I’m not an official Secular Thursday poster, but it is Thursday and I saw something at the Friendly Atheist that I wanted to comment on. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon just this once. If I think of more things to write, maybe I’ll join up but if not I recommend following all of these great secular homeschool bloggers.
According to Ken Ham at Answers in Genesis, “Homeschoolers need to be very discerning” in choosing science curricula. Truthfully, I’m shocked that I actually agree with anything Ham might say, but the above statement I agree with 100%. The rest, um…not so much.
Answers in Genesis staff have visited many vendor booths at these homeschool conventions, and we are saddened to say that there are numerous resources being sold that undermine the authority of God’s Word by promoting an anti-Christian religion (the religion of evolution and billions of years) to children. In fact, we would say from our own observations that the majority of those vendors who sell science curricula and books are selling material based on evolution and billions of years.
Well thank…God?…Goodness for that. Imagine a world in which science curriculum vendors are actually promoting science and not religion. Follow the link to the Friendly Atheist post if you want to see some examples of science books that are anti-Christian and to be avoided according to Ham.
Be precise when talking to vendors—ask very specific questions about the age of the earth, days of creation, when death came into the world, the extent of Noah’s Flood and that it covered the whole earth, the creation of Adam and Eve, whether they accept Darwinian evolution, big bang, etc. The more homeschoolers show the vendors they will only support those who stand on God’s Word as they should, the more I believe vendors and organizers of these conventions will take note.
I have never been to a homeschool convention and probably will never go to one. I’d like to think though, that vendors have heard the word, and the word is that secular homeschoolers are a fast growing segment of the homeschooling movement and we don’t want Biblically based curricula. While you may not find many secular homeschool conventions, there are more and more vendors taking a secular or neutral approach and they should be well represented at homeschool conventions.
I happen to be an atheist, but being a secular homeschooler does not necessarily mean you don’t believe in god. Many people choosing to homeschool their children today are certainly Christian (and other faiths) but do not choose a bible based education for their children. They are secular homeschoolers but perhaps don’t realize that when they start. Take this article from last year when a homeschooling mom and daughter are shocked when they realize their science curriculum disputes the theory of evolution. The text they used, from Apologia, is quite obviously evangelical Christian. After all, their tag line is “Learn, Live, & Defend the Faith” so from my point of view this family should not have been surprised at the text’s take on evolution. However, the search for good homeschool materials is overwhelming. If a family new to homeschooling doesn’t realize how much of the curricula is Bible based and how strongly Bible based it is, I can see how some run into trouble.
So yes, if you wish to teach your children the fact that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that life began 3.8 billion years ago, that dinosaurs and humans did not, ever, co-exist, that apes and humans indeed have a common ancestor, then you need to be prepared to be very discerning in what materials you choose.
A great place to start is SecularHomeschool.com’s curriculum page. And if you make it there please register and pop on over to the forum’s and say hi!