Secular curriculum hard to find

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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angelmommy3plus1
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Secular curriculum hard to find

Postby angelmommy3plus1 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:11 pm

I am going to be homeschooling for the first time this year and I have yet to totally pick a curriculum for my kids. I live in Wyoming and the subjects you have to teach are Reading, Writing, Math, Civics, History, Literature, and Science. My children will be in Kindergarten and 3rd grade and I also have a prek aged child that I would like to involve as well. Plus I want a secular curriculum. I've seen a couple packaged secular curriculum but the price is usually quite high on those and I'm hoping to not spend that much. Mixing all that together has made my search very frustrating... If anyone had any suggestions to look into it'd be great and it'd help me out a great deal!!! I need to turn in a list of my children's curriculum to the local board of trustee's here soon and I can't come up with a list I'm happy with...

angelmommy3plus1
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Postby angelmommy3plus1 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:33 pm

Oh and on a side note... we are Christian I just don't feel comfortable teaching it.

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elliemaejune
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Postby elliemaejune » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:56 pm

Let me just point out first that "curriculum" does not mean "the list of textbooks or other materials you are using."

Your "curriculum" means the subjects you are teaching, the scope and sequence. You should be able to turn in something like this:

English: Reading, spelling, grammar and composition, suitable to child's ability, with a focus on early American literature.

Math: Basic functions of addition, subtraction, mulitplication and division; simple geometry; terms; simple banking.

History: American history, from the early colonional period to World War 11. Special emphasis on Wyoming history.

Science: Botany

And *that's* what "curriculum" is.

Also, only your oldest child is compulsory school age; you don't have to turn in anything for your younger dc.

As far as which materials you will use to teach those things:

Modern Curriculum Press (math and spelling) and Saxon are secular; Writing Road to Reading; Easy Grammar and Writing Strands; Steck Vaughn; Backyard Scientist; Usborne Books; are all secular. You don't actually need a textbook for a dc who is only 8ish; the library is full of wonderful books. Also, have you seen Ambleside Online? It's a Charlotte Mason site, using mostly trade books (books you would find at the library or purchase, as opposed to textbooks). The list of things that you would cover in a year is your "curriculum," no need to list textbooks/workbooks/publishers.
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Lily
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Postby Lily » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:52 am

We use secular curriculum. This year (4th grade) we're using

Math - Math U See
Language Arts - Writing Strands/Critical Thinking Co. books
History/Geography - Story of the World (although I heard History Odyssey is good, too)
Science - NOEO Biology II (there's also the option of REAL Science, through the History Odyssey site)
Foreign Language - Latin's Not So Tough!
Reading/Literature - books from the library

Civics is taught easily with this being an election year.

Other things you might want to look at are Charlotte Mason (www.amblesideonline.com), Five In A Row, or just browsing around www.homeschoolreviews.com
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Postby mschickie » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:03 am

Have you tried your library too? I know ours has subject kits that you can take out and do unit studies. They have them on history, cooking, math, art, science you name it. You can also purchase curriculum from the various secular publishers. It can be expensive but they will sell to homeschoolers too. If you want some literature guides to expand the reading try novel units which are secular. Do you have a teacher's store in the area (like Holcombs)? They would have a bunch of stuff that would be great for those ages.

angelmommy3plus1
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Postby angelmommy3plus1 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:14 pm

Thank guys!!! We just moved here not too long ago so I'm still trying to find the closest library and seeing if we have a teacher's school here. I found a website that says you can type in where you live and it'll put the closest teacher store and it didn't look like we had any all that close from that site but it could be wrong...

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Postby ontheprairie » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:59 am

With Bob Jones you can choose not to do the Bible course.

I do not want to sound judgmental at all - and really it is completely up to you. But, why would you feel uncomfortable teaching something you believe in? How is that any different than teaching the kids math, history, and science? I know you will respond with - those subjects have nothing to do with religion but that is not what I mean. What I mean is : if you feel comfortable teaching your kids math, science and history at home and you are a Christian then why are you uncomfortable with teaching the kids a Bible course?

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Postby mousesmommie » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:39 pm

We are completely secular in our schooling. I purchased gobs of used ps books, and use them as a resource. There's not enough content to use these books as an only source even if it's what the state considers adequate. I bought books mostly from ebay at about $5-$20 per subject. Most of that included textbooks, workbooks, and teacher resources. Everything else I get from online sources or my sisters imagination. The nice thing is with the textbooks I can resell them later. I just eat the cost of the workbooks. After adding time, printer paper and the contiual cost of the amazing disappearing ink cartridge, I can't see why not to let them write in them. For this year I spent maybe $100 on Kindergarten and 2nd grade books. very affordable IMO.
to find them do an ebay serch under books for either subject i.e. science and weed through the religious books or try typing in publisher i.e. harcout, opencourt, mcgraw-hill ect.. with grade or subject. HTH

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Postby ncmom » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:45 am

Just because you use a Christian based curriculum doesn't mean you have to teach Bible. I use Abeka which is Christian based curriculum but unless I buy Bible curriculum I am not teaching Bible classes. If you are Christian anyway then why does it matter if the English book references a book in the Bible in a sentence that you have to find the subject and verb in? Or the science book references the fact that God made the animals? I wouldn't think your kids would even second guess this information if they already know it, they will just read over it like any other sentence.
Maybe I am just misunderstanding your concern.

For secular curriculum I would check ebay for books by Holt or McGraw Hill.

You might try these sights.
http://catalog.macmillanmh.com/catalog/index.php
http://www.glencoe.com/
http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZ13f
http://go.hrw.com/gopages/state_resources.html

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Postby WishboneDawn » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:42 am

ontheprairie wrote:With Bob Jones you can choose not to do the Bible course.

I do not want to sound judgmental at all - and really it is completely up to you. But, why would you feel uncomfortable teaching something you believe in? How is that any different than teaching the kids math, history, and science? I know you will respond with - those subjects have nothing to do with religion but that is not what I mean. What I mean is : if you feel comfortable teaching your kids math, science and history at home and you are a Christian then why are you uncomfortable with teaching the kids a Bible course?


Speaking as a Christian homeschooling my kids the problem goes beyond simply a Bible course.

Most Christian homeschooling materials are evangelical protestant and biblically literal in their approach to Christianity. They simply aren't suitable for many of us who are from different Christian traditions. It's reflected not simply in their bible courses but also in the science (where ID and creationism often reign) and tends to permeate most other subjects. This is fine if you're in agreement with it all. It can be problematic if you don't. Even more problematic I'd argue for some Christians then for secular homeschoolers who use the materials since the assumption in the materials often is that what they present is the correct and only view of Christianity. If you're a liberal Anglican or a Catholic, this can present a lot of problems.

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Postby WishboneDawn » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:42 am

Here's a great list of secular suppliers:
http://docsdomain.net/blog/?page_id=711

ontheprairie
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Postby ontheprairie » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:14 pm

Yes, I didn't think of all that - there are many different 'kinds' of Christian. Hope all works well for you.

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Secular Curriculum

Postby easyhomeschooling » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:32 pm

I'd also suggest the library and it would help to have a general guide book to help you know how to implement such a great free resource.
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Veritas
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Lots of Options -- but takes some practice to find

Postby Veritas » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:54 am

Wow - I have had a lot of practice with this one because we have a public school version of our program, for which we are not allowed to purchase religious-based materials (doesn't mean the parents can't us them though!). :wink:

Some great ideas already listed here... would like to echo Math-U-See as an option.

Check out Zaner-Bloser for your language arts needs; they are pretty solid in most of what they do. Strategies for Writers, Spelling Connection, Read for Real, and other items are very good.

Compass Learning isn't 100% complete, but is is a good foundation that you can then supplement.

Look at Delta-Education for their math and science in a nutshell kits.

Creativity Express is one of my newest favorites for art.

Also look at some online resources: Cosmeo, VantageLearning, and EnvisionMath (we are piloting this program this year - so ask me later for opinions).

Sing, Spell, Read & Write is a great language arts program for K or 1st.

Handwriting Without Tears.

Rocket Phonics.

LOL - I could be here awhile. How about you PM me if you are looking for anything particular. 8)
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roma
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Yes

Postby roma » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:16 am

I and several friends have had great success with the following

1. For math: Math U See. It comes with all sorts of support (video instruction as well).
http://www.mathusee.com/

2. For early readers (Kindergarten - second grade) Ring Around the Phonics. You can pruchase it on line at: http://www.ringaroundthephonics.com/ . But if you go to http://www.read-phonics.com/ , and go to the contact page you can purchase the whole curriculum (books and all) at a discount.

3. For spelling "Sequential Spelling" http://www.educatorssite.com/
RC


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