea we encounter in light of Biblical truth, which we consider foundational to all of life and learning.
Hope that answers your questions. As you can see, my response is not “philosophically neutral” either, although I do strive to be balanced. 🙂