My Journey Away from Faith-based Curriculum

My Journey Away from Faith Based Curriculum

In all honesty, I never thought I would homeschool my kids. I started because my oldest missed the cut off date for kindergarten and would have to wait a full year before starting school. She was beyond ready, so I knew I needed to do something. After a lot of research and many discussions, our family plunged head first into homeschooling.

We began our journey as unschoolers. The kids were young, and it worked well to have learning revolve around their interests. Then we moved. The new record keeping and evaluation requirements of that state made it difficult for me to continue homeschooling without a focused plan. I realized I was going to need curriculum.

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum

My Journey Away from Faith Based Curriculum

As you know, venturing into the world of homeschool curriculum can be overwhelming. I had no idea where to start. So I did what most of us do. I starting using what my friends recommended which happened to be well-known, faith-based curriculum.

Just take a quick look at any homeschool convention and you’ll see that a large percentage of materials have a religious (mostly Christian) point of view. However, not everyone schools at home for religious reasons, and not all families who follow a religion want their homeschooling materials to be faith based. In fact, I’m one of those homeschooling moms.

Unchoosing Homeschool Curriculum

At first, I welcomed the idea of using books that supported our beliefs. Unfortunately, I found that I don’t need (or want) the level of religion found within many Christian textbooks used for core subjects. In my opinion, they dedicate too many pages to watered down religion—pages that could be better used for more subject material.

For example, my kids don’t need multiple paragraphs in each chapter of a science book reiterating the point that God’s creation is perfect and beautiful. I want our science curriculum to focus on science. So now I look for faith-neutral or secular materials.

A Solution for My Curriculum Struggle

Because of the curriculum struggle I faced, I made the decision years ago to forgo standard homeschooling textbooks for most of our core subjects (like science and history) and instead create my own lesson plans. As a substitute for pre-made curriculum, my kids watch relevant videos, read living books, play educational games, and complete a ton of hands-on activities.

Compiling everything on my own is definitely time consuming, but works well for our family. Other homeschool families in my situation use a quality curriculum that isn’t faith-based such as Bookshark’s literature based, secular materials. The convenience of a full boxed curriculum or a curriculum plan for a key subject takes the burden off an already busy mom and allows her to enjoy the homeschool experience without spending hours of planning and researching.

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About the Author

Megan Zechman

Megan Zechman is a veteran homeschool mom of two girls. Over at Education Possible, she shares creative, hands-on learning activities for middle school.