Page 5 of 7

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 4:59 pm
by StellarStory
My pleasure! I guess it's the reference librarian in me, I love to help people find what they are looking for.

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:22 pm
by knobren
phiferan wrote:I have no scientific background. And, I think there should be homeschool books available for both secular and Christian worldviews. I think as homeschooling grows it provides us with strength and we need to welcome all with different worldviews to our ranks, as we share the same goal to create more acceptance and freedom for homeschooling families. However, Knobren, it just seems strange to me why someone who wants suggestions from homeschoolers (majority Christian) would argue on and on about evolution on a message board with a large Christian audience. God has given all of us free choice to believe as we wish and it seems to me with all the cites and resources you listed, you could get on a message board with one of those cites and discuss evolution, where you would not have to argue and could be preaching to the choir.

I didn't start the evolution discussion. I didn't come here to argue about it. However, religion has no place in science. They are two different "ways of knowing" the world. (Well, it is "two" if you don't break "religion" down into different beliefs.)

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:18 am
by Theodore
The problem is that the (ruling) scientists view evolution as science, while creationists view it as religion. If evolution is in fact religion, giving it special status over creationism is blatant bias. Personally, I think that it's enough to know how the world works, you don't have to delve into the question of where we all came from in a high school textbook - and if you do have to delve, a fair say should be given to both viewpoints, and students should be allowed to choose on their own. Anything else is indoctrination, and it's just as bad when scientists do it as when anyone else does it.

EDIT: I guess that doesn't help much. You say it's science. I say it's not. The two viewpoints are mutually exclusive, and will always be at war with one another. It's just that your side controls what gets put in the schools right now :\ A compromise is actually a loss.

EDIT: In point of fact, I had been debating with you quite a bit via PM, but you were the one who brought it out here. It was your choice, not mine.

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:47 pm
by sevenkidsisgreat

Your original post was about whether there was a niche in the homeschool market for more secular science curricula. The answer is YESSSSSSSSSSS! As you can see there is virtually no high school level science curricula in the homeschool community that is secular in nature. It is all creationist and fundamentalist. Develop away, my friend. There are thousands of secular, non-creationist homeschoolers out here dying for something to spend our homeschool book dollars on!! When will you be going to press?!

Waiting with bated breath,


Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:06 pm
by seekingmyLord
The parents I know who are teaching evolution use secular textbooks. I am curious how an evolution curriculum specifically made for homeschoolers would be better than secular textbooks made for schools?

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:02 pm
by Theodore
I used regular (secular) college textbooks when studying for my science exams. The emphasis on evolution was annoying, but I could just skip those parts, as I knew them fairly well already. In my opinion, the secular end of things is already sufficiently well covered.

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:32 pm
by phiferan
[color=indigo]Hi SeekingmyLord:
I am seeking him, too. I am a Christian; but, I picked secular Science texts; because the style was better for my son. I covered the small section (about 6 pages) out of hundreds of pages in the text on evolution, so that my son could understand the other side. Nevertheless, I taught him that our family does not believe in evolution. As a matter of fact, my son was so smart (proud mom) that he thought the evolution argument the textbook presented did not make sense to him. Throughout the book, various scientific processes were explained with clear scientific data to back it up: observations and tests that can be replicated. However, for the evolution section there was a lot of, “For some unknown reason, we believe this or that happened….Scientist don’t know why this or that was the outcome……etc.â€

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 4:28 am
by seekingmyLord
phiferan wrote:Hi SeekingmyLord:
Nevertheless, more science textbooks made for homeschoolers including evolution or not, would be good because you cannot get the answer keys to the public school textbooks unless you are a certified teacher and they don’t come with inclusive lab kits, you have to order those separately. I spend most of my planning time each year putting together my science curriculum. There is definitely a need. God bless.

Good point!

Our homeschool style is not really based on textbooks, particularly at my daughter's level, so I didn't think about this aspect. Thank you for sharing.

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:06 pm
by sevenkidsisgreat
As phiferan pointed out, a secular homeschool curriculum for the high school level is desperately needed for the reasons she sited. No answer keys/tests and no lab. That is why Apologia has been so successful. If you could do something like that but from an evolutionary perspective that would be great. I have to point out also, that there are many Christians who believe in the evolution not creationism as well who would be interested in this product.


Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:31 am
by knobren
So, would you consider buying a book of tests that you could give your child that have the answers in the back, so you can grade them?

Or would you prefer the same thing, but on CD-ROM, so the computer could grade the test?

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:55 am
by StellarStory
I've used both types of material. I like the idea of a self grading program but the reality often is that a computer program is too literal about wording and such. Also I think often a kid on a computer gets distracted.

I'd buy either one but I'd rather a book. I'd take the answers out of the back before I gave it to the kids. I'd three hole punch it and put it in my teacher book. That's how I deal with a book that has the answers in the back. It's really easy.

Unfortunately, a lot of books have the answers not in the back but in with the rest of the material or at the bottom of a page. That makes removal nearly impossible because you would be removing some or all of a page. Most of those pages have more material on the back of them. That means you've basically got to put up with an open book test sort of thing with the answers easily available.

IMO, that can work but not as well. It certainly makes me uncomfortable. I was quite the short cutting cheater when I was in school. Thank goodness my kids are better than me in this area!


Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:21 pm
by Theodore
Written tests with fill in the blank answers are best for testing knowledge, imho, and computers are lousy at grading those. Multiple choice is too easy.

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:07 am
by knobren
StellarStory wrote:
Unfortunately, a lot of books have the answers not in the back but in with the rest of the material or at the bottom of a page. That makes removal nearly impossible because you would be removing some or all of a page. Most of those pages have more material on the back of them. That means you've basically got to put up with an open book test sort of thing with the answers easily available.

That is what I noticed when I looked at what might be out there.

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:31 pm
by StellarStory
knobren wrote:That is what I noticed when I looked at what might be out there.


Talk about bad planning . . .

I'm glad you've noticed it too.

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:17 pm
by Dolly-VA
Knobren, I thought I'd add my 2 cents to your original question.

I finally found a science program that I think my son will like and that looks like will teach him something. I bought the First Year (middle school grades 7-9) of a two year program. It has a textbook where the child reads a short, directed, no extraneous verbiage lesson two days a week (the parent asks a couple review questions the following days,) and then there is a once a week lab done after the two lessons. All lab stuffs are included in a kit (and the items look good, not cheap.) This first year portion covers physics and chemistry and, besides a couple short paragraphs in the intro, does not mention anything supernatural until the very last page. Unfortunately, in reading the website, I did find that the following year, where it covers biology, does teach evolution from a creationist's viewpoint. :shock: I'm totally bummed.

Anyway, if you could come up with something along the lines of this program, but without mention of the supernatural, I, personally, would be very grateful and do know quite a few others that would be interested in it as well. Yes, the majority of homeschoolers in the US are christian, many fundamentalists, but definitely not all and, I think, the numbers of us beginning to homeschool who aren't interested in some unknown organization's religious indoctrination mixing with our children's non-religious instruction is growing. I'm not trying to start an argument, but at least when one teaches specific bible lessons or studies, there is no question as to what the child is being exposed to. This seems to me to be even more important when the child is of an age to do most of his or her studies without parental participation. In something like science, it should be taught to the best of modern research's knowledge. Then, one can teach their child "this is what we believe."

PS. I also wanted to add the my son LOVES doing anything on the computer. If you had an interactive program, lots of clickables, links, demo's of things (things icky and gooey is always good!) he'd be a very happy camper. Maybe with links to current science news, etc. Also, it has to be written in an interesting manner. The program I mentioned above is well-written for the middle school aged brain. :lol: Amusing without being stupid. To the point. Not dry is very good!

Also, if you'd like to toss ideas at me, feel free to PM me. I'll even get my son involved if you'd like.