Secular Classical Homeschooling Curriculum

What’s harder to find than a needle in a haystack? Thats right, a classical education curriculum that’s not Christian. How can one honestly teach a logic or philosophy class when the first chapter of the curricula says we must assume only ONE thing and that’s that the Bible is true. What? that’s not logic, to assume such an obscure and ridiculous proposition. It was this mentality that made me lose affection for The Well-Trained Mind when my kids reached the high-school ages.

But there is a really much more relaxed Classical Education model that flows easily into the high school years without being preachy. It’s called the Thomas Jefferson Education and Oliver DeMille writes about it in his book; A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century. It involves reading, writing and discussing classical literature. Mortimer Adler’s selection of Great Books are on the official suggested reading list, but for our family, anything is fair game for reading and discussion. It might not sound like unschooling, but it meshes well with unschooling and with stricter philosophies. Reading and discussing things are just plain smart things to do with your kids.

In response to a discussion on the Thomas Jefferson Education, whereby one participant believed that unschooling was just “winding them up and letting them go” the following was explained by Lisa, who recently blogged about Different Homeschooling Philosophies:

A Thomas Jefferson education is about sharing quality literature with your children and discussing it, and writing about it. There’s a lot of debating about the characters, the situations, their decisions, what would have been different if X, how could Someone have X?

Unschooling is not simply winding them up and letting them go. I’m afraid you’re missing out on some fascinating family stories and amazing insights into the nature of learning if that’s what you think.

Unschooling and the Thomas Jefferson philosophy are very complementary, with the exception that the Thomas Jefferson method has book lists and the Unschooling philosophy recognizes that ANY book, television or even video game, discussed and debated with an older and wiser person, can help a child (and the adult) learn. The Thomas Jefferson method would not mesh with unschooling for a family with opposing media preferences. Parents and children must be reading the same books or watching the same movies, etc, in TJed.

So- unschooling CAN contain elements of TJed, as long as none of it is forced or coerced.

The “wind them up & let them go” really bothered me, sorry. I might have written the EXACT same thing 15 years ago, before we dove deeper into unschooling, it certainly was my first impression. I’ve learned so much, though and we are totally hardcore unschoolers here now.

Instead of “wind them up and let them go” it’s more like “share their passions and enthusiasm, exploring the world together.” It’s joyful, refreshing, REAL LIFE, authentic living, and the only thing “winding them up” is their own preferences, talents, passions and desires.

An unschooling mom’s job is to facilitate, chauffeur, listen, discuss, share information, learn new things, explore her own interests, and help the child find the resources they need to delve further into their passions. I absolutely love it:)

TJED- puts into words what we already DO with our children. I have a house full of daughters, we talk, debate and discuss constantly. Movies, books, song lyrics… My daughter who loves to write tends to write essays and literature reviews and comparisons, she’s 12. My 16 yr old prefers to draw and talk. Her writing tends to be more song lyrics and poetry.

Rewriting “the Rules”

Apparently there’s a revolution underway. I’m not the only one rewriting the rules.

I’m glad I’ve never heard of this guy, this columnist John Rosemond whose work is syndicated into newspapers all over the US.  Anyway he has this ridiculously miserable set of rules designed to make children as miserable as possible during their indoctrination.  If you like this- you can check out his website where he urges people to print them out and hang them in every room of the house.  If you do that, I recommend you paint something over the nasty words.

Because it is the most character-building, two-letter word in the English language, children have the right to hear their parents say “No” at least three times a day.
Children have the right to find out early in their lives that their parents don’t exist to make them happy, but to offer them the opportunity to learn the skills they will need to eventually make themselves happy.
Children have a right to scream all they want over the decisions their parents make, albeit their parents have the right to confine said screaming to certain areas of their homes.
Children have the right to find out early that their parents care deeply for them but don’t give a hoot what their children think about them at any given moment in time.
Because it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, children have the right to hear their parents say “Because I said so” on a regular and frequent basis.
Because it is the most character-building activity a child can engage in, children have the right to share significantly in the doing of household chores.
Every child has the right to discover early in life that he isn’t the center of the universe (or his family or his parents’ lives), that he isn’t a big fish in a small pond, and that he isn’t the Second Coming, so as to prevent him from becoming an insufferable brat.
Children have the right to learn to be grateful for what they receive, therefore, they have the right to receive all of what they truly need and very little of what they simply want.
Children have the right to learn early in their lives that obedience to legitimate authority is not optional, that there are consequences for disobedience, and that said consequences are memorable and, therefore, persuasive.
Every child has the right to parents who love him/her enough to make sure he/she enjoys all of the above rights.

Luckily, some unschooling mom – Flo, I believe, rewrote those horrid rules and posted the “Unschooler’s Bill of Rights” which is, by far, much more pleasant. I imagine the children think so, too.

It sickens me that they call it “traditional parenting.” But I guess that’s a semantic issue. Who on earth wants to raise their children with a deep-rooted feeling of worthlessness?  Apparently a lot of people because he sells parenting classes and coaching sessions.

I am so grateful that my life isn’t like that. I’m glad that my family doesn’t buy into that kind of garbage.

Articles About Secular Homeschooling Resources

Secular Homeschooling Resources
Find Secular Homeschool Curriculum and Support Groups
Secular Homeschooling Curriculum – Secular Homeschool Resources
Secular homeschool support groups are available in every state and in the U.K. Find secular homeschool resources including secular homeschooling curriculum.   Non religious families who choose to educate at home can have a hard time finding secular homeschooling resources. Many of the websites and catalogs for homeschool books are designed by and for Christian homeschoolers. Finding non religious homeschool curriculum and secular homeschool support groups takes resourcefulness and persistence. Read more…
Working Vacations on a Farm or Ranch Anywhere in the World
Farm Vacation for Families
Helping holidays are growing in popularity. Like secular mission trips, volunteer vacations are available worldwide. Vacation on a farm, ranch or resort and stay for free.  Volunteer Vacations are nothing new; in fact mission trips have been popular for many years. Secular families, however, don’t often realize there’s a way of combing volunteering and vacationing without religion. Think of it as “Being good for goodness’ sake.” Cross-Cultural Solutions plans and organizes volunteer vacations for families and individuals. Help Exchange connects volunteers with helping holiday opportunities all over the world. Read more…
Secular, Atheist, Agnostic and Other Non Religious Homeschoolers
Find secular homeschool support groups, non religious curriculum and resources for families who are not religious, plus non-Christian homeschool programs. Many people don’t realize that there are so many non-religious homeschoolers. The stereotypical picture of a Christian homeschool family doesn’t reflect the reality of homeschooling for many families. Non-religious homeschoolers exist, whether they’re atheist, agnostic or just plain avoiding the issue. Read more…

Secular Homeschool Curriculum
Homeschooling Material for Non Religious Families
Secular Homeschool Books

Finding homeschool curriculum without references to religion can be a challenge. Education at home doesn’t have to be religious. Secular homeschooling curriculum shopping can be done. There are secular homeschooling resources for families. Several online vendors specialize in non-religious educational supplies. Even some religious catalogs distribute a few non-religious materials and even more vendors distribute books which are both religious and non religious. Read more…


I know I’m guilty of it (pessimism, that is) every now and then, but just now I got one of those forwarded emails, the one that has like ten thousand email addresses in the header where it’s been forwarded a million times. When I get those, it makes me wish I knew who buys email lists to spam. Either way, the message that was being forwarded was the most miserable piece of crap I’ve read in.. well.. hours. There was a New York Times article about how much people hate being parents, but that was really nothing compared to this. And I’m including the name of the Southern California real estate agent who was the original sender, in case you want to hire an agent, you can avoid Mr Miserable

Sent: Saturday, July 10, 2010 12:18 PM
Subject: Please consider letting your children read this.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up,it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on.
If you can read this -Thank a teacher!
If you can read this in English – thank a soldier!!!

Fred Konigsbach
Keller Williams Realty
(818) 584-1330

I don’t even know where to start, to respond to this garbage. And the person who sent it is … related to me. Very closely, I might add. When I saw the subject line, I was curious, but when I read it, I was mortified. Perhaps I should let my kids write that real estate agent a response. What a miserable jerk. I’m so glad I’m not his kid. I have a few rules of my own, for the jerk

Rule 1.  Life is fair. You get what you put into it, you reap the rewards and consequences of what you sow. In the end, you learn that what matters most is how you treat the ones you love because that’s how they will treat you

Rule 2.  Self-esteem is just a code word for families who want to teach their kids to pretend to be happy, without taking the time to learn what brings them joy.  Self worth and REAL esteem come from being proud of yourself and knowing that others value your contribution.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be better, so that YOUR real world will be a place you’re proud of and help the ones around you do the same.

Rule 3.  These days, everyone has a cell phone. it’s actually cheaper to have a cell phone than a land line and it’s portable. Smart financial decisions like that are more important than your salary. If you want to be vice president, go for it. Just don’t spend more than you’re making because credit cards are for losers. And sure- there are people who win the lottery, inherit millions or land a dream job. All you need to worry about it YOUR dream, and make it happen.

Rule 4.  School is bullshit, you’re right. And if you grow up and find that a J.O.B. doesn’t suit you either, then you’ll have to learn to manage on your own.  Self-employment isn’t for followers.  Everyone can’t be a leader. If you enjoy your job but your boss is a jerk, move on or view it as a stepping stone.  There’s no reason to surround yourself with miserable people- EVER. Life’s too precious

Rule 5.  If you don’t want to flip burgers, you don’t have to.  I wouldn’t want to contribute to the processed food industry, either.  There are a million ways to earn income and just because your grandparents settled for burger flipping, it doesn’t mean you need to. We’ve come a long way. burgers were new & cool in those days.

Rule 6. There are so very few REAL mistakes you can make in life.  You can always re-evaluate, re-analyze and turn a situation around. Always. As your parents, we’re here whenever you need a shoulder to cry on or to brainstorm a new path.

Rule 7. Before you were born, your parents had no idea what it would take to raise a child. mentally, physically, emotionally. There’s just nothing that can compare to the excitement of watching a new human discover the world.  They do the best they can, but sometimes forget that they can learn from you, too.

Rule 8. There’s no such thing as winners & losers. You just need to make sure that you’re playing a game you’re good at. We’re all made differently for a reason. Learn to appreciate the different skills & abilities of people around you, rather than dividing people up into winners or losers.  There aren’t 2 kinds of people in the world, there are millions.  Furthermore, there are no tests in real life, so you don’t need to worry about having right & wrong answers. In real life, people DO things, they don’t take tests all the time. Forget about the compulsion to know the right answer, and just enjoy the company you’re in. You never know when you might lose someone.

Rule 9. Every minute of every day is YOUR TIME. You decide what your life looks like. Your marriage (or not), your employment (or self-employment, freelancing, etc) is YOUR CHOICE.  If you’ve spent your childhood having all your decisions made FOR you, then you just might need to find yourself. Resist the temptation to trade one institution for another, you won’t find yourself in church. Do what makes you happy, do what brings you joy- THAT is who you are, and that is where you will find yourself.

Rule 10. Television is not real life. It’s entertainment. Even the news. But you knew that, right?

Rule 11. Don’t call people nerds. Unless it’s part of your relationship with that person whereby they have an equally oppressive nickname for you and you’re not offended to hear it.

If you agree- pass it on
If you can read this, you’re welcome
If you can read this in English, then you don’t need to know about free web translation services

No market for Secular curriculum?

I was pleased to find that the Orlando Atheism Examiner included a link to my website in her recent article titled Secular Homechoolers find Darwin on their Own, discussing the recent news (duh) about the fact that most homeschool science books bash the idea of evolution.

I had to laugh (snort, actually) when I scrolled down to read the comments and saw that the Los Angeles Atheism Examiner, Hugh Kramer, commented:

Very interesting. I didn’t realize there even was a secular homeschool market.

Come on, man. I feel like who in whoville, shouting “We are here, we are here, we are here”

Although, to be honest, we’re not shopping for curricula either. Unschooling has been working out really well for us. But still. Is he not understanding that sometimes, Atheists reject institutionalized education as well as institutionalized spirituality?

Anyway- check out the lady’s article. pays their writers based upon page views, so let’s show her how much we love that she linked to me and that WE ARE HERE, dammit!

And if you live in Seattle, check out my friend Lisa’s articles on Examiner, too. here are a few titles…

Seattle mom teaches Self-sufficiency at Songcroft School
Virtual homeschooling conventions
Video teaches teens how to protect their civil rights
Free admission to science museums in Seattle and Tacoma
and finally, no matter where you live, your kids can get free bowling this summer

“Letting Kids Decide”

I love it when a mixed-religion couple, like a Catholic and a Lutheran, for example, decide to let their kids decide what religion they’ll be. It cracks me up that they think it’s possible to indoctrinate a child with two very limited and nonsensical perspectives, then think that the child will come to some inner-driven conclusion. Like they’re doing their child a service for not forcing them to choose.

Ahh- Atheist moms, you know what I’m taking about, I’m sure. I have too many thoughts in my head right now and I’m too tired to talk this one through.

Mainly, I just had to share a few goodies I came across on Facebook today.

1- Someone posed the question “Hey Atheists, have you been treated badly by Christians?” And one lady’s Awesome response was;

My kid brought home a fundraising catalog that included Bible verses for kids books, Jesus-in-manger wrapping paper, & other christian-only items. A friend’s lawyer told him to go to Mass if he wants to win custody of his son. Complete strangers “worry” about my child because I’m NOT brainwashing him into a religion. I don’t see my non-faith reflected in politics (remember the anti-Kay Hagen ad “accusing” her of being an atheist during the last elections?) My tax dollars go to churches which won’t help me with charity because I’m not a member; my money says “in god we trust” when I trust in no god. My son is taught to say a pledge in school which excludes people like me. Do you need more?

Also, I found a Facebook Fan Page called “The Bible: Truth or Fiction” and the discussion points are hilarious:

Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, 2 Chronicles 25:4 “Fathers are not to die for the sins of their children, children are not to die for the sins of their fathers. Each shall die for their own sin only” Isaiah 14:21 “Kill this man’s children! Let them die because of their father’s sins! They must not rise and conquer the earth, filling the world with their cities.”


How can this be explained: God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). 1:3-5

Anyway, I know I haven’t blogged in a while, I hope you’re all doing well.

Relax, we’re making all of this up



I love this poster, the caption says “Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood, while telepathically telling him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul which is present in all humanity because a woman made out of one rib bone and a mound of dirt was tricked into eating fruit from a magical tree by a talking snake. … Yeah. Makes perfect sense.”

On a side note, my oldest daughter (I mentioned she likes going to church youth groups) was caught amidst a rather amusing battle the other day. She visits two churches regularly for youth group, a Mormon Church and some Christian Church- I forget the denomination. Anyway, several of the kids go back & forth. The pastor at the Christian Church last night decided to attack Mormonism with several Mormon kids in attendance. This is the same guy who spent over an hour lecturing the kids about why life is meaningless, using Biblical quotes as proof that our happiness in life is irrelevant. Way to go, dude. He also gave a lecture to teach the kids that If you believe in Jesus, you go to heaven. If you don’t believe, Jesus respects that decision and you go to pergatory where Jesus discusses the matter with you & you have a chance to change your position, but if you’re not sure about it, then you’re the worst scum of the earth and you go straight to hell when you die, for being a spineless coward.

Anyway, the Pastor’s anti-Mormonism speech to the Mormon teens was apparently amusing, my daughter came home with his 35 page packet of anti-Mormon dogma and attempted to fact-check it for historical accuracy and verbiage. This pastor has a habit of using several different versions of the bible for his quotes, so that he can say what HE wants to say. I’m glad my daughter’s just there for entertainment and to hang out with her friends. It’s amazing the amount of stress and passion these people put into all these made-up stories.

On another side-note, as predicted, I’m getting a lot of responses to Stupid Christian Facebook Statuses. Some are funny, one just makes no sense at all. I think she said I was “worshiping rocks” or something.

Waterboarding a toddler?

Oh for Christ’s sake- this fucking idiot tortured his 4 yr old daughter because she didn’t know her ABC’s.

So- this jerk probably didn’t start out this way, I’m sure he was born normal just like everyone else. He learned this particular brand of insanity from the US Armed Forces. Sargeant Joshua Tabor served 15mos in Iraq.

When will people see that you can’t just train someone to be a cold-blooded murderer and expect them to be able to function in society.

War is wrong.
Torturing toddlers is wrong.

This man had court-appointed custody.

Here’s the news story.