Science and the Secular Homeschooler

Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.

Richard Dawkins

As a secular homeschooler, this is one area that you have to be cautiously pessimistic and do your due diligence. 

When my kids were little one of them wanted to study dinosaurs. I thought, “Sure. It’s first grade, that’s science.”

Nope. Every program out there was written from a creationist stand point. I could have put something together myself, but I had four kids to homeschool that year. There was no time for that. We ended up just reading a lot of books from the library and called it good.

There is probably a whole other post in the reasons that science is so complicated in the homeschool world. 

When kids are older it is even more important to stay diligent. High school students need real science. For one thing some colleges require you to prove that you’ve completed a laboratory science program in high school. 

Even if they don’t ask you for proof your student will need to be familiar with all kinds of scientific methods whether they enter the trades or attend a University.

There are three kinds of science programs marketed to homeschoolers:

  • Mainstream Science: Includes information about how current science views evolution, the age of the Earth, and the age of the universe, including the Big Bang.
  • Creationist: Evolution didn’t happen. All things created by God.

  • Faith Neutral: They omit key information about the age of the Earth (and universe) and evolution.

Keep in mind what you choose may have long lasting affects. Kids may not know what they want to study after they finish homeschooling and if you haven’t exposed them to enough science or math (for that matter) you’ll handicap their future before they make any decisions on their own.

Using the classical method each stage of science requires a different focus. Susan Wise Bauer breaks it down for you here. And if you are already home educating or soon will be her book can be your bible/roadmap from preschool to high school graduation. The best endorsement I can give is that I’ve purchased all four editions over the last 17 ish? years.

We’re planning on creating a curriculum recommendation list soon. We’ll list purely secular programs and those that we’ve tweaked and used ourselves.